Jason Geter, the Brains Behind T.I.’s Brand Hustle

T.I.’s business partner and manager explains how he brings order to the King's court while carving out his own career path

Jason Geter overseeing his Strivers Row line

During the course of his career, Clifford “T.I.” Harris has had many ups and downs. Throughout it all, the man that has held everything together is the hip-hop star’s manager and business partner, Jason Geter. As the co-CEO of Grand Hustle, co-owner of AKOO Clothing, owner of the Strivers Row clothing line and Grand Hustle TV/Films as well as manager of several artists—hustle is all Geter knows. In the wake of T.I.’s successful reality show with wife Tameka “Tiny” Harris, T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle, BlackEnterprise.com sat down with Geter to discuss how he got into the business, the difficulties he’s faced managing T.I.’s brand while he was incarcerated and what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

When did you realize you wanted to go into the business side of the music industry?

When I was really young. I grew up in New York so I was always around artists, seeing artists living in my neighborhood and coming through my neighborhood. I was always a fan of the culture. It was always something I loved naturally. When I was in 9th grade a guy came to my school and he was the A&R for Uptown Records. I didn’t know about that side of the business I just knew about the artist side. I heard his story and him saying you can make a good living doing what you love and not being an artist. It was intriguing. I started investigating and researching. Once I got my internship [at Arista Records] I definitely knew I wanted to be a part of the business. I said, “If people were making a good living doing what they love to do without coming to work in a suit, then I want to do that.” My mom was a part of corporate America so I saw the affect racism had on her—she was stressed. I knew I didn’t want to go down that lane.

So how did your relationship with T.I. form?

We met when he was 18-years-old and was just a rapper named T.I.P. living in his mother’s house. We went to the studio and put together a demo tape. I got him the first record deal. We’ve been together literally since before he was T.I. He had to change his name to T.I. [from T.I.P.] once he got the deal. There’s definitely loyalty with our friendship. We have a great relationship based on honesty.

Fast-forward some years later and you’re not only T.I.’s manager but also his business partner in several ventures in addition to your own. With your hand in so many pots, how do you keep it all together?

I multitask. Everything I do on that level is all relative to one another. Music, fashion, film… they’re all in the same realm. I don’t have to go too far out of my course of my direction to do either job in a sense. It all goes hand in hand. It definitely makes it a lot easier and it makes it more doable. It also helps that I love what I do. You got to love it or you’re not going to be able to do it. You’re not going to be successful at it because it’s so much work and so much time is taken out of your life. If you don’t love it you’re not going to be down to put that work in.

Is that philosophy a driving behind your clothing line Striver’s Row?

It’s a project that I’ve been working on for three years now. It’s an American heritage clothing line and history is definitely [something] we’re very influenced by. We study different moments in history and get inspiration for our collection. A lot of Black history is used to influence Striver’s Row. I’m proud to say I’m doing a collaboration with the movie Red Tails that’s coming up. I’ll actually be doing a Tuskegee Airmen collection. I make product out of US, Japan and Hong Kong. There’s stores in America, stores in Japan right now, I have my own shop in Atlanta. It’s a baby and it’s growing. It’s definitely exciting.

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  • Geoff Drumadict Morgan

    Jason Geter hey man I am very big fan of T.I. and I am a “drummer”. Just want to know if I can get an opportunity to play for you or get an audition for you guys… Please hit your boy back…

  • Royal raps

    I spoke with Doug. last year He loved my music! we lost contact after I got shot ..b4 anything I am marketable please contact me soon and listen for your self music is my only hope I take this very serious. I make hits call me or tell Doug for me 248 667 1256

  • T.C.MAC

    Whats good pimp I manage a group outta Minnesota which is very hot i was tryna send ya a sample but i aint got no email on ya; check us out on youtube search T.C.MAC an all of our related video’s u’ll pop up 1love god bless…

  • Lavieta lipscomb

    Hi jason geter I am trying to contact you to see if I can send you one of my boyfriends demos I been watching him go hard at his music trying to get a deal and his music is hot and full of swag and I know for a fact if you gave him a chance you will love it he is full of energy and street swag and all the women what him cause he has a lot of talent he put on a lot a shows here in cleveland and he want this so bad I would love to see him make it because he try so hard and he been though so much that he deserves a break if you can his number is 2163225168 and my number is 2163267694 please give him a chance

  • Sybil

    Hello Mr. Jeter,
    Just waiting to see what young new talent is coming out of DC?
    I heard this kid “Rico” is blowing up. Only time will tell, ask
    your bud Mr. J. Best.

  • Darwin Rencher

    Mr. Geter , I had the good pleasure of working with you and TI back in his early years in Greenville,SC in the late 90′s. I work with a non-Profit now called Tackling the Streets. I would like to discuss a few of the Projects we are working on with you . My desire is to work with your artist on Grand Hustle to do some Empowerment Sessions throughtout the South to start communicating with the youth about the importance of education and peer pressure.
    I can be contacted at …. dr3deeconsulting@bellsouth.net

  • cvinchi the hit maker

    wuz up mr strive jus hitting u up to let u know i have a selection of beats to present to your company i know u guys stay busy but im a hard worker and if u get time check me out on sound cloud or facebook its cvinchi the hitmaker and if u feeln da beats hit me directly to 2244404206

  • Thaynara

    - Hi Abi,I heard about your family turohgh my mother-in-law Elaine Bleuer, who is friends with your grandmother Bonnie Boron (I think that is how it goes). She was showing me your mom’s website/blog with the fire and everything and mentioned that you are a photographer! SO am I and I just love checking out other people’s work! You do a great job! Anyway, keep up the good work!Annie Bleuer

  • Teresa Stringer

    Hello Jason my name is Teresa, they call me Tlee. I am management of Boss Ladies Entertainment in Detroit and Kerry is CEO of Boss Ladies Entertainment in Maryland. We have a few Artists that I would like for you to check out on youtube and also, I would like to send you a press kit of the Artists that I am speaking about. (1) Dre’a aka Princess, (2) Juzby (3) Draxtik. Please check them out and consider speaking with me. I know it’s hard in Detroit City but we are willing and ready to take on whatever. We need a record deal and someone with a listening ear to hear what we have to offer. Any other information needed, please email me.

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