Jaleel Hampton is the second place winner of BMOA’s My City is Fly competition. We had an opportunity to discuss his piece and the meaning behind it.
Jaleel, congratulations on winning second place in this competition. Your piece contains the word evolve, why did you you use that word?
In order to promote nonviolence we have to evolve as a race first. Thats why I chose the word.
How do you think we should evolve?
By ending violence, observing life and valuing everybody. E.V.O.L.V.E.
That is truly amazing and insightful. You have a few more things going on in your piece, explain those.
The sweatband you see around the letter “E” symbolizes the hard work it would take to end violence in Chicago. The upside down “V” represents ending violence. There is a halo at the top of the “V” and the words future and children are written inside the “V.” That symbolizes that the children and future will be free once we end the violence. The letter “O” is an eye and symbolizes the word observe. The “L” represents the building blocks of life. The other “V” with the barbed wire represents the barriers you have to break down when you value someone.The “E” has heartbeats drawn in and it represents everyone’s heartbeat.
That is truly amazing, How long have you been an artist?
I’m 19 years old. I’ve been drawing my whole life. It took me about an hour to do the piece.
What school do you attend?
What do you want to do with this skill you have?
I want to do this to start a business to promote nonviolence, not just in Chicago but nationwide. I would want [the] business to help me fund my designs.
If you had one thing to say to the youth out there, what would it be?
I would say put the guns down, stop violence, the future is important, kids are the future and stop killing.
Eddy Lamarre aka Precise is a hip-hop artist-writer-actor from Chicago. The Chicago Reader recognized “Ladies Love Mixtapes” his latest release as one of the best projects of 2014. Listen/Buy Ladies Love Mixtapes at: https://precise.bandcamp.com/album/ladies-love-mixtapes-the-ep