Phind out Phriday: A girl named King interviews Curran J. of Kings Rule Together
You know guy who knows a guy who introduces you to a guy. Well Curran J. is “that guy”. Correction, “that King.” I was introduced to Curran J. at a play where he styled the cast. He definitely did his thing. And as I later perused his website, I saw he doesn’t do his thing, he is his thing. And as usual, a few emails, phone call, random run in at the Liberty place, and g -chat conversations later, I got to phind out quite a bit about Philly’s favorite Fashionable Nerd, the man behind Kings Rule Together (KRT).
Phreedum: Tell me a little about the name “Kings Rule Together.”
CJ: “King” is a word of endearment I use to uplift the male generation. King is a positive term. In terms of “Rule Together,” when Kings come together it’s a bigger impact.
Phreedum: I can get down with that. So what’s the main purpose of KRT?
CJ: The main goal is to help people. There is a philanthropic aspect to KRT. Giving back is really important. Then there is styling. I get to help people pull a look together and present themselves in a confident cool and together look.
Phreedum: Who are you in five words?
CJ: I am a young king.
Phreedum: What is most fulfilling about the work you do?
CJ: Helping people, seeing people happy, and inspiring people. Sometimes I don’t have it in me but knowing there are people who like, respect, and follow my work is pretty cool. I did an interview with a kid once. He showed me four pictures in his phone. The four pictures were pictures of Kanye, Pharell, Andre 3000, and me. That was encouraging.
Phreedum: Okay, let’s take it to the other end of the spectrum. What has been the most challenging aspect of your work?
CJ: Still trying to be positive. I have a lot of eyes on me and a lot of pressure. I’m trying to be responsible and a good leader. When people hate, and it doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it does kinda hurt. The way I see it, there is no need to compete. We can all eat together. I really try to have a collectivist mindset because I believe unity is possible and important.
Phreedum: How do you define success?
CJ: When you can really do what you want and whatever makes you happy. I think I have done successful things and I am happy. But I also think I can be more successful and can happier.
Phreedum: Who has been influential in allowing you to phreely pursue your dreams?
CJ: Fajr Muhammad. She created my blog. She has been really helpful and I would say she has been my backbone. Women in general have been really supportive. Whether I know them personally or just seeing women doing amazing things in society, business, and entrepreneurship.
Phreedum: You don’t just do KRT. You are also apart of Arts Beats and Eats (ABE). Tell me a little bit about how that came about.
CJ: My friends and I were tired of throwing parties. We wanted something where entrepreneurs could come together and mix creativity and business. At a party you don’t usually talk and network in that sense because you don’t get the chance to. At ABE that’s the whole purpose. You get to find out a lot about people and their passions. There are spoken word artists who highlight a lot of things going on in society. Then there are vendors who get to have an outlet to showcase their talent. And people definitely need an outlet.
Phreedum: You’ve done a lot, you do a lot, and I have no doubt you will continue to do a lot. I’m pretty confident you have had to make some sacrifices along the way for your dream. Tell me about some of those sacrifices.
CJ: The sacrifices I've made so far are being myself and not fitting in. People don't like to understand what they're not accustomed to. It's easy to look, think, and act like my peers. I refrain from a lot of things most young 20 somethings do to make myself better and to live life off of a natural high. Being an individual is a sacrifice.
Phreedum: I’ve definitely phound out a lot about you, but I am curious as to something most people don’t know about you.
CJ: I ride around in my car with silence. No radio. No CD. No Ipod. My friends get mad sometimes.
Phreedum: Yeah you are different.
Phreedum: Okay King, last question. Since I don’t get the sense that you plan on slowing down any time soon, where do you see KRT in 5 years?
CJ: I don’t like that question.
Phreedum: Why not?
CJ: Because I can’t say I know what I want it to look like in 5 years. I just want to keep the momentum that I have and I want to be a household name. I don’t want to look back and say I should have or could have done this or that. I just want to keep learning, building, and growing. Whatever I achieve in 5 years is what I achieve in 5 years.