On July 2, 1962, Sam Walton cuts the ribbon for the first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas. By 1967, he owned 24 stores and generated $12.7 million in revenue, according to the store’s official website.
Today Walmart is one of the world’s largest retailers. But it started with Sam Walton’s vision for a new business model. Most importantly, Sam paved the way for the Walton family to build wealth for generations. Today, the Walmart brand is a public company. Walmart is a family-owned business owned and operated by the Walton family.
more:Rakeem Jones: Fayetteville Rapper, Former Basketball Player Record Hits With Houston Icon Bun B
In Fayetteville, Lamont “L” Clark and the Clark family have established themselves as the pinnacle of entertainment and nightlife. L Clarke’s childhood dream was to own and operate a nightclub.
Clarke, who had been around the club as a youth, aspired to become a promoter. But the Clark family’s entertainment empire predates his L. His uncle Freddie, or “Ankh,” was a major player in Fayetteville’s entertainment industry for years.
more:Rakeem Jones: Fayetteville’s rap community bids farewell to Massey Hill pioneer Thirty
Through Unk’s work, L and his brother were able to establish a role in the family business. In 1999, Ankh booked comedian DL Hughley for a show at the Crown Coliseum. L seized the opportunity to throw an afterparty at the Pavilion nightclub.
more:Rakeem Jones: Fayetteville Barber Vic Blends, Rapper Morray Team Up for Christmas Giveback
However, the party did not produce the expected results. L fixes the method and rents out the pavilion again, “Mrs. Claus and the Elves” for Christmas. The success of the event created the opportunity to throw a party on Thursday night.
These Thursdays helped L and the family secure a Saturday night spot at the Odyssey Nightclub.
In 2001, he started business with Pavilion owners and opened Club Palace (now Mansion Cabaret) on Bragg Boulevard. Club Palace was known for throwing the best parties, including First Sundays.
A veteran, Clark distributed leaflets at Fort Bragg. Club His Palace’s success led L and Clarks to open a venue on Rayford Road called Carolina Live (formerly Red Roper). The opening of Carolina Live brought national musical action.
The first national act to play at Carolina Live was Atlanta rap legend Pastor Troy. From there, Carolina Live has established itself as a performance venue that hosts many famous music acts.
Additionally, Clarke was able to keep an “ear to the streets” and build relationships in the music industry. His uncle, Freddie, contributed to the success of Empire, his record signer, his KStylis.
Another member of the Clark family, his cousin Wayne (or Wayno), worked at Jay-Z’s Rocabella Records in the early 2000s. as Migos and Lil Baby.
L had no interest in getting into the music industry at all. But he recognized a void that needed to be filled. Fayetteville is home to top-tier musicians his J. Cole and Morray, but no established entity offers a platform designed to help artists grow.
Method 2 Enter a real record. Founded by Unk Clark and his partners, Way 2 Real Records serves as a hub for artists to grow and develop without having to travel to Atlanta or Charlotte. L works in the Recruitment and Artist Development department. As a club owner, he has experienced some of the obstacles presented in the music industry and wants to pass on the knowledge gained from those experiences.
He wants to not only sign artists, but educate them on monetizing their art. The first signer is Fayetteville artist Red Carpet. Mr. Red Carpet’s new single ‘Oh Ok’ is getting a lot of attention across the region and online.
Together with Mr. Red Carpet, the Lamont and Clark family continue to provide a platform and opportunity for artists to grow.
Opportunity to appear
On Saturday, independent artists will have the opportunity to perform with national artists including Kodak Black, Rubi Rose, Nardo Wick and Finesse 2 Times at the Super Gremlin Tour’s Crown Coliseum. The event is hosted by National Recording His Artist Chrisian Rock.
But that’s not all. L plans to open a brick-and-mortar building that will act as a hub for artist development and education. In addition, he hopes to develop the largest compilation of his 10 artists in the city.
“Hurry up. Treat your hustle like a business,” says L., a 48-year-old Pine Forest graduate and owner of the Superior Automotive Group on 1933 Pumary Drive. Always keep God first. ”
Hats off to L, the Clark family and all the activists out there.peace
Rakeem “Keem” Jones is a community advocate and father of three from the Shaw Road/Bonnie Doone neighborhood of Fayetteville. He can be reached at email@example.com.