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Will Strickland Biography

”Will Strickland is one of the foremost authorities on educating the masses about what hip hop culture truly is”- Bobbito Garcia; World-renowned DJ, author, & hip hop culture impresario

 

Length: 60 minutes

Target Audience: Grades 9–12, Colleges & Universities, School Administrators, Urban Lifestyle-Driven Corporations

Touring Region: Global

Special Features: Group discussion and question & answer period

 

Themes:

  1. "Plan Your Work So You Can Work Your Plan"

  2. "Be Proactive Instead of Reactive"

  3. "Comfort is the Enemy of Creativity"

 

Lecturer Background: A longtime music industry vet in the US and Canada, Will Strickland conceptualized & produced the first ever online concert in black music history while at Epic Records as the Senior National Director of Rap Marketing & Promotions in 1997, as well as creating & teaching the seminal course on hip hop culture, “Edutainment: The Impact of Hip Hop on American Culture", at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 1998. He is currently the Executive Director of Project Logic – an arts and education based collective focused on providing unique creative Canadian urban music talent development. Will also serves as Co-Principal of Keikwalk Consulting, an entertainment marketing, promotions & consulting firm in Toronto, overseeing the development & execution of multiple entertainment & social programs, as well as providing his extensive industry acumen to various companies.  He is also working as a freelance writer for several publications and a highly sought-after public speaker. Last, but certainly not least, Will Strickland is a true champion for the cause and preservation of hip hop culture.

Will Strickland’s career as a trailblazer is extensive and ever-expanding.  From hosting radio shows at college, community and commercial stations and his own local music video show to starting his marketing/promotions/consulting firm in a dorm room at Rice University as an undergrad there in 1992, Will’s growth as an impresario in entertainment and business has only just begun.

 Starting in 1986, this true hip hop culture enthusiast started his career as one of the youngest deejays and on-air personalities in the country at a small station in Texas while still in high school.  That foray into music was parleyed into his own college radio show when Will matriculated to Rice University in Houston in 1988 on an academic and athletic scholarship.  It was at Rice where Will’s spark aimed to burst into flames!  His desire, determination and focus to be the best was exemplified in his work ethic.  He triple majored in Managerial Studies, Economics and Political Science, was a four-year letterman on the Men’s Varsity Basketball Team, coordinator of Volunteers for Youth, an at-risk youth outreach organization, focal member of the Forensics Team, President of the Black Student Union and Vice President of the Student Council.  Will added to his collegiate laurels by launching UrbanArt Marketing and Promotions, a marketing,  promotions and consulting firm, initially offering business solutions to the entertainment and urban fashion industries, dealing with such corporate giants as Nike, HBO, Coca-Cola and more!

 With these experiences at hand, Will moved on from his company and into corporate, as he worked directly for several of the record labels he once promoted for, such as Uptown, Badboy, RCA and Epic/Sony Music.  Somehow, he managed to sandwich a brief professional basketball career in San Antonio, Toronto, Caracas, Venezuela and Sao Paulo, Brazil during this period and earned his Masters Degree, mostly via correspondence courses, as well.

 Will Strickland’s passion for music is highlighted by the work he has done in aiding to guide the careers and efforts of artists such as:

Heavy D

Mary J. Blige

Scarface

The Geto BoysThe Notorious B.I.G.

Craig Mack

Prince

SWVShaquille O’Neal

KRS-One

  1. Kelly

Public EnemyNaughty By Nature

Faith Evans

GangStarr

Black MoonSmif-N-Wessun

WuTang Clan

Ghostface Killah

GinuwineSade

Michael Jackson

Luther Vandross

Erykah BaduBabyface

Jamiroquai

Dr. Dre

Snoop DoggDuring Will’s stint at Epic, he brought one of his most daring visions to life by conceptualizing, implementing and executing the first ever online concert in black music history with Ghostface Killah, featuring Raekwon and Cappadonna, at 88hiphop.com, an internet radio show, in February 1997.

 

 He continued his quest as a renaissance man in urban lifestyle by creating and teaching a seminal course on hip hop culture at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 1998.  His reasoning?  “I was tired of hearing others tell me what my culture and history was and is.  So, instead of being REACTIVE and whining about it, I was PROACTIVE and did something about it by getting and actually seeing through this opportunity at UMass.  I am trying to establish the educational foundation for the study of hip hop culture, not just the study of the music within an industry spawned by this culture! This is only the beginning…”

 Indeed it was!  Yet, the story does not end there!

 In 1999, Will moved on to work as the music editor for Rap Pages Magazine out of Los Angeles, as well as serving as a Creative Consultant for the Queen Latifah talk show.  His immense talents were requested in additional capacity by Latifah, as he also took on the role of aiding the turnover of the Queen’s Flavor Unit Management into a full-fledged record label.  He briefly presided as the Senior National Director of Promotions before crossing the border into the Great White North to exercise new options in a new country as a Management Consultant at an ad agency in Toronto.

 Laying back & observing the scene with his Canadian tour guide, Paul Parhar, aka DJ Mastermind, Will began to map his plan in becoming an impresario in Canada as well.  He serves as Co-Principal of Keikwalk Consulting, an entertainment marketing, promotions & consulting firm in Toronto, overseeing the development & execution of multiple entertainment & social programs, as well as providing his extensive industry acumen to various companies.  In addition, Will is the Co-Executive Director of Project Logic, an arts and education based collective focused on providing an overall environment that will serve as an incubator for creative urban music talent development.  He is also working as a freelance writer for several publications and a highly sought-after public speaker. Last, but certainly not least, Will Strickland is a true champion for the cause and preservation of hip hop culture.

All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Will Strickland for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Will Strickland speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.

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Please Note: All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Will Strickland for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Will Strickland speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.

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