Full Transcript: Urban One Branded Content Producers Jade Martin And Victoria Jordan On GHOGH Podcast
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Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 40: Jade Martin & Victoria Jordan
Jamarlin talks to Jade Martin and Victoria Jordan, branded entertainment producers for Urban One (NASDAQ: UONEK). They discuss their work for Toyota, P&G and Coke, and the cultural impact of reality TV on Black America.
This is a full transcript of the conversation which has been lightly edited for clarity.
Jamarlin Martin: You’re listening to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin. We have a go hard or go home approach as we talk to the leading tech leaders, politicians and influencers. Let’s GHOGH! Today we have Jade Martin and Vicky Jordan. They are branded content all-stars producing content for brands such as Toyota, Honda, Nissan, all the big Fortune 500 brands, they’re producing content for them. How’s it going ladies? And for the audience, Jade is my sister.
Jade Martin: Yes.
Jamarlin Martin: For our audience out there, how did you guys get into the game and what are you doing now?
Jade Martin: This is Jade. For me, I started when I first came to Moguldom. I was working in entertainment before that, I was interning at all different types of regular labels. That was my initial dream to become A&R, which quickly shifted once I got my first internship at a major record label and saw the way things worked inside. Then I had the opportunity to work at Moguldom. Then I learned how to be a production coordinator. Then I became a self-taught producer as well as like a cameraman, editor and so on and so forth.
Victoria Jordan: For me, I was a graphic designer and I was working in entertainment and publishing and after a while when marketing design became digital and then started to move into video, I wanted to do more branded content. I felt like my aesthetic would also resonate on screen, so I kind of started to move into production on my own and then I had a random meeting with a friend of mine, and she was like, “I have this producer role”, and I was like, “I would like that role please”. And she hired me. And so I’ve been doing strictly branded content since then.
Jamarlin Martin: Okay. As you know, there’s many flavors of branded content. How would you define branded content for the audience? The specific type of branded content you do for clients, how would you define it?
Victoria Jordan: Well, for our team, it’s either we’re planning an event for you or we’re planning some type of video. No matter what, there’s always video content even if it’s an event, we’re capturing some kind of content so that it’s living digitally and bringing you an audience to your platform, but what we try to do is do something multi-platform, like we’ll do articles that are sponsored by Toyota and talk about some kind of theme that Toyota is working with. We’ll do a video that kind of goes along with that theme as well, and taps the talent that they really like. And then we’ll do an event along with that as well. We also have TV properties and radio properties, so if a brand is interested in that, sometimes we’ll partner with the cross platform team and also do radio drops. Do cut-downs on some of the videos that we create for digital to run on TV. We’re usually trying to come together with a nice integrated program that will boost whatever theme or advertising campaign that client is coming up with.
Jamarlin Martin: How often is it, hey, this is just your idea and the brand is taking your idea versus a collaboration on the idea.
Jade Martin: I would say a lot of the times it’s more so our idea because our integrated marketing team creates custom ideas specifically for our brands, because we know our audience better than the brands know our audience. So they come up with custom ideas and then Vicky and I can tweak them based on our expertise. We’ll be like, hey, we won’t be able to produce this in enough time, we won’t be able to produce this within these budget parameters. So you need to change the idea this way. Or we feel like our audience would like something different so you should alter the idea this way, and then the client will buy that idea that our team creates.
Jamarlin Martin: And then how often does the client mess stuff up? Meaning that, they come to you like, hey, we want to know the hot stuff. We want to know how to create content for the urban African-American community. We’re coming to the experts, people who are in culture for the idea. But then you guys present the idea and they want to come in and deebo their own ideas and mess this stuff up. Then it performs poorly and then they’re like, “man, what happened? We got a bad thing.” But the problem could be you tried to mess up our original idea, so we had to run with it. How often does that come up?
Jade Martin: For me, the two reasons where clients mess up the most are product placement and talent. So in terms of talent, they don’t let us push talent that we feel will work better with our sites. They might not be as brand friendly as some of the talent that they will want, but they might want more cookie cutter talent to be featured…
Jamarlin Martin: And they’re like an old head.
Jade Martin: But nowadays the millennial audience, our urban audience, we want people that are relatable to us and that we see on TV. They might have messed up, they might not be as brand friendly, but that will resonate with our audience more. So a lot of times we feel like the talent that we are forced to go with might not perform as well as the talent we would naturally want to put in the video. The second reason I feel like they mess up is product placement. So we have issues all the time where we want to push less product, because we want it to be organic, but especially automotive industries or other clients, they want to put way too much product where it doesn’t fit within the storyline. And then that defeats our whole purpose of branded content, because we don’t do commercials, we tell stories.
Jamarlin Martin: Sounds like there’s just a lack of trust with brands, where hey, we’re trying to tell you who we know are the hot people that young people want right now. You’re not going to know them at the agency side, but you gotta trust us. But they come and they’re like, “I want Christina Milian, I know that name. Let’s use that.”
Victoria Jordan: Absolutely. Well, there’s this chain, right? The agency gets the creative brief from the client. They send it to us. If we come up with the ideas, there’s this whole chain of people that have to be satisfied and if the people at the agency don’t get what you’re saying and don’t trust you and don’t have that rapport with you and know that the type of content that you put on your platform works for your audience, then they’re going to be hesitant. And then if they’re reporting back to their client and their client is like, “hey, I don’t know, Lil Duval, I only know Anita Baker. Can we get Anita Baker?” And then you’re like, you’re targeting a whole different audience. I think that it’s an understanding of the audience that’s lacking sometimes. Part of our job is to always be pushing back respectfully, saying, you hired us to do this because we do this, because we know who’s clicking and we know why they click. And they’re going to watch this if they don’t see Nissan Logos and car shots every two seconds. They’re going to watch it for the story because they want to see this person that resonates with our audience.
Jamarlin Martin: Are you generally making a higher margin on the campaign in terms of a profit on the event site as opposed to video? Is there a clear kind of, hey, this bucket over here, we’re gonna make more money when you factor in all the costs? Is it clear cut that events are better than video?
Victoria Jordan: That’s a tough question because they’re usually packaged together for us. There’s never going to be an event where we don’t capture content and put it out somewhere. I would say, to me, content is king still.
Jamarlin Martin: Yeah. When you get a celebrity, what range have you paid out to the celebrity? In terms of, “Hey, for this program for Toyota, we need to get this celebrity, Kevin Hart or whoever.” What’s the biggest amount that goes into the pocket of a celebrity?
Jade Martin: I feel like we might tell too many secrets if we disclose the numbers.
Jamarlin Martin: You could just not necessarily…
Jade Martin: I will say it’s not as much as you think.
Jamarlin Martin: So like, $50,000, $100,000, you’ve seen like checks like that? To be a part of your program, you may have to pay $50,000, $100,000 to a celebrity?
Victoria Jordan: One thing that really dictates what we’re working with is what African-American agencies get nowadays. They get a lot less money than they used to get. So the budgets in general, the buys that they’re making are smaller. So we only get a percentage of that to actually produce content with. So we’re working within smaller parameters. So on my end, because I’m on the digital team and we don’t always have these cross platform buys that are larger than ours, I’m usually working with less money. So I’ve paid people from $200, to someone who’s really hungry and on the edge of breaking, up to like $15,000, $20,000, to somebody who’s really established. But it has so much to do with how many posts they’re doing, how they’re boosting the content, how many videos they’re going to be in, what we’re actually asking them to do in the video, how many followers they have and how much engagement they have. There’s a lot of formula that goes into trying to calculate that number, but I mean it can range. For somebody like Kevin Hart, I wouldn’t even know where to start for his fee.
Jamarlin Martin: We partnered with the agency but Kevin Hart had partnered with Ford, but I imagine that had to be a really big number back in the day.
Jade Martin: For us where we catch a break, on talent fees, is the fact that our brands are known. So we garner really good relationships with talent based on our brands. So if we’re like, hey, for this project I can only pay you 10K for a couple of social posts, but you typically usually get 30, 40k for something like this. But because it’s going on a Bossip or MadameNoire or Hello Beautiful, they’re willing to be like, “okay, we’ll do it for this because we know you guys, we know your brand, we agree with what you guys are doing, and we support it 100 percent” -even though there is a brand tied to it..
Jamarlin Martin: What would you say to this person who would say, hey, branded content is everywhere now. It’s crowded. It’s like a bubble, where it used to be five or six years ago, we offer these branded content programs, “Nice, we love the custom stuff”, but nowadays so many folks are in that bucket. It becomes much harder to differentiate. Can you talk a little bit about how competitive it is now? Because a lot of people are doing branded content.
Jade Martin: I definitely think it’s everywhere, but I also feel like there’s still a lot of room for improvement because there’s branded content out there now even on IG stories and on Facebook that’s not even intended to be branded content. There’s Youtubers that are just literally telling their daily stories about what products they use on a daily basis. And someone like me goes out and gets a curly hair product because I see my favorite Youtuber. She’s not even making money off of that video. So I definitely feel like it’s everywhere, but there’s still a lot of things that we need to do to where we can basically get better at the way they’re targeting everyone in terms of branded content.
Victoria Jordan: So we, I don’t know if it was yesterday or the day before, but there was a really great thing that happened on social when T-Pain was saying, “Y’all have to stop playing the same songs as you’re boarding the airplane” to Delta. And they saw it and they tweeted him back, and they played his song on his plane the next time he got on a plane and he recorded it and put it up, and there was all these tags, and it was like the best branded content by accident, earned branded content. It was so great, and I feel like for me, the way to do it better is to really pay attention to where your audience is, what they enjoy. Be in your group chats, look at the things that people are sending and make that kind of stuff. It doesn’t have to be super high production value. Although I think as producers we really want to do stuff that looks good and we invest in. But I think it’s really about just accepting that this is where the audience is, this is what the audience likes and trying to do that. Not necessarily overly brand that thing, but get the personalities that people like, let them be themselves and let them somehow subtly brand it so that they’re like, “Oh my God, Delta is so cool. Look at what they did with T-Pain just randomly.” They played his song on a plane, they got so much play off of that and no checks. Right?
Jamarlin Martin: Who have you worked with, where you just love working with them. Good professionalism. They’re moving fast, they’re responsive. They’re not trying to micromanage. Is there a brand that stands out in your portfolio over the years? Like, man, I love working with this company.
Victoria Jordan: Can we say it at the same time?
Jade Martin: Yeah. Who we’re you going to say?
Victoria Jordan: McCormick
Jamarlin Martin: McCormick. The seasoning company?
Jade Martin: Recently we did a campaign for Larry’s, and Vicky and I were like, we love this client. They understood the story. They understood product involvement in the story. They didn’t want us to put product everywhere when it doesn’t make sense. They didn’t want the talent to interact with the product when it doesn’t make sense. If the talent doesn’t say, “Larry’s Seasoning Salt”, and they didn’t want the talent to say “Larry’s Seasoning Salt”. They wanted the talent to just say “seasoning salt”, and we were like, we love you because this is what people normally would do, and the content came out so great. It was so energetic. The conversation was great. Another client that I personally love working with Mcdonald’s. They really just let you do whatever you want with the content, but also figuring out a great way to integrate the product.
Jamarlin Martin: When you say Mcdonald’s, are you working with them on the corporate level or their agency?
Jade Martin: Agency. Same with McCormick.
Jamarlin Martin: Same with McCormick. So can you really talk about the brand or is it the agency. Who has that account for Mcdonald’s?
Jade Martin: It’s more so the agency. We’ve never directly dealt with the client, but for McCormick the actual client was on set, and when we talk about how great it was working with them, we’re talking about the actual client because she was the one on set being like, “No, we want to do this”, or approving this and not approving that. So I felt like with having clients on multiple sets, she was the best or one of the best clients that we’ve ever dealt with on set.
Jamarlin Martin: Yeah. So I had the Urban One CEO on the podcast, Alfred Liggins, and he said that Facebook has never reached out to the company. And you know, you guys are a big monster across radio, across TV, across digital. You guys are really in the industry. But he said that they never reached out for a conversation. And I’m aware, based on the folks that I know, that Facebook were building a multicultural team in secret, and they had picked off some of the salespeople here at Urban One or before Radio One. And so Facebook is going after the Black money on the low. They’re saying, hey, we’ve got to hire these people out of the industry and we want that money too. So they’re going into the Burrells, the UniWorlds, the MediaVests and they’re saying we want that Black money too. And they’re educating clients, they’re taking all the game they learned at the Black media companies from here and then Facebook is putting more resources behind it. And then people are like, “Man, there’s no more money left.” Well, Facebook is starting to direct the Black money, the multicultural pot, to them and so the response was, hey, they can’t really do custom stuff and more creative stuff, but now Facebook is bringing on Jada Pinkett, is hiring more shows. So now if they want that Black money, they gotta get more weapons. How do you feel as professionals work hard, and there’s some things out there where people have big wallets and a lot of resources, but you guys have to go compete with these other folks with all these resources.
Victoria Jordan: I mean that’s the game, I feel like. We’re in this crazy time time where Black agencies are turning over into multicultural agencies and as the country changes, the game changes, digital changes so fast.
Jamarlin Martin: How do you feel about Facebook trying to pick off the Black pot too. They just got to make money their business.
Victoria Jordan: It’s their business but there’s this weird give and take, right? You’re happy that people finally take Black dollars seriously, but then at the same time they’re taking Black dollars for themselves.
Jamarlin Martin: Yeah. Essentially, we’re on Instagram, we’re on Facebook hard. Lots of engagement and Facebook is getting all that data, all that money, and then the money that they don’t get they’re arming up to go get what’s left. So what doesn’t go to the robots in their systems, they’re going to go after what’s leftover. I just think that, in capitalism, in our society, you can’t fault a business for trying to make money or profits. But we’ve got to start thinking about this. Hey, if you have monopolies, big monster corporations trying to pick off all the little stuff that we have in Black media and not respecting Black media and just gobbling up the data, gobbling up the money, not leaving anything left, using all these advantages, what does society look like in 10 years? Do people need to be thinking about that? That if these big companies are gonna start attacking and targeting Black businesses, how does that re-engineer society in terms of outcomes?
Jade Martin: I also feel like using Facebook as an example that brands in larger companies need to realize our spending power earlier, because with Facebook they’re putting money in Black dollars now, even though they’re late to the bandwagon when it’s like essentially, we made Instagram popping. Facebook does the same thing, basically. I felt like they’re now getting shows with Jada Pinkett and all that stuff when they should have done that a long time ago.
Jamarlin Martin: But if they did that a long time ago, does that just weaken Black media even more? In terms of, they’re going out using Jada Pinkett and going to get all these ad dollars and it goes into the big beast. And then when you look at the Ebonys, the Black Enterprise, the Urban One, the Essence Magazines, I believe part of the issue is that we’re really hard on ourselves in terms of man, you know, Ebony, they didn’t grow to be bigger, they didn’t have a better digital program. Or Black Enterprise, or Jet, or BET, but the Black media companies are competing with these big monsters that have run over everything else. And I don’t know if that would have been healthy, if Facebook entered into targeted multicultural advertising earlier because they’re just going to take more money out the pot, and our media companies become weaker as they get stronger. I don’t think it’s like, everybody rises together. No. Facebook is trying to crush everything, take everything, whatever happens left, y’all just figure it out.
Victoria Jordan: I feel like there’s always gonna be that Goliath somewhere, and in general, our country and our community needs to be more focused.
Jamarlin Martin: When you say “our country”, you’re starting to sound like MAGA.
Victoria Jordan: No I’m not.
Jamarlin Martin: Who are you really banging with? Come on now.
Victoria Jordan: No. I feel like, when I think about people who can fight those battles, starting things like Tidal and taking these distribution portals and putting Black dollars behind that and owning our own content is all super important. Building Black wealth in general in this country is super important, because why wouldn’t a seller here go to Facebook, for a bigger check, and also think that they are contributing to telling better stories from a more authentic perspective for this brand, that is saying, hey, we finally see that we should be talking to you guys in a different way, not just from my perspective. So I think just in general across the board, it’s about building Black wealth opportunities for people to come in and create these platforms that can take over the world, can go get VC funding and do what you did.
Jamarlin Martin: Early in your career, Jade, you moved to New York a long time ago from LA. Did you move to New York from another city?
Victoria Jordan: Oh my God, yes. New Jersey.
Jamarlin Martin: So just the train. Yeah.
Victoria Jordan: Yeah. Culture shock.
Jamarlin Martin: What would you tell your professional self five years ago that you know today and you didn’t know then in terms of navigating your career and in life? What are some things that you feel like you didn’t know or you missed five years ago in terms of being successful?
Victoria Jordan: I think for me the most important lessons are that flexibility is key. And that’s on the ground as a producer, that’s working with clients, being able to integrate their vision with our vision. Maybe not always getting exactly what you want out of it, but understanding that they’re, hopefully getting what they paid for. And then don’t be scared. I’m not the type of person to not push back on things. I’ve always, I think, as a graphic designer and creative director prior to producing, my job was as a brand steward. You know what I mean? I was supposed to protect this brand that I was making this creative for. And I still have that in me. So when we do get into those battles with clients about, but we really need another car shot, or it’s like this “make the logo bigger” thing, but now in video, and I do feel like it’s my responsibility to respectfully protect the platform that we’re putting this on. And I think, don’t be scared to do that. That’s been really important to me.
Jade Martin: For me, I would say it’s probably two things. The first thing will be to manage your connections better. Back then I didn’t realize how important this industry is when it comes to who you know. So now in my career, a lot of people that I’ve known over the years since I first started have helped me in my current role in terms of booking talent at the last minute or helping us secure locations within 24 hours, because this is what happens in production. So definitely manage your connections better. And also don’t be afraid to make your presence known. I’m often the youngest person running a lot of these productions. So being a female director on set, being a producer on set and being the one in charge and being so young, I used to hide back and not voice my opinion on certain things and when I watch it in the edit I would have been like, man, I should have spoke up about that, but because I was always intimidated by the whole production crew and all that stuff. But now, just make your presence known. Everything comes out better because at the end of the day, this is your production, this is your project and your show. So you have to just say what you want to say.
Jamarlin Martin: Being in this business as a black woman, do you feel like, Hey, I just had similar chances as a black man in this field?
Jade Martin: I would say, correct me if I’m wrong, our industry on the production side, not on the corporate side, dealing with agencies, our industry on the production side is very male dominated. So oftentimes we’ll be the only woman on set, let alone being the one running the show. Right? So I feel like we’ve even talked about these experiences where we have certain clients, certain production companies that would treat us different if we were a male director on set versus a female director, and we’ve seen the switch when they see a guy running the show versus a woman running the show. And that just speaks back to what I was saying, make your presence be known. At the end of the day, you’re the client, you’re in charge of the production. So whether you’re a man or a woman, and we’re very knowledgeable about a lot of aspects of the production which a lot of men in production don’t expect from women. I’ve even had issues going to equipment rental houses in LA and they would treat me terrible because I’m not a man coming up there asking for equipment and a lot of women don’t deal with equipment because it’s heavy and so on and so forth. But I feel like it’s not necessarily a Black woman thing. It’s more so a woman thing in general, just because of the production and all aspects. You see that now with Ava Duvernay and Shonda Rhimes, that’s why they’re soaring like they are because there’s not really that many women behind the camera in production.
Victoria Jordan: I’m trying to think in the opportunities realm if I feel like I lost anything.
Jamarlin Martin: In terms of promotions and…
Victoria Jordan: I feel like for a long time now, because I was out on my own before I came here, so I feel like the mentality, and even before then I worked at Bad Boy, which is a place where you learn that if you don’t push you’re not getting anything.
Jamarlin Martin: How long did you work at Bad Boy?
Victoria Jordan: Three years between Bad Boy and Sean John. So I feel like from then I never expected anyone to give me anything. It was like, you’re not going to get it if you don’t push for it. So I don’t even know if I noticed if I was missing things because I was always, I’ve gotta do that. I’ve got to do that. I’ve got to ask this person. I’ve got to network over here, because it was always pushing, always pushing, and it wasn’t just about being a woman or being a Black woman, it was just like, this is a very small space and I need that. So one of us is gonna get it, you know what I mean?
Jamarlin Martin: Yeah. What was the culture at Bad Boy and Sean John, what was that like?
Victoria Jordan: I think a lot of companies, I think I’m going to get in trouble on this one. At that point, it was a long time ago. I think a lot of companies were like when you were a kid on the playground and you’re like, “When I grow up, I’m going to be president, you’re going to be vice president and you’re going to be treasurer.” You know what I mean? And I think a lot of people were there because they came up with Puff and they weren’t good right away at what they did or they didn’t understand the business. And he’s a genius when it comes to business. He’s great at making deals. He’s changed hip hop, he damn near made reality TV. But it was…
Jamarlin Martin: It didn’t have the systems and the structure in place that you felt needed to be there at that time.
Victoria Jordan: Yeah. We were all still figuring it out. They weren’t at the beginning when I was there, but they were still relatively young and they were still figuring it out and it’s very different now. It’s a lot more corporate from what I hear from the people that I know that still work there, but at that point it was like, the executives got paid a ton, everyone else got paid a little. We were like a weird, dysfunctional family. We loved each other like crazy, but we were bonded in fire.
Jamarlin Martin: How do you see the REVOLT TV playing out? Of course, he got a deal with Comcast. They announced that they’re going to do, I believe up to five Black and Hispanic new channels. REVOLT was one. But how do you see it, do you watch REVOLT?
Victoria Jordan: No. I thought this was a great idea for him. It made sense and it was really on brand for him. I think, from the stuff that I’ve seen and from people I’ve talked to you, it doesn’t feel like it’s found its place yet, what it’s gonna do really well and what people are going to tune in for, but I don’t think it’s impossible for them to do that, you know what I mean? I just don’t think it can be a music video channel because you can see them on Youtube.
Jamarlin Martin: I feel like sometimes we get into stuff right before the end. Not necessarily with Diddy, but let’s say Comcast, they find multicultural religion at the end, they want to do a deal for NBC and so they hookup with the Congressional Black Caucus and they say that we’re going to do all these great things and the regulators approve the merger. And so part of that push to get the merger approved, they throughout that, hey, we’re going to come out with these Black and Brown channels and we’re going to help fund them and get them started. But Comcast gets the religion. But in my view, in terms of market cycles, it’s kind of too late because the TV market had just started to turn. So one thing I think REVOLT and Diddy are facing is that they showed up at the party, but they showed up at like 3:00 AM. The cable market was a good business, right To that point, a little bit after REVOLT did the deal. So it’s gonna be tough.
Victoria Jordan: But I still think if they play in the digital space the right way, I think they could still do it. It’s just you got to be real smart about it.
Jamarlin Martin: It needs to be engineered to a digital platform, you’re saying. And how would they do that?
Victoria Jordan: I don’t know. I feel like one has to be always driving to the other. It has to be complimentary content all the time and move away from the linear programming that we kind of are stuck in the 23-minute shows and this many commercials and dah, dah, dah, dah. To me, I think Vice does it really well on their channel. I sometimes just keep it on just because like random weird stuff comes up and I’m like, oh my God, that’s so cool. It’s just random cool stuff and I feel like they could do that. But they really have to have a really good strategy and a really good authentic voice.
Jade Martin: I also feel like with REVOLT, they didn’t have a clear strategy from the beginning because you knew it was a music channel, but first of all it was limited, so a lot of people I know didn’t even have REVOLT. Then when I did watch it, it was like, you have these types of shows and these, there was no cohesive strategy from the beginning. So I feel like if they can’t even get that together, then utilizing digital more won’t even help.
Jamarlin Martin: And looking at Diddy’s Twitter feed, it seems like he’s grown more conscious, more Black over the last few years. You guys are laughing. You think that’s a joke.
Victoria Jordan: No. I think that, and I don’t know him to be talking, but he’s a lot older now. I mean he grows like everyone else grows. And I think that he has a family of older kids now and I think he’s more focused on building a legacy, and I know that he’s always wanted that to be a positive legacy, you know what I mean?
Jamarlin Martin: What do you mean when you say that? What do you mean by that?
Victoria Jordan: His legacy. I know that he wants his legacy to be very positive. I know that he’s always wanted that. And there’s a lot of stuff that you can say about him. He’s done a lot. He’s been through a lot of ups and downs, good and bad. You can look at him in a lot of ways, but I know that at the end of the day he’s always wanted to be remembered as someone who was positive and did a lot of good stuff. And I will say, I have seen that in his interviews, his more recent interviews that he’s more focused on that. And for my part, I have not always been the biggest fan, but some of the things that we learned there, are things that you’re only going to learn with someone who doesn’t sleep. Someone who pushes you really hard, someone who doesn’t take no for an answer, even if you’re telling them it’s impossible. I walked out of there and a lot of us walked out of there knowing that the things that we thought were impossible yesterday where possible today. And I think that’s why so many entrepreneurs came out of there. They were like, you know what, I can do that. And I think that’s a really good thing to have learned. And if there’s another Black person who is visible and who built an empire, who changed the face of entertainment, that’s not such a bad thing.
Jamarlin Martin: Yeah. You mentioned some entrepreneurs came out of the duty empire. Give me a couple.
Victoria Jordan: Well, Dao-Yi Chow. He has the brand Public School. They won a CFDA award. He came from the Sean John family. Amazing person, amazing designer. I remember when he was starting his tailoring classes when he was at Sean John, so he could really learn how to make a piece of clothing, even though he had already been a designer and marketer and been in fashion forever. But that’s a person who just took every lesson and made it an opportunity, you know. I have a friend, Lenny Hernandez who started his own hot sauce line. It’s just like, it doesn’t have to even be like some major thing. It’s just the fact that you would take the moment and say, I can package this and sell it. Not everybody’s going to do that. You might have a recipe from some whatever. You would never take the next step. I think there’s a level of fear taken away when you find out that all this stuff is possible.
Jamarlin Martin: I wanted to get your views on part of the problems in Black culture, here in the United States. It’s the media. The media is putting out a lot of reality TV, sisters and brothers fighting and all this bad stuff. A lot of people don’t have close relationships with Black folks and this is all they see, and it’s the media companies fault of putting out all this trash. And then Black folks, we want a couple of dollars here. We want money. So they’ll go on the show and act the fool on a lot of the reality TV. How much of the problem could be put on white folks? Are they to blame because of this programming.
Victoria Jordan: I’m gonna let you take this one.
Jade Martin: I feel like the media issue is a surface issue. I feel like the deeper issue of reality TV and how it escalated like crazy is the perception that when people watch it, they feel like I can emulate the people on TV. That’s where I feel like the issue is, and I feel like you can’t blame anybody for that issue, but people in the household and how they grew up. That might not be where you were looking…
Jamarlin Martin: So you don’t see it as like, hey, this is some big conspiracy or these white folks are doing stuff that’s very damaging to the culture? It’s their fault.
Jade Martin: I don’t see it’s their fault. Do you know why? Because I guess a lot of people who are driving these shows behind the scenes are white, but they’re just gravitating towards where the money is. They see an opening, they see we’re eating this stuff up. They can make a lot of money off of it. I don’t think…
Jamarlin Martin: But people make money. You blame drug dealers who are making money, they see an opening selling crack, right, but you’re still going to hold the drug dealer accountable.
Victoria Jordan: You will, but I also think that fixing it is deeper than the drug dealer. To me, the issue with reality TV…
Jamarlin Martin: But how can you fix it if the media is just all over the place? You’re programming that stuff.
Jade Martin: The media can push out whatever they want, but if you have a certain mindset and know not to feed into it, it doesn’t affect you and I feel like that’s where the deeper issue comes with reality TV. Like for me, I love reality TV but I watch all types of reality TV, not just the ratchet Black reality TV or the the bad white reality TV.
Jamarlin Martin: You like the reality TV where they’re tearing off someone’s weave?
Jade Martin: It’s entertaining but me as a person and how I grew up, which a lot of people didn’t. They can’t watch reality TV the way I watch it. I just watched it as pure entertainment. I don’t watch it and look at it and be like, I now want to marry a basketball star and I now want to live this life and I want to do whatever I can to live my life like the people on reality TV. And I think that’s the bigger issue because the media can put it out there, but what you do with what they’re putting out there is the big issue.
Jamarlin Martin: Let’s say folks have studied this stuff and I say this is very damaging for a lot of folks in the Black community. Okay. Do you believe, let’s say the research showed that this is very damaging to the people in the community, are you inclined to say that, hey, it’s more the Black folks who are consuming this stuff being the problem and the actors in it who are playing along, than the media companies trying to make a buck?
Victoria Jordan: My theory, and I’m not sure, I don’t think you can place blame on any one segment, but I think reality TV just plays on human issues, right? It’s like you want to feel better than somebody. You want to feel like that person’s crazy and I’m not, and I would never be with that guy. How could she be with that guy? People like to gossip. I think there’s like all these things that are just inherently human things and reality TV has picked up on some of them and created this thing, this entertainment style. Now I’m older. So I grew up knowing TV was not real. Mr Rogers’ neighborhood is not real. The Cosby show, I didn’t see any families like that, two Black professional parents. I saw it there and it was nice to see it there, but I didn’t see a lot of that. And I was from a privileged town, whatever.
Jamarlin Martin: So it wouldn’t bother you if the writers for Oxygen said, “Hey, we need you to coon a little bit more”.
Victoria Jordan: If anyone told me to coon, I would be upset.
Jamarlin Martin: Not using the word coon, but you know what I mean.
Victoria Jordan: So we’re seeing how you feel about reality TV.
Jamarlin Martin: No, let me finish. So there was an entertainment company, I’m not going to say their name and we had started exploring doing something, but the people who were involved, the Black folks said they want us to come into the office and start fighting, and the white folks wanting us to do all this coon stuff and no, we’re not doing it. We’re not doing that. Now, if we’re going to talk about reality in terms of us doing business, us working with each other, us having fun together, us solving problems together, we can give you that reality. But the white folks were coming in and saying, no, we need some fighting. We want you to start fighting with that other employee and this and that. You don’t have a problem if the entertainment industry is doing that at scale, meaning that to get the ratings we want, we want desperate Black celebrities and actors to come get a check and we just need you guys just to start fighting, start pulling weaves off heads, cheating on each other and we need you guys to really mix this up.
Jade Martin: Of course you have a problem with it, but the question is why are they wanting you to fight? Is it just so they can make money off of you or is it so they can destroy the Black community?
Jamarlin Martin: No, I’m not saying they’re trying to destroy. They’re just trying to make money.
Jade Martin: Right, so they would do that if you were white and they know that’s going to make money and they want white people to fight, they would do that if you were Asian and they want Asians to fight. I feel like their agenda is money. Whether you’re Black, white, orange or whatever.
Jamarlin Martin: I agree. Even if their agenda’s money, do you have an issue though?
Jade Martin: Of course. Because nobody should be able to tell our stories aside from our people. They’re the ones behind all of these shows, but they can’t tell their stories better than we can.
Victoria Jordan: But also reality TV isn’t necessarily our story. It’s one piece of a lot of things. And I think to me that’s the problem. It’s like the saturation. There are so many more Black voices out there now than there were even a few years ago. But this is so prevalent, you know what I mean? And it’s like being in the theater watching a Black movie or a movie from a Black perspective and not knowing if that white person next to you is laughing at the same thing that you are. It’s that kind of like, are you laughing at me or with me at this thing? And I feel like that’s the thing, they’re on cable networks, they’re always on, every night there’s a reality show and it’s totally saturated. But that doesn’t mean that it’s the only thing, and I think that’s the problem. A lot of white people may see a lot more of that than the other Black things that are telling all of our other stories because this is a tiny little fake story that you’re seeing, staged story that you’re seeing.
Jade Martin: It’s all scripted in a way.
Jamarlin Martin: Where can people check you out online?
Jade Martin: On Instagram. I am @thejmlife and then our properties and all of our content can be found on https://urban1.com/vtq-portfolio/ione/.
Victoria Jordan: Have you heard of Friendster? I’m on Friendster. I’m just kidding. I’m @visfordonuts on Instagram and yeah, all our platforms. Hello Beautiful, Global Grind, Cassius, MadameNoire, Bossip, Hip Hop Wired, check us out.
Jamarlin Martin: Thanks for coming on the show. Let’s GHOGH! Thanks everybody for listening to GHOGH. You can check me out @JamarlinMartin on Twitter and also come check us out at https://moguldom.com/. That’s M O G U L D O M.com. Be sure to subscribe to our daily newsletter. You can get the latest information on crypto, tech, economic empowerment and politics. Let’s GHOGH!