Chicago + Haterade


Even though I’ve been in Oakland for a while, I’m still a Chicago boy at heart. Chicago folks, not transplants, know that Chicago is full of “haterade.” See, even that last line has a little bit of haterade in it for calling out transplants. I love Chicago, but after living away from it for sometime, I see how I HATED on a ton of things unnecessarily.

Me and the homies used to always have discussions about this specific topic but would still proceed to hate on some shit. We’d talk about how Chicago hip hop, at the time, was so “me, me, me” and how folks would have to dip out to get “big.” The few groups that would collaborate and gain some ground, would then get hated on by other groups/individuals. Not only did that happen in music, but also in retail, graff, everything. Everyone wanted to make it big individually without any help. So it’s cool to now see the awesome collaboration between current/past Chicago artists and how the result is diverse and awesome art that’s getting a lot of the national spotlight that it deserves. I get to see the love for Chicago, from outside of Chicago, and it makes me so proud of my hometown.

I’ve definitely felt myself unnecessarily hating on things, especially since being in the Bay. Folks could be happy about something innocent and I’d hate on it. So ridiculous. Even in my illustration/design, I used to think (and maybe it’s true) that the hate pushed me to be better in my own work. I’d see other artist’s works that I really liked and would be so mad that it would push me to try and do something better. I didnt talk shit about that artists but there was definitely a fine line between competition and hating. I probably talked some shit, lol. I also got the vibe that folks carried it around like a “badge of honor”, me included.

Since having my daughter and noticing my wife’s (a Chicagoan) ability to stop with the haterade, I’ve been trying to make a better effort to stop. I’ve acknowledged that it’s still in my system and may never be flushed but I’m making the effort to redirect that negative energy. Sounding like some hippie shit? Well, I have been in the Bay for almost 8 years, so some of it was bound to rub off on me. I just dont wanna download all these negative vibes into my daughter’s brain. She’ll figure life out on her own without daddy’s negatron attitude adding to it.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see how this change goes. Hopefully my work doesnt start sucking more than it already does. Here’s to the possibility of channeling that hate into some positive work. In the meantime, I’ll patiently wait for the homies (that actually read this) to start hitting me up with the “cali-boy”, “hippie” texts and/or comments. It’s cool, I know the love is in there, haha.

One last thing, the graphic above (without all the sketchy lines) might make a fun pin. What do you think?


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