Money and Violence is a web series that is written, directed, edited and staring Moise Veranu who is from Brooklyn, New York. The first episode(26 total) aired August 2014 and since it debut it has over 25 Million views on You Tube. Money and Violence is so popular that Tidal has picked up the web series for its second season.
The web series is based on street life in Brooklyn, New York. Check out the first two episodes below and the interview that The Urban Daily did with Money And Violence creator.
Talk a little about how the TIDAL deal came about and what your reaction was when you found out that you’d be announcing it live on stage at the TIDALx1020 concert.
Well, the deal came about due to the relationship that my managers have with Chaka [Pilgrim] and other people at Roc Nation. Them bringing us out at the Tidal concert was an amazing moment. For one, to announce to the world that we had partnered with Tidal gave us access to a completely new platform, but at the same time, we loved the fact that it became another outlet for our content.
And just being someone from Brooklyn, you can imagine the feeling of home pride that we all had to be on that stage and…I could’ve been on any stage in the world [laughs] but, there we were at the Barclays center.
Jay Z has said in the past that while he pays attention to everything, he’s not one to consistently follow many things in terms of entertainment programs, but also that if something is really good, it’ll reach him. You guys were able to accomplish that with Money and Violence. What do you think it is about the series that makes it such a stand out?
I think the authenticity of the series is what creates our public appeal. And when I say that, I just mean that people who are or were from that world can relate to it and for those who aren’t, it allows them the opportunity to take a glance into that world when they never would have gotten the opportunity to otherwise.
In addition to being one of the main characters, you’re also the writer/creator of the series. What was your thought process working to develop a narrative that would tow the line between being authentic enough to accurately represent reality while also resonating with viewers who aren’t familiar with the lifestyle?
My thought process was really just to get the story right. The so-called “street” lifestyle represented in Money and Violence is usually depicted [by other shows] in such a way that people sugar coat it. And that’s just not the truth, you know, because it’s not just black and white. So many times, the part of the story that gets left out is the fact that the reasons a lot of people do certain things in this lifestyle is solely because of survival. They’re in positions where they don’t have other resources, under most circumstances. With most shows, you have “bad” people taking pride in what they’re doing but, these people [on Money and Violence], if they had other resources or something else that they could do, you know, they wouldn’t be doing this. I think that although this has never been represented on the screen, that’s the reality of most of the people that are from this world.
So, I just wanted to show them the story from that side. And I know that that’s something that definitely resonates with the viewers only because that’s not something that’s ever really been spoken on. You know, bad guys are usually just bad guys but, what I like to call the characters on my series are villains with a superhero’s heart.
As the mastermind behind the series who created it with a single mic and camera, you were someone who really embodied the concept of not having much but working with what you had and it resulted in something amazing, which is very inspiring. What advice would you have for other people who are on a similar path or who would like to pursue this the way that you did?
The first thing I would like to stress is the importance of keeping like- minded people around you. Without a collective of people around me who were actually in the same frame of mind, this never could’ve happened like it did. We were just like-minded people with a common goal, but that was one of the most important things because at the end of the day, if you’re pushing one direction and the people around you are going in a total different direction, you can’t really get anywhere. And secondly, I’d say always know that the only human hand on this planet that can stop you is your own. And that’s a testament to my life over the course of the last 15 months; it has totally changed.
And, you know, anything is possible, you just have to put in that effort and put in that hard work and you just have to keep going.