Record Everything. I have so many interviews with people like 2 Chainz and Shawty Lo that we’ll never get another interview from. Back then I didn’t see the power of reusable content or I would have taken the measures needed to record these moments.
I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Big Homie Kodaq.
Big Homie Kodaq is an emerging media mogul out of Atlanta. He’s cut his teeth on the media circuit, working at well-known entertainment entities from V103, to TMZ. Kodaq has interviewed some of media’s biggest names, ranging from Ric Flair, to TI, and Nancy Grace etc. An ATLANTA native, Kodaq grew up on the West side of Atlanta, and from there made his way to Tri Cities High School. At Tri Cities, he enrolled in the school’s magnet department which was known for pushing out greats such as Kandi Burruss, and Outkast. From there he made his way to Clark Atlanta University on a full athletic scholarship and graduated with his Bachelors in Mass Communication. After college matriculation, Kodaq earned a Masters in Criminal Justice and he began his work with Hoodrich Radio and DJ Scream. Over time he took over as his radio show’s producer. This partnership eventually culminated in Kodaq being named Executive Producer for the Revolt TV program BIG FACTS PODCAST.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? (What inspired the Big Homie house)?
When I was in college at Clark Atlanta University on an athletic scholarship, I saw one of my teammates on a flyer on campus and I said to myself, hey I want to do that. From there, I taught myself how to DJ and started to DJ for local parties on and off-campus. It helped me get my name out there and soon anything that needed to be hosted I was doing. That experience led me to get my first internship with V103 here in Atlanta, starting off with DJ Greg Street and eventually with Ryan Cameron. Ryan served as my mentor, looking out for me. From there, things have only gone up. I currently work with Hoodrich Radio with DJ Scream on the Big Facts Podcast as well as host my own pod, The Big Homie’s House podcast.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Around 2009–2010 I was interning with Ludacris’ company Disturbing the Peace (DTP) during their annual Labor Day celebration in the Atlanta University Center called Luda Day. During the concert portion of the event, I was told to help manage the stage by making sure I didn’t let anyone on who they didn’t recognize. There was a tall guy with dreads who I didn’t recognize walking towards the stage, so I stopped him and asked who he was with? He looked back at me and said, “Who you with?!! The coordinator of the event grabbed me and told me, “That’s 2 Chainz! At the time, he went by a different name and was just starting to grow into his fame. It was embarrassing. That was my first big industry mistake. But I think we smoothed it over. This happened when I was in college and before he took off to that next level as an artist.
Ok super. Let’s now jump to the core focus of our interview. Can you describe to our readers how you are using your platform to make a significant social impact?
Once I started in radio, I saw that everyone there had a different job that was a side hustle or noble cause. It motivated me to pursue another degree and so I got a Masters in Criminal Justice. Around that time, the events of the Trayvon Martin case were fresh and I saw that and I wanted to expose kids in bad neighborhoods to different ways of life. I decided to use my platform to speak to kids. I was a paraprofessional in the Atlanta Public School system and so I wanted to be able to tell them they could do anything with hard work. So to do that I bring people they love from the same circumstances and neighborhoods to inspire them to be successful. There is no reason that all of these black children shouldn’t be successful.
Was there a tipping point that made you decide to focus on this particular area?
Before I started teaching in the schools, I already knew I wanted to combine the two. I got involved before that by working with the Fulton County District Attorney, Paul Howard, on a few events for his office. Once I got in the schools, a celebrity would reach out every now and then ask what we were doing and I would mention that we had some students who would probably want to see them.
Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted by this cause?
I remember inviting a black magician named Jibrizy to the schools. He probably performed magic tricks for about five to ten classrooms for about two hours. It isn’t often we see a young black magician who listens to what the kids listen to. The kids talked about him for the next two weeks at least! If he hadn’t been there though, they wouldn’t have even though that was a possibility! If all they see is guns and murder sometimes that becomes all they think is available.
What specific strategies have you been using to promote and advance this cause? Can you recommend any good tips for people who want to follow your lead and use their social platform for a social good?
The most intentional action was being consistent. For example, I’ve heard a lot of people say they want to do podcasts, but they only do it for about a month or two and stop or they aren’t consistent with when they post. But because I’m invested for the long term, I record every week. We missed a few weeks last year because of the pandemic, but even when we couldn’t formally meet, I still used Instagram Live to do interviews weekly. Next, I make sure that after I record, I clip up my pieces. I know the typical person isn’t going to watch an hour to an hour and a half worth of content on a weekly basis but they will watch a one-to-two-minute clip on social media. Everybody has their phones so if you can make the material easier for people to consume you have the best chance for a viral clip. That’s helped us get a lot of viral clips on sites like the Shade Room, Neighborhood Talk and World Star Hip Hop.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
1. Record Everything. I have so many interviews with people like 2 Chainz and Shawty Lo that we’ll never get another interview from. Back then I didn’t see the power of reusable content or I would have taken the measures needed to record these moments.
2. It’s cool to be talented in a number of things. You don’t have to stick to one realm of media. Back then I just wanted a job in radio not knowing it’ so many ways you can do media outside of radio. If you would have asked me in college about doing a podcast, I would have looked at you like you were crazy! Now, these two podcasts are where I make the bulk of my money.
3. I wish someone would have told me that what you think you’re going to do and what you are going to do aren’t always the same. Your path is going to be what you make on your own. I feel like I wasted a lot of time waiting for people to put me onto opportunities when I could have been making my own opportunities. I was thinking of media traditionally as far as applying for a job and moving up, but it’s so much power in independence.
4. The importance of maintaining relationships. Back in the day, I had a reputation for talking recklessly on Twitter. I had to clean up my page. Atlanta is small though and you can’t talk crazy about people you will eventually have to work with one day.
5. Sometimes you have to learn to shut up and not say the first thing that pops in your mind. It’s important to keep your face card clean.
If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I would love to see more of our entertainers giving back to their community. If people invest in you and look up to you, you should at least show face. You’re an influencer for a reason. You influence the kids. I would also push for more funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and favorable press. I think HBCUs across the board need more positive press. These schools are important pieces of the culture. I want to be a part of that rise of HBCU culture because it is so many important stories that wouldn’t be told without these schools.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
It comes from an Atlanta native, Curtis Snow who says, “F em, we Ball”. It reflects the mindset that regardless of other circumstances we are going to win regardless. If people are upset, we are still on top. But there are other quotes. I grew up watching wrestling and Triple H once said, “Sometimes you gotta grab life by the throat and make it give you what you want.”
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?
Charlemagne the God, Diddy, and Vince McMahon. I feel as if Charlemagne and I have similar personalities. I see a lot of my personality in what he does a media figure. I like how Diddy built an empire from scratch. That mirrors my plan. It didn’t materialize until a year ago, but I’m glad I was dedicated enough to make it happen. I want to do merchandise and other ventures that will employ people. I grew up watching Vince McMahon and I admire how he was able to eliminate all the other competition and eventually hired them all. I want to be that dominant in media to where my competition doesn’t even exist.
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!