Meet Lion Lindwedel – Not from Adams, North Dakota, But Lucky Enough To Be Here With You.
Co-Owner of ODAD Truth Records with Daddy-O, Publicist, Manager, Musician, and doPE Guy, Wade “Lion” Lindwedel took some time out of his busy schedule to talk about his new label, his partnership with Daddy-O and other cool stuff.
The SPITslam Group (Kate G): Lion, you are a publicist for hip-hop artists, and specializing on your size and training, a bodyguard. Last year you added to your resume, co-owner of the record label, ODAD Truth. How and why did this new venture come about?
Lion: It started with Daddy-O emailing me some songs and saying, "Give them a listen. I'm just curious what you think". I was already managing him, and we were focused on booking him at colleges and speaking engagements, as that was the original direction he wanted to go. Mind you, Daddy-O has never stopped being an artist. However, he will tell you, he had reached a point where he wasn't really thinking about performing so much as teaching. At any rate, I listened to the music and about came out of my chair after the first record. I called Daddy-O and asked "Why in the world are we sitting on these???" He replied, "I'M not sitting on ANYTHING.....YOU make the numbers, I'll make the colors." So, I set about the task of doing something I had never done before...shopping an album! Now, I'm the kind of cat that finds "I don't know" or "I don't know how" to be lame excuses. "I don't have that information, but I will find out" on the other hand, is different. I had no idea how to shop an album, but I DO have almost 20 years of being in this industry and have made many friends who are Hip-Hop Legends. So, to get the info I needed, I reached out to Chuck D. "I have this album from Daddy-O that I want to start shopping. What's the first step I need to take here?" MistaChuck wasted no time in responding, "You and Daddy-O become a label and put the album out yourself." I said, "Bro, I'm a knock-around guy and a publicist. I know NOTHING about running a record label". His response was "Become a label. Put it out yourself, SPITdigital can distribute it on RCSMusic and ITunes" or words to that effect. Well, when someone of the caliber of Chuck D says "become a label", a wise man heeds that advice. Here was my assumption.... I know Hip-Hop intimately and I am SURROUNDED by Hip-Hop veterans with all the experience in the world....how can I lose?? That first album became #EverybodyButKRS
The SPITslam Group: How did ODAD Truth come about?
Lion: Well, if you look at the first album's PHYSICAL release, the sleeve actually has True School Records (a division of my company True School Entertainment) and Odad Records (Daddy-O's company) as the labels. Chuck messaged me and said "Shorten it and it will be more attractive. Odad Truth is solid branding". It made sense, and I spoke with Daddy-O who also loved it. Thus, Odad Truth Records was born
The SPITslam Group: Daddy-O has a new album out, The Odad, The Gun, And The Children. Really good. Can you walk me through your process to get this out to the public?
Lion: Hmmm....the process.... Well, we basically put our heads together and came up with a battle-plan for album releases. It's all about the body of work, anymore. Also, Daddy-O is relentless when it comes to writing, and is an absolute beast on the mic. You have to see what I see. This man is like Tupac, in that he's CONSTANTLY in the studio. Constantly writing new songs, creating music, and sending me music. We are working on a collaboration at the moment, combining his rhymes with my metal vocals (I've been lead singing in bands since Jr. High), for a sort of rock-rap fusion. Think Linkin Park on steroids lol.
The SPITslam Group: How did you meet Daddy-O and what can we expect from him in the future?
Lion: Well, I actually met him on Facebook. Melle had released the video calling out and dissing Flash or whatever, and Daddy-O had made a response video. I saw the response and immediately loved what he said. I found him on Facebook, friended him, and we just kinda hit it off right away. I connect with people. That's what I do. I have always had a talent for finding common ground with someone, and establishing and building a relationship. I did that with Daddy-O and within days, we had established a business relationship as Artist/Manager, but that rapidly moved into brotherhood. We truly compliment each other, to be honest. He's laid back, but hyped onstage and on the mic. I'm more high-strung and aggressive. I look at him as my peer, but I also look up to him as my advisor. Brother Shawn Carter (PE) recently said "I think you two are very fortunate to have each other as partners". I couldn't agree more.
The SPITslam Group: Tell me about yourself, like where you grew up, your jobs, your personality type, your musical abilities and musical influences.
Lion: Oh goodness....did you plan on getting any sleep? I can go on for DAYS on this topic lol. Wow....that sounded conceited. Totally didn't mean it like that. My life has been a nonstop adventure, and I haven't wasted a minute of it. I was born in Adams North Dakota a long time ago.... aaaand now I'm lucky enough to be here with YOU! *NOTE: TRUE fans of Hip-Hop just smiled and got that reference* Ok, I was born in Fullerton Ca. although I typically say "I was born and raised in San Diego". I actually did my elementary school years in Buena Park, Santa Ana, and Garden Grove. By Jr. High, my father had moved us to Poway, Ca. in the northern county of San Diego. A couple of years later, we moved up Hwy 67 to Ramona, and that is where some of the best years of my life took place. I'm a life-long Chargers fan (yes, I've suffered through 45 years of disappointment). My personality...well, as you can tell, I'm shy, withdrawn, socially awkward, and at times, sarcastic. I'm very outgoing! I am a natural performer with the ability to adapt to any situation or environment. I served in the US Army from Aug 1988 - Dec 1999. I came out of the Army and went right to work for Kangol Kid (UTFO) as his prodigy/publicist.
Musically, well, I started playing guitar at the age of 8. My father handed me a guitar and a chord chart and gave me the ONLY music lesson I have ever had. He said, "If you want to learn, you'll learn". I now play 13 instruments as well as sing, and have never taken any other lessons. I taught myself to play whatever I play, and I don't read music. I play by ear. Some people have a knack for computers, some for art, some for mechanics.......with me, when it comes to instruments, I have always just got it! They make sense to me. My musical influences are wide and varied. I am not in any one musical category. I listen to everything from Opera to Iron Maiden. I love The Beatles, Maiden, The Eagles, The Temptations, Cage9, Rob Zombie, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gay, Prince, Enrico Caruso, Laura Pausini.....like I said, no one style. All music has far too much influence on me, and I have to actually be mindful of my mood when listening to music. For instance, if I'm feeling down, as much as I love them, The Cure is the LAST thing I need to be listening to! (Pro-Tip, do not attempt to nurse a broken heart with The Miracles. Just trust me).
The SPITslam Group: How did you meet Chuck?
Lion: I honestly don't remember. Like Kangol and Bowlegged Lou (Full Force) it seems like Chuck has ALWAYS been in my life. That may be because I grew up on their music, so in a way they HAVE always been there. Either way, I believe I was doing something for Kangol and he gave me Professor Griff's number. Griff and I hit it off pretty well, and as I recall, he introduced me to Chuck. Chuck and I ALSO got along famously, and when SLAMjamz was in it's infancy, I was going to be a part of putting it together. Sadly, I was very young in the industry at that time, and frankly, I wasn't ready for that level just yet. We kinda lost close touch, but still always bounced emails back and forth, until I decided to get back on this horse (I had walked away from the industry for several years, while always maintaining my place as Kangol's family's spokesman) again full time. Chuck was one of the first people I reached out to when I decided to get back in, because Chuck always believed in me, and seemed to see some value where I was concerned. The rest is history....
The SPITslam Group: In addition to being the co-owner of ODAD Truth and being a publicist, you are also a bodyguard. Is there one bodyguard experience that stands out among all others?
Lion: HA! To be honest, 98% of close protection work, is customer service. Reading people. Being able to identify through facial expressions, posture, body language, etc, if someone is a threat or not. If someone can be reasoned with, or does it have to get physical. I am a highly disciplined individual, but when I can see that physical is just how it's gonna have to be, I'm pro-active. I don't heal worth a damn anymore, so I'm not trying to let a situation like that have the chance to get out of control. Act fast and decisive. It's funny, because not long ago, I had a young man ask if I could teach him to be a bodyguard. I replied "I can give you the necessary skill set. I can teach you self-defense, threat assessment, how to identify egresses when you enter a room, how to clear a room, get your client to safety, even evasive driving....what I CAN'T give you, is that thing that makes you willing to jump in front of a bullet for another man, for a dollar. You either have that or you do not".
Sorry, you asked for experiences and I gave you my philosophy lol.
Ummm....one experience that stands out, was actually with a young group called Project Plan B, which consisted of AJ (Kangol's middle son), TC (son of the late TCD of Force MDs *rest in peace*) and E-Touch, developed and managed by T.Shaun570 (eldest son of Kangol Kid). Kangol and the boys had decided to go to a Jadakiss show and I went as their security. Now, you have to know that when I'm working, I don't play. I don't joke, converse, smile, drink, dance, anything. I am on post, I'm serious, I'm constantly scanning the crowd etc, hyper aware of my surroundings. Well, there were these two girls who were talking to the boys, and one kept trying to distract me, just to break my concentration. After a few minutes, and Kangol and the boys will tell you I'm telling the truth, she went for broke. This girl started dancing all up on me, grinding her booty against me, the whole nine. I stood there, stone still, never "breaking character", I didn't even acknowledge what was happening......and the guys found this IMMENSELY hilarious. THAT was what damned near made me lose my composure. Because if you've ever heard Kangol laugh, it is the most infectious sound and you can't help but laugh along ...... add to that, his sons who are just like him in that regard...it was a challenge. But I kept professional.
The SPITslam Group: What can we expect from ODAD Truth in the upcoming months?
Lion: Daddy-O is releasing 4 albums this year, one for every quarter, we are working on a Broadway production of one of the records (it's THAT deep). We are currently planning a US Tour called "East Meets West", featuring legends from both coasts. We have several artist signings in the works. We've signed Maharaji (of Sir Mixalot fame), DJ Punish (also from the Mixalot camp and made popular as the DJ on "Baby Got Back" as well as the whole "Mack Daddy" album), and Brooklyn rapper YB of Only Money Matters. We have some surprises coming up as well. The vision that I have for True School Ent. Is one that that Daddy-O shares with me for Odad Truth. That vision is to be a place of rebirth for our classic artists. There are many that, if they would just get off of the "old folks home circuit", the "old school shows", and get back in the studio and show these dogs can still hunt, would have a resurgence in their careers. Get fresh; get known by people UNDER the age of 40! I'm not saying try to sound like these kids. Daddy-O is PROVING that you can make mature sounding music for grown folks, that the kids will bob their head to as well. I continue with the challenge that Daddy-O was dropping with #EverybodyButKRS....stop "settling". Stop being complacent. Stop making your managers EXPLAIN who you are, cause newsflash! These kids don't care about the history, and you’re allowing yourself to become museum pieces and you're TOO YOUNG FOR THAT! Ozzy Osbourne is in his mid-60s and STILL sells records and still sells out stadiums. Iron Maiden JUST dropped "Book of Souls" and just embarked on another world tour. They STILL sell out stadiums! How is it different just because it's Hip-Hop?? It's only different when you give up and "accept" being pigeonholed in that. I love a song from UTFO's Dr Ice, called "They Got Me" it starts off "They call me old school, put me in an old folks home, took away my pad and pen and destroyed my microphone. They tell me 'it's nice here'". That's the complacency that our classic artists are allowing to be the standard in their careers. I'm not being cocky....I'm trying to inspire! If it takes pissing them off, to get them back in the studio, I love them ALL enough to be that!
The SPITslam Group: Any last thoughts?
Lion: Thank you to Daddy-O, Chuck D, Kangol Kid, Maharji, Punish and all of the artists who have entrusted me with their careers. You can find me on Facebook *True School Entertainment LLC* and *Odad Truth Records*; on Twitter @lion126tse, @trueschoolent, @OdadTruthRecrds (leave out the "o"); on Instagram @true_school_entertainment; on Snapchat @Odad Truth Records; on SlamJamz *Click "Music" from the menu then Odad Truth*; and the website www.trueschoolent.com. Thanks for taking the time to chat with me!
Kate G is Kate Gammell for Update Reports on The SPITdigital SLAMjamz Recording Label Group
NOW go pick up "The Odad, The Gun, And The Children," HERE
If you haven't copped it already, GET #EverybodyButKRS HERE
WATCH the newest video from Daddy-O HERE