A Minute with Maj Toure
by Bryan Carter
Black Guns Matter Compton
How do we translate the story of a police officer coming home to an activist child, but they’re both on the forefront for the same thing? From my personal perspective, I’m going to align with the activist first. Again, if you’re not an office that’s not saying hey, you’re doing something wrong, stop. If you’re still in alignment with this blue wall of silence when it’s time for something negative, you’re not a good cop. You’re a part of the system. The question do I have for the activist: do you have your money right? It’s not just about holding a sign and jumping in the street. Are you generating funding? I bus it up with Septa cops. At the end of the day, I’ve developed a rapport with a human. Don’t let your uniform get you fucked up. That’s just the reality. Don’t let me being from North Philly affect you negatively. If we start is as the base level of respect. We can move forward. Initially, I’m going to side with the activist. If that officer wants to present himself as a good police officer then you need to be actively stopping excessive force. If officers want to be respected in that manner, then they need to be a vanguard for good officers and be examples of that. I believe things would change if officers were allowed to work in neighborhoods they grew up in.
What else can we expect from you this year? What are your goals for 2016? I’m finishing up this reality show we’re taping, a few more storefronts, stands up and down broad St.; just create lanes for people to get money. That’s all I want to do for 2016. It’s really about creating warriors who have their own infrastructure of money.
What about handling opportunity? I see we have social media, but there’s like 8 million of them, then you have to maintain those social media on top of learning network penetration, etc. How have you managed the different opportunities that come your way? I say more than I say yes.
Why? Because everything that looks good, ain’t good for you. How many times am I going to keep talking to the same people on four or five apps? I don’t have to jump to everything. That money or situation might not be a good look. I watch the Profit with Marcus Lemonis a lot. People, process, and product - the people are fucked up. The process can be worked and the product is great, but it needs to be that trifecta. If it’s not that trifecta then I don’t get involved, or if you’re open to my suggestions; if you change this a little bit, I can get on board just a little bit more. When you’re doing something, filming a television show, you have to put time into it. I enjoy social media, but it’s not my life. That’s how I stay grounded.
I’m listening to you speak, and I understood how you’ve done business over the years. Why are you so nontraditional? You haven’t set any deadlines. When we can expect anything from you? You don’t announce to the world you’re coming. Just show up. Gill Scott-Heron said, “just show up and be black”. Just be. If you’re doing the work, the work will speak for itself. Everything that’s great was built on some nontraditional shit. Our ancestors were like yo, we’re going to build these pyramids right here, in the middle of Earth, the exact center. Steven Jobs – I’m going to put my full CD catalog in this little thing. Traditional people are the late comers. Oh, now you’re riding the way. By the time the surfers get there, we’re gone. I saw the wave, jumped on it and you’re not even out of bed yet. Plus, traditions change. Change is essential for growth. Tradition is a fool’s game, to a certain extent.
How does your voice survive in this sea of information, this sea of artist? The sea of information is 95% trash. The real gone be. You’re always going to listen to a Jadakiss bar. Don’t care. Your favorite flavor of the month respects Jadakiss’s bar, which is why I step back and say yall got this. I’m going to work on the money while yall play around. I’m never going to allow anyone’s flow to dictate my direction. My voice will stand, especially in Philly and that’s not to sound arrogant. It’s about the work you put in and you have to honor that. Will Smith, Charlie Mack, and Bernard Hopkins are all legends here.
How have you evolved as an artist with the release of social media, with the bombardment of credible and discernible media outlets? I keep people around. People’s work speaks for itself. There’s a reason for me to support the work. I’ve always sold stuff. You know how many rappers have way more followers than me that I would destroy? Over the years, I’ve seen behind the curtain. I see the wizard is some bullshit. You focus on strengthening and being a better you. Nobody is going to out beat me at being Maj. That’s not going to happen. The cream rise to the top: the top is relative, being able to impact live. Now, if we translate that into national and international success that would be great.
So, with you music, and activism within it, let’s say ten years from now; where do you expect or want to be with that time frame? Ten years from now, I want the end of racism. I want the end of poverty, unless you’re someone choosing to be broke. I want more open minds and less pain. That’s my goal. That’s the goal of my TV show, training, how to hustle Seven Solutionaries. That’s what my 10 years is going to be as far as my little circle of influence. My partners are not going to wait. Just in my little circumference.
What advice would you have for artist, specifically music artist, to understand their revenue streams, how they can start to acquire financials and being to broaden their horizons with their brand? It’s just like the street. First, you take the money from that and put it into something else. Second, stop throwing your money away. The “look” is bullshit. It’s designed and conditioned to think you’re supposed to throw your money away. Stop chasing trends. Be you. And, stop putting the cart before the horse. You have to sell things. We’re on a consumer based economy. Provide a product or service. Art can be your passion, but have something along with that that’s selling. Not just your job. Put the money first - the disciplining, budgeting, selling, and then the passion.
How can people reach you? I’m unreachable! Sike, you can find me on Twitter and Instagram @Majtoure and the same name on Facebook. DM me, @ me, reach out to me. Let’s socialize or I’m going to block you (laughing). I repost what I see that’s interesting. If you want to have a back and forth with me, @ me on twitter. I’m talking shit all the time on there. Our website is howtohussle.biz. In the mean time tweet me or DM me.
My last thing, do you have any performances coming up before the release of Solutionary 4? Nope, I don’t go to perform unless I have something to leave people. When the solutionary shirts and Solutionary 4 drops, then I’ll be out and about. I like hitting open mics and popping up, showing, then disappearing. Performing is therapy for other people. Since I’m know for my poetry, someone may get bumped off the list. I don’t want that. When I’m ready, I’ll post where I’m at on social media.
Any shout outs to anyone? Shout out to Main Course PHL, Hip-Hop since 1987. It’s a good, Philly based thing over there. Shout out to the police officers that are actively doing good thing in the community. Shout outs to the corrupt police officers that are training us to shoot you because that’s what we’re going to do. Shout out to Mr. and Mrs. Reeds. We’re in a tea house right now on 38th and Lancaster, a beautiful spot that you should definitely check out and Amber Rose, yeah, she’s from Philly. This is Bryan Carter, Mr. Magazine signing off. Main Course PHL – Cooking up Culture.
All photographs are from Facebook.