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HISTORY OF V.I.P. CHICAGO
Having been inspired by an article I just read of the History of some of Chicago’s great hotmixers, I thought it a righteous gesture to jot down some notes on where we came from and who was involved in our beginning.
Initially the four key players in establishing our office were Julian Perez, famed Chicago hotmixer and radio personality, Benji Espinoza, founder and owner of Quamtum distribution and owner of DJ Records, Hector “LiL Angel” Vargas, award winning club dj, and Mr. Al Pizarro founder and owner of V.I.P. New York.
In 1997, while working as the office director of the now closed Chicago Music Pool, I made a call to Julian Perez asking why he had not come by the office to pick up product. Well it turns out that since that office was actually owned by some past business associates Julian did not want anything to do with it or anything they owned.
This actually saddened me since one of the greatest incentives for me taking the job was that I would have the opportunity to work a little more with some of the dj’s I admired including Julian.
Interestingly however, Julian brought up an incredible offer.
It turns out he had been thinking about starting a record pool of his own and he needed someone reliable to run it, and offered me the position.
Although the idea appealed greatly to the both of us, we thought it best to simply think about it for a while, and get together later when we could sit down and work on some details.
A few month’s had passed when I received another call from Julian asking about when we could have a sit down. It turns out Julian already had the ball rolling with some heavy hitters and I was the last piece of the puzzle.
Benji and Julian stopped by the house, we had lunch and made plans to visit Al Pizarro in New York.
The plan had been set and everyone including Al was more then enthusiastic about the project. Julian was an incredible inspiration in the beginning making calls finding a suitable space and helping in setting up the office and keeping track of expenses, Benji knew business and offered valuable advice and I of course ran the day to day administration of the office, signing up members and making sure the paper work was in order
Well it was a rough start to say the least. The other pools in Chicago banded together to try to get us closed down before we were really off the ground.
Fortunately, The One Most High was keeping on eye on us, and we soon learned that every time someone tried to shove us back we kept pushing forward. One Pool actually wrote letters to all their dj’s threatening cancellation of their membership if they were found associating with anyone from our office. Ironically, this actually helped since none of their Dj’s had ever heard about us until then.
I remember Al putting it a great way…
If they were not threatened, they would not be talking about us, he said. The more they talk the more your doing your job he continued.
By October of 1997 our office was up and running. Located near the downtown area we were able to keep in touch with the key nightclubs and Dj’s around the city. Word of our opening spread fast and soon we had a full roster of Jocks from around the city and surrounding suburbs.
One major flaw with the concept of Record Pools is that they are all inevitably dependent on the various record labels in the U.S. for service.
With increasing cut backs from the labels and a bad decision to relocate our office back in 1998, our membership roster suffered greatly. So much so, that it got to the point where Julian (being the major share holder) had decided to close the doors on our little oasis.
At first, I was bummed out to say the least, but not worn out.
I spoke to Julian and asked if I could take over by moving back into the city. I would fund the project myself, by working a regular day job and spinning the clubs at night.
I remember Julian shaking his head saying “I don’t know how your going to do it but if you want to give it a try go ahead”.
I spoke to Al who by this time was also disillusioned with the idea based on how everything had gone before. One thing I have always noticed about Al however is that he has been Blessed with the uncanny ability of being able to put things into perspective in the bat of an eye, “you need a sponsor he said” this will help you get what you need”.
A sponsor, how brilliant, a sponsor?
Where do I go for that? I replied,
I do not know but that is what you need he said :)
I learned a while back that when I have questions about what to do I should always place my trust in our Heavenly Father, and this case was no exception.
Now some might call this a coincidence and some might call it quirk of fate.
I like to think of it as a true Blessing from above.
Guess who called?
Polygram Records out of Miami. They were looking for a Representative in Chicago, and I was the person they decided would be best to fill the position.
Yes another job, but more importantly …a sponsor!
With the money I earned working for Polygram I was able to purchase equipment and set up software, which would be key in helping our office move into the next century.
V.I.P. Chicago is no longer simply a Record Pool.
We delve into the world of street promotions and marketing, and have become more of a Promotional company with expanded departments, including our Latin, Hip hop and R&B and Dance music Promotions Teams, along with key Dj’s and contacts throughout United States and abroad. We have even established the V.I.P. dj service available for all your special events.
We have come a long way, and with the kindness of Our Heavenly Father hope and prey, we may be able to continue with the wonderful work we do.
Thank you one and all for being part of our extended family.
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