CLEVELAND, OH — Gotham City Esq. founder and Entertainment executive James McMillan was honored at NERVE DJs’ 13th annual music conference, held in his hometown of Cleveland, OH. NERVE’s CEO, Johnny O awarded him with the esteemed “Legends Award” for his significant contributions to the hip-hop industry and to the careers of many DJs and other artists. Over 300 attendees heard hard advice from McMillan on how to build and sustain an entertainment career and about the importance of securing trustworthy, competent counsel. Other legends of the industry honored at the event included radio and tv personality Sway Calloway and famed DJ Lord Jazz of the group Lords of The Underground.
“What makes me proud about my work is building sustainable careers that weather the storms, that evolve with new trends, and most importantly, that keep our artists afloat when they’re no longer as hot as they once were,” said McMillan. “To receive NERVE’s ‘Legends Award’ in my hometown and among many of my peers and players in the industry was a high honor.”
Four prominent DJs, Dizzi Dee, Mastamynn, Quest95, and Johnny O established NERVEDJs.com, LLC in 2004. This innovative association served as a platform for these DJs to expand their access to new music and a tool to leverage economic power for the benefit of all local DJs and other artists alike. Quincy “Big Heff” Taylor, VP of NERVE DJs said, “James helped develop an outlet of opportunity for our hip hop community through touring, online exposure, and TV placement that has led to a lot of growth.”
McMillan, a renowned entertainment attorney, co-founded production and 360 branding company EST 19XX with musician, actor and model Colson Baker, p/k/a Machine Gun Kelly. EST 19XX produces the music, film and television projects of Machine Gun Kelly as well as “EST Fest,” an annual music festival. Machine Gun Kelly’s current single, “Bad Things” with singer Camila Cabello of the group Fifth Harmony recently debuted #1 atop the iTunes Hip-Hop Charts domestically and #1 overall in more than twelve countries.
Throughout his storied legal career, McMillan has represented both large and small companies, artists, athletes, and executives in both transactional and litigation matters. His clients have included Universal Records, Rap-a-Lot Records, Baller Alert, Karen Civil, AllHipHop.com, Justine Skye, New Edition, Cool & Dre, Kent Jones, Kodak Black, Highbridge The Label (A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and Don Q), Curren$y, 8 Ball & MJG, Slim Thug, Alan Houston, Thomas Jones and Floyd Mayweather. McMillan sits on the boards of The Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival and breast cancer charity Kicked It In Heels. He is an active member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences where he has advocated on behalf of artists’ rights on Capitol Hill and an active member of the Black Entertainment Sports Lawyers Association.
When asked what James has meant to the Cleveland entertainment community and the industry as a whole, Johnny O, Nerve DJs’ CEO, responded that “[James] created a plug that everyone needs to work with! He’s the plug and I’m the Power Plant! Salute and respect to my brother – Mr. Midwest!”