We recently had the pleasure of catching up with Philadelphia rising entrepreneur and president of Get Money Filmz, Michael Braxton. Mike candidly spoke with us about his journey, love for the culture and his mini-series Unfinished Business. Check out our interview below.
HHW: For those who may not be familiar with Mike B. Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from?
Michael Braxton: I’m Mike Braxton from Philadelphia, president of Get Money Filmz.
HHW: How old were you when you first fell in love with Hip-Hop?
Michael Braxton: I was around 13 years old.
HHW: What triggered your love for the culture?
Michael Braxton: I fell in love with music when I first heard the rapper KRS-One. It was the way he painted a visual picture with his words. From that point on, I was hooked on the music. I am a big fan when rappers can put together a picture of life, and I feel like I can relate when it is done correctly.
HHW: Any personal experience with music?
Michael Braxton: When I was around 17 years old I wanted to be a rapper, but I also wanted to learn the industry’s back end. So I didn’t want to be a rapper all my life. I was constantly learning how the game was and had a thirst for knowledge. So my cousin Dewayne and I had a group together. We knew a lot of Philly rappers and the movers and shakers at that time. We also put together our first show when upcoming rappers Larry Larr was on Ruff House Rappers when burning hot.
HHW: Who are some artists, past or present, you respect and look up to?
Michael Braxton: I would have to say my homie Kurupt from Tha Dogg Pound. He set me up with so many opportunities, opened up several doors regarding getting a bag, and showed my promotions capability. I knew Kurupt before he signed with Death Row Records. We were neighbors in a small town called Darby Township. Darby Township, better known as 2-5, is located outside Philadelphia.
HHW: So let’s talk film, how long have you been pursuing a career in the film industry?
Michael Braxton: Well, for me, I’ve been pursuing directing visuals for artists and others for ten years. I come from the DVD era when they were hot, and everyone was doing one. So I came out with a couple of them, and it sold pretty well in the Philly area at the time. I was all about getting my name out and working on bigger and better projects.
HHW: What would you say has been the most difficult part of your journey?
Michael Braxton: Four years before starting the mini-series, I was living in a homeless shelter for about six months. That was the most challenging part of my life; from being in a relationship to living with a bunch of strangers and forming a bond with a few of them still to this day. The experience made me stronger mentally and I went hard once I got back on my feet.
HHW: How many projects have you released to date?
Michael Braxton: My first project is Unfinished Business, a mini-series I released last year.
HHW: Can you tell us more about that?
Michael Braxton: With police corruption as its central theme, Unfinished Business takes viewers on a journey that highlights just how brutal abuse can get when it’s being perpetrated by those in authority. The producers say they hope the show will educate the public on the plight of some communities in America, who are caught between a rock and a hard place; having to deal with deadly drug gangs and an unsupportive police force that takes advantage of the situation to extort the block, rather than step in to apprehend the criminals. The plot chronicles the illegal activities of a corrupt Philadelphia police drug unit as they make rubbish of their pledge to serve and protect. The ragtag team of corrupt detectives exploits a community under the control of drug dealers, intimidating and blackmailing whoever they can to make a big score. It features sex, narcotics, bribes, drug money, murder, and other forms of extreme violence that characterize drug dealing and turf warfare. Unfinished Business currently airs via Xfinity (Comcast ch 66/966/967) as well as Verizon (ch 29/30) in the Philadelphia television market area. And viewers can also catch the show via Fire-Tv and Roku.
HHW: If you could work with anyone in the industry, who would it be? (Top 5)
Michael Braxton: Courtney Kemp, Spike Lee, Jordan Peele, 50 Cent and Denzel Washington.
HHW: What do you think you can contribute to the culture?
Michael Braxton: A fresh perspective of events and things that matter to our community. I can make the changes that can lead us in the right direction. It’s about controlling the narrative in the Hollywood playing field. Without this process, we will always show ourselves in a negative light.
HHW: What are your long-term industry career goals?
Michael Braxton: At times Hollywood has a way of not telling real stories about our culture. Instead, they want to feed on our success. For too long, they were in control of the images that they portrayed about us. With the new surge of independent creators, we have the chance to tell our own stories. Now they have to come to the table and eat with us instead of eating with them. We now have options in this landscape and that’s what I want to do.
HHW: What legacy would you like to leave behind?
Michael Braxton: Maya Angelou said it best, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”