Over the past thirty-two years, the culture of Hip-Hop has evolved into the phenomenon it is because of visionaries and outside-the-box thinkers like Rick Rubin, Lionel Ridenour, Clive Davis and A.D. Washington. What’s more intriguing however, is that these visionaries have one person—a common denominator--linking them together. Thomas “FAT Thomi” Hairston is an entertainment industry veteran who has successfully matriculated through the institution of Hip-Hop as a protégé, Director, Vice-President and now President—under the direction of pioneers like Rick Rubin and A.D. Washington. The young twenty-something go-getter determined to make a mark in the “industry” is now a mature and seasoned executive who holds a passion for music now, as tightly as he did almost two decades ago. Landing a gig with producer Rick Rubin (Run DMC, The Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers) is a course that no accredited college or university can match. FAT Thomi dove into his destiny when this opportunity was presented to him, and to say he ran with it would be an understatement. As an urban music manager at the mega-company, Warner Brothers, FAT Thomi was responsible for working with some of the country’s most notable artists—overseeing their creative development and forthcoming projects and promotional tours. His ability to identify talent with the “IT” factor earned him promotions through Warner and other companies like American Records. But it was at Arista Records where FAT Thomi would become the National Director of Hip-Hop Promotions and be largely responsible for the success of YOUR favorite artists today. “I had a sincere love and appreciation for this music—from a very young age. To now have a position at a company where the music was being cultivated was a dream come true, but also a crash course in the realities of this business,” says FAT Thomi. From 1997 thru 2003, the music industry would experience highs and lows that impacted both the artists and their fans. At Arista Records, FAT Thomi forged ahead spearheading promotions projects for rap stars like the Notorious B.I.G., Outkast, Goodie Mob, and Brand Nubian. Having a strong grasp on consumer demands and industry trends, FAT Thomi oversaw R & B artists’ projects for names like Toni Braxton, TLC and Usher. His responsibilities ranged from product management to radio promotions and everything in between. His forte however, was dealing with radio stations and working hand-in-hand with DJ’s and program directors. These relationships and his innate salesmanship would be the reason why one of Hip-Hop’s most successful acts would reach multi-platinum status and a strong stance in the hearts of fans worldwide. “Dealing with P.D.s is tricky because everything comes down to timing and money. If the records I was promoting weren’t resonating in radio listeners at the right time, and if promotions around the records didn’t potentially make the station money, then they would try to shut me down,” FAT Thomi explains.”It was my sole responsibility to get these records played….or I was going to be in the market for a new job! I believed in these artists though—and that’s what made the difference.” As New York and West Coast Hip-Hop ruled the urban airwaves, a humbler cousin was trying to break into the mainstream. Southern Hip-Hop was slowly bubbling, but was faced with constant road blocks from program and music directors in the major markets. Relentless and passionate, FAT Thomi broke the rap duo known as OutKast from the northeast, through the mid-Atlantic and throughout the southeast. This innovative group would later release a string of classic Hip-Hop albums with their “Dungeon Family” and sell units exceeding 10 million. This is now… XRECORDS was founded in 2003 and is manufactured and distributed by the Malaco Music Group. Founded by Thomas “FAT Thomi” Hairston after a ten-year career in the music industry with giants like Warner Brothers, American Records and Arista, XRECORDS emerged as the creative outlet for his own roster of artists. After promoting major label projects for some of music’s biggest names, establishing his own entertainment company was a natural next step. Currently, FAT Thomi is involved a several major business endeavors that span the music, lifestyle and luxury, and nonprofit landscapes. He is on the Board of Directors for the Forever K. Michael Collection, an international designer eyewear brand. FAT Thomi maintains the position of label President for XRECORDS, which is home to more than eight independent recording labels across the country that have distribution deals under his company. “We have to be the change we want to see in our communities, our homes…in the world. “But most importantly,” says Fat Thomi “As industry executives, artists, and creative minds…we have to take some responsibility for the messages and images reaching our youth. I want to use my knowledge and relationships to save lives!” FAT Thomi is truly a visionary and leader in an industry that thrives on trends. Whether it’s music, an artist, a business deal, or a community-driven project—this music industry veteran always strives to make a positive impact. His expertise and experience is unmatched, but it’s his passion for people and the true culture of urban music that is most impressive and powerful.