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Exclusive Interview: 804 Street Media CEO Lance Cooper

Last week, the staff of WITIN RADIO had the opportunity to meet with 804 Street Media CEO & Editor In Chief , Lance Cooper.During the interview we had the opportunity to speak with Lance on his life's work, his company's Social Media presence, and the state of Black America.

When did you launch 804 Street Media & what was the catalyst for you launching 804 Street Media ?

"The official brand evolved into a business around 2013, but the grind to put the 804 (Richmond. Virginia) on the map started back in the 1990’s. Everything started with hip-hop. In 1997 I had a rap group here in Richmond. Virginia was on the rise, we were actually the only rap group from Richmond to share a stage with Nas. This was around the time "It Was Written" dropped. Eventually, however the group parted ways. I put the microphone down and started promoting other artists. Coming from one of  the hardest places to "get on" from is Virginia, because support on every level is so low. Truthfully, not garnering any support from local radio and media is what sparked the idea of me essentially becoming the media. While other people were messing around in chat rooms, I was working, connecting and learning about marketing. I have always had a knack for labels and distribution, providing quality product. A major part of creating a name for yourself in the digital age is going global, so I utilized the social media boom to take what started as just an idea, all over the world."
"My passion for journalism came from paying attention to the world and speaking about it in my music, writing and research.It has always been a part of me. In 2005, I started a website called, which was discovered by ASIS Magazine, and by 2006 I was interviewing celebrities with my work published on stands and in bookstores everywhere.It all happened so fast. After 6 years of building my brand I had an undeniable social media presence, and my resume was developed. In 2012 I started working with Hip-Hop Weekly Magazine,but then realized I was a comet in a bottle, and decided I’ve grown enough to walk on my own. In 2013 I officially launched 804 Street Media as a business and by 2014, I was a Top 3 Shorty  Awards Finalist for Best Small Business in Social Media. Each year has been an experience, to say the least."
What sets 804 Street Media apart from contemporary media outlets today?

"The approach I've taken from day 1 is saying what other media outlets are scared to say. They hide behind headlines. 804 Street Media will find a celeb on social media and call them out directly. If we have an issue, we will  bring it to them. Engagement with fans, followers and viewers is something I also strongly believe in. We don't want to just report the news, we want to be a platform for everyone to be acknowledged and heard. 804 Street Media is more than just a media outlet. It’s a movement designed to inform, inspire and empower."

When did you know that Marketing and Media is your life's calling ?

"I've received so much love from fans and celebrities, including messages, emails, and tweets. There has been so much organic support from all over the world, that it let me know that this was not just my calling, but something much deeper than me. It's a blessing to be in a position to reach and help connect people. The day that my work was favored by Steve Forbes (CEO of  Forbes Magazine) was when it finally registered  to me that I must be doing something right. The excitement for me still comes from not knowing which celebrity I’m going to interact with next and just knowing that Social Marketing is going to get bigger and bigger. The future looks amazing !"

What are your thoughts on black media ?

"I have mixed feelings because I am black media, so I support black media. However the entrepreneur in me still resents black media to a degree , because I remember reaching out to black media and getting rejected. Only to have MTV and VH1 recognize me when outlets like, BET wouldn't. I think we need more black media that actually hits the streets”and helps solve problems in the black community, rather than just holding televised conferences for network ratings.

What is your opinion of Hip-Hop music today ?

''Ironically I've asked many artists this question, and I'm sure you have as well. Let’s just say Hip-Hop is controlled by money and trends now, The music I hear today, for the most part, isn’t real Hip-Hop,  To me Hip-Hop took its last breath when Tupac and Biggie died. I respect every man's hustle, but "true Hip-Hop fans" know what "real Hip-Hop" is, and know how to find real Hip-Hop if they really want to hear it."

Are there any current Rap or Hip-Hop artist around today that you feel truly capture the essence and spirit of the genre ?

"I'm a Kendrick Lamar fan, I also like what J Cole is doing. Honestly, I listen to more 90's Hip-Hop than  new wave. Some songs play off my moods, but for the most part not too much amazes me in current Rap or Hip-Hop."

Speaking of Rappers,while we're on the subject, Kevin Gates was found guilty and received 6 months in jail for assaulting a female fan In Florida. How did you play a part in that situation and what made you create the petition to get Kevin Gates banned from performing in Florida ? 

"The petition was created to deliver a message directly to the industry as well as  Kevin Gates that assaulting fans, females in particular, wont be tolerated. When the incident happened in Florida I noticed many Hip-Hop media outlets were reporting the story, but not speaking on the problem. It still bothers me to this day that I was the only media voice who wanted to see justice for the teenager Kevin Gates assaulted. ABC Action News and FOX 13 News in Tampa, Florida interviewed me about it. The next thing I knew 7,000 people signed the petition and it was even endorsed by White House correspondent Kevin Corke. Since then I have  kept in touch with the victim's family. Thankfully everything is well, she's a strong young lady."

What helped shape you into the man you are today ?

"I owe much of my growth to being the underdog, and letting go of the need to prove my worth to a world programmed by illusions. It took losing myself, to find myself. Every low point in my life created a bigger vision for my life. My development was shaped by a conscious  realization that life isn’t about quick money, gang banging, and denying your purpose. Life is about disciplined money, unity, and maximizing your potential so you can master your purpose."

Who Inspires you ?

"I study many thought leaders, so that's a tough one. Currently my inspiration comes from Oprah and Deepak Chopra. I started their 21 Day Meditation Experience which is all about connecting inner peace to create outward balance."

What do you feel can be done to combat the rise in Police Brutality and Police Shootings ?

"The American Police system started as a slave patrol, so  I will never trust the same system to be anything less than brutal or do anything less than kill. It's good  that fellow activists like Deray McKesson and Shaun King are being vocal, but as you see, the number of people killed by Police is still rising.The same evil that fuels Police Brutality and Police Shootings, is the same that fuels Racism. Sadly both will always exist.  The only thing left to do at this level of distress is to revolt. They’re leaving us with more dead bodies than choices."
What do you say to people that insist that Black Lives Matter is ineffective in helping to 
combat the socio-political issues of today?

"I'd say those people are clueless or quite possibly racist. Anything that brings awareness to Police killing 12 year old kids and Racial Discrimination on any level is necessary. However I do feel the BLM movement needs to provide the public with more specific goals to work toward, so that they can contribute something beyond nodding in empathy".

What do you think can be done to help unite African Americans more as a whole?

"I think most African Americans are being programmed and distracted by the wrong things at a 
time when it appears as if we're losing. When I say losing, I think of Barack leaving office. I think 
of Chicago. I think of every black man, woman and child executed by police. Then the broken 
families that aren't receiving justice. Most important, I think of how nothing is being done by our 
government to restore any faith within the black community. Its obvious at this point, the most 
important thing we can do to unite each other is actually start focusing on uplifting each other, and 
realizing the black community can only depend on the black community. It has to start with the 

What retired Hall of Fame NBA player are you related to?

"You're good ! I see you did your research. I'm related to Alonzo Mourning, who was drafted in the first round from Georgetown to the Charlotte Hornets in 1992. As you know, he of course went on to win a ring with the Miami Heat in 2006. Zo does a lot of giving back to the youth and community. I have" nothing but respect for this man."

What important life advice has Alonzo Mourning shared with you over the years?

"Zo is a warrior, a fighter. Zo taught me to keep going through all adversity. His will to never give 
up, and always get back up, is by far the most important life advice he's instilled in me."

What other notable celebrities follow and support your brand?

"The list of verified accounts and celebs that follow me would be too long to name here. But just to name a few, let's see' Mike Epps, Mekhi Phifer, Anthony Anderson, Black Thought, Jimmy Fallon, Q-Tip, DL Hughley, Ross Mathews, George Lopez, LL Cool J, Missy Elliott, Christina Milian, Jill Scott, Romeo Miller, Bryshere Gray (Hakeem from Empire), Jody Watley, Boy George, Mya, Kim Coles, Trina, Salt N Papa , I would go on Walter but i'd be naming names all night."

You interact with celebrities, journalists, politicians, and social commentators daily. Of the 
many interactions you receive on Twitter, which 3 would you rate as your most 

"Wow, I could literally write a book on my social media celebrity interactions, dating back to 
 MySpace. Twitter has been a crazy journey to say the least, but the Top 3 that stand out or amuse 
 me the most would be,
Khloe Kardashian. She and I bumped heads on twitter when I asked her, 'What makes a Kardashian 
special?" I was very tamed with my approach compared to other non-filtered tweets I'm known for, 
but she tweeted me back and said, "My big ass dick and this magic stick," So, that of course 
resulted in thousands of retweets and Khloe blocking me. Hey, I'm the only guy in the world to 
make a Kardashian tweet about her big dick and magic stick.!  Ha, I should be verified on twitter 
for that one alone ! I'm a huge Tom Cruise fan.He follows me and he's tweeted and retweeted me a few times.Diddy follows me and has actually direct messaged me requesting that I promo his work. I would say that paticular interaction is probably my personal top, based on the influence he's had on me for many years, watching him build his brand.

Do you remember your first celebrity interaction upon starting your company?

"234,000 tweets later, I can't say I remember the first celeb interaction. Some of my early most 
cherished interactions came from Laila Ali, We've tweeted back and forth about the legendary 
Muhammad Ali several times. She's just as great as her father. Rest In Peace to the Champ."

In your opinion which celebrity on twitter is a top social media influencer?

I admire the influence of quite a few, from Ava DuVernay to Colin Kaepernick.But my top pick would be Oprah. Her following is that of a family on social media,that originated from massive loads of  positive energy Oprah has been exuding since her talk show aired nationally in 1986. That's 
powerful in my opinion. Oprah and her OWN empire has the best overall presence in social media. 
They offer so much love, concern and wisdom for your soul."

What can we expect from 804 Street Media in this last quarter of 2016, going into 2017 ?

"I will be using the last quarter to do more interviews, and connect with the people. Currently my only goal with social media, Twitter to be exact, is getting my account finally verified. I'm working on several projects, ranging from a book centered around self empowerment and financial discipline, 
to youth programs in my city geared at creating more young entrepreneurs and leaders. I also have 
several music artists I plan to release very soon. The official 804 Street Media website is under development and should be fully launched January 2017. This will be the next wave for everyone using  social media. But to be honest, the goal right now and every day is to keep working and keep building the brand."

How can people connect with you?

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