Plus One: Anthony Saleh
Manager for Nas, Future and YG.
By Miranda Johnson
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

A leap of faith literally built Anthony Saleh’s entire career. A Los Angeles native, the present manager of Nas, Future and YG, grew up with intentions on being an engineer until an encounter with Nas changed it all. After a random meeting at a hotel in Chicago in 2006 where Anthony strongly expressed his desire to work with Nas, the two clicked and he joined the rapper’s team. Three years later, Anthony took over the reins for the hip-hop vet’s career. At the same time, he joined Atom Factory management company owned by famed entertainment manager, Troy Carter. By 2012 Saleh, now 29, had launched his own company, Emagine Entertainment and never looked back. He picked up Future as a client in 2014 and YG soon after. XXL linked up with the popular tastemaker to learn the key needs to managing a hip-hop superstar.

On Having A Positive Attitude
There’s no reward in life for being a jerk. You’ve got to be cool coming up and on your way down. You have to find a way to be nice to people even though some people may not be worth it. So, you got to cut that out and focus on being a good person. You’ll be rewarded for it greatly.

On Educating Yourself
When I didn’t know something, I sought out the answer. There’s no big deal in asking, “What’s this? What’s that?” I think people get a little nervous about asking [questions]. They’ll think that they’ll look dumb or inexperienced, but [forget] that, you have to learn it.

On Not Being Caught Up With Who Gets The Shine
You can accomplish anything in the world if you don’t care who gives the credit. In the music business, people are so obsessed with being like “I did this!” DS2 is a great example. At the end of the day, all of Future’s success gets pointed at one person, and that’s Future. He’s the guy who woke up every morning and put his life on the line. But, everyone around him, nobody cared who got the credit. We all just went after it. It worked out for everybody.

On Advice For Aspiring Managers
Two things, No. 1, understand that you have to be meticulous but you still have to find a way to be humble about it. Also, you have to know what you don’t know and still be confident in what you do know. Most people don’t take risks out of fear and fear is fake. Danger is real but fear is fake. Once you accept the fact that you’re dealing with an emotion that doesn’t truly exist, it helps you get through it.

See Photos From Kendrick Lamar's XXL Winter 2015 Cover Shoot