Now let’s take a trip to South Florida and let me introduce you to the collective Hidden Ruby who were the first people to bring XXXTENTACION on stage to perform and helped the rise of one of the most polarizing artist in the last decade. The collective was founded by Broward County native Troy Campbell and Brandon McGee. Before starting Hidden Ruby Troy spent his time managing a nightclub that his father owned in Broward County where Troy would work with numerous promoters to bring in talent to the club, this is where he would find his true calling.
“After dealing with so many promoters some successful and some unsuccessful, I started to realize I can do it myself. I spoke with one of my cousins and he was into music as well as I was and we just put it together and we took off from there.”
While sometimes you have promoters who focus on bringing the largest acts from out of town to their city, Troy chose to focus on bubbling talent within his own city and outside of it and give them a platform to perform within South Florida. Him and his team were the first people to bring Playboi Carti, Pouya, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yatchy and Post Malone to headline shows in South Florida before they became the stars they are today.
In the Summer of 2013 Troy would throw his first Hidden Ruby show. For his first ever event he had booked Young Roddy of JetLife, Isaiah Rashard, Pouya, and the host for the concert was DC YoungFly. He also held an afterparty for the event which was DJed by Metro Boomin and had Key! aka FATMANKEY as the performing artist. Being that this was his first event and that nobody really knew the name Hidden Ruby the turn out was very low and as Troy would put it “it was a flop” but the afterparty had a decent turnout.
“It definitely did not pay off financially, but even though we didn’t have a big crowd we brought out all the artist that we promised. People realized the brand is maybe new but at least we are credible. There are so many promoters out there who book an artist and when things don’t go well they cancel the show.”
“So I tell him to have them come through and they hop in the backseat of the car. It’s dark and I’m talking to these guys and the kid sitting directly behind me is telling me he never did any shows anywhere he just put out music. To conclude the conversation I ask them if they want to smoke and the kid behind me says he’s on probation he can’t smoke. I get out the car turn around and it’s Jahseh (XXXTENTACION) and we just embraced each other.”
The show finally comes around and the lineup includes Yung Bans, Uno The Activist and 21 Savage as the headline. Even though at the time XXXTENTACION had less than 1,000 followers on Instagram Troy had him along with Ski Mask The Slump God perform right before 21 Savage and the rest is history!
“He performs and he blows it out of the water and everybody is going crazy to his music. I wasn’t really hip to his music yet. After he gets off the stage he comes straight to me and says “You wasn’t expecting that, I impressed you, huh.” I told him straight up anytime we do a show your welcome to be on it. From there every time we did a show after that I let him be the co-headliner. Every time we had a show he would perform right before the main act and he would kill it every time.”
“When I got to the venue at 8:30 there was over 300 people in line. Midway through the event X had performed 1 song the Fire Marshall comes in saying it’s over capacity and they have to shut it down. The venue capacity was 800 and we have 1,000 people inside and like another 1,000 outside. So X says “All these people are here for a show I’m going to give them a show.” He takes off his jacket, his shirt, his pants he had some shorts and he runs down the stairs runs outside jumps on top of a car and just starts performing on top of a car. There is probably 2,000 people outside blocking off the street in Wynwood and he’s performing on top of a car.”
“Now we are making sure we can provide all the other amenities for the artist to be able to put them on shows, give them a space to record their music, and having news outlets and blog to push these artists out. Just building out all the things a label would have to propel any artist. We are just looking for people here within our community that we think have the talent.”