Anyone who saw Ground Up at the TLA last weekend probably got to hear their newest track that’s dropping today…well they got to hear some of it. The rapper G-Eazy wasn’t in town that night, or else he’d have come on stage and spit his verse along with Azar and Malakai.
Everyone in both camps is pumped about this track. The two teams met up on the road last winter and toured until the spring, and it was clear by the end of the tour that a collaboration would produce something special.
Support Ground Up & G-Eazy and buy “Breakfast” CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE
Big ups to Dub Caesar, Broad St. Music Group and Foxtail Fest for having us out.
Photos by @ihhPHILA
Next time you walk into a Lacoste retail shop or hand your car keys over to a valet service in center city Philly, you might just be buying a polo or getting your whip parked by the manager of the hottest hip hop act in the city.
Ground Up manager Jon Zecchino
Frank Santella and Jon Zecchino have been managing Ground Up since the earliest days in the 1711 house. Like any pair, they share many of the same responsibilities, such as booking, creative management and promotion, but they also have unique skill sets and distinct personalities. Santella, who grew up with Azar and Bij Lincs, is described by Jon as being the “people guy”, whereas Zecchino, a former Temple student who met Malakai and Azar on the first day of freshman orientation back in ’08, is the self-described “technical guy”. “It’s not like I never talk to people or Frank never takes care of technical details or equipment issues,” explains Zecchino on a normal Monday night as he sits at the kitchen table in Ground Up Headquarters, “but if someone needs to design the lights or sound for a show it’s probably going to be me, and if someone needs to handle a long-term relationship via phone and email, it’s probably going to be Frank. But overtime both of us have had to play many roles.”
Ground Up manager Frank Santella
One thing about these two guys that’s stuck out to me over the years is the fact that no matter what is going on, in the world, in their personal lives, in anything, they never stray from the task at hand. These guys wake up and fall asleep Ground Up day in day out. They hardly even say hello anymore when they see each other, just “what’s next”. The fact is, these guys share a full-time job where they’re their own bosses, they trained themselves, and “tomorrow” is their only benefits package.
I asked them how people usually react when they explain that they manage hip hop artists. They both said the same thing, “you usually get one of two responses: they’re either totally interested or they have absolutely no clue what that means and shrug it off without paying much attention. Some people just don’t know, but we just care about our rappers, our artists. We’re interested in whoever’s interested in them. That’s our job.”