Brandon Z. Moore is Jussie Smollett’s music manager. In the fallout from Smollett’s allegations that he was the victim of a homophobic and racist attack on the streets of Chicago on the night of January 29, the “Empire” actor says he was on the phone with Moore. Smollett says that he was attacked around 2 a.m. outside of a Subway restaurant in the city. He added that his attackers yelled at him, saying he was in “MAGA country.” Smollett also said that his attackers put a noose around his neck as well as calling him “n****” and “f*****.”
In February 2015, Smollett signed a recording contract with Columbia Records. He sang two songs, “I Wanna Love You” and “You’re So Beautiful” on the first season soundtrack for “Empire.” Smollett released his debut album, “Sum of my Music,” in March 2018.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Moore Says ‘I Heard the Racial Slur’
Speaking to Variety, Moore backed up Smollett’s story saying, “I heard that clearly. I had the scuffle and I heard the racial slur.” The Variety report says that Moore would not go into more detail because of the pending investigation.
2. Cops Say Smollett Has Refused to Hand Over His Phone
Chicago police communications officer, Anthony Guglielmi, told NBC News on January 31 that Smollett has refused to hand over his phone in relation to the investigation. It had earlier been reported that when Smollett asked the responding officers to turn off their body cameras.
3. Moore Also Represents Rapper YG & Is a Co-Founder of 4Hunnid Records
Moore’s other major client is rapper YG. In 2015, the pair co-founded 4Hunnid Records together. A year later, Billboard Magazine reported that 4Hunnid had entered into a joint venture with Interscope Records. The article refers to Moore and YG as “longtime friends and partners.” Interscope CEO John Janick is quoted in the article as saying, “YG has an unbelievable eye for talent and an innate understanding of what people want to hear. His career as an artist proves that. I know 4Hunnid and Interscope will do great things together.” Moore is listed as the co-writer of two songs from YG’s debut album, “My Krazy Life.”
While Moore told Billboard, “I’ve been a part of YG’s management team since 2009 so I been there through the inception of a bad deal. I’ve seen him progress and take advantage of a situation and go from an artist that nobody believed in, that everybody thought was a one-hit wonder to a multi-platinum artist and one of the most respected artists in the business. I’ve seen him grow as a businessman and I feel like he hasn’t even scratched the surface of his potential.”
Moore refers to himself as a music executive on his LinkedIn page. Moore shares YG management duties with Brad Scoffern and John Bogaard of Ceremony of Roses.
4. On His Twitter Page, Moore Refers to Himself as ‘West Coast Don’
On his Twitter page, Brandon Moore refers to himself as a “West Coast Don.” Moore also worked for management company Stampede Management. It was Moore who connected YG with graphic artist Gavin “Mizzle” Mathieu.
5. Police Have Released Images of Persons of Interest in Smollett’s Alleged Assault
On January 30, police in Chicago released images of persons wanted for questioning in relation to the assault on Smollett. Public safety group CWB Chicago tweeted in response to the release of the photos, “A consideration regarding the ‘potential persons of interest’ being sought by police in connection with reported hate crime incident in Streeterville: The men are walking *away* from the attack scene 15-30 minutes *before* the incident, per police timing of events.” Police were called to Smollett’s friend’s apartment around 2:30 a.m. on January 29 by a friend of the actor. It is not clear if that residence is located in the same building that the actor lives in.
Smollett did not request paramedics and took himself to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released. ABC Chicago’s Rob Elgas reports that surveillance video from the apartment building, that Smollett went to after the incident, shows the actor walking “into the building, walks by building security and gets on an elevator. This video is better quality [than the one showing the persons of interest] according to detectives. And what appears to be road salt is on his sweatshirt.”
ABC News reports that the death threats that were sent to the “Empire” set and were addressed to Smollett, are being investigated by the FBI.