Atlanta rapper Killer Mike recently discussed his past issues with the music industry and how the business’ shady ways motivated him to invest in a barbershop rather than a record label.
Mike revealed that after careful consideration, he realized a barbershop is easy to maintain and a business he can take full ownership of.
“I own a barbershop in Atlanta — Graffitis SWAG Shop, 3461 Roosevelt Highway — if you ever get off the airport, come and get your eyebrows arched or something. I got tired of the music business, because the music business often turns into the music-scheming business. I wanted to do a business that I knew could sustain in the community, that would be relatively easy to open and operate, and one I was genuinely interested in. In the African-American community, very few businesses are owned by African-Americans, so it begins to bring up the debate of, ‘Do you have a community if you don’t own the businesses in that community?’ But one of the only things that African-Americans still own and operate are barber and beauty shops.” (NPR)
The OutKast affiliate also stressed the ability to keep his community close as a factor to launching his own barbershop.
“With barbershops, you have the ability to know what’s going on in the community, to influence the community. I want a chance to have my finger on the pulse of the community and at the same time provide jobs and make profit, so I went into that. Some of my next ventures will probably be store ownership, beauty supplies, nails. I want to be where black people are spending money. It’s sexy to sell vodka, it’s sexy to own a record label, it’s sexy to own a clothing company. But sexy is not what’s paying for the communities that are north of Atlanta. Our dollars are just buying sodas and potato chips, and I think that we have to get into the business of being the merchants of our own communities.” (NPR)
Hair maintenance and culture are reportedly key aspects of Atlanta living.
Hair is big business in Atlanta, where self-described “celebrity barbers” promote themselves at nightclubs with glossy fliers. Every summer, the city hosts the nation’s largest African-American hair products convention, the Bronner Brothers International Hair Show. And when Chris Rock filmed “Good Hair,” his 2009 documentary about the importance of hair in black culture, he began in Atlanta, which he called “the city where all major black decisions are made.” (New York Times)
The city is also known for having 24-hour barbershops like Anytime Cutz.
Buckhead’s finest 24 Hour barbershop ANYTIME CUTZ located on the renowned Bennett street historically known for it’s fine art and antiques has added a new element, a full service upscale barbershop with highly qualified, trained and experienced master barbers specializing in fades, tapers, lines, designs, razor cuts and eyebrow arching. Stop by any day of the week, any hour of the day and enjoy a great relaxed atmosphere, impeccable customer service and even free WI-FI while you wait!!! (WIX)
Check out some recent Killer Mike footage below: