BE Modern Man: Meet ‘Mr. L.O.U.D.,’ Derrick D. Thomas-McKinney

BE Modern Man is an integrative program that honors the essence, image, and accomplishments of today’s man of color. With features of today’s leaders, executives, creatives, students, politicians, entrepreneurs, professionals, and agents of change—these men share the common thread of creating a new normal while setting the bar in tech, art, philanthropy, business, and beyond. The BE Modern Man is making a positive impact, his way, and has a story to tell.


Name: Derrick D. Thomas-McKinney

Age: 37

Profession: Record Executive/Entrepreneur

One word that describes you: Driven 

Social Media: Twitter: @derrickMc Twitter: @loudmuzik Twitter: @loudsportsusa Instagram: @derrickmc Instagram: @loudmuzik Instagram: @officialloudsports Facebook: @Derrick.Mckinney Facebook: @LiveOutYourDreams Facebook: @LoudSports

What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
It’s an amazing honor to be recognized by BEMM 100 Men of Distinction, and to be mentioned with 99 of the top men of color in the country is humbling.

What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
I caught a ride to a music conference and I had no money! I was there for three days with no hotel room, and $40 to live on. I stayed up and attended every seminar, event, and meeting. I cleaned up in the hotel restrooms, and took naps in the lobby, but I made contacts that led to me working projects for Interscope Records, and meeting some of the most influential executives in music. I was 20 years old at the time, and I still have some of those same relationships today.

What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
I look for the passion in people. Do you genuinely love what you’re doing?

What are some immediate projects you are working on?
I’m currently working on my indy label L.O.U.D. Muzik that features producer/artist T!M NED, and our newest signee Khody Blake. I’m also the business manager for the legendary artist Z-Ro. We are developing his new album, a liquor deal with Premier 360, and a few other ventures. We recently launched L.O.U.D. Sports Marketing with our featured client, USA Olympic medalist Mike Rodgers. 

What is the best advice you ever received?
My uncle Frank Thomas told me when I was 10 years old, “anything you think twice about don’t do.” I’ve lived by that rule. 

What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
Just get out there and do it. Be a father, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin to somebody who needs your help. Right now, men of color are needed more than any other time to stand up and lead. 

How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
I listen to ’90s hip-hop/R&B and I have the whole entire meeting in my head before it happens. I answer every question before it can be asked, so I’m always prepared for whatever is thrown at me.

As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation? Share a story about your best vacation.
I love to go on cruises with my family. My wife and I took our kids (Eric and Maya) on a cruise and we had a blast for five days. We toured the Caribbean, explored the Mayan temples, went shopping, and explored the islands. It was the best.

If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’d find an island that was close to the mainland. I love to be by the water. I’d go fishing every day, relax, and enjoy the ocean view.

What is your “Extraordinary Impact”? (Describe how you are making a major difference for others, in a way that distinguishes you as extraordinary in your profession and/or day-to-day life).
L.O.U.D. is an acronym for Live Out Ur Dreams. We use our influence in music to help bring attention to Suicide Awareness and Prevention through our partnership with The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. My wife Wykisha Thomas-McKinney is the board president for the Houston, Texas, chapter. Suicide is the second leading cause of death [for people] between the ages of 13 to 24, and that’s our exact targeted demo for new music, fashion, film, and any form of entertainment. In addition, I’m serving as a mentor to college and high school students and helping them to get the right start in the industry.

Anything else you’d like to say?
This honor would not be possible without the support of my parents, my wife and kids, and the L.O.U.D. Muzik family, including: David Kuti (President), Bradley Johnson (VP of Marketing), Kareem Richards (Management), Dwayne Davis (Management), Stacy “DJ Staso” Cotton (VP of A&R), O’lu Odunaiya (A&R/Publishing), Francisco Badillo (Graphics/Branding), Stephanie Wentworth (A&R). I’m able to do what I do because I have surrounded myself by some of the most passionate and driven people I know. #LiveOutUrDreams