TheLegendsLeague

Toronto, Canada
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STRANGERS UP

My intent with TheLegendsLeague has always been to build a brand that cultivated a community. I wanted to have a voice but more importantly be a voice for those rarely heard or understood. Along the way I’ve wavered in my choices to be transparent and candid and I’ve shaken the narrative between personal and public for the sake of making people feel less alone in their mania. That being said, I need you to speak up, introduce yourselves, talk to me in the streets. A megaphone doesn’t come with an earpiece because it’s not meant for the hands of a listener. I function like a telephone. So if you see me, stop me, say wassup, slap hands (unless of course I’m with my daughter or in conversation). It’s important for the progression of what we’re doing together as this brand is more about the people than it is about the product. #STRANGERSUP #LLSEASON

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They Birthed You But They Won’t Make You

They’ll birth you
But they won’t make you.
They’ll feed you
And it will change you.
They’ll beat you
And it will slay you.
They’ll love you
But show they hate you.

They’ll shape you
But they won’t make you.
They’ll leave you
And it will change you.
They’ll see you
And it will pain you.
They’ll strip you
And make you hate you.

They’ll need you
But they won’t take you.
They’ll loathe you
And it will change you.
They’ll clothe you
But they won’t bathe you.
They’ll hold you
And it will shake you.

They’ll know you
And imitate you.
They’ll mold you
But won’t create you.
The whole you
Will need a break to
Know they birthed you
But they won’t make you.

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Some shit I wrote on July 26.14

Because being wronged has made me write for love and life and some otherwise banter for the sake of Likes. I haven’t the answer and still beg to differ since blood is cheap and the price of water is sick. And the sun is shining and the oil is slick and I’m not quite sure what we’re fighting for. Or why there’s war. Because I can’t stand at attention nor span my attention for a caption and that’s an action that I’d likely ignore. Since I don’t read much but I see the lines. An artists heart beats much so I bleed designs and the cost of my fabric isn’t worth the cotton. But from the cloth I’m cut the wool is softened. The starch is firm. The fruits are rotten and when the pain gets thrown the wounds only get sewn at a harsh return. I’ll make it some year I tell myself. I’m not from here I yell sometimes because I know that eyes are rarely touched but they’re always felt. And I’ve seen too much to want to stick around. So I write my closest folk and my furthest friends who pen my quotes on post-it notes in case our closeness ends because I’m less afraid of dying than I am of feeling not alive. And I heard once a man should leave his emotions hid. And then I heard once that we’re all just kids. Who need affection and love and acceptance like everyone else. And fuck your dad and what he did to you. And fuck your mom for how she lied to them. And look what you’ve made of yourself they say. They love what you’ve done, your work is incredible, but I’m still me at the end of the day. And all they’ll know is what I share with them. And they’ll all just assume it’s every part of myself. Right here is as close to a heaven as it is to a hell. An empty water hole is still called a “well”.

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Some (other) shit I wrote on July 16.14

I’ll be the first to say I wanna be the last to speak and promise habits for days that won’t last a week since my projection of self is covered in filth. Seems we praise the sanity of those who think to stay the same because we’d rather swim in piss than surf a wave of change until somebody else assures us there aren’t sharks. It’s owner’s bright but my apartments dark cus even a candle melts away when it’s too burnt out. And I’ve been too burnt out as I’ve been getting older and been drinking whisky like it’s poured directly from the fountain of youth. And smoking cigarettes really since no fire in me still smolders as I avoid a mountain of tasks I’m still yet to do. Including “Improve”. I’m losing my mind from the centrifugal force of staying in the exact same place with my thoughts spinning about. Or maybe I’m just trying to turn myself around and haven’t figured out which direction I need to face before I finally stop. I would give everything to just have it all and know that nothing isn’t all that I’ve got. At this point nothing is still a helluva lot.

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Some shit I wrote on July 16.14

On a mission for motivation I think of everyone I miss and listen to music that makes me think I’m on the wrong side of living. My bones withering in the grass often slithered and I’m in the gravest need to shed my skin at the risk of biting on poison fruit. I mustn’t become a token stat. But a bushel and bale has burned my barn, left ablaze since straw broke my back. And I cannot move. Or maybe I refuse to budge. My hands are two, but what use when I hold so bold a grudge? I’m a family man, they said. A man of family. Longing to hug a wife and still hang on to sanity when most women I meet are vain. Those who can’t adapt die quickly or alone. I remind myself on my search for Home.

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Some shit I wrote on July 14.14

It’s just a series of distractions that turns a moment to a minute. The pain in debts made denser by the ways I waste my days. Every knew idea, every thought to do To-Do’s is a plot to stop my motions in a movie that rarely moves. And it doesn’t want to end. It rarely does begin. But it loops and leaps about as I jump around to fake my friends. A King can’t claim His throne if he declines to leave his seat. And a beaten heart won’t break me but this broken heart still beats.

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The Art of Subtraction in Life and Design

If in my work I’ve learned anything it’s that effective design is a result of subtraction rather than addition. My most easily communicated works are simple ideas that can be felt immediately upon first read or reception. They don’t need a lengthy description or poetic caption. They only need to be seen to be understood in full.

If in my life I’ve remembered one lesson it is that sometimes the space that an object occupies is worth more than the object that is occupying the space. This too illustrates the value of subtracting from your day to day creation of the rest of your life.

What am I then but a result of my loss? My pain in loving and losing, in wanting and being weary, in needing and being neglected has chipped my shoulders but also molded my frame. In creating I have learned to rid myself of the elements which I do not need. In life too I must learn to make beauty of the things I want but have been unwillingly subtracted from the design of my being.

I’m often asked what my “style” is. In both creation and existence it is pain done beautifully and beauty done painfully. By choice or otherwise.

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Selling Out and Losing Integrity

There are plenty of people who create art for the love with no intention of creating for business. It’s the difference between wanting to be a professional and wanting to be a hobbyist. The purpose of business is to sell a product at a profit, so it’s important to remember that there is no selling out without first being able to sell. But the concept of selling out is not based on who buys your product, the volume at which you produce it or the vehicles you use to sell it. Selling out is about sacrificing the integrity of your art strictly for the sake of making money. And only the artist can control that.

The best way to gauge whether you’re on the path to selling out or risking your creative integrity is to ask, “When all I wanted was to do this for the love, would I be doing what I’m doing right now for the money?”. If the answer is no, it’s a good time to reconsider your motivations.

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Some shit I wrote on May 23.14

I’ve been doing this for a long time. And by “this” I mean contributing to Toronto’s creative class as a b-boy, designer, artist or clothing line for collectively over 20 years now. In that time I’ve learned more about other people than I’ve learned about myself. But I’m okay with that. I have the rest of my life to figure me out. What I’ve seen most is that peoples perception of reality is terribly skewed. They lie through their teeth, down talk those they’ll later be partying with and push to be seen as monetarily successful or socially popular rather than find a level of gratification in their way of living that makes them a success at being an honest, respectable human being. All the while they call themselves, “real”, “authentic”, “genuine”. I’m not gonna get on too hectic a rant on how ridiculous this all is to me. I’ve seen it a billion and a half times. I’m old, remember? And I’m still around, paying my own bills. Some people from the scene I came up in are not. Some are and are struggling. Some are just getting into the scene over the past 5-10 years and show intense signs of being contributors to this social epidemic. But none of that will change because thirsty wo/men will still be attracted to the lies, blind trust fund kids will still contribute to the pot in order to stay relevant and buzz words and slang will be buzz words and slang to people who get a rise out of using or hearing that shit as a marker for coolness. All I can say is this: I’m not impressed by big talk and I’m not one to read fiction for pleasure. Take that for what it is. And be careful out there. The world is disgusting.

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Some shit I wrote on May 21.14

With every passing minute I’m reminded that nothing makes me feel young again. Nothing is fun and everything gets old very fast. Me included, fads and every new thing written. Complacency is the period to our sentence in laziness and somehow women still want babies. Girls still want attention for more than their pictures but their biographies call them “bad bitches”. I wonder sometimes if they’re your sister while we gawk at pass-byers, mock some high-risers for wearing pants at small sizes then complain we don’t have enough to buy a next pack of smokes. So who provokes laughter and who is the joke?

Do you remember excitement and the adrenaline age? 15 or 16 on minimum wage and maximum sex, make outs and movies and relaxing and laughter? Maybe that was our life, this is the bittersweet hereafter, the neatly tucked linens and loosely fucked women and dudes who don’t show compassion because men are indifferent and being different is no longer cool.

I’m very disturbed. I’m disrupted by racket, noise from the street, people who seem to have fun and etcetera. Life could really get no more medium. No more luke warm torn in a goldilocks tale. And with age my bones just get that much frailer. Skin that much more pale and beer that much more needed. I’d have a goal if I knew I could just somehow exceed it but I once shot for a star and murdered an angel. And hell rained down on me hail as her halo.

I don’t mean to be cold but I’m done being cool or even remotely considered as either of the two since I’m so warm blooded I sweat bullets when touched. The delusional perception is that a wheelchair is the lazy mans crutch but both are a lot harder than walking or lifts. I’m the only one at the bar who declines when he’s offered advice or some tips and I still refuse to leave any of the three.

Maybe in time this all gets easy. And I’m already tired of writing this shit.