Greg “Olskool Ice-Gre” Lewis
Greg “Olskool Ice-Gre” Lewis – Is an author, public speaker, and motivational dream influencer. Leveraging his career in entertainment into a successful full-service management and production company, Honest Management LLC., this A&R, Chi-town representative, and Hip Hop artist-turned-businessman – stands out for his ability to identify, nurture and elevate true talent. As an alumnus of Jackson State University (Jackson, MS) Lewis was a recognized leader of Jackson’s emerging Hip Hop scene, spending his college years heading music label street teams and founding the legendary Midwest/Southern Hip Hop collective known as the “Stewpot Stowaways.” Notable individuals emerged from this crew such as; Activist, Rapper, Music Producer and Actor David Banner, Entrepreneur and Visual Designer Leo Brown, who Founded and created Black Wall Street of Lansing, The Colored Collection and Life Evolution & Circles (Leo Collections) respectively and DJ Scrap Dirty who Co-Founded Violator DJ’s with the legendary music mogul Chris Lighty. As the first deal negotiated by Olskool Ice-Gre, the crew secured a record deal with Finesse Entertainment and Records founded by the legendary DJ Finesse (WJMI 99Jamz/Core DJ’s), who is a well-respected veteran of the Jackson music and entertainment scene.
Upon graduating from Jackson State University, Olskool ventured further West where he accepted a job in Publicity with Steve Rifkin’s Loud Records in their Los Angeles office. Olskool strengthened his business acumen and contributed to the success of several Hip Hop classics including; Mobb Deep’s “The Infamous,” Raekwon’s “Only Built for Cuban Linx,” Tha Alkaholiks “Coast to Coast” and Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s “Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version.” Just shy of a year, label budget cuts abbreviated Olskool’s stint at Loud Records forcing an unexpected return to his hometown. The experience gained in this position precipitated his success on both the creative and business sides of the industry.
Returning to Chicago with new skills, and relationships, he partnered with platinum producer Andy C., to help catapult the careers of the female Hip Hop duo, Syndicate (later renamed Infamous Syndicate) whose members included Shawnna (formerly of Ludacris’s DTP label) and Teefa (former host of Chicago’s top radio stations; Power 92.3 FM and 107.5 FM WGCI). His artist development skills and experience in Publicity, Marketing, and Promotion resulting in a field marketing campaign that fueled the popularity of the group’s hit single, “Jenny Jones,” demanded the industry’s attention, and resulted in a record deal for Syndicate with Relativity Records.
While grooming emerging talent proved to be Olskool’s strong suit, he was still an artist at heart. The following year, Olskool shifted gears to focus on his own group, Abstract Mindstate. With unparalleled talent and impressive marketing expertise, Abstract Mindstate quickly became one of the most buzzed-about groups in the Midwest. As first place winners of the Salem Orb-e National Talent Competition, the duo rocked the stage of New York City’s historic Hammerstein Ballroom competing with some of the country’s most talented rising stars. Determined to reach the #1 spot, Abstract Mindstate went on to be crowned “Home Jam Artist of the Year” by Chicago’s leading urban radio station, WGCI where they overly impressed super producers Trackmasters (Tone &Poke) so much so that the production duo advanced Abstract Mindstate into their Sony Records sponsored “Natural Talent Competition” as finalists. Abstract Mindstate went on to sign a well-deserved record deal with an independent label.
Realizing the hard way that “all that glitters ain’t gold,” Abstract Mindstate’s label situation did not pan out. However, the ever-resilient Olskool refusing to quit, went on an extended visit to the Big Apple to pursue a new record deal for his group and in the process, reconnected with his friend Kanye West. At the time Kanye was not the Pop culture bending, creative philanthropist and designer he is today. Impressed with Olskool’s creative flow and business acumen, Mr. West positioned him as head of business affairs of Konman Productions as well as his live in personal assistant. On a business and personal level, Olskool established himself as a very instrumental component in Kanye’s transition from hot up and coming behind-the-scenes music producer to an internationally recognized Hip Hop superstar.
Although the music industry has undergone drastic changes, the new millennium served this game-changer well. Olskool’s star continued to rise via roles as Good Music’s very first A&R, where he worked with a then up and coming, now platinum selling Rap artist Big Sean. As A&R of the label, he was responsible for choosing the No.ID produced track that later became “My Last” feat. Chris Brown. His ear and intuitive insight accurately predicted and passionately professed, the song would go platinum, hit #1 on Billboard’s Rap chart and make Big Sean a household name.
Currently Olskool continues to flex his skills as an A&R, as well as creatively collaborating with Kanye West while active in a new venture, G2 Productions LLC. G2 Productions is a production partnership formed with long time Miami based collaborator and friend DJ Self Born who is also a south side Chicago native. The partnership gives “the two Greg’s” a platform to provide fully written and produced songs and/or ep’s for talented vocalists in various genres. Developments with his L.A.-based company, Honest Management LLC will continue, but with a more concentrated emphasis on consulting and artist development. Honest Management is committed to delivering just that – “honest management.” The firm will only represent an exclusive roster of talented individuals across multiple industries that eat, breathe and live (not sleep) for their craft.
In addition to his creative duties and running Honest Management LLC., Olskool has released a refreshed, revised edition of his inspirational book appropriately titled, “I Refuse to Quit! The Autobiography of a Dreamer,” on all platforms. Olskool has given his voice in various capacities coast-to-coast inspiring men, women, and children to follow their dreams, no matter how challenging the journey may be so this book is a natural progression for this lifestyle man of action. The project is a self-published work that will precede a “motivational concert series” a term coined by the author himself.
Olskool shares priceless jewels via his YouTube series, “An Honest Minute.” Covering everything from the importance of face-to-face communication to the art of controlling your temper, “An Honest Minute” is a social media tool developed to enlighten both emerging talent and seasoned professionals. He plans to revamp the series and create more episodes.
Throughout his burgeoning career, Olskool has capitalized on his ability to anticipate and guide industry trends, realizing that music, entertainment and adding to the culture is the source of his inspiration and success. As a dream-chaser with talent, drive and resilience for days, the sky is far from “the limit” for this go hard creative.