Atlanta Black Star first spoke with 29-year-old Kyren Gibson and his 8-year-old son Kyng in May, when the duo’s financial literacy video went viral online. In the popular clip, Gibson’s third-grade child aces a pop quiz on what it takes to run a business.
“What’s equity?,” the dad asks his son. Proving he really knows his stuff, young Kyng replies, “Equity is the difference between what your business is worth minus what you owe on it.” Atlanta Black Star caught up with the Charlotte, North Carolina, family following their newfound fame.
The widely viewed clip has now been watched hundreds of thousands of times across the internet, and has even caught the attention of celebrities like FUBU founder and ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank” star Daymond John. “We kind of felt like rappers for a second, like, you know how they get famous?” Kyng told Atlanta Black Star.
Kyren Gibson says since he and his son went viral for dropping knowledge about financial literacy, they’ve gotten lots of new followers and a blue verified check mark on Instagram.
“We gained 200,000,” Gibson told us. “I get messages from people back home in the motherland, Africa, Australia, Dubai, everywhere. This is different, to have people message you talking about how you motivate them, you know, that’s what keeps us going.”
Gibson used to work as club promoter and fitness trainer, but he says in light of the exposure he and his son have received, he’s taken on a new role.
“I guess I’m a motivational speaker, it’s what everybody’s calling me now,” he said. The new opportunities just keep rolling in for the duo. In October, Gibson announced on Instagram that he had the chance to team up with former NFL star Marshall Faulk to help spread the word about the importance of financial literacy.
The father says before all the attention, he and Kyng were already popular on Instagram. “It’s just that it hit corporate America, so it’s different, you know, seeing a Black man and a Black little boy with dreads on CNN,” he said.
Despite the newfound fame, Gibson says their focus hasn’t changed. “It’s nothing to be blindsided about, because the whole point is we’re trying to change the world and get everybody to understand their path in life and easy ways, and the loopholes that they don’t want to teach us in school intentionally.”
From stocks and investing to credit and collateral, young Kyng is learning about it all. Gibson says he’s already teaching his son how to apply that knowledge through investing money from a business they operate, a line of shirts that feature slogans such as “trillionaire hustle.”
“That money we use for the shirts, we actually invested that money because he wanted to buy things. I did too, and I said, ‘nah, we can’t, let’s invest this into our books,’ ” Gibson said of books they plan to release, including “a family workbook for financial literacy,” he said.
Having learned from his own mistakes, the dad says he wants to teach his son early to avoid going down the same path. “You’re interviewing a screw-up that would have never thought in 10 years I’d be looked at as a teacher, educator and motivator. I got kicked out of school, kicked out of college, didn’t get to walk at graduation,” Gibson shared.
“I’ve been hurt and had to spread $100 throughout a whole week or two weeks until I got my next paycheck being stupid, you know, going to the clubs and just wasting money on whatever,” he said. “That’s why I’m teaching early now, like handle your money right so you ain’t never hurting.”
For other parents wanting to impart financial-world knowledge to their children, Gibson says it’s okay not to know everything. “I’m not an Einstein. I go learn it and I study it, I’ll teach Kyng and we’ll learn some of this stuff together,” he said. His desire to own his own home, and steps he’s taken in that direction have made for some teachable moments for both of them.
“I have things left to me from my family and land I’ve bought, but I’m looking at owning my first home and I’ve been teaching myself and I’ll teach Kyng at the same time,” Gibson said. “So, don’t look at yourself [like], ‘I gotta be excellent, I got to be 100 percent.’ No, you don’t,” he added. “Just stay motivated; teach these kids how to be better than you.”