Dante Ross

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Dante Ross
Birth name Dante Ross
Born (1967-10-11) October 11, 1967 (age 49)
San Francisco, California
Origin New York City, New York
Genres Hip hop
Occupation(s) Record producer, A&R
Instruments Drum machine, Sampler
Years active 1987-present
Labels Tommy Boy, Elektra, Warner Bros.
Associated acts Brand Nubian, De La Soul, Digital Underground, Queen Latifah, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Leaders Of The New School, KMD, Macklemore

Dante Ross (born October 11, 1967 in San Francisco, California[1]) is an American music industry executive, A&R representative, and producer. He was named one of the top-25 greatest A&R representatives in hip hop [2] by Complex magazine. Ross started his A&R career at Tommy Boy records, at which he signed and handled the careers of such artists as De La Soul, Queen Latifah, and Digital Underground.[3] Ross was then hired by Elektra Records and was the first person ever hired by a major label to be specifically a hip hop A and R man. Ross became the architect of Elektra Records hip hop roster where he signed acts Brand Nubian, Grand Puba, Pete Rock & C.L Smooth, KMD, Leaders of the New School, Busta Rhymes and Ol’ Dirty Bastard.[4] He is currently a SVP of A&R ADA Music the independent distribution company owned by the Warner Music Group. He also serves as SVP of A and R for the newly re-activated Asylum records.

Dante Ross was born in San Francisco to political activist parents John Ross and mother Norma. He moved to New York City in 1967. Ross was raised by his mother raised in New York's Lower East Side, then a predominately Puerto Rican neighborhood, where his mother was a nursery school teacher. Ross grew up skateboarding, writing graffiti and going to see punk rock shows with teenage friends who would eventually become members of The Beastie Boys, The Cro-Mags and Luscious Jackson. He hung out at Manhattan nightclubs such as The Mudd Clubb, Danceteria and The Roxy nightly while still in High School in the early 80's. He frequently went to see live music at CBGB's where he often saw The Bad Brains who befriended a young Ross. Hanging out in NYC's Lower East Side during the early 80's Ross became friends with many notable punk and hardcore groups as well as various future creatives. He credits this along with watching his friends The Beastie Boys success with him wanting to work in the music business.

Ross entered the music business when he was hired as a messenger at the behest of his friends The Beastie Boys and their road manager Sean Carasov[5] at the newly formed Def Jam Recordings.[3] Ross was mentored by Lyor Cohen and Russell Simmons for several years before going to work as an A&R person at Tommy Boy records.[3] This was followed by an 8-year stint at Elektra where he was considered one of the architects of the golden age of Hip Hop.[4] Ross has been in his career an office messenger, a tour manager, an A&R person, a record producer, a notable songwriter and artist manager.[5]

As a producer, Ross was a third of the Stimulated Dummies production team with partners John Gamble and Geeby Dajani.[6] The production team worked with artists such as Brand Nubian, Grand Puba, Leaders Of The New School, 3rd Bass, and Del Tha Funky Homosapien. Gamble and Ross later went on to produce sans Dajani Santana, Everlast (working on both the multi platinum album Whitey Ford Sings the Blues and the gold follow-up Eat at Whitey's), and many others.[6] Ross earned a Grammy in 1998 for his work on Carlos Santana's Supernatural.[6] Ross’ production work has also appeared on Eminem’s 8 Mile soundtrack, on which he produced and co-wrote two songs that featured Macy Gray and Young Zee. Ross has also been enlisted for his remixing skills, which have been featured on songs by Korn as well as a plethora of other artists in genres as diverse as Nu metal, Dancehall, Neo-Soul and Hip-Hop.[6] Mr. Ross is credited with signing Lil Dicky and Made in TYO who both were awarded platinum records in 2016. Ugly God his first signing to the re launched Asylum records was awarded a platinum single in June of 2017.


  • Complex Magazine [7]
  • Wax Poetics [1]
  • Stop The Breaks [8]
  • Channel Dynamic [9]
  • LTD Magazine [2]
  • LA Weekly [3]
  1. ^ Wang, Oliver (21 June 2017). "Classic Material: The Hip-hop Album Guide". ECW Press. Retrieved 21 June 2017 – via Google Books. 
  2. ^ Complex, Magazine. "Top 25 Greatest A&Rs in Hip Hop". 
  3. ^ a b c "Dante Ross – The Unkut Interview Part 1: The Tommy Boy Era". Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "Dante Ross – The Unkut Interview Part 2: The Elektra Era". Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Frannie Kelley. "Dante Ross: 'We Wanted Our Own Universe'". npr.org. NPR. Retrieved 2016-05-06. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Dante Ross – The Unkut Interview Part 3: The SD-50’s". Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  7. ^ "19. Dante Ross — The 25 Best A&Rs in Hip-Hop History". Complex. 2013-02-01. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  8. ^ Nguyen, Hao. "Hip-Hop Gem: Dante Ross Helped Busta Rhymes To Go SoloStop The Breaks | For Hip-Hop Heads". Stopthebreaks.com. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  9. ^ on December 4, 2013 (2013-12-04). "Dante Ross On Discovering Young Queen Latifah Channel Dynamic". Channeldynamic.com. Retrieved 2013-12-13.