More Than The Life of The Party: LA’s Finest
interview by: iman milner
We all have our favorite businessman. The guys we look to set trends, whose opinions we trust and adhere to. They’re the richest, the most successful, the guys who are in front of the camera dripping of fortune and influence. They are now the forefront of mass appeal but they all started somewhere. For many the foundation was laid in occupying a lane that everyone else had ignored. For the three men who make up the entertainment company, LA’s Finest, the story is much the same. All hailing from LA, Braden Williams, Cameron Jordan and Charles “Chuck” Allen are redefining the term “young businessman” by offering what no one else can in LA: an atmosphere for uninhibited partying. But there’s more to this group than the parties they’ve become infamous for. They are more than the celebrity guests that they bring out at every event. They’re educated, focused, respected and most important—they know how to win. We sat down with the guys to find out more about the minds behind the crew.
Edge Magazine: Tell me the mission of “LA’s Finest”.
Braden Williams: It’s a movement. A lifestyle company. Our mission is to bring quality events to whoever needs them.
Cameron Jordan: The main objective is to always get the money.
Braden: We’re hustlers with a purpose. That’s a great way to put it.
Edge Magazine: Who are you individually and who are you all as a unit?
Cameron: Well, I’m the only boy in my family. I have 3 sisters. I like the finer things in life. I’m a huge basketball fan. I graduated from Hampton University with a major in Management and a minor in Marketing.
Charles “Chuck” Allen: Born and raised in LA. I was kind of a child prodigy. I tested 99/100 in every area as a kid, so I’ve always felt like I’ve been blessed with that.
Braden: I’m the communicator in the group. Came up from the hood in LA. I graduated from high school early and my dream was to be an actor. I did some TV and had my own show for a minute so that moved me to Canada. The crazy thing about saying who we are behind the business is that this is our life now. It’s a brotherhood. Everything is for the money, everything is for the business. There’s nothing individual. Nothing. Everything we do and who we are works to the success of LA’s Finest.
Edge Magazine: Essentially how did you all partner together to start this business endeavor?
Chuck: I started promoting parties when I was about 15. I was learning from a guy and he said he couldn’t pay me but he would show me the game. I knew Cameron from middle and high school so I brought him into it. I went off to college in Atlanta and I saw these guys throwing parties and they were all wack. I was telling my older brother about it and he said, “ the difference between them and you is that you’re talking about it and they’re doing it”, that’s all I needed to hear. It was on from that point. I called Cam up and we threw a fourth of July party that summer. We didn’t have any money. I was a broke college student. We made the money to pay for the venue by selling pre-sale tickets, we were selling those even before we knew we’d actually secured a venue: that’s how confident we were. Fast forward a couple of years and our company was growing. We knew Braden as another popular dude in LA and we welcomed him in as an equal partner ever since. He’s carried his weight and then some.
Cameron: Even before that, Chuck and I would help his brother out who was working with a guy named Johnny Cruz at the time. He was a lot older than us so he was doing 18 and older events. I would stay at Chuck’s house and help him out. We would pass out flyers and it was just another way to meet chicks at that point. And it was cool because I was 13 or 14 going to 18+ events; I thought I was the man. One day Chuck said “we can throw our own parties and make our own money”, one thing led to another and we did an after prom party. Chuck’s pops helped us secure a venue and the money we made with that was huge for some guys fresh out of high school.
Braden: It basically all started out as a hobby, something we could do really quick to make money and then it turned into a real business that you all know as LA’s Finest.
Edge Magazine: What do you think is the biggest misconception about LA’s Finest?
Braden: Probably that we all just love to club. And that’s so far from the truth.
Cameron: I mean this stuff gets old after a while.
Braden: Working and going to the club, for us, are two different experiences. It’s not fun and games and chilling. Our parties are popular because we throw parties that we’d actually like to come to but when we’re there…we’re working.
Chuck: The biggest misconception I see is that we’re just a party crew opposed to an actual business. We own and operate a full business. We have accountants, a consultant, bankers, business credit, all of that. We work with major companies. We’re not just throwing parties out the backyard.
Braden: There are calculated steps to everything we do.
Chuck: Right. We have employees. It’s a bigger deal than just parties. We operate a company. People don’t understand that.
Edge Magazine: So what does LA’s Finest offer outside of nightlife?
Braden: We’ve done everything. We’ve diversified into a couple different areas. We managed music for a time period with Jhene (Aiko) and Hope Wright. Everybody in LA is trying to get their songs played in the club and we pack out spots. We have our production side of the company where we produce urban musicals with a really talented guy named Brandon Rainey. We’ve got a couple independent contracts with different companies. We throw events, man. Whatever that event may be. It might be your birthday party; it could be your wedding.
Chuck: When we entered into music working with Jhene she hadn’t done a project in 9 years and we put out the tape and it did over a million downloads off rip. We’ve done a lot of stuff but now we’re focusing on us and the development of our business and our personal branding instead of just doing it for other people.
Edge Magazine: What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned in business?
Braden: Managing personalities.
Cameron: In addition to that, just being conscious of money management. You have to stay on top of that. I manage most of the business and it’s a lot. As we grow older we learn new steps for our business and what we can do to take it to that next level. It’s pretty much staying on top of the money.
Chuck: A lot of people come to us with ideas and they don’t really understand: a business is all about money. You can have a business based on passion but if you’re not making money it’s not a business. If it’s not profitable, it’s just a hobby. If you go to the bank and you want a loan, they’re going to ask you what your profit is. Even if you’re doing something you love, you’ve got to find a way to make that profitable.
Edge Magazine: What do you hope people will say about you all when it’s all said and done?
Braden: There’s so much but the main thing is that we put on for our city. And when I say that, I mean we put on for our community, our people. We do charity. We put on for the churches out there. We’re all Christian men. We represent for fashion and music. Every time we step out, we put on for the city.
Chuck: We did it for the community we all come from. We all went to the public schools in LA. We weren’t fortunate cats. I’m not saying we were dead broke but we didn’t have everything. We used what we had in our minds and what our parents taught us to hustle up out of where we came from in a good way. I want to give that inspiration to other people. I want to let them know that they can do it. A lot of people look at what we’re doing and it’s an inspiration and that’s what it’s all about. Just trying to show that it can be done. We are doing it.
Cameron: It started out as a hustle. We didn’t even know what we were going to do with this and doors just opened for us. Don’t ever let someone stop you doing from what you want to do. Nobody really understood what we were doing when we first started but now they see it on a bigger level. Anything is possible if you have a dream, even the smallest hustle can turn into something huge. I want people to see that when they see us.
Visit LA’s Finest online at: http://lasfinestonline.com/ to find out where you can party with the entertainment moguls in the making!
Follow them on Twitter at: @LasFinestOnline
photos by: ashley nguyen
video by: erica hernandez
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