Building the Blueprint: Managing Today's Biggest Artists
Oct 10 3:00 pm - 3:45 pm
Panel Room presented by Google for Startups
Long before he started A&R-ing iconic and successful albums for everyone from T.I. and Lil’ Kim to Maino and G-Eazy, Jean Nelson’s story began in the Long Island neighborhood of Brentwood—home to EPMD and near the stomping grounds of Rakim and Public Enemy. That burgeoning late eighties scene gave the President of The Blueprint Group/BPG Records a firsthand education in the music business during high school.
Managing and landing a deal for legendary rapper Craig Mack with Bad Boy Records, he became entrenched in the label’s historic movement. Lil’ Kim tapped Jean to A&R her chart-topping multiplatinum The Notorious K.I.M. He was then named VP of A&R at Atlantic Records and simultaneously entered the fold at the full-service management and production company Hip Hop Since 1978. He spearheaded A&R for T.I., Plies, Maino, and more at Atlantic, while working on projects for Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, and others for Hip Hop Since 1978. He quietly became one of the most sought-after executives in the industry.
2012 saw Hip Hop Since 1978 evolve into The Blueprint Group. Jean was instrumental in G-Eazy’s transformation into a superstar, handling A&R for his platinum These Things Happen and overseeing A&R and serving as an Executive Producer for the chart-dominating double-platinum When It’s Dark Out in 2015 and 2017’s platinum The Beautiful & Damned.
He proved integral to A&R and management for the growing roster of The Blueprint Group. His influence can be felt on Rich the Kid’s full-length debut, The World Is Yours, which spawned multiplatinum smashes “New Freezer,” “Plug Walk.” Additionally, he A&R-ed projects for Jay Critch, CyHi the Prynce, Belly, Marc E. Bassy, and more. Jean stands fixated on breaking the next era of music innovators and continues to amplify the influence and output of BPG Records at its helm.