#GramGen is a series profiling the most radical characters in youth culture, who continue to shape trend behavior and spark controversy through their avant fashion sense and candid social media personalities.
Meet Rashed Belhasa, aka Money Kicks. Hailing from Dubai, Belhasa isn’t your average 15-year-old. Unless your definition of “average” includes having over 50 pet lions, a collection of sneakers just shy of 200,000 deep, and a circle of friends that includes the likes of Fat Joe, Mariah Carey and French Montana.
When he’s not introducing celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Travis Scott to his mini petting zoo of exotic wild animals, Belhasa is out flexing his exorbitant spending habits (like dropping $5K on one pair of sneakers) and, quite frankly, living his best life.
We caught up with Belhasa to hear more about his insanely lavish lifestyle, how much he spends on clothes a month and how he plans on becoming an unrivaled entrepreneur akin to his business-savvy family.
How old are you?
Where are you from and where are you currently based?
I was born and raised in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
What is your current occupation?
I’m a full-time student at the moment. I’m in the tenth grade. In my free time, I’m working on opening up a few businesses. I have a clothing store opening up soon in Dubai. Also, another one of my projects will be a spot in Dubai inspired by Up NYC owned by Fat Joe. I’m also finishing up my two clothing lines – one will be called Money Kicks and the other will be called KA1, which stands for Kings of Ambition.
How long have you been collecting sneakers and gear?
I have been collecting sneakers for almost two years now. I have close to 200,000 pairs at the moment. I’m also known for having the craziest sneaker house in the middle of my animal farm.
What are your favorite brands at the moment?
Philipp Plein, OFF-WHITE, G-Star RAW, and soon, my own brands: Kings Ambition and Money Kicks.
How would you describe your style?
Casual, chic and simple.
About how much do you spend on clothes a month?
I spend about $5k a month on clothes, not including sneakers. Sneakers might be around $5,000 for one pair.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a piece of clothing?
I paid $8,000 for a pair of sneakers once.
What’s one thing you own that you could never live without?
I would have to say my animals at home. I have over 400 exotic animals: lions, tigers, monkeys, and a bunch of leopards, cheetahs and panthers. I love animals and I can’t live without them.
Do you prefer quality over quantity or quantity over quality?
I used to prefer quantity over quality, but the older I get the wiser I have gotten. Now instead of picking up so many sneakers, I’d rather put that money into starting a business. Quality is everything when it comes to business, aside from material things.
How do you afford everything you buy?
My parents give me a small allowance and I receive a salary from Crep Protect. I’m the brand ambassador for the Middle East. I also do paid events around Dubai.
What do your parents do for a living?
My father is a businessman. He owns a few businesses under the Belhasa Holding Group, with schools and real estate being the biggest ones.
Who’s the coolest celebrity you’ve ever met?
Fat Joe. He treats me like his own son. He showed me around New York City when I came there for the first time in my life. He’s very humble, very respected in the entertainment world and such a family man. My parents love him.
Which celebrity would you love to meet one day?
I want to meet DJ Khaled, only because he comes from the same culture as me. He’s such a businessman and very hungry for success—reminds me of my father. Work hard and then you can make lots of money.
How many pet lions do you have and what are their names?
I have close to 50 lions. They all have different names. We have Versace and Roc, which we named after Mariah Carey’s kids. We have Neyo, Frenchie (named after French Montana), and Soulja (named after Soulja Boy), to name a few.
What other exotic pets do you have?
We have a few ligers which are very rare. A liger is half lion, half tiger. There are only like 60 in the world! We have six. We have lots of white tigers too. We also have a rare king cheetah.
Do you get a lot of hate on Instagram? How do you respond to the haters?
Yes, I get lots of hate, but I realize when it comes to fame, I stay humble and continue to treat people how I want to be treated. I can’t control people’s opinions, all I can do is pray for them and forgive them. I read all of DJ Khaled’s, Fat Joe’s, and LeBron James’ comments on Instagram, and they are all amazing role models.
What do you see yourself doing in a few years? What career ambitions do you have?
I see myself being in the top “20 Under 20,” if that exists. I want to be a clone of my father at a younger age. In a few years, I see myself owning over 10 businesses under the Money Kicks LLC company.
For more Gram-savvy youngsters, check out the streetwear fan who wouldn’t be caught dead in a pair of YEEZYs.