Pierre “P” Thomas, also known as “QCM CEO P” is a music mogul, entrepreneur, co-founder, and CEO of Quality Control Music, a record label that has signed some of the world's biggest stars, such as Lil Baby, City Girls, Lil Yachty, Migos, and more.
P is from the Southwest side of Atlanta, GA. He believes in moving in silence and gives back to those in need with little to no recognition. He strives to make a difference and is a pillar to local communities in Atlanta.
Q: THERE ARE STRUGGLES AND REWARDS OF STARTING A BUSINESS. YOU PREVIOUSLY LAUNCHED AN INDEPENDENT LABEL CALLED DIRTY DOLLA. CAN YOU SHARE MORE ABOUT THAT EXPERIENCE AND HOW IT MOTIVATED YOU TO START THE QUALITY CONTROL MUSIC WITH COACH K?
A: I was involved with Dirty Dolla. It was me and my friend Dirty. We were young and had aspirations of getting into business, but we didn’t have the knowledge or know-how. We made a lot of mistakes. Early on, we were trying to make a name for ourselves, but we didn’t have a business structure. That caused us to waste a lot of money. When you make a bad decision or not making money, you have to make other moves. He went off to do his thing, and I went off to do mine.
I knew Coach from my relationship with Gucci Mane. I came to him because I knew he knew a lot about the business. He had been in the business a long time. I felt like it would be a great opportunity to partner with him. At first, I wasn’t even trying to recreate a label. I was trying to get him to help me get artists in there to rent the studio out. I felt like I’d make money off just booking studio time. He actually came to me and said, “Hey, I know you got a lot of resources out there. You’re passionate. You don’t have a lot of information on how to structure a label, but I’ve got some talent, and I think we can have a shot at it again.” I felt like it was a good move for me to partner with somebody who had a lot of know-how of the business. So, here we are today. Nine years later, we’re one of the most successful entertainment music labels in the business. come from, and you can be successful.
Q: WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WISH YOU WOULD HAVE KNOWN WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED A BUSINESS THAT YOU KNOW NOW?
A: [Laughter] That’s a good question. Something that I wish I had known then is keeping it business and taking the personal part out. Sometimes, you put so much of your personal feelings into the business. You will get your heart broken. Just keep it all straight business.
Q: HOW DID YOU AND COACH K COME UP WITH THE NAME QUALITY CONTROL MUSIC?
A: Well, I hit Coach up one day, and he was like, “Yo, the first thing you have to do is rebrand yourself. Dirty Dolla is like street. You got to rebrand yourself with a cleaner image.” He was like, “What means a lot to you? What do you care about a lot? I was like, “I had a best friend that died. We called him Q. I said, “Anything that has a Q in it. He was my best friend and meant the world to me. Let’s just try to go off that.”
Coach hit me up a few days later and said, “I want you to look up the definition for the words quality control.” I looked it up, and he said, “Listen, we can do designs. We can call it QC. The Q will stand out.” I said, “Man, I love that idea.” We had some designers come up with the logo, and we just ran with it. It’s been on ever since.
Q: WHY IS MASTER P SOMEONE YOU IDOLIZE?
A: I idolized both Master P and Birdman. Birdman is from my hometown. I’m from the hood, and I feel like, when I was growing up, all the young urban kids coming up were fans of music. Those guys were like entrepreneurs. They were putting other people on. People from their community, from the hood. They were like the hood heroes to me, for the music business. They were saying that you can be from the hood or come from the same community we come from, and you can be successful. You can be rich and have money. I used to sit back and watch them like I wanted to be like those guys.
Q: YOU HAVE A BEAUTIFUL FAMILY. AS A MUSIC MOGUL, HOW DO YOU BALANCE TIME DEVOTED TO FAMILY AND BUSINESS?
A: You got to set boundaries. It’s crazy because I was just talking to Lil Baby about that. In order for you to stay ahead, you have to give 100% of your time to it, especially when you’re building a business. We’re not just making music. We are doing films and sports, and all the other parts around the music business. The business on this type of level, you’ve got to put 100% of your time into it, but you’ve got to set boundaries. It’s hard because the business is what is going to provide for your kid’s future. On certain days I clear my schedule and spend time with the kids. Right now, I’m sacrificing for them.
Q: ARE THERE ANY NEW PROJECTS THAT YOU ARE WORKING ON?
A: We have multiple projects that we’re working on. Lakeyah has a new project, Gansta Grillz, out with DJ Drama. The City Girls are in the studio working on their album. Lil Baby is on tour right now. He’s working on his album. Lil Yachty just dropped a project that he’s working on. We’ve got some big film projects in the works that are going to really be shocking when people see them. Well, I don’t think people will be too surprised because they understand the work we put in. But I think people will be shocked at how well-produced these film projects are that we have done. We have a lot of projects coming out soon. More details to come.
Q: WILL THERE BE ANOTHER CONTROL THE STREETS ALBUM?
A: We are actually putting one together now. I wanted to let a couple of the other artists put a few projects out and get a little more known. But we’re coming out with another one.
Q: ARE THERE ANY PHILANTHROPY PROJECTS THAT YOU ARE INVOLVED IN?
A: Yes, but I really don’t like to be at the forefront of it. I’m always involved in back-to-school drives, giving back during the holiday seasons, and donating to churches. I’m always involved in a lot of things in the community but behind the scenes. It’s coming from the heart. I am behind a lot of philanthropy projects that many people are unaware of.