Mogul, mentor, mother and philanthropist Debra Antney is truly every woman or at least what most women aspire to be. As CEO of Atlanta-based Mizay Entertainment, a talent management firm launched in 2007, Antney could be described as a ‘Pit Bull in a skirt’. Debra Antney has positioned herself as a major power player in a male dominated industry demanding equality and yet keeping her femininity. Antney is a pioneer in Hip Hop and has taken off her heels and used them to break the proverbial glass ceiling to become one of the few female managers to create not only bankable artists, but also superstars.
Growing up in Jamaica Queens, New York, her problematic yet family-oriented up bringing has certainly helped to shape her into the successful entrepreneur she is today. Even as a youngster, Antney was very business savvy and filled with compassion. She started several enterprises including a lemonade stand, a makeshift animal hospital, babysitting and cleaning establishments, amongst others. No stranger to hard work, the single mother of five worked a string of jobs to support her family. Antney realized that her dedication to commonplace activities would be better served through helping others. In her true risk-taking style, she moved south and landed a position with the Georgia Department of Family and Children’s Services where she coordinated community activities. It was there that she encountered up and coming rappers Ludacris and David Banner who addressed Antney as “Ms. A” (MizA), hence the company name. She also discovered a local underground artist named Gucci Mane where she pushed him to live his potential. With unwavering visions and persistence, Antney left her 9 to 5 to oversee the career of the popular MC Fulltime and Mizay Entertainment was born.
In addition to Gucci, Antney established the careers of some of the hottest names in Rap/HipHop and Pop music including OJ Da Juiceman, Nicki Minaj, French Montana and Waka Flocka, all of whom have had hit records, sold out performances and their likeness splashed across every form of popular media while under her tutelage. In fact, Antney created the tag line “Changing the game one artist at a time” to describe her company mission and alongside her talented team, continue to do just that.
Take a look at her lengthy list of accomplishments and you will see a snapshot on perseverance, intensity, inspiration and confidence. Minaj, who notably shouted out Antney at the 2010 BET Awards when she snagged the Best New Artist honor, has received critical acclaim from both urban and mainstream press, as well as, Kanye West going on record saying, “I think she has the most potential out of everyone to be the #2 rapper of all time.” It has been Antney at the helm of all the major movements of her clients’ careers and that includes being supportive during their triumphs as well as tragedies. She is known to push past obstacles and exercise the tough love credo, which is why you can hear the passion in her voice when she speaks about her artists or livelihood.
In 2013, Antney launched Be100 Radio, the top online radio station for independent artists with over 100,000 listeners daily, nationally and internationally. Be100 Radio is well-respected because of their variety in news, music, poetry, comedy, shows, and sports.
Debra Antney has also worked with the hottest female artist Kash Doll. Currently, she working with Jzpal Vonkrishna aka Jonni Blaze, YaYa Flaws, Dexter Louper just to name a few. She is also a publisher at Cobalt Publishing while continuing to be a cast member on Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, Growing up Hip Hop Atlanta and writing a book about her life in which she will touch on her hardships and triumphs including the loss of her 2 sons. The loss of her son Kayo launched the movement No R.I.P., which stands for No Reckless Internet Posting and No Reckless Intentions Period. This brought Antney to become a main voice in an underprivileged school named Brown Elementary. This school is located in the Jonesborough part of GA, where 75 percent of its population is stricken with poverty, single fathers and homeless children... Antney created a Life skill programs for the students to learn Financial Literacy and the main objective is to prepare them for the future.
Debra Antney is all about women empowerment. She recently launched s campaigned called, "Legs closed and Pocketbooks open". Antney talks candidly about her life experiences an audacious yet bracingly rare move in the business of entertainment. She has the personality that loves hard, as well as fights hard and that is why she has gained the respect of her clients, the industry and her peers. A self-made woman, Antney is living the American dream.