001 "Baptized by Fire"
“Baptism by fire" is a phrase commonly used to describe a person who is learning something the hard way through a challenge or difficulty.
"Our darkest days determine the outcome. We must go through adversity in life in order to mold us into who God wants us to be. It’s hard, but we must continue to put one foot in front of the other and remain faithful. Dark days don’t last, tough people do. Remaining as positive as possible through the turmoil."Each garment is named after the emotions, moments, and evolution of a Dope$oul. We are all unbound to be as great as we want to be, we all have a message, and the goal of our community is to help as many $ouls ascend to their greatness. This capsule is set to touch someone’s $oul who needs someone to tell them that everything will be ok. Trust. We all have been through the fire, none of us are perfect, but we must understand why we face the dark days. WE ALL DO. But we all will make it through because a Dope$oul never quits. We Prevail. Pressure makes diamonds, and we like ours VVS ++ only GOD$PEED $Till
For example: in 2005 in detail, I had just moved to a stable environment, New Orleans East. Middle class living in a one story house on Mckenzie St was like a mansion coming from living with family in affordable living (projects). New Orleans East was known for being the refuge area from the city, the murder capital of the world at that time, it was more specifically known for having huge gated neighborhoods that housed all of the athletes and rappers, I was born in 1995 so I was 10 years old, and although i was in the slummy part over by the Levys, I was inspired by how they were living. Can you imagine being 10 years old and not knowing where or when your next meal is gonna come from? Yes no maybe-so but that's beside my point, we had just moved into our new home, and not even a year passed and Hurricane Katrina hits, we’re forced to evacuate and move to Houston, Texas where we had absolutely nothing living out of my dads Toyota Tundra interchanging between the car and a roach infested motel 6. That sums up the first 10 years of my life. Although it sounds bad the adversity was the best thing that ever happened to me because from that point on I knew I never wanted to be homeless again. I never wanted to see my family struggle like that and I never wanted to just watch people around me try to survive; I wanted to be the reason they could live comfortably. If that's not being baptized by fire then I don’t know what is. I still have that feeling of hunger in my heart.
"If that didn't resonate with you then how about this story..."
How about this, you finally begin to get a good flow at your new job. Your bosses are consistently raving about how well you're performing and how much they love you. After work one day, you’re getting ready to go home, and all of your co-workers see on their phones that you're being uprooted to a completely different region (traded). I’m the last to know; everything had already been all over twitter so I’m really confused... why, how, and when the hell did this happen? Fast forward 20 minutes more chaotic news surfaces through the web. The trade doesn’t go through because the higher ups had a miscommunication on which names were verbally agreed upon so the trade can’t happen. I remember being in a state of confusion thinking what the heck do I do now? Do I get on the bus and go to the airport with my counterparts knowing I'm on the verge of being moved? Now I know that they don’t want me here so I don’t even feel comfortable being around these people. I was 22, so excuse me for my erratic energy at that moment, but we’ll talk through the growth.
"I got on the bus as I was instructed to by security because no one else knew how to handle this botched trade domino effect. I formulated life long relationships at that place; it was tough to wrap my head around the situation but as time continued to heal I realized then more than ever that EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON."
I was ready for a new opportunity to spread my wings anyways. I most definitely spoke that situation into existence, I manifested it. It was time for a bigger role and the Most High provided. Now, back to the story... I got on the bus and flew home from my business trip from hell, got home and cried my eyes out. I cried because I felt rejected, I felt played, I allowed the validation of my bosses to make me feel secure, and got too comfortable forreal. Lesson learned. It’s all business.
"For the next three days I was in my apartment, in complete darkness, waiting by my phone for a call to see what my next move was."
I remember time ticking so slowly, it was driving me crazy. On the night of day three I get a call from the general manager at what would become my new home introducing himself and me to their program. Once I got that call I was filled with excitement for what was to come, once all of the confusion cleared up, I knew it was time to get to work. Oh and before the GM got off the phone he said "we want you to fly to Boston tomorrow to be ready to play asap". I remember packing up my whole apartment in one night had my bags by the door and I was outta there! I fly to Boston and as I’m flying I’m reminiscing on all the amazing moments that I had and how I was able to grow into a young man, but I had to kill all that emotion because I had a new test ahead.
"The transition was magical, I immediately picked up with the same flow that I was gaining and ran with it and didn’t look back."
Fast forward two and a half years, I’m performing the best I ever had. Numbers are showing, my growth is trending through the roof. I create a whole culture by being myself within my new group, not for myself but for the pure joy of everyone to feel like a rockstar. 2020 comes around and in the middle of our resurgence, everyday life that we knew came to a complete halt.
"COVID-19 changed everything..."
COVID-19 changed everything from what we knew before and we were forced to adapt to a bubble type of work environment. Hotel living, bus to work, and bus home that's it. Room service or cafeteria food only. I was recovering throughout this time from a set back that I had before. Work stopped so I was present but I couldn’t perform. Doing everything I could to return to my group and continue to perform. Time ended up being cut short, my energy was felt though, although I could feel the energy from others that I didn’t exist or that I wasn’t needed or wanted I continued to be completely present. I was happy with the selflessness that I exuded because I was going through hell in my hotel room, not being able to participate, and being away from my love, and my so called “friends” doing lame shit behind my back because I’m not around. It was all tough for me, I went through a real Dark night of the $oul, I felt helpless. The only thing that was keeping me afloat was home, right before we went into the bubble I was blessed enough to find my $oulmate. (LOVE) that’s a story for the next capsule (Queen).
"EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON..."
Fast forward to the summer; I’m in love happy for the first time in a long time with life, working & vibing. The world for some reason didn’t like that so the sunshine didn’t last for too long. On a random day in summer I get a call from someone and get word that I'm getting traded, again. I was already numb to the business at this point but I’m still human. I was hit with this same gut feeling from the first time and it was everywhere for the world to see. $till it was time to adapt. EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON
I couldn’t believe it, for the second time I had been traded away; reasons out of my control, and I was forced to adapt. That one was emotional because of all of the memories and impacts I had my fingerprints on, but business is business. Through it all I was able to find my $oulmate, so the Most High works in mysterious ways. Off to CALI! I knew I was in for a ride, what kind of ride? I had no f*cking clue. But I was ready.
I get to my new city and same as always, I'm ready to give it my all, nothing new but before I get a chance to focus on the job ahead just days before, my then fiancé (now wife) was pregnant with our first child.
A lot was going on in my life during this time and I did my best to keep my head above water, but I probably faced the toughest time in my life in a long time. Adversity after adversity, no one around me was stable. I was leading blind and I felt alone. Couldn’t find any footing, when I wasn't at work I tried to access other avenues to keep my mind off of reality but that just led to a bunch of ideas half ass coming to life, people taking my eagerness for granted, leading to more problems and unfinished projects. My time management was terrible. I traveled a lot so when I was home I felt like a stranger. I didn’t even know how to work the remote or where the damn cereal bowls were; shit made me depressed for real. The beginning of this new journey was hell. I still had to perform at work. I had my solid days and I had my terrible days, but one thing I knew was that I have to keep going, keep showing up.
I’ve faced countless adversities in my life and even at my lowest I never given up so what makes this time any different? C'mon Kells you built for this! God gives his toughest tasks to his strongest soldiers. GOD$PEED. Keep stepping KING. These are a lot of things I told myself. I went through many great awakenings- seeing how strong my fiancé was throughout her pregnancy, and her evolution as a Queen made me better. I had a lot of self reflective moments. Through the fire I walked, gracefully. I felt the growth more and more as I battled it out each day like a new Avenger stepping into the MCU.
"The struggle made me hungrier to become better than ever."
I have a black belt in Tae- Kwan-Do so I reentered, tapped back into my inner self throughout this growth phase, I studied Bruce Lee’s, Jeet Kune Do methods.
I came to the realization that I would drive myself insane trying to worry about the satisfaction of others. I was losing myself in a false reality of things people were telling me and focusing on others’ paths, which internally made me veer far off of my own. In order to maintain in this game the objective is to stay Sane. From experience, the only way to do so is to just roll with the punches, continue to show up, focus on being the best version of yourself for yourself. Stay quiet to outside noise, remain $Till & be like water. Fast forward to today, and I’m $Till standing tall, $Till stepping, I have a clear vision, and I’m blessed enough to tell you this, “Message” because YOU are a DOPE$OUL, YOU are built for anything this world has to throw at you. “Unbound” for Greatness, ready for “Ascension”.
Welcome to the beginning of the rest of your new life...
Welcome to the beginning of the rest of your new life. A life dedicated not only to just living, but living out your $oul’s FULL potential. From our first breath of air at birth we are given an opportunity. A chance to make something of ourselves; to make this world a better place and or to do and be whatever or whoever we want to be. All that's easier said than done when you factor in social status but that really shouldn’t be an excuse. Everything happens and is happening for a reason so that means you gotta get up everyday and grind twice as hard as the ones who already got a head start. Only the strong survive but the mentally strong Thrive. Remember the grass isn’t always greener either, money doesn’t heal pain, trauma, or make you better than anyone else; it actually comes with much more responsibility, much more to lose, and no one to truly trust. We are all equal because our hearts beat and we bleed red so if you're looking at someone else’s lane to judge or look down upon, then you are not 100% focused on your own.
I’m not writing this to tell you how to live your life, how to hustle, or how to exist. I’m on this journey with you I don’t have many friends or outlets that I feel comfortable opening up on so I pray I can help motivate, inspire, empower, etc anyone who needs someone or takes the time out to read this. We’re running this marathon together I just want to thank each and every eye that read this. Love till Infinity. we are Dope$oul and we can’t be stopped.
001 “Baptized by Fire”