Around the Way: Paul Stewart [A White Boy from Crenshaw]

Some people are born with an innate ability to tap into the moment. Paul Stewart grew up in Crenshaw, California during the height of the “White Flight” era where white families fled South Central Los Angeles and definitely didn’t reside in Crenshaw. Paul Stewart grew up around ethnically diverse individuals who molded him into the heralded hip-hop figure that he is today.

Hip-Hop originated in the Boogie Down Bronx (NY) during the late 1970s and did not entirely emerge on the West Coast until the 1980s. Rapper’s Delight by the Sugar Hill Gang permeated new hip-hop loops, rhythms and breaks into the ears of many for the first time in 1982. 

As an underground DJ, Paul Stewart squeezed into all the right venues and created the illest scene for partygoers. He would promote, spin, host – anything to get his foot in the door and put authentic rap into the atmosphere.Russell Simmons hired him to spearhead Def Jam’s West Coast division. Eventually, Paul would provide talent out the wazoo for Def Jam only to be sued and defamed by the money-hungry out-of-touch moguls Russell Simmons and Lyor Cohen. 

Thankfully, Paul’s ear-to-the-pavement ability drove him to start his own company – Power Move Productions. By working with prominent companies and combining those opportunities with his own movement, Paul began to climb the ladder.

John Singleton brought him on set for film, “Poetic Justice” as the Music Supervisor and Paul has since held that title on 50+ cinematic productions to date. 

There is always that one person that deserves to be there no matter what. Paul is that person who was always around, always spinning new tracks from the underground. To get where he is today took a lot of hard work like 60 hour unpaid internship weeks or street level promotion to garner word-of-mouth. Regardless, PS always continued his story.

Idols: Mo Ostin, Irving Azoff

Discovered: Tone Loc (Wild Thing), Pharcyde, Young MC (Bust a Move), House of Pain

Managed: Koolio

Superproducer: Warren G (Handed tape to Chris Lighty)

Single: This is How We Do It (Montell Jordan)

A&R: Ice Cube (Street Knowledge Productions) John Singleton (New Deal Records)

Columnist: The Source

Philosophy: Truly Understand the Music, Offer Constructive Criticism, Contribute to Project

Paul Stewart bridges the gap between the underrepresented sector of individuals and the cut-throat music industry where ego-maniacs are out of touch with street reality. He embodies the statement: “Bring value wherever possible, it is not always about a check, stay down and reap the intangibles.”

It is clear that this man operates with poise, discipline and professionalism. Never shaken, stirred or disrupted from his path by music executives, Paul always holds his head high and utilizes integrity to gain the respect of those with whom he conducts business.

Check out the trailer for his upcoming production, “A White Boy from Crenshaw.” 

Paul was the Director of PUMA Music Marketing from ’08-’10 and founded the alternative publishing press company called Over the Edge Books.

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