The brain behind the brawn, the men (and women) behind the stars; it’s easy to argue that for any MC to truly be great he (or she) needs a great executive to guide them. As XXL’s weeklong GA’s Most Wanted series comes to a close, we assemble 10 of the state’s best bosses in the game right now. Whether they started out as interns or rappers/singers turned mangers, these are the cream of the hip-hop crop. —Manny Maduakolam

JERMAINE DUPRI
As the architect of the mega label, So So Def, and one of the original kings of the South, Jermaine Dupri is an icon in the hip-hop world. The Atlanta-born executive is a gem finder to say the least, unearthing platinum success for artists like Kris Kross, Da Brat, Jagged Edge and Bow Wow. Getting his start as a producer at 7, he was already a budding exec on the come-up by his teenage years, so it’s easy to see why JD truly is So So Def.

CHAKA ZULU
Move, trick, get out the way, Disturbing Tha Peace Records CEO, Chaka Zulu, is here and judging by his rap sheet, he’s here to stay. As the manager for multi-platinum rap star Ludacris, Chaka built one of hip-hop’s strongest camps in DTP. The former BMG “mailroom guy” and Jive Records intern is now throwing bows to the competition and is a mainstay in the industry. With his partner in rhyme Luda continually rising up the hip-hop, Hollywood and corporate ladders, the sky’s the limit for Chaka’s growing profit margin.

KEVIN “COACH K” LEE
If you ever need help finding talent in the south, ask for Coach K, as he’s definitely someone with his ear to the trap and knows how to execute a successful game plan. After serving as manager for the majority of Young Jeezy’s career, he brought his services over to Gucci Mane, who saw his stock rise to new levels. When Coach K’s calling the shots you’re liable to score—big.

L.A. REID
Two words, Def Jam… Need more? Well, first, L.A. Reid is the co-founder of LaFace Records, which spawned megastars like OutKast and TLC, to name a few. Other highlights on his resume include his past stint as president/CEO of Arista Records—which generated a half billion dollars annually under his watch—Chairman of The Island Def Jam Music Group, and Chairman/CEO of Hitco Music publishing. Over the course of his illustrious career, Reid has been responsible for signing and helping bring Pink, Mariah Carey, Avril Lavigne, Toni Braxton, Usher, Ciara, and more into the spotlight. Although he dose more business in the Big Apple than his hometown these days, Reid’s name rings bell throughout the music industry and you’d be a fool not to answer his call.

DEBRA ANTNEY
Debra Antney is not only mother to Waka Flocka Flame, she’s also the CEO of Mizay/So Icey Ent., which falls under the Asylum/Warner Bros. umbrella. At one point managing the careers of Gucci Mane, OJ Da Juiceman, Nicki Minaj and Waka, boss lady has shown her knack for finding young talent, while also assembling a team that can compete with any squad. We’d say, “O, let’s do it,” but clearly she’s already done it.

POLOW DA DON
The former rapper turned producer discovered his true calling after a rough start to his music bid. As a producer, Polow has his fair share of chart-topping hits for other artists under his belt, but after landing a distribution deal for his Zone 4, Inc. he began crafting hits for his own artists, like Rich Boy, Keri Hilson and Ester Dean. Also signing up-and-coming producers, Hit-Boy and Cashe, Polow is not only spreading the wealth but also continuing to cash big checks.

RUSSELL “BLOCK” SPENCER

Russell “Block” Spencer is one of the original bad boys of the south. As CEO of Block Ent., he helped introduce the world to Young Jeezy via his Atlanta supergroup, Boyz N Da Hood, as well as Gorilla Zoe. Teaming up with Sean “Diddy” Combs, Block kept the streets satisfied with trap anthems and trill tracks through their partnership. Much like his name, Block is hot.

JASON GETER
Like the famed Yankee with a similar sounding last name, Jason Geter wears many hats. In addition to being CEO of Grand Hustle, he holds similar titles at Akoo Clothing and the Strivers Row clothing store, while also playing right hand man to T.I. It’s a role he not only learned but mastered under the tutelage of Jeff Burroughs, who he interned with while at Arista. Geter went from paying dues to getting paid.

MR. COLLIPARK
As CEO of Collipark Records, this Grammy nominated producer has had a hand in the success of everyone from the Ying Yang Twins, Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz, and Soulja Boy to Young Jeezy, David Banner, Twista. A DJ personality turned hit maker, Collipark helped usher in the ringtone era with his record-setting work with Soulja Boy, which produced more than five million downloads. With stats like that who needs a first name.

DYVYNE STEPHENS
You’ve probably never seen him in a music video, on MTV Cribs, or showing off his cars. However, Devyne Stephens is one of the most influential entertainment moguls you never heard of. As CEO of Upfront Megatainment, his vision is to establish his company to be more than just a record label but an umbrella company for an array of moneymaking entities. Also serving as vice president of Konvict Music, Stephens plays a pivotal part in the success of Akon and T-Pain. He may be the A’s best kept secret, but at this rate not for much longer.

id="119"]