Life is Dope

Lemme tell you all how Julius, right here, came into my life and encouraged me in the lowest of lows. Encouraged me to use my voice not just for the microphone, but to turn my own self around, and speak for the younger version of myself that didn’t have a voice. Now lemme rewind a lil bit first cause its all very serendipitous. Okay so bout 13 years ago i was living in Denver in some of the most difficult situations of my life oooweee this shit was hard okay, and i was really aching for a community, so I began reaching out to local artists, movers, and shakers. I was lucky enough to get involved with the beginnings of some folks and their come up. I began hosting shows, and documenting little stories about the vibrance of their works. I was hearing from a few people about this man who was just so dope- always showing up for his community- in fact he aided someone back then in a move to LA that would transform their whole life-and now we are all connected! He was responsible for so artists come up. What I mean by “come up” is how he reminded folks of their power and that it was their turn to grasp it. I still didn’t know who this person was. So now to a little over a year ago my day one Lizzy Brodie was like “Yo, you gotta talk to my connect he is so dope, and I think that yall would work really well together” (see i was really in different way in my healing and wanted to start telling my story, as well as elevating similar stories to mine cause healing feels so lonely sometimes). Okay now i get his contact not realizing he is the same Angel Julius from nearly 13 years ago, we arrange a time to meet at my favorite home spot in Denver Gypsy House Cafe . I will always choose a local place to hold a meeting okay lets keep our brick and mortar spots open! Any ol way we meet and Lizzy was not wrong! It was immediate comfort and a moment knowing this is where my life is headed now, and I am safe to use my voice. So we start talking at this lil table, and find out how connected we were to the same folks back in the day, but our paths never directly crossed-until right then. So now let me introduce this brilliantly kind human Julius Hinton with The Plug Podcast as well as Life is Dope creator.

After our lil chit chat of inspiration it was time to see how I did in a room with a mic beginning my story telling. First session day comes and I head over to Denver Community Media to record. Keep in mind I aint never done anything like this in my life (except one time when i was 16 I pretended to preach into a microphone on a karaoke machine-cause I wanted to beI like Juanita Bynum- IYKYK). Any ol way i venture in, I bring a friend, and Julius had a family member visiting him. Now this is the best thing ever cause his sibling hadn’t really gotten to see how runs things, and now she was getting the whole scope. So the podcasting studio room has seating for bout 5-6 folks, so we start setting up and Julius’s sister starts to leave thinking “Okay do your work and i see you when your done” and my outside voice says “No! Stay lets all learn together- this is a first for all of us”. So she stays. The magic that took place for the next hour is a core memory. I heard myself speak to myself in a way that I had never heard. I had no script no prompt just and understanding that I wanted to be in a place Living Vicariously Through Myself . I spoke for nearly an hour to my younger self, and at the end none of us had words for all that was felt. Such an incredible moment with family! I had so many struggles in this last year trying to fund my podcast, as well as step out of my imposter syndrome, and nearly said nah Im done trying. Julius continued to nudge me with his earnest heart space seeing my potential and creating space and grace for this Journey.

Julius and his Gold Soul Self has definitely been the best voice in my head. Now I know yall be thinking “Dani you talking all bout yourself on here”- Yes I am- because if it was not for Julius i would not be here even writing this lil highlight about where his heart is in this community. The behind the scenes folks are the ones who see, and hear it all, and chose to show up for you in the toughest spots.

Julius has empowered and enriched so many of our lives here in Denver by giving us our voice back. My goal in talking to a microphone allowed a healing process to continue. Julius gave me the safest space to do so. His kindness is kinfolk energy. Not to mention he is such an amazing parent and partner, and witnessing his growth in family is so very beautiful. His mindset in integrity aligns with the greatest purpose of empowering folks to share their stories.

“Every day aint Christmas, but still keep the faith” -Julius. Now you wanna know what he means by that? You gonna have to tune in and listen to the next podcast we are working on “Living Vicariously Through Yourself“. Julius will be my first guest as this table has turned, and we get to hear his voice! Absolutely honored to know this Being. Julius thank you for existing in the Beautiful Black Excellence that you do. I am so grateful to celebrate you, and all you have do for this community! Your peculiar spirit of uplifting us all is what keeps this community heard! Thank you for reminding me that I have a voice and elevating that so I may continue healing. Continue Creating Earnestly in Love!

Dani Baby

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