Drew "Dru-Ha" Friedman

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Drew "Dru Ha" Friedman
Occupation Co-CEO of Duck Down Music Inc. and 3D Distribution / Director of Urban Music at Cornerstone Promotion
Website
Dru Ha Facebook

Drew "Dru Ha" Friedman is an American Music and Marketing Executive based in NYC. Friedman is Co-CEO of Duck Down Music Inc., 3D Distribution and Director of Urban Music at Cornerstone Promotion. Born and raised in White Plains NY, he is a graduate of Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications where he studied advertising.

Background[edit]

During summer breaks at Syracuse University, Friedman interned at SBK Records under Rob Stone (Co-Founder Cornerstone Promotion and Fader Media). There Friedman worked College Radio Promotions for multi-platinum acts Vanilla Ice & Arrested Development.[1] Shortly after graduating Syracuse, Friedman began working at independent label Nervous Records where he became head of the companies Hip Hop department. He Executive Produced projects from Black Moon, Funkmaster Flex, Smif-N-Wessun and KRS-One's prodigy: Mad Lion. While working as a manager, promoter and marketer, Friedman was also featured as a guest rapper on Black Moon's Enta Da Stage album on the song "U Da Man" under the name Big Dru Ha.

Duck Down Mgmt. & Duck Down Music Inc.[edit]

In 1994 Friedman along with his partner Kenyatta Blake (Buckshot) formed Duck Down Management to formally manage the groups Black Moon and Smif-N-Wessun.[2] In 1995, Dru & Buckshot founded Duck Down Entaprizes (eventually modifying the name to Duck Down Music Inc). to which they signed hip hop groups Heltah Skeltah and O.G.C. In 1996 Duck Down inked a deal with Brian Turner and Priority Records (home to Ice Cube, N.W.A. and Master P's No Limit Records) for label distribution.[3]

Late in 1996, Tupac Shakur invited Dru and his Artists: Buckshot, Tek & Steele (Smif n Wessun) to work on the never released One Nation, an album that would attempt to show solidarity between the East and West Coasts.[4] Under Drew's direction at Priority, Duck Down Artists worked with various Hip Hop Artists including collaborations with Mary J. Blige (Smif N Wessun - "I Love You" RMX), Tupac (BCC - "Better Days"), Method Man (Heltah Skeltah - "Gunz N Onz"), Spike Lee (Buckshot - "Crooklyn Dodgers"), Wyclef (Cocoa Brovaz - "Where's the Party"), and fallen songbird Aaliyah who recorded "Nightriders" with the Boot Camp Clik. In 1997 Dru witnessed an unsigned Eminem at a NYC's Lyricist Lounge and attempted to sign Em to Duck Down via parent company Priority Records.[5] Duck Down has sold over 3,000,000 albums which Friedman Executive Produced.[6]


In 1998, Friedman along with partner Blake, launched Vision Marketing. The agency provided promotion and cross marketing opportunities for Duck Down Album releases for Companies such as Eckō Unltd.,[7] Sketchers, LRG and others. In 2002, Friedman and Duck Down signed a distribution deal with Koch Records (now E1). Under this deal the label retained full ownership of their Masters, manufactured their own product and were responsible for all the Artists promotion. Duck Down has a direct deal with iTunes for digital distribution.[8]

In 2006, in addition to still running Duck Down Music, Friedman accepted position at Cornerstone Promotion as Director of Urban Music.[9] He has worked on campaigns such as Nike's "Classic (Better Than I've Ever Been)" with Rakim, KRS-One, Nas, and Kanye West. The track was nominated for the Grammy Award for "Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group." In late 2010, Pepsi's Chief Engagement Officer hired Cornerstone to do the creative on the brand's campaign, Pepsi Max NFL Audible, due to the firm's history of creating successful urban marketing campaigns. TV spots aired during January 2011 NFL playoff games and online, featuring rappers Big Boi, Lupe Fiasco, B.o.B[10] and Talib Kweli.

In 2009, Dru-Ha & Buckshot signed their first international act Toronto's Hip-Hop/Soul sensation, Promise. [11]

In 2010 and 2011, Duck Down partnered with 2K Sports to present a unique opportunity for aspiring producers and MCs. This involved an open call for submissions for original sample-free compositions for a chance to receive placement in the NBA 2K's game soundtrack (NBA 2K11 and NBA 2K12) and a trip to NYC to perform at Duck Down's CMJ Showcase.[12]

In 2011, in addition to releasing Pharoahe Monch's W.A.R. (We Are Renegades) album, Duck Down Music formed 3D, a music-marketing and consulting firm with its own distribution network that's experienced in navigating the indie landscape. Executing a strategy where 3D provides General Management for Artist-owned indie sub-labels such as Talib Kweli's Javotti Media (Gutter Rainbows)[7] and Blue Scholars.[8] This allowed artists to tap into 3D's expertise, relationships, and networks, while retaining control of their projects and ownerships of their masters. Expanded services from 3D are a Music Supervision Department that places clients songs in film, TV, and video games and creation and sales of Artist Merchandising.

2012, saw the releases of Sean Price’s highly anticipated Mic Tyson album, Skyzoo’s A Dream Deferred,’ 9th Wonder & Buckshot’s 3rd collaborative album and releases from acts Murs & Fashawn and De La Soul’s Plug 1 & Plug 2. 2012 also saw the launch of Duck Down Visuals, a production division dedicated to documenting various artists and the lifestyle of their music through self produced visual shorts. This included several viral Sean Price skits, profiles on up and coming acts; Freddie Gibbs, Ab-Soul etc., and special series like Verse Unheard.

In 2013, Duck Down Music was retained as project management for Talib Kweli’s latest album, ‘Prisoner of Conscious,’ distributed by Universal. Overseeing album deliverables, allocation of budget, co-op approvals, international distribution & overall marketing. Duck Down Music’s 3D Division was also retained to consult for Cinematic Music Group assisting with Joey Bada$$, Big KRIT, and Vashtie handling project management services.

2011 ING New York City Marathon[edit]

On November 6, Friedman participated in the 2011 ING New York City Marathon raising over $15,000 for the Alzheimer's Research Foundation. Friedman's father, Harvey L. Friedman, died from Alzheimer's and Friedman explains: "I wanted to do something extremely challenging in memory of my father and to raise awareness about this compassionless disease." In support of Friedman's run, Duck Down Music released an exclusive song, "Run To Remember" featuring Buckshot, Smif-N-Wessun, & Promise with production by Double-0 of Kidz In The Hall & a Dri-Fit shirt. Proceeds from sales were donated to the Alzheimer's Association.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Arora, Moe. "Talking With Dru Ha". MoeArora.com. 
  2. ^ Lindstrom, Al. "Feature: The Indie Series Presents: Dru Ha". AlLindstrom.com. 
  3. ^ Serwer, Jesse. "Duck Down 15 Year Anniversary". 
  4. ^ Bernard, Adam. "Dru Ha Interview Pt. 1". RapReviews.com. 
  5. ^ Bernard, Adam. "Dru Ha Interview Pt. 2". RapReviews.com. 
  6. ^ Delaini, Jasper. "Duck Down Label Honcho Buckshot Celebrates 15 Years in Business With a Tour". Broward Palm Beach New Times. 
  7. ^ Starbury, Allen. "Duck Down Records Readies Three-CD Triple Threat Box Set". BallerStatus.com. 
  8. ^ Firecloud, Johnny. "Duck Down Makes Direct Deal With iTunes". CraveOnline.com. 
  9. ^ Kayser, Brian. "Duck Down Records Update". HipHopGame. 
  10. ^ Gensler, Andy. "Watch B.o.B.'s Pepsi Ad for Falcons vs. Packers Game". Billboard.com. 
  11. ^ Fox, Luke. "Workaholic Toronto Hip-Hop Artist Promise Signs to Duck Down Records". Exclaim.ca. 
  12. ^ "NBA 2K11 x Duck Down Records hold MC/producer contest". WoooHa.com. 8 March 2010. 
  13. ^ Friedman, Drew. "Run To Remember". DuckDown.com. 

External links[edit]