ORLANDO, FL - AUGUST 05: E. Mason & Associates CEO Elora Mason attends TJ's DJ's Tastemakers Annual Music Conference - Day 2 at the Ivanhoe Plaza Hotel August 05, 2006 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
Elora Mason navigates Miami's hip-hop landscape as a savvy and uncompromising power broker. Mason has repped most of Miami's biggest rap stars over the past decade. NiteSide caught up to the media matriarch late Wednesday night at a party sponsored by Absolut Vodka inside Baru Urbano where she dished on being schooled by Trick Daddy, Rick Ross' business savvy and succeeding as a woman in an all-boys club.
Trick Daddy was the first major artist you repped. How did that experience prepare you for the ins and outs of the hip hop industry? I worked with Trick at a time when Miami was alive and vibrant and the independent music scene was big. I learned so much from his experience of being with Slip-n-Slide and Atlantic and being on the road. That was the best situation for me, because I saw firsthand the good and bad side of the business. Everybody in the business aren't who they say they are. A person like Trick can smell them before they even come into his situation. He's one of those honest dudes. You might not want to hear his honesty, but you have to respect it.
You now handle public relations for Rick Ross. What's something that stands out about the "Bawse" beyond his obvious gift for wordplay? His business savvy. Outside of Luther "Uncle Luke" Campbell, a lot of artists in Miami have allowed other labels to handle their situation and Ross hasn't. He's been in the business a long time, but he hasn't been a signed artist for a long time. He already has his own artists, label and imprint with Def Jam.
As a woman working in a industry often attacked as being misogynistic, how have you gained your respect? You gotta have thick skin. It's not easy for women, either artists or those on the executive side. We have more things to deal with than our male counterparts, and they don't necessarily make it easy for us. We constantly have to prove ourselves. Some women get caught up and will do anything to prove themselves. Anything. Some of us just won't. That may mean not getting different projects or being a part of different camps. So be it. For me? You've seen what I've done. Respect my work.
Having said that, what keeps you in the biz? Seeing a project mature. To see a project grow from the studio all the way to MTV or to Rolling Stone gives you a high that makes you want to start all over again.