“Black man kill a black man, it’s cool they lovin dat.
Black man kill a white man and they sentencin’ him to death.
White man kill a black man then scream about self defense
Break it down to manslaughter with all of the evidence.”
Of all the injustices in this world, our main one would be killing each other. In Uptown, New Orleans there is a public mural which brings light to this social issue. The mural is titled “Nuthin But Fire,” and it’s located at 1840 N Claiborne Ave, just outside a record store. The mural features the late Soulja Slim who was shot and killed. There’s also a stop sign placed just above the words “the killing” inorder to tell the viewer this mural’s exact message.
Soulja Slim was a famous hip hop artist in New Orleans, who was widely recognized across the United States for his hit single “Slow Motion.” He was a role model to many because of his “hustle hard, get rich” lifestyle. He was a true example of how dedication can lead to success, which made him very influential to many. He was shot to death on November 26, 2003.
By putting his face on this mural, the artist is not only commemorating and memorializing Soulja Slim’s life, but they are also sending a message.
When I asked the record store about the painting and how the idea came about, one of the male workers said that they wanted to use the painting in order to send the message about how violence and shooting each other is tearing apart the community and ending lives too soon. According to the this man, “Soulja Slim was a legend. He left such a great impact within the minds of people through his music that using him to send the message would hopefully guarantee the same results.”
And is this working? Does painting a mural and asks people to: Stop The Killing work? “Yes I think that the painting would stop the violence. Mainly because Soulja Slim is a musical icon for New Orleans, and he died from gun violence,” says a viewer of the mural.
“It can stop the violence because he was shot and killed. People in New Orleans looked up to him and was like an icon to them. It hurted many people to know that he got killed and makes them want to end violence.”
From the voices of those who chose to give the side of their store to public art to those who view the art, the response is the same. We are tired of the killing. We are tired of seeing our role models successful one day and then dead the next. We are ready to stop the killing.