19 Keys is trailblazing an enormous financial literacy movement in the Black community right now. Whether he’s talking about stocks and wealth-building vehicles on The Earn Your Leisure Podcast or educating listeners on the power of crypto and spirituality with his popular YouTube show High Level Conversations, advancement, opportunity and community building are always at the center of his core message.
Wealth cannot be achieved without optimal health, a reminder that the buzzing media personality often drills throughout his loaded content across social media. He is also the proud owner of Goldewater, a holistic health brand that offers brain-powering nootropics and other natural supplements that have been helping Black folks stay healthy and tapped into their higher selves.
Greatness runs deep within his bloodline. 19 Keys grew up in Oakland, California, the home of “revolutionaries” like Elaine Brown and The Black Panther Party. He inherited his passion for public speaking and community from his family.
“I’ve been speaking since I was five or six years old,” the financial guru told NewsOne during an exclusive interview. “My parents always had me on stage. And I would talk about similar things that I talk about now– systematic injustices and what we need to do in order to save ourselves. I realized I had a talent and skill that I had to utilize in some capacity, especially to make change within the world. I feel like I’ve been groomed and poised to live a revolutionary life.”
Revolutionary is right.
19 Keys is on a mission to reprogram Black culture with The Block World Order, a conference and a movement that centers on the importance of mental, physical and financial well-being. The California native recently teamed up with Cheat Code, a black-owned trading software company, to provide educational and financial tools to help people dominate into today’s competitive business landscape. The conference touched down in Houston earlier this month and more stops are planned for later this year.
Keys sat down with NewsOne for a high-level conversation about the importance of self-sufficiency and independence in the Black community. He also shared his thoughts about the growing artificial intelligence industry, the key to generating Black wealth and the principles to unlocking your higher self.
NewsOne: We’re a huge fan of the work that you’re doing with this financial literacy movement that’s currently booming in our community. But before we get into all the incredible work that you are doing, we’re interested to hear about your backstory. Where were you before all of this started?
19 Keys: I was doing the same thing just privately. I had a shop in Oakland, California, where a lot of people would come through in downtown Oakland. Even the people that didn’t shop, they were coming there for a conversation. And we would always have these enlightening types of conversations talking about society, politics, philosophy, life, entrepreneurship and more. Actually, I got booked for my first speech before I had any followers. I would just be documenting my life and some of the students from this Black brotherhood program, they asked their mentor if I could come to the college and speak.
I used to go to rallies out here because there’s always a protest or rally happening. And I would just jump on the stage, grab a bullhorn and start speaking. I did it because I just didn’t see any representation of young Black men, but most of the injustices that were happening was happening to young Black men. So, I wanted to make sure that we had a voice and representation.
Before that, I had never got paid to do any public speaking.
You talk about this understanding of self and the power of knowing yourself so much on High-Level Conversations. You are so lucky to have had this mindset from a young age, but there are so many people from our community that are still trying to unlock their higher selves from within. What are some core principles that have helped you along your path to higher consciousness and being?
I feel blessed. And one reason I wouldn’t say lucky is because I know a lot of people who grew up in the same circumstances that I did, but 99% of them fell off. I believe that the blessing is the customization of myself, the thing that God gave me. He gave me perseverance, grit and resilience to deal with different circumstances because growing up in Oakland and in St. Louis, these are very dangerous environments that can pull you away from what you are and who you naturally are. They can turn you into the environment and when the environment is low vibrational, you’re everything but your higher self.
As children, we have a sense of knowing and enlightenment but the world begins to make us question ourselves. The world begins to make us think of the mediocre path as the more realistic one. So sometimes, we give up our childhood imagination and dreams for what’s realistic, a job, a degree, but it may not be what actually aligns with our drive and our passion, which is a life living purposefully and truthfully.
So, part of living in your higher self is knowing who you are and the truth of who you are. The formula for purpose is Drive + Passion. There’s also a formula for self-development, which is the mind equals transformation, awareness and potential. Once you know your potential, you have an awareness of all that you can become at the highest level. Once you have an awareness of that, then you are aware of the skills and feats that you need to go on and the things that you need to learn in order to develop yourself on that path.
Once you have that, then you’re ready for the transformation stage. Because if you can see it in your mind, and you know it’s possible. I always tell people to practice visualizing themselves greater than where they are today. Maybe you see yourself as a millionaire or a more articulate speaker, a person with more discipline. The moment that you can see it, that means it’s possible.
That’s a fact. It’s imperative for our community to be connected to our higher selves now more than ever because of what’s going on with this technological revolution at the moment. Companies like Microsoft are investing over $10 million into AI tools like Chat GPT and other emerging technology. Some of those new innovations are already causing massive layoffs across the nation. What’s your thought currently on AI and what can Black folks do to build businesses and wealth in this growing industry?
You know, AI is creating a lot of job uncertainty. Skill uncertainty, because you don’t know if you have jobs security, because if an AI can do it, why would they get a human to do it? You don’t know if your skill is still valuable because if AI can do it, then the human capital of that skill is no longer valued. Right? So, AI is creating a lot of uncertainty for a lot of people, but what it really means is pivot. AI won’t steal your job. The person that manages and uses AI will steal your job because they would decrease the necessity for the amount of workers needed.
I’ve been speaking about AI for the last five to six years. It’s documented on my YouTube. I’ve always been talking about how to get ahead of this, especially for Black people. Anytime there’s a new technological shift, we have to jump on it fast. We can’t afford to wait. We can’t afford to let them innovate and then we consume.
I would say study Chat GPT. Study OpenAI, study what they do at Nvidia or Microsoft and all of these companies who are now going to be competing with creating AI tools and software. Right now, I’m working directly with Black developers. We’re putting AI software in our tools so that we can have a leg up.
We’re headed to a society that is working on a way to make everything that we do more efficient. So when you see these jobs being laid off, yes, they already preparing for a shift. They want to increase the efficiency of their workforce and decrease human error and necessity. So what we need to do is master the technology. It’s going to come the same way social media came and there was a lot of people complaining about it. And now those same people are on it because it was inevitable. Technology does not care about feelings. This is the wave of the future. And as it grows, and it continues to grow, those who are in industry power will continue to take control of it and utilize it to generate billions and billions of dollars and it’s going to continue to increase the wealth gap in this country.
Do you think AI could be dangerous in some ways?
AI is one of the most powerful and dangerous tools that man has ever created. AI has the ability to revolutionize the world for good and bad. So in the hands of a healer, it can be a cure. In the hands of a war monger, it is a tool for destruction.
Imagine if Malcolm X had AI software he could utilize to get all the data of Black people in America and figure out exactly what products to make, how to organize people for jobs, social justice issues and research how to develop a whole nation based on this information. That’s power.
Now the danger is that AI could destroy the ability for people to think. In society we already deal with mental exhaustion because we have so much information, but people don’t know how to decipher through it and how to get started. So the greatest thing that people have issues with is the mindset. That’s why I always say 80% mindset 20% skill set but AI will eliminate the excuses that you have.
Well, that’s a great segue. Let’s talk about the Block World Order movement that you have started with Cheat Code.
We named it the Block World Order, block as in blockchain. It was to bring awareness to the technology. That’s why the first part of it is called block because we are in a world of centralization and decentralization, which is one is about giving power to the people. One is about maintaining power in the hands of those who already have it. Now, Black people in America should be extremely interested when there are movements that are literally about giving power to the people. The blockchain can be utilized to create all of the solutions that we’ve wanted, creating our own currency, our own systems and our own ledger systems. We can have our own history, right on the blockchain saved for us and it’s a trusted system. You don’t have to understand the technology of blockchain to understand what it can do.
Web3 is basically saying we’re going to take out the middleman. So you don’t need somebody else to host your content for you. Blockchain is the host, but nobody owns it. So therefore, instead of going on social media, where you give away all your information, you give away all of your rights to your IP, you can own your intellectual property and your digital rights. Your digital profile is very important because even with this AI, they have tools where they can copy your voice and create content in your voice. They can take scripts of your thinking and AI can basically write it or speak it in a way that you would have said it as well. That’s why I believe everybody should focus on getting all their digital rights controlling their likeness, copyright and their intellectual property.
When it comes Web3, I feel like it’s representing that we don’t just have to enter the internet, we can own the net, meaning that anything that we put on there, we own so that we can leverage. No one else. That’s what we’re focused on teaching ours students, how to utilize the AI, but keep it human, so that you can actually have real connection. We coach weekly. We also teach our beautiful community about the Web3 blockchain and mental engineering to take people through the customization of self. So that means what is your personality type? What is your desire, right? What is your numerology? What is your intelligence type? We go through a multitude of different lessons and formulas that will get you to execute actively throughout life. We do physical optimization, stock trading and financial planning as well.
Sounds exciting. It’s going to be so exciting to see how crypto emerges over the next year as well. At the moment, you see a lot of the big banks trying to sweep in and assert their dominance. Folks like Chase CEO Jamie Dimon have been opposed to crypto. Some claim that it’s pretty much for fraudsters. What do you have to say when you hear those negative comments?
I think he’s projecting. First of all, notoriously the banks are known for money laundering. Notoriously the banks are known for implementing fees that steal money from the poor.
The banks are heavily invested in crypto. The banks are going digital. They’re trying to create the digital dollar right now. So, to say that Bitcoin is fraud is disingenuous. This is something that disrupts the banking industry. So it would not be to the benefit of a banking CEO to say cryptocurrency is legitimate and real.
Beyond financial literacy, you have been a great preacher of health and how that ultimately bears the fruit for wealth. We love what you’re doing with company Goldewater. The brand has grown quite popular for its performance shrooms. What are they exactly? Do they have psychedelic properties?
These shrooms are not psychedelic. They are performance-enhancing mushrooms for cognitive enhancement. So nootropics. Anything that enhances brain performance or cognitive performance, mood memory and physical activity. The specific ones you’re talking about is our Super Body product, which is the Sports Moss. So that one is directly engineered and focus for body performance.
It’s made from cordyceps. Cordyceps are mushroom fungi that can be utilized to increase adenosine triphosphate. Adenosine triphosphate is what basically delivers oxygen to the blood, right? And so when you’re working out, as you’re getting an increase of adenosine triphosphate, it is allowing you to pump more oxygen into your system. That increases your endurance because when you get tired, oxygen starts to cut off. That’s when you start to get lactic acid build up. You start to feel soreness within the muscle. So if you can increase that oxygen flowing the whole time, then you can work out for longer and it also decreases the recovery period. It’s like a natural Adderall.
You also sell supplements with gold in them too, right?
Yes! Our Smart Moss, which is a supplement of lion’s mane, cannabinoids, sea moss and gold powder. Ancient Egyptians, they were the first ones to utilize the gold. They believed that it was the elixir for immortality. They would break it down through this process of electrolysis into a powder form and they would ingest it to increase electricity, energy and hand eye coordination.
You know, I believe it was Queen Nefertiti that said that it was her beauty elixir. A lot of colloidal gold is often found in skincare routines, right? Because you can put colloidal gold on the skin and it can help heal micro tears because gold is electrical, so it helps with the healing process. We’re born with 0.002% of gold within our body. Gold helps with anti-inflammation and it helps electrify the nerves and the cells within our body.
I studied these things because I wanted to tap into the things that our ancestors were doing. My mother had arthritis and I heard that it was good as an anti-inflammatory so I was studying things at that time that could help her and things that could help me on a mental cognitive enhancement side. So when I tried it for the first time, I felt it immediately. Just to make sure it wasn’t a placebo effect on me, I gave it to my brother and my cousin who were vast skeptics, and they tried it and they felt it. And so ever since that moment, I said I had to make sure everyone has this. We have it in a liquid form as well.
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