While we're currently here on Earth, inhabiting these physical vessels, it is each individual's responsibility to be the architect for the life they desire. As such, one has the power to actively choose to manifest and live the life they want - whether an individual chooses to thrive and live in their light or succumb to the comfortable complacency of their darkness is solely that person's decision to make. But, based on the thoughts, words and actions you consciously or subconsciously decide to put out into the Universe, the Universe will return to you exactly what you send out.
So take your power back.
Far too often, people surrender their personal power to exterior forces - be it money, relationships, jobs, environment, dis-ease, etc. Despite all the "darkness" that seems to be taking up space around the world today, we are living in extremely auspicious times. And now, perhaps more so than ever, is the time for each and every being on this planet to take back, embrace and recognize just how absolutely and limitlessly powerful we are.
With "Around The Way", Raz Simone links up with Clayton "B-ragg" Bragg to demonstrate the power of using your time and energy to build up another individual while simultaneously putting on display how recognizing your own power can help to inspire and influence those around you. In doing so, "Around The Way" allows both Simone and B-Ragg to play their hand in making this world a better place.
At only 22 years old, B-ragg has been surviving and thriving through all the obstacles God has placed before him, including a lifelong bout with cerebral palsy. And no obstacle is put in your way to stop you - they are only there to help your growth and help push you to recognize your own power. With 27 surgeries under his belt, 11 of which have been on his heart, the determination and the drive of B-ragg has helped to inspire a number of people who have witnessed or heard his powerful story.
One of the people inspired by B-ragg is Raz Simone. Although they don't have the "same problems", Simone and Clayton have both inspired each other with their ability to overcome adversities. In Raz's own words, the two have the same spirit. And that spirit does not quit, does not surrender, and it certainly does not give up it's power - it's internal light - to exterior forces.
As Raz points out on "Around The Way" with a slick double entendre, his work is "always quality" and he never stretches it. Anyone familiar with Simone's body of work recognizes the Black Umbrella founder has a catalogue abundant in both quantity and quality - he's not cutting corners or laying down half-assed verses in order to get content out there. So, even when he's helping out his people, Simone isn't going to hop on a track just for the hell of it. According to Simone, he told B-ragg he would only get on record with him if he was feeling it and, when it came to "Around The Way", Clayton "slapped the shit outta [him] wit this one."
A common theme when discussing Raz Simone is his authenticity and his realness. Being "real" does not always have to mean you're "street" or "gangster" or anything along those lines - realness has more to do with an individual's drive, dedication, heart and their authenticity. Realness comes from one's ability to overcome even the hardest of adversities without getting trapped in the darkness. There are school teachers who are real, there are chefs and plumbers and cashiers who are real. Realness is about the individual in and of themselves, not the label placed upon them based on exterior factors.
In that sense, B-ragg is real. And Simone is real.
Real recognize real and that's real, real talk
As always, credit and praise must be sent to Simone's go-to cinematographer, Jacob Hill. Feeling inspired by the energy of the experience, Hill went back to Black Umbrella HQ after shooting "Around The Way" and decided to edit and finalize the video that night. Instead of sleeping, Hill made sure the video was turned around in time for release overnight. That's heart, dedication and sacrifice...that's real. And not only did he come through with the quick flip of the video, but he cooked up a final product that gives off no sense of being rushed or half-assed. Ya'll, there's something to be said about work ethic and it's clear there's a reason Hill is reppin' Black Umbrella...
Much love to Raz, B-ragg and Jacob Hill for creating and sharing this beautiful message of acceptance and love. This that medicine the world needs a heavy dose of right now.
Experience "Around The Way" below and peep some older BTS footage of Raz and B-ragg in the studio here.