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Meet Seejai Erquhart of Kings Before Slaves in Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Seejai Erquhart.

Seejai, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
It started as my personal cliche around 2012 when I was talking to people of other races about the black community and how the mindset has to change in order for us to really advance this world. At the time, I was doing a lot of research to see what I could find in regards to kings queens who were enslaved. I was shocked to find that there were so many cases of kings, queens and others that were caught and enslaved during the trans Atlantic slave trade. Kings before slaves was a personal project for me. I didn’t make a move on the idea because at that time, I was touring and singing all over the country. UNTIL I got really sick and was in the hospital (UCLA) needing a heart transplant. I sat there in the bed I vowed to take never hesitate on any of my ideas if I made it out of this situation.

October 28th, 2014 I got my heart transplant. Once I got myself well enough to start being in the scene again, I didn’t hesitate to start up my kings before slaves brand and jump back into music. Being that I’m an artist singer-songwriter producer by trade, I took the same energy that Id put into music and studio time and put into building my brand. May 3rd, 2017 I made the first prototype hoodie and wore it everywhere. The reaction and feedback I got was great. When people read the shirts, their eyes can’t hide what they think and feel. I call that the magic of truth!!

Its a mindset, its the truth. Its a part of our history thats been hidden from us on purpose just like a lot of other things here in the US.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It hasn’t been an easy road at all. Getting the finances to start and finding good quality clothing was a challenge in the beginning. Also trying to get people so see your vision and support has its challenges. My biggest supporters have always been strangers. Friends and family seem to want things for free of “the hook up” but in the same breath will tell you how they dropped 500 Gucci belt or 300 on a pair of Jordans. Thats that mindset that has to be fixed in our community in regards to how view and support each other. We have to value each other more. We are the reason the financial system here in the US has a pulse. I’ve had a few printing companies back out on me because they thought that the shirts were giving off a “bad” message and they found it offensive. I thought that was hilarious and still don’t get that part.

Kings Before Slaves – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Kings before slaves is conscious wear. We are clothing company. We specialize in hoodie and jogger combos and t-shirts. We are known for that big bold statement that sits directly in the middle of chest plate like a superman symbol. I really like that fact that its a conversation starter for those who have open minds and want to learn more about the hidden history of our people. People that wear our band always have a story to tell, the looks the comments all of that. I encourage them to share it with us either VIA email or on our IG page. To wear KBS is an experience in itself and I’m pretty proud of that fact. There’s energy behind Kings/Queens before slave brand! What sets us apart is that our message is absolute. There’s no faking this message, it doesn’t need to be doctored up or reconfigured, its real it’s us it truth. KINGS BEFORE SLAVES.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
So far, my proudest moment have been the endorsement parents, my brother, sister and my wife. They are excited about the movement. Also, seeing a few of my professional athlete friends wear and support our brand. Also not related to the KBS brand is me getting a heart transplant and having a few songs placed on some major tv shows.

Pricing:

  • Mens hoodies $50 Shirts $40
  • women Hoodies $45 Shirts $35
  • Kids Shirts and onesies $25-30
  • Joggers $40

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.kingsbeforeslaves.com
  • Phone: 3233583479
  • Instagram: @kingsbeforeslaves; @seejai3000
  • Facebook: @kingsbeforeslaves
  • Twitter: @kingsbeforesla1


Image Credit:

Janiea Erquhart @Janiea_, Brandon Erquhart @erqhart, Rhett Muskin @blessed_to_f.l.y.21, Arthur Hudgens Jr @arthennyjr, Seejai Erquhart (ME) @seejai3000, DJ Mitchell @deecutz330

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