Louis Gregory was an unassuming hip-hop fanatic during his time at Sachem. He carried his passion for music and flare for what is now know as the "old-school" genre of life and transformed it into a lucrative career as a music mogul in South Florida today.
Considered a member of the hip-hop community, Gregory is a product of the old school. Cognizant that society is greatly impacted by music, he never thought he'd be directly involved with politics. As a member of the Hip-Hope Caucus, though, he has aided with public service announcements for the midterm elections.
"I never thought we'd be with President Obama and he's asking us to help get votes," Gregory said. "Hip-hop has had an impact on everything. The community is so powerful and has a strong voice."
The generation that grew up on music from the 1980s and early 1990s has quickly risen to the 30 and 40-year-old age brackets. They're at a point where certain genres are fading, but others are still alive. Gregory is helping to preserve the sounds of his past.
A 1996 graduate of Sachem, he was a rapper performing at clubs and bars on Long Island. He was an entrepreneur during his teenage years, opening Mr. Lansky's Hip-Hop Barber Shop at Five Corners near Hawkins Avenue and was also the owner of a store on Waverly Avenue that sold car stereos and rims.
Obtaining a record deal for his artistic work, Gregory broke into the business slowly and took a liking to entertainment. Still, he balanced his life with a college load of English literature and fine arts classes at Southampton College.
"My writing is what got me into music," he said.
Since he was already in the Hamptons, he locked up an internship with Billy Joel's Maritime Music company and met countless entertainment industry figureheads.
Also known as Uncle Louie today, his resume is packed with various titles from producer to songwriter, CEO, performer, publisher, radio personality and the list goes on.
He released his first album as a collaboration with prominent New York MCs and quickly shifted gears to the production world working with many studios in the New York area from Hit Factory, Alien Flyers, Sony and Daddy's House to DARE and Lobo on Long Island.
Early on he was working with Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey and even 50 Cent before he received his big break. He can drop names with the best of them. Among others he's worked with: Nas, Slick Rick, Prince Markie Dee, the Fat Boys, Destiny's Child, Rev. Run, Wyclef Jean, LL Cool J, DMX and Jennifer Lopez.
"I got to work in the studio with a lot of people I idolized," he said. "To be able to interact with my childhood heroes, it's like a dream."
Gregory, who grew up in Holtsville and moved off Long Island in 2001, was instrumental in bringing The Fat Boys back together. Their epic tracks with The Beach Boys and Chubby Checker pioneered hip hop in the 1980s.
It's been two years now, and things have skyrocketed for the group. This month they sold out a concert in Detroit and are airing a television show for the first time Oct. 18 on TV One about the resurrection of the Brooklyn-based trio.
Music was the catalyst for Gregory's other endeavors. He started a clothing line, which he said is carried in some of the top retailers of music attire, including Urban Outfitters, Spencers and Hot Topics. Then there's the coffee company with a beat box blend offering a picture of Gregory on the back, a record distribution company that specializes in placement of digital music and ring tones and a security firm to workout safety for celebrities. He presides over an independent record label with major distribution and over a dozen recording artists, five of which have reached the platinum plateau in record sales. This all falls under the Uncle Louie Management umbrella.
Things have blossomed for Gregory since his days as the basketball manager at Sachem North. He, his wife and two daughters, call Dan Marino and Jose Canseco neighbors in Weston, Fla., and have a 52,000-acre ranch in Central Florida packed with ATVs, boats, jeeps and everything to take his mind off work, which seems impossible with his social media engagement.
His Twitter page (follow him @UncleLouie) has 54,591 followers as of last weekend and it offers a constant feed of his everyday thoughts, almost always associated with business.
"Business is my hobby," he said, recalling that he was actually kicked out of the DECA business club in Sachem for missing a couple meetings, "and social media has been the key to my success. The people who fail to accept it, it will be their demise."
His next big project is the development of OldSchoolSpot.com as a portal for everything old school from music to movies, dance and whatever else fits.
"Anything you consider old school," he said. "My labor of love is old school and bringing back the music of my youth."
A youth that started modestly at Sachem.