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Right-Hand to the Champ

Tasha Robinson-White        

“Right-hand to the Champ”

“The journey is just as important as the destination, because you never know where you’re going to end up.  You think you know the particular destination, but you have to embrace the journey, the challenges, the changes, you know the highs and lows.  There will be hiccups that you will have to personally deal with, but that just makes the journey that much more incredible.”

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At a young age Tasha knew she was destined for a career in the entertainment industry.  In her youth she was involved in plays, fashion shows, and even moved into the realm of coordinating events and showcases.  Most, if not all, children have dreams of the spotlight, and Tasha also had stars in her eyes.  What most don’t realize is that one can become a star behind the scenes where often times the spotlight doesn’t shine.  Tasha found her calling after she moved to Atlanta, GA where she worked behind the scenes which eventually allowed her to flourish.

After high school Tasha attended Spelman College in Atlanta, but shortly got bored as just a girl going to college.  “It was easy to get bored when I was in the neighborhood of the Jermaine Dupri’s, TLC’s, Xscape’s and all these up and coming celebrities who were on their grind, and I was just this girl going to school.”  These artists also happened to be her friends, so she had the ability to witness what hard work it truly took to succeed in the entertainment industry.  She was formally introduced to the industry by Ian Burke, who at the time managed Xscape along with 2nd Nature now known as TLC.  After being his assistant for a while an opportunity for an internship at LaFace Records became available, so she applied and began work.  “My first entry was in artist development for Davette Singletary, who was ‘mama’ of LaFace Records, and she introduced me to everyone behind the scenes.”  Although Tasha already knew many of the artists she was working with she states, “The real moguls of the industry are those that work behind closed doors.”  Many opportunities quickly unveiled themselves when she was able to work with Bille Woodruff – a music video and film director, Shanti Das, and Chelsey Gray to name just a few.  Many of the other areas she was involved with at LaFace Records were marketing and promotions, studio work, artist direction, and product management all which helped her in future work with Floyd Mayweather.

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Tasha set her eyes on Vegas after her parents moved there from Michigan because she reached her potential in Atlanta.  Relationships are very important to her, so all the contacts she worked to develop she brought with her to Vegas, which helped her gain a foothold in the city.  If you ask her if she knew she would end up part of an athlete’s career she would answer with a simple no!

“I didn’t really care for athletes, but living in Atlanta you can’t help but to be a Falcons fan.  As far as boxing I heard of the Mike Tyson’s, Evander Holyfield’s, and Sugar Ray Leonard’s, but that was basically all I knew.  I had no idea that Las Vegas was a boxing mecca.”

In 1997, she reached out to Billboard Music Awards in order to hold a Billboard Music Awards After Party.  She went out of pocket to rent a nightclub, and began to leverage her relationships throughout the industry in order to make the event a success.  Although she had many established relationships she still had to email along with mailing old fashion letters in order to promote her After Party.  “This was way before you were getting walk through money, and being paid to go to clubs, so this was a good time for me.”  The After Party was held at Club Utopia which was on the strip and one of two original clubs in Vegas.  Her diligence along with hard work paid off when Queen Latifah, Usher, and many others attended the event.  “The promoter had his doubts, ‘who this young lady is with braces, curly hair, and really petite stature? How is she going to bring in all these people?’ and I’m like… I got this; I got this, trust me!”  As one can guess the After Party was quite a success, and how did Tasha celebrate one might wonder…  “I literally took the money home and threw it all over my bedroom, like I’m so excited this is my niche.”

As she became more established in Vegas, one obstacle she experienced was those who took advantage of her.  Since the Billboard After Party was a success people began to come out of the wood works to befriend her because of who she knew.  This obstacle might have been a result of her being a woman in a highly male dominant game, but she took the obstacles in stride because she felt that things happened the way they were meant to happen.  Spend some time talking with Tasha and quickly an aura begins to radiate from her, and one can get a true sense of her character. Relationships she values more than money, and has a work ethic second to none.  She has been able to achieve success without stepping on those around her which in turn allows others to inherently trust her. The world of entertainment is full of sharks, but Tasha is a testament that one does not have to swim with the sharks to reach the top.

Floyd Mayweather attended the Billboard After Party one month prior to their official introduction to one another.  The DJ who worked her event knew Mayweather, and he asked for a formal introduction. He approached her to shake her hand, and asked her to dinner.  She replied “I’m married,” and he replied “no worries, I will take you and your husband to dinner.” Mayweather wished to get to know her better and what she did, and how she was able to pull off such a successful event full of celebrities. He was only nineteen and at the forefront of his career.  Eventually, he asked her to come work for him.  In the late 90s she helped establish Philthy Rich Records and worked to purchase his studio.  Soon after she took a short hiatus and moved overseas.  When she returned to the States she worked exclusively with him from 2005 until 2009.  In total, she worked with Mayweather for twelve years, and although she no longer works with him they still stay in touch due to the relationship they created together.  In 2007, she was the founding president of The Floyd Mayweather Foundation, and she also established Mayweather Music which was an R&B and Pop label.  She soon pulled away from Philthy Rich Records because he had the money while she had the experience, but they would continually butt-heads on how to manage the business.  Although they did not always see eye to eye she was with him through many of the ups and downs which made them practically family.

“I couldn’t deny him, this boy thought big.  The same tenacity he had in his eyes I had in mine.  Everything you see from Mayweather today I swore he told me about it, and all before it became reality.  I have seen all of the positive light, all those things he has become… the World Champion Boxer, a man who loves his children, a man who said he was going to take over entertainment all together which was his goal from the start.”

She saw a brand in him that he saw in himself which led her to stick with him to help develop what he has become today.  After she began to work with him exclusively he made sure that she was well taken care of because of the respect he held towards her along with talents she possessed.  She says “Many people are into this Money Mayweather character, so I tell people I went to Mayweather University and studied Floydology.”  They both believed in one another which resulted in their extended time together.

Tasha has a passion to help young women professionals find their place within the entertainment industry and provide them with tips to succeed. It is very easy to loose oneself in the world of entertainment especially with all the glitz and glamour that is along for the ride.  In her book, “Right-hand to the Champ: Thirteen Lessons that Changed my Life”, she talks about many occasions when she got caught up in the lifestyle.  “One thing that you need to remember is to stay grounded and know who you are because it is so easy to lose yourself in the midst of glitz and glamour.”  Another important aspect she touches on is the fact that many people believe that just because you work with a star athlete, such as Floyd Mayweather, you have it made.  That is however not the case because someone has to keep the train from going off the rails.  A career in the entertainment industry is not for the faint of heart due to high levels of stress, time demands, and sacrifices that must be made to not only establish success, but maintain a certain level of success.  There were many times when she had to sacrifice time with her husband and kids in order to work.  At times she would feel the disappointment from her children when she would miss many of their events.  Her husband understood the sacrifices that were made since he himself has been involved in the entertainment industry, but not all spouses are as understanding. Many men and women tend to stay single because of the sacrifices that must be made to achieve success.

She experienced a tremendous amount of sadness when she stopped working with Mayweather, but the decision to part was mutual.  “I felt, that Floyd felt, I was abandoning our friendship, and that was never the case.  I will always care for him as a friend.”  They are not as close as they once were, and she believes that has a lot to do with it.  However, she never felt that her time with him was a job because they were so close.    Throughout their time together she was very protective of him, and always kept him busy with various activities.  “When he wasn’t training for a fight I kept him involved with the community, so he didn’t have idle time and end up in situations he has been involved in since I stepped away.”  She has the inside scoop from the years of working with him along with the ability to speak with him about many situations that have been over published for media purposes.  The media often has the ability to spin events into their favor which suits their needs regardless if all aspects are true or not.  “He is the type of person that feels he doesn’t have to defend himself, and nobody around him really does that for him at the moment.  I always felt I needed to defend him, but I’m not saying he’s right about everything, but there are situations which I would have handled differently if I was still there.”

The book “Right-hand to the Champ” is more of a memoir of her personal growth through her career.  It just so happens that Floyd Mayweather is a main character in the book.  The journey is well documented and provides the reader a glimpse into how to deal with various situations from her point of view due to personal experiences.  “The person you will get to know in the book is Floyd Mayweather, not Money Mayweather the character which is his boxer persona.  A boxer has to come across as tough, and the Money Mayweather character allows that to shine through to the entertainment world.”

There are three main reasons why she decided to put her thoughts down on paper and write this book.  The first was to set the record straight for the reasons why she stepped away from Mayweather.  The second reason was because she lost her brother during her time with Mayweather, and shortly after stepping away she lost her father.  Finally, the third reason she decided to write this book was to reach out to women in the industry to provide them with insight on how to navigate the entertainment industry.  The reader will get a true look into her life and not just a perfect picture.  The reader will join her journey through the growth process along with the glamorous and not so glamorous aspects of a life within the entertainment world.  Thirteen of the chapters present thirteen lessons because where she is today was not where she began her journey and these lessons help to really explore that journey.  “I didn’t feel like the book would be complete without these lessons that I present to the reader.”

Tasha presents herself as an open book with each page as transparent as the last.  What you see is what you get.  An honest woman who speaks her mind.  A loving wife, mother, and someone full of tenacity to succeed in life no matter the obstacles placed in her way.  The story of Tasha is by no means complete, and the ink may never dry on the pages of her life.  The one thing for certain is after the bell has rung and dust settled, Tasha will be upright ready to support those around her.

“Your network is your net worth, and I wasn’t afraid to take the risk nor afraid to fail.”

To find out more about Tasha please check out her book Right-hand to the Champ, and visit her website www.righthandtothechamp.com  Her book can also be purchased on Amazon.  Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @tashcash1

Shout Outs

“To my husband and kids who have shown their continued support”

“To my sister Cassandra Cousineau, who is the coauthor of the book”

“To Ian Burke who helped me begin my journey in the world of entertainment”

“To you, Shawn for taking the time to speak with me about my book and life story”

“To Bea, what a great new friend!”

“To all the others who have been right beside me on this journey of mine”

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