#TheUniversalTax: The Gift of Failure

This article isn’t for the perfect. You know, those people who just naturally seem to have it all together? Yeah, I’m not talking to them. Today, I’m talking to the fuck-ups. This conversation is for those who have made mistakes more than once, struggle with choices that “should’ve been easy” and went against better judgment when they “should’ve known better.” I am one of you. But don’t worry, I have a feeling there’s a whole lot more of us out than there are of them.

I spoke once before about Frank Ocean and being true to who you are, then we spoke about Nas and #TheUniversalTax, and today, I’d like to talk to you about failure and a young woman named K’La. But before I get into her story, raise your hand if you’ve ever had a dream that didn’t quite work out. Keep your hand raised if that situation left you lost. Like I said, there’s more of us than them.

In 2009 Gary, Indiana was far from popping. The blue-collar town was wrought with drugs, gangs and violence. And for K’La, it was becoming a hopeless situation. At 21, with two young girls whose father was in prison, K’La had a decision to make. She’d been exposed to entertainment early, having acted in a small indie film The Ballad of Sadie Hawkins, but her true passion was music. K’La could rap. But the music industry in Gary isn’t exactly all that, so she made a decision: in order to pursue her dreams and make a better life for herself and her daughters, she would have to leave.

Only her deeply religious family didn’t see it that way. “They were not for it at all. My brother tried to park his car in front of my dad’s so he couldn’t take me (to the airport).” But K’La was determined, and packed up her 3- and 4-year-old and moved to Atlanta to pursue her music career.

Now, raise your hand if you’ve got a pretty good idea of what happened next…