Azim Rashid’s early career in music was marked by the emergence of his Dallas rap group, Nemesis in the 1980s. This career took him into commercial radio, music, selling to the retail and lifestyle promotion before forging a career in music and entertainment marketing.
The UNT graduate has been involved in the branding of music icons such as Mary J. Blige, Sam Smith, NE-YO, Katy Perry, MIGOS, Sean “Diddy” Combs, TI, Jaden Smith, Russ, The Roots, Erykah Badu, Raphael Saadiq, The Carters (Jay-Z and Beyonce), Lil Nas X, Lil TJay, Polo G, John Legend, Tyler, Chloe x Halle, The Creator, Adele and other artists and legendary influencers.
“As a transplant from Dallas, when I came into the music business, it was definitely a foreign concept. It wasn’t New York from Los Angeles. No one came from Dallas. I had in sort of determination to succeed,” Rashid said.
He then moved from in front of the microphone to behind it.
“Just being an African American man, let’s call a spade a spade. Not many of us are at the top of the industry, especially with the advent of streaming, which has shown globally that hip hop and R&B are the number one musical genre. You would think that as contributors we would have a place of equity. It’s something we’re continuously working on,” Rashid said.
It is through this work that he shows others how black music has influenced music for centuries.
“Honestly, I think that’s the statement. All music is black music. Especially here in America. We’re talking about all forms of music going back to field slaves and call and response. Then gospel, then blues and jazz, then rock and roll. All American music is black music,” Rashid said.
In his more than 30 years in the business, one thing has been constant, change.
“It’s the first generation of kids, let’s say 12 to 22, who only know digital music. They never had to buy a CD or a piece of vinyl. Everything is in their hands. It’s impressive. The downside is that there’s so much media and consumerism and stuff vying for our attention and our eyes that a lot of things, especially good things, don’t get that justice,” Rashid said. “It’s a progression over time. Everything has become an evolution.
He now says he is focused on paying forward.
“I have a saying that there are five jobs in front of the mic and there are 500 jobs behind the mic. It’s part of a foundation that I started calling behind the mic which is a one of my passion projects is to teach young people specifically in high school and college, how to get into this business,” Rashid said.
Lending time and resources to charitable and civic organizations, including Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation, Mark Cuban Heroes Basketball Center, Living Legends Foundation, Music Business Empowerment Conference, and National Museum of African American Music.