We're All The Same

I (along with @DarrylTheSharp) took the old Shepard Fairey N*E*R*D logo and transformed it into something I felt not only represented me and where I come from, but also represented the times we all live in. In the original logo, it was a brain placed as a light bulb in the center of 10 yellow beams in a circle. I always interpreted this as a representation of your brain’s ideas (which a light bulb typically represents) and the light coming from those ideas.

In my version, I have chosen to replace the original brain with a raised fist. By popular definition, a raised fist is a symbol of solidarity and support, and a salute to express unity, strength, defiance, or resistance. As we all know, our world is full of growing conflict at the moment - conflict based upon separation of color, religion, sexual orientation and other truly irrelevant ways to divide us as humans. I replaced the brain with the fist because I believe that this gesture of solidarity and support starts with our ideas. Once again broadening our perspective, seeing ourselves as one human race (hence the fist being green - a color no human is) rather than these made-up categories is the first step in true progression.

I used glow in the dark paint as a representation that even when times go dark, this symbol - and more metaphorically your ideas, ideals and purpose - can and will still shine bright with light. No matter how dark your environment gets, your efforts of progression and unification will not go unnoticed.

Because I felt like this way of thinking is the baseline for true progression, I felt that I wanted to represent my baseline and where I’m from - Virginia. First, there is the obvious N*E*R*D tribute as they are from where I am from. Second, Darryl and I put the state of Virginia inside the fist, and my area code hidden as the negative space of the first 3 fingers. And lastly comes my more immediate purpose with this collection…

There are only 100 TRUCKER HATS in existence.

The proceeds from these trucker hats will be used to create a STUDY ABROAD SCHOLARSHIP for a student from my alma mater - Virginia Tech. I believe that the most common barrier in broadening your perspective during you time on earth is the price of travel to physically do so. I know that my travels across the world have helped strengthen the concept that we are all just ONE HUMAN RACE, and I hope that this scholarship will help a student on the same educational path as I was do the same. To get even more meta - it would be humans helping other humans to understand how similar we all truly are.

Enjoy the merch - love you all! Truly!

rhêtorík

More Than Meets The Eye

In life, intelligence isn’t just your ability to process information and knowledge that’s given to you - anyone can do that. True intelligence is proactively finding the value in something that isn’t immediately apparent. Active intelligence vs. passive intelligence. With every person you meet or experience you have - good or bad - an actively intelligent person will find the positive value and how it can help him improve himself.

 

Much like your body processes food - part is used for energy, the rest is for waste. Your body knows how to take something that has both good and bad, and process it into exactly what it needs. You can use this same concept with your mind. You can use your mind to process the information - both good and bad - that it is receiving, and break it down to where you extract the positivity and use it as energy toward your own positive thoughts and actions.

 

For the More Than Meets The Eye pin pack, I have depicted three people - Shia Labeouf, DJ Khaled, and myself.

 

Let’s start with Shia Labeouf. Without any personal investigation, you may know Shia as the actor and former child star that went completely wild, with this ‘craziness’ discrediting any and everything positive he may try to do. As an actively intelligent person, however, you will see the value in Shia Labeouf as a human being, who has continually tried again and again to knock down the fabricated wall between ‘celebrities’ and ‘regular people.’ Instead of the comedic value in Shia’s “JUST DO IT” meme, you will find the positivity, and his passionate (almost rash) stance on society’s habit of ‘waiting for the right moment’ when the right moment is whenever they please. As a fellow human being, I hope to promote this same sense of urgency to do something with your life much like Shia has, and that is the value I take from him.  

 

Next, there is DJ Khaled. Anyone who passively takes value from DJ Khaled will surely find a true comedic masterpiece seemingly handmade for 21st century internet comedy. An actively intelligent person, however, will find the value of DJ Khaled to be much more than that. They will find it to be a message of not only positivity, but humility, and a resignation to powers that are beyond our own. In times of negativity for Khaled, as tough as it may be, he continuously externalizes positively thoughts - and although they are sometimes hilariously formulated thoughts, the rhetoric should not discredit their value. Khaled shows the success of someone normal, without the typical hollywood looks, that has made it from the bottom to the top with hard work. Much like Khaled, I hope that I can project the same light in times of darkness in my own life, and for the lives of my own fans.

 

And lastly I depicted myself. In years prior, I have always been asked the same questions about the current negative stigmas around DJing, and after every conversation with those asking, they immediately realized that not all DJs act how the media has shown them, or are even the same person off stage as they are on stage. This year, however, I took it upon myself to project my thoughts and views beyond the art form that has projected my voice up to this point in my life. I have taken it upon myself to show people that I am more than meets the eye, not just the guy on stage yelling and starting a party. This is the value that I hope to project to you as a fellow human being. Be yourself. Trust in you. Don’t let any preconceived value others have put upon you influence who you really are now, or are striving to be. Don’t feel obligated to defend yourself. Defense is reactive, and draining. Be proactive. Instead of draining your energy trying to defend yourself against each person who doubts you, proactively strengthen your own values so much to the point they have no choice but to understand who you truly are (whether they like it or not). Although some people still might not get it, at this point you will be too strong and confident in yourself to even care. Life is a continuous process of repeatedly losing your old self and finding your new self. Just remember - that no one has the right directions to find you but you.

 

NOTE: For this piece, I used the mind’s eye simply to represent this concept of seeing 'more than meets the eye'; more than just face value. I left the eyes blank so that instead of coming to the conclusion of what a 'third eye' means from what you may have passively heard before, you may put your own representation of what it means to you and how the concept behind the piece pertains to your own life. This piece is about active intelligence - challenging yourself to proactively find the positive value in your surroundings - and in leaving the eyes blank I am encouraging you to do just that. Literally fill in the blank with how you can use this concept to help yourself progress toward your goals.

I have also given both Khaled and Shia my pin jacket because of what it represents to me. I have filled my jacket with pins I have personally collected that depict influences I have had growing up that make me who I am today, and the rest are pins and buttons given to me by the fans - the people that will take me further than I could ever take myself. I always keep this jacket with me to remember that between the power of myself, my fans, and the universe, the possibilities are truly endless for me (and you) in this lifetime.