Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I got this in my email the other day from Mama Akua, who is the widow of Chairman Fred Hampton Sr. Mama was pregnant with the now Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. when the Chicago Police Department ambushed them on December 4, 1969. See previous post for more info!

Enjoy the mental meal and by all means send to a bunch of friends. If we can forward corny chain emails, surely we can spread the TRUTH.

"You know who it is, you know what it is...peace out."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

R.I.F. Chairman Fred Hampton & Mark Clark

This is the eve of the night on which the Chicago Police Department, through J. Edgar Hoover's/FBI endorsed COINTELPRO, that Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton Sr. and Defense Captain Mark Clark were ambushed and assassinated while they slept; Chairman Fred in bed with his pregnant wife. This year marks the 40th Anniversary of "The Murder On Monroe".

These men were two YOUNG courageous members of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. They embodied the character and personality that is so lacking in the youth of our black communities today. They were men devoted to their families and to the pursuit of freedom and justice. Instead of promoting and exploiting the ignorance and troubles that we endure, they fought to create unity around these common issues that were affecting us across the country. They created the free breakfast and health screening for our children. While Chicago sought to lock up (or kill) the street's Lords, Stones and Disciples, Fred and Mark along with the BPP sought to organize, politicize and unify them through various community outreach and development programs.

Being a threat to the government's COINTELPRO politics that were designed to destabilize, discredit and destroy black leaders, and to "...prevent the rise of a Black Messiah...", it was obvious that they had to be killed.


I was introduced to Chairman Fred Jr. about 7 years ago through a mutual friend I had been doing artwork for. I was very familiar with Chairman Fred Sr.'s story prior to this meeting, so it was nothing less than a pleasure to be able to shake hands and build with his son over dinner.

Later in the year, while in Chicago for a family reunion, I had to convinced my cousin to take me through his "opposing neighborhood". If you know the slightest bit about Chicago, if you represent a 6, you're usually not chillin' somewhere where 5's are being But he took me and it would be my first official meeting with Chairman Fred Jr. and his mother, "Mama" Akua Njeri. Here we discussed me playing a role in their National Revolutionary Day, a yearly memorial for the "Murder On Monroe". This would be the beginning of a 7 year working relationship with the family providing creative support in the form of flyer design.

I also had my younger cousin with me, and it was a beautiful thing b/c he wasn't familiar with the legacy of Fred Hampton. Surely I had drilled him on the Black Panther Party and the general importance of that movement, but as I met with Mama and Fred Jr., The Assassination Of Fred Hampton played in the background for my cousin to consume. He had now become one of what should be MANY young black men who have been enlightened by these fearless soldiers.

I think if OUR media and music focused on the likes of the REAL GHETTO SOLDIERS, the ones who fight (and not conform to) the system by any means necessary, the current and future leaders in our communities would be just as courageous and fearless. They would be more responsible brothers, fathers, uncles, cousins. Instead of the next Jay Z, we really need the reincarnation of the spirit that ran through the blood of Chair Fred Hampton and Deputy Mark Clark. The amazing fact is that Fred was a young 21 years old, Mark 22, when they were murdered. What they accomplished at that age is something divine to me...

But until that spirit rises, Rest In Freedom gentlemen. I'm sad to say that as a community we've gone backwards from what you sacrificed your lives for, but I am also proud to say that it definitely was not in vane. Not all of us have been consumed and programmed by the world society that seeks to destroy us as it sought to destroy you.

"You can kill the revolutionary, but you can't kill the revolution."
- Chairman Fred Hampton, August 30, 1948 – December 4, 1969

"You know who it is, you know what it is...peace out."

Monday, October 19, 2009

4 Tha Kids

Today didn't start off great like some of my other days. As a matter of fact, the day started off not good at all. I know I possess the power to control the outcome, and so I began to reflect on these photos my friend Allison took of me while I was with here 5th/6th grade students last week.

This was definitely one of the most joyous times I've had in a while. Children are always a good source for positive energy. Especially this group of kids. Many of them lost family (mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers) is some war over some dumb shit probably. But their spirits were so strong and positive. They began sharing some of their stories and honestly, I wanted to shed a tear. One of the young girls was on her way to "freedom" when a bomb hit the camp they were at, killing most, if not all of her family. But her spirit poured positive energy into the project we were working on, and so I had to take a note from this young lady for changing the course of my day today.

I had the chance to speak to the kids about the art of sketching, as well as participate in an assignment they had started prior to me coming. Since I was behind on the linoleum burnishing project, one of the great joys was having one of the students "teach" me his technique, which really helped me make my way through.

I am very proud of myself for taking the time to share my skill and experience with these kids. They showed the utmost appreciation and were very attentive. Far better than some of these BS clients/people I have to deal with! But more importantly, I am thankful that these children have found a good way to channel their stories into their artwork. I know what it means to be able to unleash the negativity in the form of a beautiful piece of work.

Extra special thanks to my good friend Allison for inviting me out and taking these great pics. Thanks also to my creative comrade Goldi Gold for inspiring me to write this blog. I didn't really intend on doing anything other than post the pics, but it was a pleasure to share this with you!

"You know who it is, you know what it is...peace out."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Good Day

It's been a while since I put anything here, but I felt inspired to shared that today was a good day!

-- from my iPhone.

Friday, May 29, 2009


If you're somewhere around 28 and up, and were submerged in all things hip-hop back in the late 80's and early 90's, then MC BREED wouldn't be a name foreign to your eardrum. "Big Baller" Eric Breed was most familiar for his chart breaking, "Ain't No Future In Yo' Frontin'", but had a discography that played soundtrack to many of our growing up experiences.

So a few weeks ago, as i was sitting in the studio working on a project for my homie Wayniac, i noticed a photo of him and Breed on his computer. i proceeded to tell him how I grew up listening to Breed, and so he began to talk about the birthday/memorial celebration he was helping his Breed's wife Tasha put together. Knowing that this is the season of the Gemini, i mentioned to Wayniac something about that being his reason for being so dope, since i myself am a Gemini...and pretty dope! So Wayniac mentions that Breed's birthday was June 12th, same day as mine. i found that to be quite interesting and a little more than coincidence, so i told Wayniac that i'd like to do the flyer for the event. He was sure to let me know there was no budget to pay for designing the flyer, but i let him know that the money didn't matter. i felt it would be a good deed for an artist i respected and whose music i grew up on.

Honestly, i think it's a decent job to serve the purpose. Tasha (Breed's wife) however, was very appreciative. She even pointing out various details in the design she liked that i took for granted. Nevertheless, i'm glad i had the opportunity to work this out for her, and for all the fans who will come out Thursday, June 11th to pay homage to the late great MC Eric Breed.

"You know who it is, you know what it is...peace out."

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Online I spell it as "mistersoul216" because the period in the "mr." can sometimes throw things off in the net world. I tag it as "mr.soul" because it's quick and simple. It represents my style of art and my personality. And the 216 represents Tha Land that I am from..."Thieveland™". If ya don't know, betta ask somebody...

Where did the name come from? I'm asked this many times, so here's the official story, complete with a fresh new piece I will be using to further brand the name and myself.

So, back in '95 during my creative creep on a come up in Cleveland, I was the go-to guy for my homeboy and Cleveland legend DJ CENTIPEDE. 'Pede was known for throwing the very successful MIX MASTER MASSACRE DJ Battles back then and he provided me with the opportunity to get my work out by doing the flyers for the event. In the process of this, 'Pede used to always call me and say, "What up Mr.Soul?". It was his version of greeting me as my company (which was Visual Soul). I never really thought much about it, but then I moved to Atlanta, and my homeboy BJ Kerr followed suit. So I took it as something to embrace and to represent..

So at that point I decided that I had to give it meaning. I carved out a few acronyms to further break down the SOUL, one of them being Student Of Universal Law/Love. The others I can't share yet because there are people out there sharpening their teeth, waitin' to bite!

In addition to the acronyms, I decided that everything I designed or created should embody the definition of soul. It should be fluid and have movement, invoke emotion, and MEAN SOMETHING. I was heavily inspired by the movement of Atlanta's Dungeon Family around the same time, and so that music background provided me with the motivation and inspiration necessary to create. I wanted my artwork to visually represent what I heard through the music of Outkast, Goodie MOb., Society Of Soul, etc.

And so that's how the name came about and what it means! And now, the art...

"You know who it is, you know what it is...peace out."


..i shouldn't have left you!

Greetings people. So sorry for the 2 month hiatus on my blogisms. A brotha been bus juggling a few projects and sanity. A lot has gone down since the last post, so much that I don't feel like updating But I'm going to try to keep up again.

Stay tuned!

"You know who it is, you know what it is...peace out."

Friday, March 6, 2009


I worked up this sketch last night and fine tuned it today. I'm gonna work on this and try to knock it out over the weekend. I need a break and breath of fresh air from work and deadlines. Shit is wreckin' my brain!

The title is "(Love) No More" and it will be a 30x24 acrylic painting on canvas. I haven't done any letters in ages so to re-tap my graffiti roots I went in on this. "(Love) No More" is somewhat of a prequel to another piece I've been working on, "Love's Destruction" which is a little more complex. I wanted to have fun with the next painting since my "I Pledge Allegiance..." piece was so intense, so I'll enjoy the simplicity of freakin' these letters.

Progression photo updates when I have photo progression updates!

"You know who it is, you know what it is...peace out."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


This dog was havin' a helluva dream! LMAO!!!

"You know who it is, you know what it is...peace out."


I don't even have to say nothin'...just watch this shit.

"You know who it is, you know what it is...peace out."


I had planned on utilizing my blog to go in depth about much of the art and design stuff I'll be working on, and just recently I've gotten a few inquiries about the meaning of my submission for the City Of Ink's "ENOUGH IZ ENOUGH!: Artists United Against Police Brutality" Art Exhibit this pass Friday. So here we go with progression photos and details! Enjoy!

"I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE" was inspired by a powerful photo from a series my homegirl TT Coles is working on. It was a Monday, a few days before the show and I hadn't locked in on a concept yet. I've been dwelling on pieces like this for 17 years! (since Rodney King and the L.A. Uprising) And as usual, there's so much to say in regards to the topic, so I wasn't clear on what stance or position to take with my piece. So, browsing Facebook, I noticed a new album uploaded by TT and one of the photos stood out instantly! Not only did the photo stand out, but the title and concept was there with it. So I called up TT and asked her for the images she had for that particular reference shot and she promptly emailed me what I needed to get started.

So after seeing the photo, the title came to mind. Even still, I wasn't sure on all i was going to try to say in such a short period of time. It was late Monday night and I had to have the piece done in a couple days. I tried to keep it simple, but my mind wouldn't allow for it. So I just went with the flow. And as I began to draw, create and paint, the message was further revealed to me. "I Pledge Allegiance" would be a tribute to the victims of police brutality, and give honor to those who have become political prisoners or lost their lives fighting in this struggle.

So the sista represents the foundation of the Black community. She is the mother of all of this we know as civilization. She represents Africa, the beginning. Her hand over her heart is her pledging allegiance to her community, those who've struggled and died, and to the continuation of this struggle. She's wearing a halo because she is a souljah sent by God to properly guide His children during these oppressive times. I'm also VERY big on angels (i have 5 of them tatted on me with more to go!). I think that some humans are God's earthly angels, me and my crew being a few of them. But in my depiction of angels, the one's with halos represent 360 degrees of perfection. She is the closest thing to God. Her war paint is obvious, the red is for the blood shed, the green is for our land, and the black is for the Almighty people. TT shot the photo this way, but it was very relevant in my concept b/c a phrase from an old Sista Souljah song played in my head, "We are at WAR! Black man where is your army!?!"

I incorporated the names of key people, some of which included: Fred Hampton, Sekou Odinga, Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Assata Shakur, Amadou Diallo, Abner Louima, Michael Pipkens, Katheryn Johnston, Rodney King, Adolph Grimes, Malice Green, Oscar Grant, Eleanor Bumpers, Bunchy Carter, Sean Bell, The Black Panther Party, B.L.A. (Black Liberation Army) and countless others. These names were placed on the piece for two reasons. Reason #1 has been stated above, reason #2 is because during the African Libation ceremony, names of the ancestors are spoken to call on their spirits and energy for guidance. This ritual is more familiar in the hood when brothas and sistas "pour out a little liquor" for a dead homie. This was/is rooted in African culture. So for my piece, I wanted to invoke the spiritual energies of those dead and alive to speak through my piece.

The burning buildings represent the ENOUGH IZ ENOUGH! They represent us being tired of talkin' and walkin'. They represent rebellion. This verse stuck in my mind as I painted this part:

"...we ain't talkin' no mo', we ain't squashin' shit wit po-po, and we ain't marchin' in the middle of the goddamn street 'cause Martin got smoked, niggas ready for war..."

This verse was from Krayzie Bone on Dead Prez's "Walk Like A Warrior" which was on heavy repeat as I painted.

To see the FINAL final version, make your way to City Of Ink Tattoo Shop and Art Gallery to see this and other fine pieces dealing with police brutality. If you're not in the city and would like to see the final, send me a nice comment and/or email and i might just send u a shot ;).

Overall, that's the concept and where I was coming from with this piece. And as always, I don't think it's finished. I'm the hardest critic of my own work. There's always something I think that needs to be done, corrected or fine tuned. I'm trying to learn to let it go since there's so much more to say about so many other things. Besides, the police just beat the shit out of a 15 year old girl. So I guess it's back to the drawing board huh?

"You know who it is, you know what it is...peace out."

Monday, March 2, 2009


Last week was a loooong, drawn out week. Whew!! I 'm so glad I got through that. Today is back to "normal", the creative hustle and grind. Projects to catch up on and to knock out. It's definitely time to make them donuts...

"You know who it is, you know what it is...peace out."

Snow In Atlanta?? WTF?

I had been hearing that it was gonna snow Sunday. And I'm like yeah,I know what Atlanta snow is like! On top of that, it was so warm on Friday, that snow on Sunday seemed impossible! Well low and behold, it snowed! AND IT STUCK!! I definitely had a foot in my mouth thinking that even if it did snow, it wouldn't accumulate. And it did exactly that. I think this is the worse it has snowed in my 12 years in Atlanta.

It was a somber, but peaceful day for me though. I felt that it would have been a much better day to experience with other elements present, but I enjoyed the day nevertheless. I didn't feel the pressure of having to do anything or go anywhere, and a day like that is always a blessing...

"You know who it is, you know what it is...peace out."


Man, Friday was a long yet eventful day. I didn't sleep much if at all from Wednesday to Friday trying to prepare for the City Of Ink's 2 Year Anniversary Art Exhibit, "Enough Iz Enough!: Artists United Against Police Brutality".

The day was very gloomy. It rained all day, literally! We were concerned about the turnout, but Miya said the show must go on! And boy did it! The house was packed to capacity! I almost missed the damn event by oversleeping on my 20 minute power nap that turned into almost an hour! I was so drained and had to take a quick rest before I got dressed. I ended up making it there close to 9ish and there was still a lotta love gathering.

I was excited to see some high school friends of mine who came to support the cause. Thanks to the twins Jamie and Jeff for coming out! And I hadn't seen my homegirl Terrilyn in YEARS!! We have a memorable moment in high school where we started a petition to get a Black author for our book of the month. See, it was February, Black History Month, and our goofy English teacher overlooked that fact by giving us ANOTHER European writer to study. We didn't see that as being adequate, since we only get one damn month out the year. He didn't budge, so we started a petition and ended up reading SULA by Toni Morrison! ;) We were born to Fight The Power!

After seeing the final display and presentation, I will say that I was a lot more accepting to the submissions. But when I walked in Thursday night to do the hanging, I was somewhat disappointed by them, as were my comrades. We didn't feel that the artists really "brought the pain". Not to say we were looking for angry, Fuck The Police pieces, but we were looking for people to convey that there has been a rash of injustices experienced from the police in the Black community this year, 2 or 3 of which have led to MURDER. So I/we were looking for work that was at least somewhat as aggressive as the tactics we're subjected to. Some people did pieces that were too abstract. Like, when you look at them, you almost couldn't tell if the piece was in the right show. But at the end of the day, it all panned out, as pieces from Torry Holmes, Just10, Corey Davis, Melvin, Craig "Flux" Singleton, Kermin Middleton as well as myself came in.

You can check out a few pics I took here. Oddly enough, I don't have pics of the actual pieces since by the time I got there it was a full house. But I'll update later today with pics of the display.

Thanks to all of you who came out to support our 2 years!! Please continue to do so as we have many great things on the horizon!

"You know who it is, you know what it is...peace out."

Monday, February 23, 2009


Passion is and ingredient that allows dreams to come true. It is a very important component in everything we do because without it, we wouldn't have the motivation to press on. It is required in achieving our goals and having healthy relationships with others. If you are passionate about you craft, as in my case art, you will walk through hot coals to reach your destination. If it is your friends, you will sacrifice any and all that you have to ensure they are well taken care of when in need. And if you are passionate about someone you love, you will go through extreme measures to express that to them so that they know you're there for them, even when it is assumed.

Your passion is what keeps you up late at night working on multiple projects...or what keeps you in front of a canvas for hours upon hours, leading into days, to complete a masterpiece. It's what allows you to give your last $10 to someone because your desire to help them is greater than helping yourself.

I've been passionate about a lot of things early on in my life. My art, my family, my friends, the pursuit of truth...these are things I would die for. I remember me and my creative crew use to take chances looting art stores and hardware stores for supplies and paint because we were determined to be heard through our art. We couldn't really afford those things at the time, however our passion drove us to expropriate these items because the ends justified the means. Although many of us have taken different routes in pursuing our dreams, I can look to each one of them today and see that their passion has continued to carry them on.

I've always been very big on my family and friends. It is a great fortune to have such a supportive network of people around you. Family and friends, if they're true, will always continue to motivate you and remind of you why it is you're doing what you're doing. I know sometimes I get so caught up in playing circus clown, juggling all these responsibilities, that I sometimes lose my focus. But it's usually someone close who reminds me of what I've set out to do, and why it is important to keep going strong. They remind me that I've always been passionate about my work, even when I don't think I am.

Some people lack passion, or operate on a half tank of it. They try to pretend with themselves and others that the are deeply involved in things, but you can tell by the fruits of their labor, or by how it rubs off on you. At some point it will become evident that they are not only posing, but risk the chance of sucking you dry of energy necessary to achieve your own goals. Be careful of these people as they often lack purpose and will detract you from yours.

So what are YOU passionate about? Is it someone special? A project you've been working on? Helping another person when in need? Whatever it is, identify with and latch on to it real strong. Use that to get through those tough times...and at some point all that hard work and focus will manifest into positive things.

"You know who it is, you know what it is...peace out."


This is one of those cool projects! I am in the process of designing a basic website for Master Tattoo Artist, Miya Bailey, co-founder of the infamous City Of Ink Tattoo Shop and Art Gallery. After I completed phase one of the City Of Ink site, Mr. Bailey decided that he wanted to create a more personal path to his world by establishing his own site. The site will be dedicated to keeping his fans and followers abreast on his personal projects like his book, solo art shows, etc.

This is just a screen shot of the work in progress. I will make another post when we're done.

"You know who it is, you know what it is...peace out."