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Updated: Apr 9, 2021

I have known since my late-teens that my Love for basketball and hip-hop in many ways saved my life. Plotting a course on the seas of Americanism as a black male is extremely challenging to not sound ominous or pessimistic. There is an aura of everything and everyone being against you, which creates an overwhelming desire to be accepted or to fit-in. Most of the invaluable truth pertaining to our history and advocates during my time in high-school was hidden away within books that our curriculum purposely and deviously kept away from us. Leaving us with a mentality that all we have is the reality that we are facing, and to think of anything beyond that reality is asinine. This is how I became a follower and a conformist as an adolescent. My father did his best to be transparent about so-called friends, and the difficulties though unapparent to me at the time that I would soon face being a black man in America. But my father was stifled by his created life experiences and dealing with the post-dramatic stresses of his childhood which was filled with racism that evolved into adulthood regrets, the street-life, and the slow devolving of his matrimony with my mother. Outside of the confines of my core-family structure was an ambiguous-environment. Gone was any idea of a community, superficial neighborhood competition distorted the reality that we all were experiencing the same environment of being black people with our heads just above the waters of poverty. The house that was made a home by the self-taught carpentry skills that my father possessed, along with my mother’s sheer-will and unbridled determination to make what we had the best that it could be interior-decorating skills was purchased for only fifteen-thousand dollars. My father and I knocked down garage walls and built a new den, we laid cement for a new pathway & driveway, dug channels and laid PVC-Pipes for an irrigationsystem, we built fences, we tore fences down, and tarred our often leaky roof. But the allure of what lay outside the door tugged on my mind; beckoning me to follow.

There is a saying that goes something like this: We all Love, or show Love, differently. Let's strip down the multifaceted layers, prisms, and angles of whatsociety defaults to as Love, and make love monochromatic. What is Love to you, is it mythologies, an emotional-fluttering of the heart? You know, flowers, balloons, opening a car door, making dinner, the possibility of marriage, or expensive gift giving/receiving. Contentment - Love due to fiscal reasons or due to the birth of a child. Is sexual salaciousness hidden within Love or is Love just a form of sophistry used to make our true moralities, intentions, and character more difficult to discern? Is Love the sacrificing and compromising of happiness? Can Love and pain equally reside in the same place and at the same time? Is Love at the mercy of anecdotal -conjecture; one's opinion, perception, reputation, and emotional-state at any given moment, or is Love ubiquitously general in nature while simultaneously being an unconventional unconditional paradigm?

Love begets Love. How can one Love without knowing one's own purpose. Peace, harmony, spirituality, alignment, awareness, and purpose are all components of Love. Love resides from within, and within is the temporary dwelling for our inner-being. Love begets Love. It doesn't matter in what ways you are lovable; what matters is have you become Love. When you have become Love, you are unconditional. Love isn't about the: being in Love. Love is about the journey of getting to the place within yourself of unconditionally-living which spawns; Love begetting Love.

As I followed the allure armed with the fundamentally essential mental-nutrients needed for evolution and the maintenance of life, most of which wereprovided by my father during our many construction & demolition projects and transparent father-son conversations; akin to how Mr. Miyagi (Google it) taught Daniel-son about patience, respect, life, how to fight, and Love all from the scrupulous foundation of waxing on & waxing off when cleaning his cars. Then, two things happen seemingly out of the ether into reality: Basketball & Hip-hop. My dream was never to be an NBA player nor did I want to become a famous rapper. But, there was an energy about these two entities that resonated within me, and became more alluring than anything that I had experienced at that time. There is a rhythm with basketball and of course with hip-hop. Basketball is a clumsy chaotic-dance if you try to think as you play, but if you allow yourself to flow and react the dance slows down; it becomes a waltz. 90's Hip-hop heartbeat and rhythm is that of the soul of a slave. It gave us a reason for living ; we Loved (live) to express our fore-fathers/mothers historical and our now present resiliency, divinity, pain, suffering, and anger. 90's Hip-hop is: Black Americas theme music. The art of basketball was a process of me breaking the chains of conformism, allowing me to feel, flow, and react organically from the inside-out. Hip-hop reconnected me directly to the ancestral-culture that I was severed from via slavery by way of the tribal-feel of the beats, the malcontent-context and universal introspective-passion expressed within the lyrics.

Love manifests itself through any situation or circumstance when unconditional-serendipity, advantageous-edification, and purposeful-energy is at your core. IAM not attempting to talk you out of illusions. IAM trying to show you a path to take that can lead you into the truth via the reexamination of common-sense to release the commonest ideas and beliefs that we hold inside ourselves as subjective & unquestionable. IAM Love; each piece written is you experiencing thee.

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