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Ernest Baker

Writer. Producer. Strategist.

Location icon United States

If content is created, and no one engages with it, does it exist? For the past decade, I’ve been working with brands, agencies, and editorial outlets to create work that informs, entertains, and rises above the noise in competitive spaces.

Portfolio
Netflix
The Truth About Black Student Life at Ivy League Universities

Summer 2018. The streaming giant's brand new Strong Black Lead vertical tasks my agency with promoting a new season of college dramedy Dear White People via original content. We film real black Ivy League students at Yale and Harvard—concepted, written, and produced by me. The videos clock over 3 million views, go viral, and effectively launch Strong Black Lead channels on social.

Rolling Stone
Two Insane Days on Tour With Tyler, the Creator

Up close and personal with one of the most polarizing figures in contemporary music. Over the course of 48 hours in New Orleans and Dallas, I investigate the layers beneath the rap star’s explosive persona to odd and hilarious result. The final story is quite possibly Tyler’s most forthcoming profile ever.

UnitedMasters
An Award-Winning NBA Partnership for Independent Artists

Musicians who don’t have a major label machine behind them need innovative ways to get their songs more exposure. In the fall of 2018, UnitedMasters cracked the code with a deal to bring independent artists to all of the NBA’s digital platforms. I led content creation, social media, and influencer marketing surrounding the announcement. Hundreds of artists have seen their streams rocket since launch. The campaign won both a Cannes Lion and a Clio.

Beats by Dre
Breaking the Internet with Straight Outta Somewhere

Beats was my main client at the agency I worked for in 2015 and I was part of the group tasked with creating a social campaign to promote the film Straight Outta Compton. We came up with Straight Outta Somewhere—a meme generator that allowed anyone to rep their city—and launched an original website before the movie hit theaters. Within a week, the site had 7 million users and the corresponding hashtag was the No. 1 trend across Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

ESPN
Dynamic Sports Commentary with a Culinary Twist

ESPN brought my agency on in fall 2017 to help them reenergize their digital offerings. The best content to come out of the partnership was Last Table—a series bringing together athletes, journalists, and celebs for sports debates over fine dining. I was instrumental in ideation, production, social media marketing, and everything in between.

Complex
Profiling Drake at a Turning Point in His Career

Drake rarely grants access to his circle. I was lucky enough to spend a few days with him between his home just outside of Los Angeles and the arid desert of Indio Valley during his headlining set at Coachella. What followed was a bizarre yet intimate experience inside the hip-hop titan’s orbit.

UnitedMasters
Making Music Distribution Easier for Independent Artists

After finding success with web-based music distribution and artist-driven brand partnerships, UnitedMasters entered the world of apps in July 2019. I led all copywriting, content creation, social media strategy, and influencer marketing efforts, which resulted in the company hitting its three-month download target in just three weeks and breaking into the Top 20 on the App Store’s music charts.

Billboard
A Conversation with Nas About the Legacy of Illmatic

Nas’ 1994 masterpiece is widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time. I sat down with him for the record’s 20-year anniversary to discuss its lasting influence and whether or not he still listens to it today.

Apple Music
‎Creating a Title for Drake and Future’s Collaborative Album

One night, back in the summer of 2015, Drake texted me out of nowhere, told me that he was working on an album with Future, and that they needed a title. Within minutes, I sent back “What A Time To Be Alive” and it stuck. The moment was immortalized in a shoutout during the Apple Music premiere of the LP, and the title remains one of the most impactful and visible pieces of copy I’ve ever written.

Facebook
Going Behind the Scenes with Today’s Top Pro Athletes

When Facebook launched Facebook Watch, they reached out to my agency and asked us to create an original series centered around sports. I came up with the idea to document athletes’ pre-game rituals and helped produce the resulting episodes, which garnered millions of views.

Instagram
Providing Music Industry Insights for the Masses

When I was brought on to oversee editorial for UnitedMasters, the brand’s Instagram had just a few thousand followers. I’m proud to say that those numbers are 3000% higher one year later. I worked to find a perspective on the music business absent from social media, served it up daily, and found an audience faster than I imagined.

Grantland
Exploring Pop Culture’s Unrelenting Love for Shia LaBeouf

I’ve always believed that there’s inherent value in cultural commentary and when I saw a variety of opinions about Shia‘s erratic behavior spreading online in the fall of 2014, I decided to toss my own in the ring with this thinkpiece.

Complex
A Rare Interview with the Elusive Frank Ocean

In one of the first big scoops of my career, I linked up with the famously hard-to-track Frank Ocean for a lengthy conversation about his music, inspirations, and recent fame just as he was ascending to a new level of critical acclaim.