Troy Carter's dream was to be a rapper. He dropped out of West Philadelphia High School in 1990 to start a rap group with two of his best friends.
"We called ourselves 2 Too Many because we only had enough money for one of us," Carter tells Guy Raz on the NPR podcast, "How I Built This." The teenagers managed to get face-time with actor and producer Will Smith and play him a demo tape. They even got signed to Smith's label, but it didn't take long for Carter to realize he'd rather be a manager than a musician.
As a manager, Carter's first big client was rapper Eve Jeffers, and he's now widely known for discovering Lady Gaga and propelling her to stardom with almost no resources. When Carter came across Lady Gaga's music, he was close to bankruptcy.