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Rialto, California, United States | INDIE

Rialto, California, United States | INDIE
Band Hip Hop New Age

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Discography

PreMature Birth (2006)
Servin Shellfish & Hollowtips (2008)
Kaviare U.S.A. (2010)
The Machine (2011) Coming Soon!

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Bio

Chris Fleming is living his dream — and by doing that, he is trying to help others to live theirs.
The 25-year-old Los Angeles native is the force behind the Suga Shack record label, a new business venture looking to make Mustang its home. Fleming, a musician himself, helps would-be artists record their music, produce it and market it to clubs, radio stations and customers.
“I pave their career,” Fleming said. “Music is one part of it, but if your business isn't together, if you don't know about merchandising, I am the guy to talk to. If you have no clue about promotion, then I am probably the guy to talk to.”
Fleming has been singularly focused on his music career since age 8 and was part of the Foshay music program in Los Angeles, which is guided in part by an outreach program at the University of Southern California.
“I did a lot of things there,” he said. “I learned a lot about the business aspect and a lot about the performance aspect — they put it all together for you.”
His love of music fed his drive to find his place in the music industry. That door opened in a chance meeting with a future music executive. In 1998, Fleming attended a promotional event for Shaquille O'Neal's launch of his album “Respect.” It was there he encountered Tom Sturges, O'Neal's then manager, who would later become a vice president at Universal Music Group and have a hand at turning the T.W.is.M. (The World is Mine) record label around.
“I encountered him, and I told him about my dreams in music,” Fleming said. “He took my calls from that point on, and he got big- ger as I grew up. It became a mentorship, and I still call him today. I talk to him once or twice a month.”
Fleming, though, did not stay in Los Angeles. He moved with his mother to Rialto, Calif., just east of Los Angeles where he attended Eisenhower High School. It was a place he began to think he would never leave alive.
“There was a drive by near my high school, and that is what woke me up,” Fleming said. “I was 17, and there was a place across from the high school in a shopping center called the Donut Shop. That was where all the thugs hung out, and my mom not knowing that and having to be at work at 6 a.m. would drop me off there.”
He said he hung out and ate donuts until school started.
“I knew everybody, but I really wasn't involved in the gang activity,” he said. “I wasn't too big into it, but I was around those characters so birds of a feather flock together.”
He was in the Donut Shop the morning of the drive by.
“One of my friends who is dead now, Franklin, he came through there, and he must have had a problem with somebody because he shot the whole place up,” Fleming said. “I remember covering over a girl, and the glass busting from the windows behind us. And I was hoping I didn't get shot. It seemed like a long time, but it was just that fast. And I remember walking outside and looking at the broken glass and then walking home.”
He said the next day he turned to a teacher in the school's student-at-risk program and told her he thought he would not live to see his 18th birthday. She inspired him to take more difficult classes to challenge his mind, and led him to think about going to college. For the 6-foot-7 Fleming, basketball and better grades would be his ticket out of the gang-plagued neighborhoods of his hometown.
“I was the smartest person in my family,” he said. “I just wasn't applying it. I said, 'I am going to go to college.'”
Fleming attended the College of the Desert near Palm Springs, Calif., and his play earned him a look from the coach at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford that would later lead to a scholarship offer and a move to Weatherford. The coach who recruited him soon left the school, and he was faced with the prospect of working with a new basketball coach.
“I ended up never playing a game for him because I was that focused on music,” Fleming said. “He told me that it was going to be music or basketball, and I knew what my dream was. It wasn't to play Division II basketball. It was to get this big degree (music business) to get everything going.”
Fleming now lives with his fiancée in Mustang and has launched his business. He still turns to Sturges for advice and guidance.
“I try to give him a call and see what he is doing,” Fleming said. “He is really big on mentoring. That was always his dream, and now it's mine. Suga Shack is in essence a place where I am going to employ a lot people, a lot of family, a lot of friends and people who always wanted to be involved in the entertainment industry, but you are in a place where there is no media market.”
He said Oklahoma City is No. 47 out of the top 50 in media markets in the United States. Dallas is No. 5 and Houston is No. 6.
“Oklahoma when you are only three hours away from No. 5, I don't see why we can't be No. 10 in five years,” he said. “I am just trying to put together a nice scheme that would let anybody I encounter out here who want