A Minute with Maj Toure
by Bryan Carter
Maj Toure and Bryan Carter
Bryan Carter: Good morning good brotha, good to see you Maj Toure: Good to be seen BC: We have definitely encountered each other many times in our travels. This isn’t anything new. It’s definitely something that’s been developing and what not. To introduce myself, my name is Bryan Carter, the Publisher of Main Course. We’re an arts and entertainment lifestyle publication in Philadelphia focusing on fashion, music, film, art, geek culture, you name it, we got it and if not, we’re working on it. We’re here with Maj today to talk about his music, his life, and a solutionary form. So, for those that don’t know, give them a bit of history on how we may have encountered each other, how you navigate through Philadelphia and basically, about your background. Well, for those that don’t know, I just move around Philly primarily to distribute my music. I use the trains as a distribution system. It’s the best way to get to the action of the people. Online is cool; it’s definitely a necessary tool, but it’s a little bit different when you meet somebody, they don’t know who you are, you present your merchandise, or your message or you to them. They respond enough, even if it’s five or ten dollars to go in their pocket, then later on when they reflect on that music they usually had a good “yo man, I just listened to xyz”. Really, that’s the primary means because it’s more about meeting and touching the people more or so then just, “yo, cop my CD or my digital download”. I utilize every city that has a train system. The trains are the veins. That’s how you’re going to get to the heart and from the heart to the mind.
That’s definitely a very viable marketing technique. Now, has your background shaped the way you interact with your audience? Why do you typically have that approach? I have that approach because I’m comfortable with people. I hate to sound like one of those guys like “oh, the music industry is this, that and the third”, but to a certain extent, especially in Philly, you get a much more genuine love, hate or honesty.
Yeah, because we’re raw (laughing). “I don’t like that. That’s corny, gimme my money back”, you know what I’m saying? Or, “yo, I mess with that”. Really, my background in sales is from all walks of life. You have to do the footwork. Even with more established artist. I remember a conversation with Jay Z and him telling me that their first tour van was a pathfinder. You have to do the groundwork. I’ve never seen in sales, in my experience, I mean I’ve seen flukes, but something consistent? You have to put in that groundwork.
Regarding your music, I had the opportunity to listen to Father’s Day. Briefly, touch on that. When I was listening to it, I’m trying to figure out what exactly you’re trying to convey to the audience. I felt an urban, soul type, like techno. I also heard you mention males in it as well in relation to the title and the music. What are you trying to convey? Well, Father’s Day is about males that may have father’s that are doing the right thing and may have been greeted into a situation with somebody who’s not trying to let them to be a father, for whatever reason. Sometimes, we get the story from a female perspective about how the guy isn’t this, that and the third. In this scenario, it’s a brotha that’s trying to move up the ladder. He’s trying to be a good father, at the same time, he happens to have a child with someone who isn’t the most positive and she’s using that against him. That’s just another hurdle. He’s still moving forward. I actually performed that song a while ago. I sold the music a couple weeks later and this huge brotha walks up to me like “hey bruh”, I’m like “ok, we gonna have to square up cuz I don’t know what the issue is”. But, he’s like “yo man, I listened to that jawn Father’s Day and it lifted me off my feet”. While making the song, I know it’s other brotha’s that are going through a similar situation. One, how can I inspire them to keep moving forward and two, how can I do it in a way it ain’t corny? It’s corny to say “hey, you can do it”, the fake self-help thing. It’s really a song to keep brotha’s heads up and if she has a little issue, she might change. You still have to focus on what you’re focusing on. It’s inspiration for brotha’s because we need it.
Has manhood been a recurring theme in Solutionary 1, 2 and 3? How do you express that theme? I’ve expressed it by not being a very good man for some time. We confuse over sexualization and all these different things with the definition of manhood and it’s not. Even with going to the gym, you start to see that it’s not about I have to throw a bunch of weight on the thing. I might have medium weight, but be the form properly. Show consistency. That’s more impactful then getting strength out of that. Manhood in itself and me honestly taking a look at myself and ask “yo, are you pretending or you’re really being what you like to be”? You can pretend like you’re doing the work or you could be actually doing the work. From Solutionary volume 1, that’s been an idea I’ve been challenging myself on to step up and raise the bar. Brotha’s need that. I don’t care what CD I come out with. Until that problem is eradicated, I’m going to step up and have some solutions for that.
Manhood has been a recurring theme. I know you and I have talked about community activism and politics. Your track Yesterday, I was listening to that and heard you mention the president a couple times and black males as well, then the façade you believe politicans or politics may put on. How does that tie into the message you’re trying to deliver to your audience? Politics is local, all of it. Politics can be as simple as us coming here for tea at Reed’s, a black owned establishment. Politics is we need more of these, so I’m going to vote with my dollar. You can’t really say if you’re not trying to own or support people that own things, it’s very difficult to say you’re apart of the political process. Politics is money in America, and there’s other forms of it. It’s the same as manhood. It’s the same as womanhood. It’s a consistent attack on my lower self to higher up on the pyramid of self and all of the areas of human activity. Money in America is a serious part of it. That’s more about the politic of it; just making sure we strive for excellence or get out of the way. Politics will always be a theme in it because it’s as simple as knowing who your city councilman is. It can be knowing who your state legislator is or state representor. I believe that politics is more impactful when it’s local and I’m going to say something about it and present a solution for it.