Are you interested in investing your money? Do you want to learn the ins and outs of the stock market? Maconomics star Ro$ Mac is all about his coin and doesn't mind sharing his knowledge either. Not only is he the first Wall Street rapper but his weekly segment on Revolt TV has really set the bar for what it means to pour back into the black community. Mac secures the bag, but also makes sure to pay it forward by spearheading a message of black wealth and providing the keys to the kingdom through financial literacy on social media.
Together, money and knowledge is true power and Mac's platform is proof of that fact. His videos are short, direct, and most importantly informative when it comes to the dos and the don'ts of all things investing. Mac is advocating for breaking generational curses and building generational wealth one post at a time. Recently, xoNecole had the privilege of chopping it up with the financial expert about Maconomics, the stock market, and why black wealth matters.
xoNecole: How did you make the transition from working on Wall Street to becoming a Wall Street Rapper?
Ro$$ Mac: When it came to making a transition, it wasn't that I had to choose one or the other which I was extremely grateful for. I was able to balance both roles and it was a blessing. I was able to hear myself on the radio on my way to work on Wall Street. To be honest, when I first started working on Wall Street while making music, I was very self-conscious about my co-workers knowing about the other side of me. Being a black person working in corporate America, you are very conscious of how you are perceived. Being a rapper was not how I wanted to be perceived.
What inspired you to become so well-versed with the stock market?
What truly inspired me was when I moved back home to Chicago and I was still working in finance at the time. After reconnecting and interacting with my homies that I grew up with, I realized there was a vast difference where people were in their lives based on exposure. I was considering how I could give back to my community in a dope way while simultaneously still being myself. I created Maconomics to bring Wall Street to the main street. I wanted to drop the same gems that I've been exposed to with the same people that come from where I come from. If someone is my brother, they don't necessarily have to travel the same path that I've traveled to benefit from the knowledge that I have. Life for me is about passing on the knowledge and not being selfish with it.
"I created Maconomics to bring Wall Street to the main street. I wanted to drop the same gems that I've been exposed to with the same people that come from where I come from. If someone is my brother, they don't necessarily have to travel the same path that I've traveled to benefit from the knowledge that I have. Life for me is about passing on the knowledge and not being selfish with it."
At what age did you invest in your first stock?
I was 18 and in college when I first invested in the stock market. I saw a kid trading stocks in one of my classes. I asked my economics professor what would be a good stock to invest in and she told me that no matter what, people will always need their utilities. I ended up buying G.E. for 7 bucks and it didn't really make me any money but it was a good start.
What can people expect to learn from your show 'Maconomics'?
People can expect to learn financial literacy for black culture. Maconomics allows people to learn about themselves by me addressing questions that people are too afraid or shy to discuss. Black people don't like discussing finances which are taboo in certain communities. Maconomics is a platform to bring financial literacy with a twist. I'm able to make people laugh while also educating and informing you. I'm able to give you the facts and tell you what other communities are doing and why they are richer. Maconomics is all about financial literacy and bringing it to my audience in both a comedic and entertaining way so that it will stick with you and be easy to digest.
You have started the campaign “Black Wealth Matters”. How has that decision contributed to your life and others? What does black wealth mean to you?
Black wealth is the solution to racial injustices. Living in a capitalist society, those without capital tend not to have any power. The moment that black people have more access to attaining wealth and capital, and better knowledge about getting it and keeping it. I believe from a social justice standpoint we will get a lot further in life by expanding our financial literacy. Black wealth has been kept from us in a very systematic and intentional way. When you look at what happened on Black Wall Street, redlining, and bank loans. Everything that was done in the past was done with great intent. The average black household net worth is less than 10 times of a white family. There are a lot of things that will make it right and black wealth is one of them. Black wealth is the equalizer and will take us a lot further in life.
"Black wealth has been kept from us in a very systematic and intentional way. Everything that was done in the past was done with great intent. The average black household net worth is less than 10 times of a white family. There are a lot of things that will make it right and black wealth is one of them. Black wealth is the equalizer and will take us a lot further in life."
What are some of the biggest mistakes that you have made financially?
I don't have too many financial mistakes but I have made bad investments. My biggest mistake would be the lost revenue that I missed from not investing in certain stocks.
What is the biggest misconception about investing in stocks and finances overall?
The biggest misconception is thinking that you need to be rich to start investing. You can literally start investing with $25-$50. The other misconception is that you have to be a rocket scientist to invest and that saving money is enough. All you need to do is buy an index, the S&P 500, or Nasdaq and over the long haul, you can make about 10% annually. People need to understand that saving money is not enough considering the power of inflation. Money is losing its value every year. You need to be investing your money as well.
"You can literally start investing with $25-$50. The other misconception is that you have to be a rocket scientist to invest and that saving money is enough. All you need to do is buy an index, the S&P 500, or Nasdaq and over the long haul, you can make about 10% annually. People need to understand that saving money is not enough considering the power of inflation."
What do you have to say to people of color that have a strong interest in breaking generational curses and building generational wealth?
Key practices when it comes to building generational wealth is starting now and being unselfish when it comes to thinking about the next generation. It can just be helping your kids not graduate with thousands of dollars in debt. Paying $20 a month for some type of life insurance policy in order to potentially leave your children $500,000-$1 million. Or you can open a 529 plan to invest in the stock market so that you will be investing in the stock market and your money will be growing tax-free. Try owning some type of real estate to pass to the next generation. There are so many ways to build generational wealth, you just have to get started.
It’s a fact that most Americans aren’t saving and live paycheck to paycheck, how do you advise someone who doesn’t prioritize savings to start doing so and build their emergency fund? What’s your golden rule when it comes to emergency funds?
Everyone should have at least 6 months worth of emergency funds. Start treating savings like it's a bill. Don't just pay your bills without paying yourself first. Automation makes it easier to save. Before you have the opportunity to spend that money, it's already set aside and you're able to invest in your retirement without even thinking.
Let’s say, we want to retire as millionaires, what are some seeds we could be planting now to ensure that we reap the fruits of our labor when we’re ready to retire?
If you want to retire a millionaire, practice investing every month. Investing $300 every month in an equity portfolio that will get you on average 8-10% which is a million dollars in 30 years. Making investing easy and not hard by automation. Try to invest a few hundred dollars every month. Find power through the power of compounded interest. Interest on interest is equivalent to racks on racks.
"Find power through the power of compounded interest. Interest on interest is equivalent to racks on racks."
With this being a season of unemployment in epic proportions and a recession looming, answer this important question: should you be dating while broke?
Dating while broke is very crucial. I don't think you should do anything beyond your means. Dating while broke is the same as clubbing while broke. Why would you be in the club spending money you don't have? I believe you can date on your way to being financially free but I don't think you need to incur unnecessary debt while dating. Date within your own budget and means. You can date for free. You have to be honest with the person you are dating. Don't lose track of your financial goals because you are trying to impress someone. The issue is when people don't stick to their financial plan. It's all about having a conversation about your dating expectations.
For more of Ross, follow him on Instagram and catch him on Revolt TV's Maconomics.
Featured image courtesy of Ro$ Mac
How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Exclusive: Zonnique On 'The Break Up' & How Her Relationship With Tiny Shaped Her Approach To Motherhood
The last time Zonnique and I connected was two years ago, in 2021, when she was celebrating her very first Mother’s Day as Hunter’s mommy. Now, two years have passed, and so much has happened. She has released her latest EP after a five-year hiatus from the music scene, she became the host of FOX Soul’s The Mix, and I even lost my own mother. We had a lot to catch up on.
When I crossed over into the conference call after running a few minutes late, I was apologetic, but her calm, zen aura instantly calmed me down and reassured me that no apologies were necessary - just humble salutations.
With the return of Zonnique’s sultry voice to the forefront, I couldn’t go two minutes into our conversation without giving her her due flowers for her latest EP, The Break Up. “I'm happy for myself. You know it's been a long time coming, baby,” the singer shared about her work to xoNecole.
Zonnique admitted to me that her return to music was something that she’s been ready to do for quite some time, but there has been a lot of stalling in the interim. Between laying down vocals in the booth and planning around the perfect timing, there was much stop-and-start during the holding process of the project. In the end, the release and the timing of The Break Up came together as it should have when it was meant to be debuted into the world.
“Even though I was really sad about that and just mad about how long everything was taking, I think that it was worth the wait just for myself, period because I grew a lot in that time, and I got to really mold myself into the artist that I want to be,” Zonnique shared.
“One More Time” (For The Fans)
Credit: Scrill Davis
Courtesy of Zonnique
No stranger to the spotlight, Zonnique has amassed a loyal fanbase in the music industry from her time as a girl group member of the OMG Girlz all the way to her time as a reality star on Growing Up Hip-Hop: ATL and T.I. & Tiny. Now, the singer formerly known as "Miss Star" decided to put out a project specifically for her fans who have been craving to hear from her for nearly half a decade.
Because she had been teasing snippets of her music for years, the fans knew that she had something coming, but it wasn't until the last two months of 2022 that The Break Up truly came together. She completely scratched all of the music she originally created and started from the top by tapping into the feelings that she was experiencing in the moment, which included the torn mental state of a fresh heartbreak. In collaboration with a producer by the name of Valley, Zonnique created a project of five songs inspired by both her fans and the father of her child, Bandhunta Izzy.
In comparison to her 2017 EP Love Jones, Zonnique told me that her sophomore EP is "more vulnerable than the first time" and she feels more empowered and "confident to speak out." The singer also noted that because Love Jones marked the beginning of her solo career, the journey to solo stardom was a new and fresh one, and even described herself as timid.
Zonnique added, "Because [I was] coming out of a group, it can be uncomfortable at first, and I was kind of in an uncomfortable state. Even though I was proud of the things that I [made], and I'm still really happy about the Love Jones project and how it came out, I don't feel like I was as confident then, so I just was still figuring things out."
One of the most admirable traits about Zonnique is that while she's grown up on television since her days on Tiny & Toya with her mother and Xscape member Tiny, she managed to stay out of the drama and in her own lane. On The Break Up, Zonnique gets more vulnerable than she ever has about life, love, and relationships as she lets her guard down between each and every song, including the accompanying visuals featuring the father of her child.
"They might get to know my soft side or maybe even my weak side," Zonnique shared about what fans should expect from her latest project. "I feel like I'm always keeping up this positive, 'everything's good' type image. I think that they'll be able to learn [that] I go through it too, just like anybody else, and I go through heartbreak, and you'll see how I pretty much deal with that on the project."
Zonnique’s Love Song ‘23
Credit: Scrill Davis
Courtesy of Zonnique
Over the past five years, we've only been allowed as much access into Zonnique Pullins' world as she would allow, meaning that what we see on Instagram, on WeTV, or even on social media live streams are limited. When it comes to her dating life, the "Nun For Free" singer has always been relatively private and never given too much detail into the ins and outs of her love life beyond a few cute selfies that would suddenly disappear after the relationship had run its course.
Now, as a mother to almost three-year-old Hunter, who she co-parents with rapper Bandhunta Izzy, Zonnique was able to get real with me about the status of her dating life since her Love Jones days. While she says that much hasn't changed, Zonnique shared with me that she's always been a person who gives 100% to any and every relationship that she's ever been in, but like most of us, she has her boundaries and knows how to prioritize herself.
"I may mess up there a little bit, but I would say that I've always been a person that's like, 'okay, well if you mess with my peace, I'm pretty much out of here,'" she admitted. Contrary to her original thoughts, she believed that having a child would make her dating life much more difficult because she would feel "stuck here forever," but she soon realized that she was the novelist of her own romantic storybook, and it could go any which way she pleases. Zonnique powerfully and boastfully knows that she is not required to stay anywhere that may compromise her mental and emotional wellness.
"I try to still stay in the same mind frame that I was before I had a child, and I'm like, if it messes up my peace, I'll take my child, and we'll be up out of here," she added. "I feel like my happiness has always been the most important to me. I would feel like I've pretty much stayed the same in love."
Specifically, when it comes to her and the father of her child (who she also collaborated with on "One More Time" on The Break Up), Zonnique admits that they're still figuring out the boundaries of their relationship - co-parenting, platonically, and romantically. "We are still figuring that out," she shared. She doesn't deny the feeling of having love for - or even being in love with - her child's father but acknowledges that there's a weird sort of in-between limbo because of their past relationship pre-Hunter.
"It still can be difficult to be around each other and not be like, 'Okay. It's giving, what is this?'," she laughed. Zonnique shared that she and Bandhunta Izzy have come to an understanding to put their romantic feelings on the back burner and let things ebb and flow as time takes its course. "If it works out, it works out, but if not, at least we still can build our friendship. I think that building a friendship is really the most important thing, and I feel like with my child's father, we kind of got into a relationship before we even built the friendship."
"If it works out, it works out, but if not, at least we still can build our friendship. I think that building a friendship is really the most important thing, and I feel like with my child's father, we kind of got into a relationship before we even built the friendship."
Zonnique continued, "I don't know, we have a really great bond period. I think that it takes boundaries and just really figuring out what works for the two of you to be able to keep your kid happy. You both have to be happy, and you have to really figure it out as you go. It's not an easy thing."
In an effort to be happy and be the best mother she could be for Hunter, as well as being the best version of Zonnique for herself, she takes the time she needs to pour into herself so she can perform at the highest level. Between being in a relationship and cohabitating with your partner, Zonnique can sometimes feel a little burnout, especially when you add a baby into the mix.
However, Zonnique knows that sometimes it’s important to take a step back from everything that’s making you unhappy to stay in tune with your emotions, even if it means putting a relationship you really value in the backseat. "It can be a little challenging when you are being a mom and just focused on what your child needs and what's best for the family instead of what's best for you. It can kind of be a hard balance.”
Credit: Scrill Davis
Courtesy of Zonnique
Work-life balance requires patience, especially for a new mother like Zonnique. Music serves as a form of self-care for the "Ghost" singer, but she loves to share those moments with her baby girl even if her personality is larger than the songs that she's singing.
"My child is really attached to me, and she has a big personality, and she's very distracting," Zonnique laughed. "I bring her to the studio a lot, but she wants to be in the booth, and she wants to be on the mic and put the headphones on. She wants to do her own thing."
She knows that Hunter has a love for music, just like her mother, and she wants to expose her daughter early to all of the incredible things that music has to offer one's soul but knows that she has to set clearer boundaries for herself when having that time to herself. "I do like to take that time to just go in there alone and really get out my thoughts, and music is a diary for me. I'm not really an open person. I'm really private, so I enjoy being able to go in the studio and have that time to myself to just really say how I feel."
In addition to laying it all on the track, Zonnique uses working out and being alone as primary forms of self-care. "My real self-care is being at home by myself, getting rid of my child, having no company, and literally just laying in my bed, listening to music. I would lay in the bed all day, put no TV on, and just listen to my favorite songs, and I will be healed after. I don't know why that is," she admitted to me.
In times of need and support, Zonnique's first call is to none other than one of her best friends, her own mother. As a young mom herself, Tiny was able to navigate the ins and outs of being in the center of the music industry while being responsible for her mini-me, meaning she would have much advice to share with her firstborn. "I feel like my mom has never second-guessed me. She's always been in my corner. She calls me and is making sure that I'm good, other than music or anything, she's just always very supportive in every way," she said kindly about her mother.
In a previous interview on Mr. Jay Hill's podcast, Zonnique explained how her strained relationship with the Xscape vocalist when she was younger manifested itself into her self-care practices today. Admitting that Tiny's relationship with her stepfather and rapper T.I. always seemed like a priority during the interview, Zonnique told me that it impacted the way that she approaches motherhood with her own mini-me. "I feel like it affects me a lot in my motherhood. It's definitely made me a certain type of way with my child," she admitted.
Tiny had never heard her daughter express sentiments of neglect or abandonment, according to Zonnique, but knows that the adversity in their relationship would only make Zonnique the incredible mother that she is today. "I was telling her (Tiny) it really molded me into the mom that I am. It's okay, I'm older, and I'm fine. I'm not hurt about that stuff anymore, but I'm glad that I went through those things because now I'm like, 'I'm going to take my child.' Even when I know it's probably going to be a lot harder that I take her, I still take her, and I just push myself to go over and beyond for her, which I enjoy."
"I feel like it affects me a lot in my motherhood. It's definitely made me a certain type of way with my child. I was telling her it really molded me into the mom that I am. It's okay, I'm older, and I'm fine. I'm not hurt about that stuff anymore, but I'm glad I went through those things because now I'm like, 'I'm going to take my child.'"
Zonnique Is Great
Credit: Scrill Davis
Courtesy of Zonnique
This time around for Mother's Day, Zonnique has expectations that are a bit different than when we connected two years ago. "What excites me the most is just knowing that I'm not going to say a real mother, but I would say I'm really flourishing in motherhood," she said as she acknowledged herself proudly.
"Not to toot my own horn, I'm in motherhood, and I feel like I'm starting to get to a point where I'm comfortable, and this is my life, and I'm good at this. I'm not second-guessing myself. My child will be okay, and I'm not stressed and worried about what's next or things like that. I feel like I'm just really settling into motherhood this year."
In retrospect, Zonnique has come a long way in her parenting journey throughout the past two years, and it shows. Confidence, resilience, and patience are not only pieces of her character that Zonnique has already possessed, but they've been amplified through her responsibility as a mother.
From the ups of teaching her daughter her passion for music and dance to the lows of achieving balance, Zonnique says that she's ready for it all - and we love to see it.
The Break Up is available on all streaming platforms.
Featured image by Scrill Davis