The Revolt Summit landed in the heart of Atlanta last month.
As hundreds of up-and-coming artists, industry executives, and admirers of the culture gathered to gain and/or give knowledge, the heat wasn’t only outdoors. The conference provided opportunities for everyone to network with like-minded people as mostly Black entrepreneurs and artists were there to expand their businesses, start their own, or find a way to be further connected.
This year’s theme was aptly titled, “The Future Is Now” and BLACK ENTERPRISE got the opportunity to speak to Detavio Samuels, Chief Executive Officer of Revolt, and Deon Graham, Chief Brand Officer for Sean Combs Enterprises. Both men talked about the future that is being planned for both entities.
The Revolt Summit came about after a conversation between Sean Combs, the late Andre Harrell, and Graham several years ago as they were talking about the evolution of the brand and its direction. All the brands under the Combs umbrella were evolving, and hip-hop as a culture was growing, so the thinking was that the conference should not just focus on music, but all of the different industries that their brands were operating in. The summit would be patterned after earlier conferences like Jack the Rapper, Impact, and How Can I Be Down?, where the music industry assembled annually in different locales for the purpose of fellowship and networking.
“The core purpose of this summit is to give the next generation of leaders access to opportunities they could have never gotten anywhere else. They get to meet CEOs they would have never met. Job opportunities on the spot they would have never gotten. They get a chance to compete to be the next big rapper or singer. So, the purpose is to give people access to opportunities that they wouldn’t have had,” Samuels said.
The brands Sean John, Capital Prep, AQUAhydrate, Combs Wines and Spirits (Ciroc, DeLeon Tequilla), Empower, and Revolt all live under Sean Combs Enterprises. The idea that your day will incorporate the products managed by Graham has a huge appealing to the chief brand officer. Knowing that the brands under Sean Combs Enterprises are not about “just music anymore. It’s about the lifestyle.”
“I want people to wake up. You know, get ready for work. Put on some Unforgivable, and throw on the Sean John suit. Get in the car listening to some Bad Boy Records, you know get to their desk, drink some AQUAhydrate. Have Revolt on in the background as they’re working. Get back in the car when they leave and get home, get ready, go out, get some Ciroc, get some DeLeon. It’s all about that that 360 approach. It’s everything. It’s the whole lifestyle that we trying to convey.”
Working under a business stalwart like Combs has taught both men the essence of doing things correctly and until it’s right. But it has also given Samuels and Graham the opportunity to bring out Combs’ vision, and the confidence to make whatever needs to happen, happen.
One thing that Graham keeps in mind while working with Combs is “don’t take no for an answer. Don’t even fix your mouth to say what you’re about to say to me. Cause it’s possible.”
Samuels states that, with the mindset of Combs, “You have to be the biggest, the baddest, the first, the most powerful. And so, we all know that before we walk into the room. If you’re not trying to build the biggest, the baddest, then don’t even walk in the room.”
The two gentlemen also make it clear that even when Combs isn’t around, they are all on the same page, which makes taking the reins that much simpler. Diddy doesn’t have to be present to have his presence felt. It’s obvious that the confidence he has in both Samuels and Graham gives them the latitude to make the decisions that will keep Revolt and the brands incorporated under Sean Combs Enterprises flowing as smooth as the flavors of Ciroc and as clear as AQUAhydrate.
The Revolt brand is still making the type of noise that Combs is used to. At the recent BET Hip-Hop Awards, two of their podcasts tied for “Best Hip-Hop Platform”: Drink Champs, and Caresha Please.
“The culture is driven by Black creators and REVOLT is the leading platform for Black creators, so it’s great to see our podcasts being recognized for their global impact,” said Samuels. “Moments like this strongly reaffirm our mission to empower the most influential voices shaping the culture by providing them with the partnership and support they need to elevate their brands.”