Whilst researching The Five Percent Nation, I came across an educational video on YouTube I never expected to find. Jeweler TraxNYC was showcasing a Five-Percent Nation pendant he had produced on request of one of its members. As he described its glistening diamond settings, he also described the history and beliefs of the movement enriching his video. The video ended with him urging us to respect all faiths equally and share knowledge. It made me nostalgic over 90’s Hip Hop culture and instantly sparked my fascination. I delved deeper into his video catalogue to find other such informative videos which eventually led me to find the development of his emerging news channel – Trax News.
The story of Maksud ‘Trax’ Agadjani, founder of TraxNYC is an inspiring one. Maksud or Maks as his friends call him was born in Azerbaijan. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, his parents moved to the USA in 1993 where he then grew up in Queens, New York. Naturally gravitating towards Hip Hop culture, his favorite rapper was Biggie Smalls. During this period he identified a niche for men’s Hip Hop jewelry to be sold on a global scale which was not available at the time. At the young age of 18, he took the wise decision to invest his birthday money into purchasing a camera. He then used this camera to take photos of jewelry in the Diamond District to sell on eBay – yes eBay. Eventually he gained enough knowledge of the industry and saved enough money to open his own business in the Diamond District of New York City, founding — Trax NYC.
Maks generously shares his accumulated knowledge about the jewelry business across online different media platforms. He encourages his buyers to make informed decisions on their jewelry purchases and to not only see them as fashion accessories but more importantly as financial investments. “I want my consumers to be educated and successful,” says Maks. His passion for communication and teaching makes him different from other jewelers, as he entwines his love for history and culture into many of his videos. Rising to become a reputable Jeweler, Maks now creates custom jewelry for high profile clients such as Cardi B, Young M.A & Joyner Lucas. His expertise has led him to appear in GQ magazine to critique rappers’ jewelry and he was even featured in Uncut Gems an American crime thriller about the Diamond District which you can watch on Netflix. Most recently, his public confrontation with Tekashi69 over a piece of jewelry for which he was never paid gained him much attention; it even attracted 50 Cent to troll him online. Although Maks was accused of trying to use clout to gain attention over this situation, it contradicts his reputation for his integrity and work ethic; those who know him well will testify that he was simply trying to get his money.
Soon after the COVID-19 pandemic struck which shut down businesses and kept us all isolated, Maks began to expand his YouTube content to discuss socio-economic issues, and how to stay safe in quarantine. As a result, his channel widely resonated with viewers gaining much support, so to turn something negative into a positive, he evolved his video concept into the creation that became — Trax News. It’s a newly formed news organization set up, ‘For the People by the People’, his intent was made clear, “When I saw how things were moving and nobody gave out the proper information here in the United States, I said I got to start making news. People need to know what’s actually happening around them, not a fairy tale.”
Uninhibited by any negativity his new venture may have on his current jewelry business Maks is on a quest to unveil the truth by empowering us as members of the public to join his platform to voice our opinions. Fusing his natural charisma and addressing issues no one else will dare to, he has gained a lot of support. “People were interested before I started it. Everybody wants to be a part of something and do something, but there aren’t a lot of people who are as inclusive and as fair as I am.” In return, he is offering shares in his company, which are publicly recorded on a ledger. The idea is, if the company becomes profitable, all those who have contributed to the organization will own a piece of it, unlike most mass media outlets which are owned by corporations. It is an innovative and risky business model, but as a self-made businessman, Maks is no stranger to hard work or leadership as his story of humble beginnings proves. Still in its early days, Maks has assembled a group of equally dedicated individuals to form a core management team to oversee the daily activities of Trax News and realize his vision. The organization is open for anyone to join with a variety of roles from content writers, graphic designers, researchers and social media strategists. With its media following and contributing members steadily growing, it literally is ‘For the People by the People’.
If you would like to check it out or get involved, then head to:
YouTube: TraxNYC Diamond Jewelry
Instagram: trax_news & traxnyc