DIGITAL & PRINT MAGAZINE
THE SOULTOWN, USA - If you have never been to the state of California, you must visit. At the very least, I implore you to listen and re-listen to the rap lyrics where the reference of California’s love is unique and intoxicating.
In the hip hop track -- by the late Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre -- hip hop fans bobbed their heads on a dare and threw their hands in the air, just like they didn’t care when the lyrics blared.
Now let me welcome everybody to the Wild Wild
A state that’s untouchable like Eliot Ness
The track hits your eardrum like a slug to your
Pack a vest for your Jimmy in the city of sex
We in that Sunshine State where the bomb-ass
The state where you never find a dance floor
If these lyrics did not pique the curiosity of listeners,
Snoop Dogg offered a similar lyrical visual that fed the fantasies of weed
smokers, womanizers, and Laker lovers.
… A lot of homies like to wear the pizzerm
Hair longer than hers, sharp with the fizzur
Doggy Dizzogg, you know I like to bizzall
Like Kobe to Shaq so take that …
Some may define California Love in a contrasting way. California is called “The Golden State” because gold was discovered there in 1848 and because golden yellow poppy fields cover the state in the spring. Nevertheless, for the past 20 years the name, the person, the Laker basketball player, Kobe Bryant is synonymous with California, specifically, Los Angeles. And now he is gone.
Bryant died on January 26, 2020, in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California with eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, and college baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their basketball-playing daughter Alyssa; mother and daughter Sarah and Payton Chester; Mamba Academy basketball coach Christina Mauser; and pilot Ara Zobayan.
Nicknamed the ‘Black Mamba’, Kobe created this alter-ego to help him push through the lowest point of his career. The husband, the father of four daughters and the legendary basketball player was 41 years young with a history of scoring 81 points in a single game.
Dozens gathered to mourn and The Soultown’s International Correspondent / Advice Columnist, Queen Gabby traveled to Los Angeles to honor the 9 people that lost their lives in the helicopter crash. “Kobe Bryant meant so much to his wife, his daughters, Los Angeles, to Basketball … to everyone. I still remember when Kobe’s firstborn entered the world, and then came Gigi, the daughter we grew to know and love because she shared the same passion for the sport. Fans, including myself, watched his family grow. We mourn as fans of Mamba. As I approached the Staples Center, I felt the sadness, but I also felt the love from the Laker community. People from all over the world were present to pay their respects. The number of flowers, photos, jerseys, and shoes was showered alongside the center, with farewell notes planted on the cement. The city’s colors appeared as if more gray, due to grief than purple and gold. Photos of Kobe and Gianna’s pictures were everywhere,” Gabby continues, “What is very interesting is … you did not have to know Kobe personally to mourn his loss, we all were graced with his presence, skills, and love for his family that each one of us will keep his memory and legacy. Even though Los Angeles has suffered a couple of losses in a small period, including their very own rapper Nipsey Hussle, they are still able to stand strong and be there for one another. The most heartfelt memory that will forever be imprinted in my mind is witnessing the tears of his fans standing and staring at the Staples Center in disbelief. We are all shocked and hurt.”
The obvious love and overwhelming feeling of sadness that hovers over the state of California are strong, it’s never-ending and both emotions transcend cultures, generations, genders, and sports fans.
Kobe’s last words in his final game were, “What can I say, Mamba out.”
On behalf of The Soultown, our message to Kobe is … know you are loved, you are a legend in your own time and you are gone too soon. Your name will forever be synonymous with California Love.
CHILLIN' DA CONSCIOUS POET
• Award Winning Poet
• Innovative Extraordinaire / Founder & Publisher of The Soultown Magazine
• Co-Host of The Soul Radio Show
• Owner of Immortalize We Digitally
"In 2007, I made a promise to my ancestors while standing in Les Maison des Esclaves (the House of Slaves) on Goree Island; off the coast of Dakar, Senegal; West Africa.
I could feel the spirits of my ancestors hovering over me -- as I stood in the same place where they were kept against their will -- after being stolen from their native land. As my eyes welled with tears, I whispered a promise. I promised them that I would discover a way to tell their stories to their great, great, great, great, great-grandchildren -- to educate them about their triumphs and their struggles.
The Soultown Digital & Print Magazine & Immortalize We Digitally are the manifestations of the promise.
THE SOULTOWN is a virtual city that lives in a digital and print magazine. It is comprised of contributing artists, writers, businesses, and amazing people who help to immortalize the stories of their communities to implore positive progress.
IMMORTALIZE WE, DIGITALLY is a virtual city that lives in a digital and print magazine. It is comprised of contributing artists, writers, businesses, and amazing people who help to immortalize the stories of their communities to implore positive progress.
~ Chillin da Conscious Poet
Chillin' is an Intel Computer Clubhouse Director in Redwood City, California. She is an Adobe Lead Master Educator and Co-Creator of summer teen apprenticeship program at Google; Googler Apprentice. Born in Chicago, IL; Chillin moved to central Iowa at the age of 12. After overcoming many obstacles, she ultimately earned an AAA degree in Graphic Communications, a BS in Business and a Masters in Business Administration. Later, she pursued a second Master's degree in Information Systems. Kabba is a graphic artist, writer, youth developer, and slam poet.
THE SANKOFA VOW FEB 2020
About Cherie Nelson-Kabba
ALSO KNOWN AS CHILLIN DA CONSCIOUS POET
IMMORTALIZING OUR STORIES IN OUR COMMUNITIES
TO IMPLORE POSITIVE PROGRESS
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