Killer Mike owns a chain of barbershops in Atlanta that he is hoping to expand to other cities. He says in a documentary made by Noisey that he doesn’t want his livelihood to depend on his Rap career.
“Once I became an established rapper and once I got my respect up there, the only other thing I’d ever dreamed about doing is owning a barbershop,” Killer Mike says, “and I went directly into the barber business.”
The Run the Jewels rapper is now seeking to bring his brand to New Orleans. His vision is to have a chain of shops with a name that people can trust. His business is called “Swag Shop” for “Shave, Wash And Groom” and his goal is to have 150 shops.
“Barbershops are one of the most successful businesses in our community,” he says, “yet there’s no real organization in terms of franchising, so I had the idea that I would like to see a series of barbershops whether privately owned or franchised that you knew when you landed in the city, I could go to this particular barbershop and I get this level of customer service.”
He explains the importance of barbershops for urban communities and why he believes they are impactful.
“A lot of times, working class men can’t join a social club, we can’t go join a golf club, so we go to the barbershops to express our thoughts, concerns, laugh, joke about sports,” Killer Mike says.”…When you go to the barbershop, you really can have guy talk. Some of it is absurd and ridiculous. Some of it is very serious and needed, but all of it teaches young men how to grow into the type of men the community needs. My community especially needs mentors.”