We live in a world where the things we say can be just as dangerous as the guns we carry. I chose to put these words on shirts to add a little light to the series of messages we ingest daily from music, clothing, advertisements, TV, and casual conversation.
Throughout my life I can recall a myriad of times where phrases like "murder capitol" and headlines filled with death. Crime seemed to replay like songs on Q93. In the last decade I have consistently educated myself on as much as possible and with every lesson came enlightenment and an increased (and sometimes unwarranted) ability to see more of the wrongs we commit against each other with more clarity. Whether on the international or local level I can see the bad in ways that I never could as a child. Some say we have more media to blame, but all I know is it makes me tired. Even to witness smaller instances between friends and associates weighs heavy. To constantly, with or without choice, observe so much ignorance and evil is just plain tiring.
Growing up I wasn't spared by mean people or poor experiences. I was scrawny, poor, and not exactly cool. I know what a bully is; I am too well acquainted with embarrassment. I have questioned the things adults tell to children dozens of times, but amidst all the bad experiences it was the good moments that kept me moving forward. Wisdom from the old folks on the stoop as my mama walked me to school. Grace from counselors and disciplinarians when I went astray. Extra care from teachers when a math problem got the best of me or enormous amounts of seemingly unnecessary love from church members and family friends, there were even strangers who picked up the slack when my absent father and sick mother couldn't afford clothes or experiences that would make me a better person. This is what I remember when I feel like being less than happy or less than loving. This is why I put it on the shirt.
Every time someone passes me or anyone is wearing the shirt they have to read it, they have to think about it. The statement is a direct confrontation with what many believe our city to be. It is an instant seed to sprout good vibes within those who dare to accept the challenge of spreading love.
This is a mission that I take on every day, in my work as a DJ, producing events from a place of necessity instead of hustle, and creating things that help others with little to no personal benefit. With the sharing of these shirts and hoodies I can recruit others to live out the mission as well. We must Spread Love, not hate; we must continue to love those around us as New Orleans taught me and countless others. This city and its people are comprised of many different minds and souls, all who have embraced "new" people and ideas as if they were their own. This city absolutely isn't for sale, but is absolutely for love.
I ask that anyone reading this please share some love. Whether a hug or smile emoji…or sharing your change or a meal with someone who goes without…or starting a conversation with someone new to your street or city…or just being kind to everyone you meet for the rest of eternity (sounds easy right!?).
We must Spread Love because it truly is The NOLA Way.