CEO/Co-Founder Funk Volume Entertainment

One of Hip Hop’s stealth success stories of recent, Funk Volume was built out of necessity. In 2008, Stanford University MBA grad Damien “Dame” Ritter watched his younger brother SwizZz and pal Hopsin fight to gain recognition in the over-saturated music industry. Even with Hop — an actor with major credits, signed to legendary Ruthless Records — they were challenged to build a dynasty from scratch. Ritter invested along with bringing his experience from working abroad at companies such as Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs. Artists ranging from Tech N9ne to Joey Bada$$ to 2 Chainz have collaborated with the roster, now claiming two XXL Freshmen acts. 2013 promises full-length albums from Dizzy Wright (this year’s XXL FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR), SwizZz, and Jarren Benton following Hopsin’s long-awaited Knock Madness studio effort — the label’s biggest to date. Additionally, Ritter is at work on his first book, tailored to help independent artists better understand what it takes to build a career in music. With breakthrough releases ahead, the young outfit is about to make history.