Ruff Ryders is a family owned business and our mission is to promote the community inclusion of Rap/R&B music and to assist in attaining a more productive, self-sufficient role in the entertainment industry.
As the black stallion and creative force in entertainment, Joaquin "Waah" Dean is making heads turn quickly in the industry. Once considered a long shot in entertainment, Dean has managed to speed by the fastest competition -- only to leave them in the dust looking on through their binoculars. Dean was born and raised in New York City. This Ruff Ryder started off in the music industry as an independent tape salesman for DJ Kid Capri (who now has his own multi-platinum album on the airwaves). While working the streets, Dean decided to manufacture and sell his own tapes. Have him tell it, the tapes were of his first artist, multi-platinum rapper DMX. Selling over 15,000 units locally, industry executives caught wind of what Dean was accomplishing and Columbia/Ruffhouse Records signed DMX for a single deal. After nine months on the Columbia label, Dean then set his sights on bigger deals and later had DMX signed to Russell Simmons' Def Jam Recordings and the rest is history. DMX has since moved on to become the #1 all time seller to have two albums on the charts simultaneously ranked among the top ten within a one-year time span.
Dean's secret to success: "Give it to people like it is." And giving it to them he is...Dean's multi-million dollar selling artist has led Dean to a huge joint venture deal with Interscope and the development of Ruff Ryder Entertainment.
Darrin "D" Dean, the other half of Ruff Ryder Entertainment is the glue to the company. As the herdsman and driving force of the posse, D manages to keep things at a smooth and steady winning pace. D understands, accurately envisions, and carries out the family's visions. His understanding and implementation of ideas makes him a critical part of the Ruff Ryder team.
Without horsing around, D keeps everything together by running the day to day business of the record label, artist management division, and production division. As the eyes and ears of the company, D makes sure that all departments are always on point. "teamwork is important. Without a solid team to implement a good plan, you will wind up back at the start gate", says Dean. His main focus is the concern for all parties under the Ruff Ryder umbrella. Dean states, "My position is really multi-faceted. I do whatever it takes to sell units for my camp. Without needing spurs to dig into the backs of staff members D makes sure that deadlines are met and that every department is on the same page. From studio time, to promotions, to marketing, to photo shoots, to booking tour dates, D is the person who is always found pushing the artists and their projects forward.
Dean is a fierce business woman who seemed destined to be a music executive from birth and her Uncle Lenny Adams was a popular promoter who worked with 70ıs groups like Black Ivory, Blue Magic, Ray Goodman, and Brown. Dean recalls, "he always said to me, if you ever get broke that is the quickest way to make money. He would put together shows in clubs, arenas, civic centers, anywhere. As a teenager, he took me to a lot of the meetings and I had the opportunity to meet a lot of well known groups and artists. I did a lot of listening and learning through their conversations."
"People donıt really know our position and who we really are", asserts Chivon Dean, Ruff Ryders president, who along with her two brothers, Dee and Waah have in six long years taken their company to the top of the music industry. "DMX is signed to us through Def Jam, but the fact is that we were a small company next to a big company, we werenıt fully recognized. No disrespect to Def Jam, but itıs time for us to continue growing."
After studying business administration at new Jerseyıs bergen Community College, Dean decided to follow the lead of her uncle and moved to join him in his party throwing exploits. Down in Atlanta, the duo threw functions that showcased R&B/Dance giants like Jody Watley and Colonel Abrams, but then a call from her brothers led her back to Yonkers. With their insistence, the trio along with a few others started a label called Exclusively Hype.
Chivon incorporated her experiences and collaborated with her brothers who at the time were working on getting rap trio, The Lox signed. When the Deans got The Lox signed to Sean "Puffy" Combsı Bad Boy Entertainment, Ruff Ryderıs foundation was built.
As a hard nosed negotiator, Dean works long hours as she knows that in any thriving business, there is always room for improvement. And despite the attention she and her siblings are beginning to receive, ruff Ryders maintains a down to earth approach thatıs a rarity in the music industry and appreciated by outsiders and colleagues.
Hard-working, staying true to the streets and quietly building an empire, Dean and company won't be satisfied until they control their own destiny. "In the future, we hope to become more independent and create and distribute our own product," Chivon reveals. "But no matter how much we grow, we know it's important to stay in close contact with your artists and producers. We are a family and that's how we function