Kobe Bryant: Marathon of Inches – Most Elite Competition

Bless up from your feet to your head top

Sunday we lost Kobe.

I happened to be working, working on my podcast. Editing and creating assets. Not at my usual pace but I was making it happen, I got a text from my partner in the podcast with a one word text ‘Kobe’. I hadn’t the foggiest what he was talking about. I was thinking about bears then the beef, then Kolby Coventen all sorts. I did think the text was weird considering was talking about Kobe Bryant on the Podcast just the day before.

Main point is his text made no sense, I thought Kobe May have done another amazing feat, he has a production company I wanted to help build. After listening to him for some years and his last appearance on the knuckleheads podcast when he was talking about writing kids books on competition and being the best. I was like ‘yeah that’s dope I love that me and him will collaborate some day, he thinks just like me.’ Maybe my boy has a good Kobe topic after me telling him bout Mamba mentality on the Pod.

This was my mind before receiving a screenshot from the same friend about a helicopter crash. My immediate thought was he’s being rushed to hospital, ‘he’s obviously not dead it’s Kobe lol socials is bare dumb’ I thought to myself ‘this why I ain’t on twitter I’m working’. Reluctantly I open the app and the RIP’s ensue.

Good God what is happening today, everybody is annoying the whole world is annoying why are you people doing this. Then I realise for hours I hadn’t heard the news.

Me to me: you guys don’t know how annoying you are

You see I have a different relationship with Kobe. My older brother showed me the lakers when I was like 9 years old, we would watch highlights and he knew I loved basketball. After watching my first dunk competition I was hooked, a lil barely 4ft me. No one had the heart to tell me I would never make it but him. I loved basketball anyway was the one sport I felt just built for too just as well, it was more than the game it was the way Shaq Kobe and AI would speak about it. Before I knew what was going on I had an affinity for THE BEST TO HAVE EVER DONE IT.

Like I said my relationship with Kobe is different it wasn’t a Big Brother or Father complex thing. I had them both and didn’t need anymore, as far as I’m concerned my dad is the GOAT MALE, it goes him then every other man on this Earth, irreplaceable. I didn’t need anyone thinking they could run me either – already had a big brother for that.

You see having grown up the way I did Kobe and other men have a character I like. There are men who do certain things that I love that I needed to meet or work with, ones that died being Prince, MJ and Mohammad Ali, James Baldwin more of the best to have ever done it. More still with us being Dame Dash, Jay-Z, Andre Leon Talley, Honourable Minister Lewis Farrakhan, men that walk with distinction on this Earth.

Guys like Kobe who walk with my relentlessness, men like Nipsey who walked with poise among the forgotten of the world and Men like Jahseh XXXTENTACION, that knew how to speak to these teenagers who were really going through it and he would help them. These men did something so many others couldn’t and earned my respect in the most unconventional ways. I adored these men and one year after the next they were taken from this realm, my prayers go to their families.

Selfishly I needed them around. The work they were doing was so paramount, and the way they were doing it won’t be happening like that again. They thought in ways that I did about the world and had the character to do something about it. They lived with distinction and created a dominion on this Earth and in my heart that will never be forgotten.

I know their families needed them immensely but they had the families that knew their gifts belonged to the world. One by one assassination after assassination & accident they got taken.

Kobe was the type of character in my life that made me know the way I was thinking was okay. Being strong headed as long as you do great and can back it up, that was his way. He knew he could achieve greatness in the World by staying a student and continuing the Marathon of Inches. That mentality is one that I didn’t have to adopt because I lived with it. I never needed him to show me how to do it my boy moved in that way by default. Sometimes all one needs is permission to act in the way they know is right. Kobe and many others did that for me.

You see the way I see Kobe and Men like him is different and when you see me protect certain men or boost them in the future understand that I need them to be protected and know that they’re needed. I cannot do anything for those who have transitioned but I can continue to live in the image they left behind because I hold it too.

Forever grateful, forever thankful

Keep grinding and keep your neck up

A Dialogue On: Why I Cried at The Assassination of Nipsey Hussle — how it mentally entraps black men into a cycle of terror

I weep,

This event shook me to the core I can feel it I am not so emotionless that I can’t feel what has happened to me anymore. Some part of me wishes I was stone cold at the event that transpired 1am Monday morning.

No hurt

This is a feeling I can only compare to Murder of Trayvon Martin; the events of the past 44 hours strike me emotionally I feel the base of my heart reverberate and take me to the same place I was back then as a young man how helpless I was to do anything possible how my life in front of me disappeared and how I couldn’t think.

When I would go to the animation lab of my Cardiff University it would be hollow of emotion, I also couldn’t feel anything. I now feel, I can now cry and I can now give a passage of what this has done to me.

Grief

I am besides myself with grief with no tears to cry, my heart still weeps and my mind is trying to reject the idea that this is what’s going on, I can’t escape this feeling though; the feeling that I can get got at any time. Even deeper than Pain of Passion this is a feeling I grew up with one that tears black men up and one that can cripple a mans enthusiasm to help his community and to make something of himself.

This is the terrible feeling that black men face everyday the threat that our own success can kill us and even if we are noble righteous or just minding our own business living life that someone can take that from us in a moment. The motivation of our opposition doesn’t matter it’s the very real very pure fear and anxiety that someone can steal that from us.

Who will protect Black Men

I don’t even care for what people think about black males or the life some of us can possibly lead and the psychology of this isn’t one of those I can only say that I’m stressed. Beyond belief I am stressed, how much must we bend into a mould before we break; how long can we sustain this level of stoicism in the face of adversity before someone breaks us.

I have to relax, I have to be able to sleep properly, I have to be able to keep going. I cannot have other dictate the term to how I’m allowed to live my life and the cost is death, which was the reason I stopped crying, which was the reason I never feared death and welcomed it but times change I opened myself up — then XXXTENTACION gets murdered… Now Nipsey Hussle gets assassinated…

Why we put emotions away…

I feel the sorrow from my childhood that was the reason I never allowed myself to feel Trayvon’s death. I don’t know how much more I can take before the gates close again, I am up to the task of helping my community but this pain is a pain that overflows and overwhelms the most masculine types — at the rate they are taking out Black Men it’s only so long before the sorrow swallows a man. I can tell you now it won’t kill me first right now it hurts like hell, not just the death the feeling of helplessness that comes with it.

I say this with the most respect on the most literal terms. I was Trayvon, I died when he did. They shot me too. I AM NOW NIPSEY HUSSLE a man of the community trying to empower my people. That pain is my pain I carry this cross consciously & I am not trying to die on the inside again. I want to live and see OUR mission through to the end of my long and prosperous life.

… And our Spirit Dies

Why must black men who try to do good and speak truth to life leave this world as a martyr — Leave us alone. Every black man grows up wanting to help his mum or stop her from working or just earn so much money he can look after his own family with no problem. With the amount of obstacles we have to over come it becomes time for us to make a decision; That decision is made several times over before a man turns 25, that decision turns most men’s dream to dust.


Editors Note

One of my founding reasons I became a speaker was to communicate my individual experience and by proxy share the experiences of a group of people I hold dear. Just like with my Sickle Cell blogs I feel forced into a position to speak on this because men cry with no tears. Till you understand that you won’t understand us.

I will forever keep up the good example Nipsey set for us, I am not going to settle or quieten down; As long as I have breath I will always preach empowerment just like he does.

Whatever Moves Your Dial

Damilare. Not Your Typical

Follow my socials Instagram: @nytypical Twitter: @nytypical

If you enjoyed this please check out More of My Dialogues

Click here for my Essays 

To learn about Owning Your Own Ship – OYOS  

 

A Dialogue On: The Yeezy democracy – Kanye West plan to diminish the exclusivity of his company

We go again,

Something amazing happened recently that not many bar the Yeezy community is talking about. Mainly because it’s probably the most positive thing an American hip-hop artist has done for Africa Bar Akon, giving to the people of the land effectively and wanting to REALLY help. The reason it’s not being talked about is because of Americas agenda to continually down Kanye and push the narrative he’s not fit to lead a community. Well that’s none of my business, my business is with what this means for Yeezy.

Kanye gave free Yeezy 350s to the children of Uganda it was an amazing feat, the recently released – Cream White Yeezy – was long coveted and waited on by the community. And they were given away for free! A mission of YZY is to clothe the homeless and help in disaster areas an all round charity company, when Kanye said it he meant it. I have no idea what the goal is in Uganda – although I will be watching closely – to me this was nothing but positive ; the community is having a field day with this on socials as the tension rises with these first class Americans sharing the sneakers with Africans. There discrimination is showing, what they thought was there’s to sell of and make a ‘profit’ or feed into some asinine notion of exclusivity got chomped away instantly.

Long ago with Zane Lowe a disgruntled Kanye spoke about the fashion industry and all his gripes, this led people to call him crazy and create the narrative that he is mentally unstable. This legendary rant did not fall on deaf ears though not at all, I heard him loud and clear he’s never wanted Yeezy to be exclusive in the slightest but with when you have a lack of control in how you’re goods can be consumed you must work for others to a point till you can feed something that’s true to yourself, with that – as soon as Kanye got his Billion dollar valuation he revealed his ever present plan and is giving back in an amazing way to the people of Uganda. I personally want to see how this grows into something more and hope it doesn’t end there, what I can see though is Yeezy becoming a staple item and not an exclusive one Kanye wants to get rid of it in hopes to destroy classism too. Having “fans” take a major hit, that’s nobody’s business because it was not his intention from the start.

I think this is amazing someone just doing what they set out to do. It’s motivational, it’s creative and it’s the artist way. Well done for now Ye, you win this round.

We’re learning more of – Whatever Moves Your Dial

Damilare. Not Your Typical

Follow my socials Instagram: @nytypical Twitter: @nytypical

If you enjoyed this please check out More of My Dialogues

Click here for my Essays 

To learn more about Owning Your Own Ship – OYOS  

 

OYOS Acres Of Diamonds

You live in your acres of diamonds

The only reason I’ve ever done as good as I have is by this one thought and philosophical context. However it goes never search too far outside yourself as what you desire might be in a place most familiar. The type of thoughts that run through my mind when people say; ‘maybe I should move out my city.’ Or ‘you could make more money doing this’.

It has been a tale that has been told time and time again that I always have the skills I need at my disposal. I don’t know if I was born talented or super smart but I do know where my strengths lie. My words, my creativity, my vision. Something that uses anyone of those is where my acres of diamonds lay, I have created opportunity after opportunity for myself using/displaying less than 20% of my capabilities. I often think to myself what if I dedicated myself to one specific area how would I feel, where would I bee if I did that for years on end, however I still have it in my mind all my gifts are mine to use and to continue using because they are the gifts granted to me. It really humbles me when I find some people don’t have any or don’t know what their purpose is. It give me more drive to move towards my purpose and create more opportunities for myself so I can soon grant opportunities for others. That is my true work thing ‘work so hard at my jobs so I can create more jobs’ and anything That will allow me to do that I will.

Back to what you have even though It’s minimal you can always do something. I remember when I was dead broke literally no money and my computer broke, all I had was a Mickey Mouse pencil and a couple felt tip pens. This led me to start my fashion Illustration career which I still practice and commission to this day, even though I’m a photoshop guy I decided to use spare paper around the house to hone my manual skills. I remember being broke in university and the only thing I had in my cabinet was corned beef, I whipped that up into gourmet level meal … yeah I said it … GORMET! Remember having no new Ideas and being in-between jobs, all I had was a lawn mower I decided to go round to all my neighbour and ask if they need their grass cut, this particular hustle earned me thousands.

At my ropes end I find I am at my most ingenuous creating some sort of creative endeavour to pursue. Not just in the creative arts but in sales/ online advertising and project development. When you’re at your most scrappy and enthusiastic negativity finds itself out of your way allowing you to open another opportunity. I know for me and my awkward life I have been down roads that I didn’t think would lead me to money or any type of success. As a creative I do what I’m passionate about and the little I need finds its way to me, the will be a time when I find myself in surplus! I feel it in my spirit and theres no way I won’t allow it to happen so I move towards it everyday – Because I need to – I have to – theres no way I cannot.

Creating opportunities is what I do best, I will always want to because it feels right find your own acres of diamonds where you sit right now its definitely there it just needs a little digging and refining. Opportunity waits for no man however when you’re feeling noble and honest within yourself True opportunity was always yours to begin with. It was just waiting for you to grab it.

Whatever Moves Your Dial

Damilare. Not Your Typical

Follow my socials Instagram: @nytypical Twitter: @nytypical

If you enjoyed this please click for all my other Essays 

to learn more aboutOwning Your Own Ship – OYOS  

Pain Of Passion

It’s so weird to talk on a subject such as this as it hits so close to home. We all know of John Lennon, Robin Williams & Basquiat Alexander McQueen. People that moved the culture forward like  Hemingway, Francis & Zelda Fitzgerald and Kanye West most know today who are plagued with demons that come in all shapes and sizes. We could honestly name 101 artists that have their own problems they are fighting here and there. Point being what is the cost of doing something you love.

I tell myself daily from pain comes to my best work, if I’m not in a state of comfort mostly mental that thing that drives me won’t be as strong as it should be to create a great story or concept. Now I do so much for the sake of my love of the sport it is simply a thrill to create something of great worth to me, then for other people to like and accept it is a beast of its own. But how much is this state of imminent peril worth, and with notoriety comes anticipation, the anticipation of people wanting more, Can he be better; Can he top his last work; Has he stagnated; Was she just a one hit wonder.

I now can only imagine the pressure to do well then compared to now. I think we can effectively say with art comes the recreational flavours of the World. All rappers can talk about is their use of Weed, Alcohol, Extasy & Drug addled orgies now how many of them are having fun or holding in some sort of pain that they are not ready to deal with. When it comes to my life there have been absurd amounts of Pain involved from a very young age and in dealing with many mental battles to just fight on, coming to peace having nothing to do with creating. Doing what I do brings me joy but there is that part of me that always wonders what will I create if I treated my life like Earnest did, Drinking and smoking at a typewriter trying to pull from the very depths of my imagination the best stories possible. Now, being a University student I have had my fun in that uncontrollable realm but I will reiterate it had nothing to do with creating it had more to do with the Celebration of a deadline or things of that nature.

What I want to know is what does it take to create great works, or what is considered “Great” sober, because all of whom I listen to and information I consume turns to the the former “With great works, comes great demon to be fought”. Ultimately Great pain follows because demons never leave they transmute. What’s that say to a Young Turk like me, yes I’ve got my own internal demons but the path to creating a great work is seemingly laid out?  You must control that demon with external forces in order to be able to create something substantial, as if that damn is always there playing on your mind uncontrolled you’ll never be able to get out the thing you want to say comfortably, in a digestible way for your audience. This is up for philosophical debate. What is your passion worth to you?

“I won’t underestimate who I am, capable of becoming.” – Benjamin Clementine

This has been

Not Your Typical

That Which Would Kill Me

I’m feeling awful downtrodden at the moment as I have realised what was apparent to me before became a reality today. Just by understanding the laws I live by (The Principles of Man) or that which would kill me Pride. As good and as noble as I am, as much as I am a pacifist and do not live by the sword but by the pen. I fight my own battles in the field, this world we live in is not as noble as I would like it to be so I harden and grow callous to those negative behaviours and live by my rule humans are basically good.

But that is another blog, what I want to write about is the pride. As much as one can try as a Man can try pride plagues his spirit daily to fight the good fight to make one’s parents PROUD to make one’s family PROUD it’s a shame and not because pride can also save you but pride is what kills the man that sense of duty to one’s people. So who do I see as my people? The Creatives, the Artist, the colours & people of the world. It’s funny to say because I know no one will ever understand the sense of duty I fee to these 7 billion odd residence on our sapphire planet.

My sense of duty is what tugs on my ability to do things what creative answer I give my one motivation for even still being alive is to make the world a better place. It is funny again to me as I know of no one that will understand this more than the dead. See this burden I have no reservations in saying or preaching from a mountain top it is what led to the downfall of a business partnership because I see things they didn’t. Let me just say this, though I am not one of those creatives that feel their words or pictures on the screen will make the world a better place. What I do is a form of escapism it’s cathartic I understand this and feel to create the best fiction possible to allow residents to do this. Let’s get real I see nor has history given me an idea to believe that 1 singular artist body of work changed the world at large. Ruling out writings on the wall made by our ancestors I don’t see it. Unless my Art history is off then I’m sorry, please I would love for my perspective to be changed. Genuinely. I am not bashing what I love I just understand the 21st century we live in today needs a certain type of action, this is all.

Now, as far as duty goes I’ve told you before I have no idea whether I’m ready to risk going to university again. The scariest of proposals made to me, I hear it calling me. My sense of duty and more importantly pride in myself as a man was triggered, I’m not going to say how as that isn’t sauce of my mind I’m willing to let up yet however now it is a must I get that PhD I told myself I was so determined to get at 14. 10 years later I will go all the way, 6 years earlier than expected(I was to wait till I was 30 to reconvene(however I will triple major)) if only he could see it now, the straight path for me never existed did it.

I must stress this is not of my own volition this is all pride duty and a higher calling screaming at me to do so, something more powerful and more forceful than sheer human determination because I tell you now I see myself kicking and screaming internally to do the things that I have been called to do. Of my own volition, I’d be a laptop entrepreneur travel and make artworks on the side! Oh so selfish and oh so impossible, living for myself is my antithesis. I even think if, your immediate community of people you’d look out for at a drop of a dime, is less than 10 you’re not that great of a human being. You have your reasons I love you for it, doesn’t make your mentality better it. And maybe your mind and EQ doesn’t stretch that far (I won’t get into any studies but they exist) but I am built for this. That is what’s funny not many will understand, no one has asked this of me but here I am dealing with this thus ‘That Which Would Kill Me’. I am too prideful to let go of the World, I know I was built to make it better, therefore, I stand in solitude on this pursuit. I understand the death sentence I’ve given myself writing this, I exercise free will every day to make change a reality. Being a laptop Entrepreneur sure is fun but what will I do for the world really? Pray for me is all I ask.

 

As This is

Not Your Typical

We’re learning more of – Whatever Moves Your Dial

Damilare. Not Your Typical

Follow my socials Instagram: @nytypical Twitter: @nytypical

If you enjoyed this please check out More of Thoughts On:

For some longer form write ups Read some of My Dialogues

Click here for my Essays 

To learn more about Owning Your Own Ship – OYOS