nothing else to do here.

When I am in Detroit, I feel like I am losing the gift that I have. It may not be true but it feels this way.

“People need other people to relate to for a connection & I’m losing that”

“No one can understand your kind of creativity beside other creative minds and because we are surrounded by so few, it makes you feel extreme and you begin to suppress it”

I was having an ichat conversation with a friend and I promise I feel like they were in my head when they typed that.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

If you are winning the game but the only person in the arena is you… Are you sure you are playing anyone or are you just practicing? I’ve thought about it for awhile and I am pretty sure that I have just been practicing. We get so comfortable where we are at that we are afraid to take a chance, afraid of taking the big shots because we do not want to be frowned upon. We would looove to be the person to hit the buzzer beater though, right? You can’t be afraid to be afraid.

Its very hard to better yourself when people do not know quality. You ask someone a question and they are comparing it to what they are used to seeing from those people in the area. Thats not a good comparison if the people in the area suck. We laugh and joke about it but its the truth. Its even more difficult to progress when you are in a circle of people that have never had a passion for anything. If you can honestly say that you have never been passionate about any one thing then what motivation do you even have to get up each morning? Thats a real question… If you are not passionate about anything is there even anything that you can even hold a real conversation about? I’ve noticed that a lot of people that have never been passionate about anything turn to religion. If its not religion then they try to clinch on to something they see someone else is passionate about. Like my boy P.L. always says, “people are starting to realize they’re gonna lose. So they attach themselves to winners in ANYWAY possible.” I couldn’t agree with this more right now. I just hope that the winning team you are trying to attach yourself to has another spot on that roster for the waterboy.

Where I am from its like a big fashion show and if you are not wearing a leather jacket with stitchings of faces or dollar signs on them or designer sneakers and circular shaped glasses with gold on the sides you are out of the race. If you are not outside of the club with bigger rims then that of the car in front of you or behind you then you are looked over by the “pretty women”

lol, If you read here.. chances are, you are the foolish one. Who would you speak to about what you are reading or the progress you’ve made throughout the week? All those you surround yourself want to know is “where the hoes at?!” or if you gon’ “light that shit up!”

The city where the young black women feel they have three choices when it comes to who their role model will be… 1) Beyonce  2) Rihanna or 3) Nicki Minaj… Not much to choose from.

At night, the businesses downtown are covered with giant garage like doors to prevent people breaking in and every other building you pass has either shattered glass or boarded windows with a for sale sign. So many sale signs you would think the whole city agreed to have a huge yard sale on the same day.

Eventually it will come back… I know it will, but right now its not the place I need to be. Its not the place for me.
I am not going to go on and on about the city and i am not giving up on it. I do feel like its time for me to relocate though.  When you start to feel like you are in a box and everyone around you becomes content with their situation you then start to adapt to the foolishness and think this is where you belong. I didn’t belong here when I felt this way the first second or third time. I don’t belong in this city now. I wont be in this city come spring. Its just not enough unity, not enough creativity and the “fashion forward” people in the area think bright colors, tutu’s and paint splattered on t-shirts is what makes them different. That shits wack.

Not taking shots at any one person in the city in which I work out of… However, if any of this offends you then you’ve put yourself in a box a long time ago.

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9 thoughts on “nothing else to do here.

    1. I feel your pain as I go through similar emotions when I’m home in Poughkeepsie. I just jump on the train and go to NYC just to breathe a different type of energy. It’s the difference between living and surviving.

  1. Awesome read. Even though I would consider myself one of the few that are close, it’s always interesting… tapping into your mindbox to see what’s going on in there.

    lol @ “you better hope there is a spot available for a waterboy”.

    you already know your worth and from day to day, you just keep expanding. it is amazing really. i would agree that, although MI is a great city, you have surpassed the talent there and it’s time to move on. it’s time to play among the other Varsity team members and leave the JV team alone. Your feel and creativity is something that I feel the fashion photography world is not ready for. I’m sure you have a lot to learn in Chicago, NY, Paris, and the likes, I’m sure there’s a whole realm that you haven’t even touched on and they may make you feel like a young grasshopper again, but (there’s the “but”)… this will give you a chance to mix that with the artistry that you already have and surpass them. then what’s next… you’ll be the greatest. can you taste the greatness? i can. keep striving. i’m not rooting for you and watching from the sideline. i’m helping out in anyway possible. your success is my success, your demise, would too be mine. let’s continue watering the seeds and watching them sprout and bloom. i think the next 5 years will be some of the best of your life. kudos.

  2. I have never agreed with someone so much in my life. I was just sharing these same sentiments with a few friends of mine… Do you mind if I borrow a few parts from this passionate rant? Dont worry I’ll be sure to link back.

  3. Dante, there’s never been a post that has hit home more than this. Being that I’m from the city and am about to graduate in May, I’ve been stuck in this predicament where I don’t know if I should stay in the city, try to stick it out and be there during the re-building of it…or relocate, take my talents, my ambition, and my drive someone where it’s more suitable for the time being.

    I feel the city as a whole is so complacent…and you’re right, there is no unity. Everyone wants to act as if there is, but truthfully, there’s not…and if there is, it’s of miniscule portions. We have such an incredible amount of talent in this city, but we’re not putting it to proper use, and because of that, we won’t grow as a whole.

    This one post should be a wake-up call. Thanks for posting this Dante, seriously man.

  4. “Its just not enough unity, not enough creativity” I Absolutely 100% agree. I too reside here in Detroit and have been feeling this way for quite sometime. I have this discussion with my brother Jason on a regular basis. Collectively we call ourselves Unusual Minds,him and I, we render music production and graphic design services for profit(“That was plug by the way” -Dante Marshall)lol.

    Anyway, this is an excellent post that I feel very connected to. As Terrance said, There is an incredible amount of talent here. It’s just unfortunate there isn’t really a creative outlet here as there are in other cities. Detroit gets looked over so much & it doesn’t have to be that way. I feel the mentality of some people here has to change. There is a problem when Constructive criticism & honesty is looked at as “hating.” There definitely needs to be some unification of our artists and city as a whole. People are so quick to tell you how much “You’re losing” if you’re not “with them”, it’s sad. One can not continue to watch such a game. I remain optimistic in the notion that “unity” will come to pass. In the meantime, I have my own game to play & win. Like you said “If you just keep shooting and keep scoring, I’m going to keep winning”. That’s how you win games, right?

    Thanks for the inspiration Dante, I wish you all the best in your endeavors. By now you’ve probably relocated or are on your way to doing so. This has given me the motivation to further pursue my passion & move on. “You can’t be afraid, to be afraid”. I love it! God bless you Mr. Marshall.

  5. super duper late on this comment but, i was feeling your post so much i was compelled to comment. been hearing about you throughout the city and seeing your work, needless to say i am impressed and very proud that talent such as yours is from my hometown.

    hopefully you have by now moved on to better things. in writing this post you have motivated me to do the same. my mind was already postulating the idea but reading this definitely validates my thinking.

    looking at so many great names associated with the city of detroit, especially post motown era, they have either left the city and exploded into the stratosphere or stayed and became cult legends with a terrible amount of unrealized potential. barry sanders, *insert name of favorite local rapper*, MC5, ETC. all come to mind when i think of great people who could have left the city and realized much more notoriety and evolved into an even greater entity. on the other hand you have those who left the city behind and went on to realize greatness, emeinem, alice cooper, magic johnson(flint i know but you get the point), dilla.
    growing up i used to hate it when i would see people take their talent out of the city and to elsewhere. now i completely understand why and encourage it.

    there is something about the culture of metro detroit, this lack of unity and support, and genuine respect. its like people feel like you can’t get on if someone else already is so you either try to tear them down, hold them back, or don’t try at all and fall into the status quo. that jay-z song so ambitious should be freaking required listening in the d. so much group think and lack of diversity. it pisses me off that dudes are still jackin for carti’s. chasing wood frames and big rims wanting to be that dude with the bottles at the club. its so detroit and likewise somewhat disturbing.

    point taken mr. marshall. don’t be afraid to move on from anything. you gotta surround yourself with the right energy. in a city where most is surviving instead of living.

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