Un-derstanding Lance Rivera - Rolling Stone
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Un-derstanding Lance Rivera

CEO-on-the-rise talks about Biggie’s legacy

Although the Notorious B.I.G’s recorded music is in Puffy’s vaults,
hismusical vision is in Lance “Un” Rivera’s hands. The
producer/executive, whoheads up the Untertainment and Undeas
labels, is on a mission for his latebest friend, Biggie, the man
with whom he once hustled the streets of NewYork, and the man who
convinced him to enter the music business.

“I have my own vision,” Un says, “but the only thing I’m doing
right now, isletting the world know that Biggie still exists. He
exists because of what I’mgoing to give the world.”

Un’s most recent gift is Harlem rapper Cam’ron, whose debut
album,Confessions of Fire, has sold 107,000 copies since
its release twoweeks ago. Before his death in 1995, Biggie had
wanted to sign Cam’ron toUndeas, the label he and Un founded back
in 1993. But it wasn’t until lastyear that Un bumped into Cam at a
video shoot.

“He came up to me and said ‘I’m Cam,’ and I said, ‘Oh, you Cam.
Just give me aminute to figure things out and I’ma sign you because
that’s what B.I.G.wanted me to do.” So Cam, whom Un had decided to
sign before even hearing himrap, became the first artist out on
Un’s new label, Untertainment.

Next up is roughneck glamourgirl Charli Baltimore, whose debut,
Ice,drops on September 20. Un says he signed Charli for
personal reasons, butagain they can be traced to his devotion to
Big Poppa. “Charli Baltimore wasBiggie’s girlfriend, and I knew
Biggie died loving her,” Un says. “When hepassed away, she had
nobody else, so I said I’m at least going to give her achance to
take care of her family and her future, which is something
Biggiewould have done for me.”

Which brings us to Junior M.A.F.I.A. and platinum rapper L’il Kim,
who havegrossed more than $15 million for Undeas’ venture partner
Atlantic and werealso FOBs. Kim is currently in the studio working
on her next release onUndeas, as is L’il Cease of the Junior
M.A.F.I.A crew, who’s working on hissolo debut. “The most important
thing for me right now is a L’il Cease album,because he was like
Biggie’s son,” Un says, “and I want everyone to love Ceasebecause
that was one of B.I.G.’s wishes. Cease was supposed to be up

Un is also collaborating with the man who brought Biggie’s music to
the world– Puff Daddy. Un says he is currently working with Puffy
on Kim’s music,they’re jointly executive producing her album and
together they’re overseeingevery aspect of its marketing and

“Puffy was an element of what Biggie was,” says Un. “I influenced
what Biggierapped about, Puffy did the music and Biggie was the
artist. That was the key.So now I’m bringing that key to L’il Cease
and L’il Kim. It’ll be Me, Ceaseand Puff, and Me, Kim and Puff. It
was Undeas and it was Bad Boy. Together westood victorious, and
we’re going to continue to do that.”


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