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    Lena Waithe Started A Record Label, And Is Looking For The Next Lil Nas X

    Move over, Jay-Z.

    We already know her as a multi-hyphenate, with actor, show creator, Emmy-winning screenwriter, and proud LGBTQ activist among her accomplishments.

    Waithe in a double-breasted suit posing outside the Billboard Music Awards

    Called Hillman Grad Records, the label is an offshoot of her production company and is a joint venture with Def Jam. True to Lena form, she's doing things a little differently.

    Rather than chasing numbers of streams and the next viral hit, she's focusing on bringing back "artist storytelling."

    Waithe in a sweater patterned with white sheep and one black one, and a beanie, leaning against a vintage white car outside a premiere of Amazon's Them

    Her old-school route is an about-face from the trajectories of many of today's musicians, but Lena is dedicated to the mission.

    Some of her idols growing up were legends inside and out of the studio, like Prince, Erykah Badu, and Brandy.

    Waithe in a blazer with wide, colorful lapels over a colorful floral patterned shirt, wearing light sunglasses, smiling outside an event

    Gaining a sense of the power that music and storytelling have together, she's planning to creatively direct her artists (without getting in their way) so that their voices have the biggest impact.

    Another priority for Hillman Grad Records is mental health, as we've all seen one too many public meltdowns coming from a mile away.

    Waithe in a long, tailored blazer and tapered athletic style pants and sneakers at Vanity Fair's Oscars party

    Lena is no stranger to the uglier side of fame herself, which she believes gives her a leg up on helping others navigate.

    Just by getting into the game, Lena is helping to upend a world that's been dominated by old, white executives.

    "The artists, the people in the front, are often those people who are othered. It’s about who’s in the back office, or cutting checks, or having the green-light power. There’s a lot of us that need to be in those rooms."

    Check out Lena's full interview in Rolling Stone's Future of Music Issue.

    Waithe smiling in a pinstriped suit outside the NAACP Image Awards

    I can't wait to see who Lena brings to center stage! Could it be you?? If you're stoked for Hillman Grad Records, let us know in the comments!