In today’s society, people are constantly trying to mirror the lives of the rich and famous rather than embrace their own. Social media has provided easy access into the world of some of the most influential celebrities, public figures, and people who are famous for absolutely no reason (shade not intended). The most vulnerable people of society is the youth, and unfortunately they are being persuaded into mimicking the money driven fast life that many of these influential individuals lead. Everyone seems to crave living along the lines of what they see down their feeds, not realizing that it may not be for them. Bottom line is, you can admire whoever you want, but it’s always cooler to create your own wave.
Meet Denis Haze, a 21 year old visual artist who is embracing his roots and African culture through his artistry. Haze grew up in a community where he often felt misunderstood and was sought as an outcast. This shaped him into an artist who moves to the beat of his own drum and doesn’t conform to the majority. He captures amazing photos and is continuously inspiring.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Describe your work. Who is Denis Haze?
My name is Denis Haze. I’m a 21 year old human being. My parents are from Ghana, Africa. Growing up I always did things solo in a community highly populated with Black Americans who didn’t really understand my African culture,which enabled me to be thrown into the black sheep role immediately from childhood. Nobody was ever into anything I was into, so I was always kind of an outcast but looking back it shaped me into who I am today for the better. I’m all about giving people authenticity, originality, black power, and realness through art. I consider myself a visual artist. My art is very hard to describe because it’s more of a positive , confusing , empowering feeling that evokes an array of different emotions in the viewer. Rather than an actual description, I just identify it as hazy. Even me as a person is very confusing and hazy. I move very solo, like a ninja. There aren’t ever too many people around me in real life day to day activities. I prefer to move more as a lone wolf. I really don’t like to show my face too much and most people actually don’t know where I’m located so that kinda adds to the whole hazy theme.
You mentioned that when you were younger growing up in a primarily Black community, kids really didn’t understand your African culture. In what ways did they give the impression of not understanding your roots and how did that make you feel?
Well it was pretty evident they didn’t comprehend the culture. You could tell they didn’t understand when they made fun of it , and spoke ignorantly about it. At first it made me feel a little angry and discouraged but as I grew older, I began to embrace and accept it. As time went on I made the culture look cool and unique and people respected that.
Just by looking at the way you dress and from the vibe your visuals project,you obviously admire and appreciate your heritage. Do you think that in today’s society people shy away from their cultural ties due to the way the world perceives certain lifestyles and ethnic backgrounds?
People did neglect their culture in the beginning. I feel like in this day and age there has been a new wave of consciousness coming over the human race. We now are starting to understand some truths. We are now starting to accept ourselves for who we are as a people, gays , blacks , racist , women , ect. Everybody is starting to understand. The media and all of these technological distractions is what really prohibits us as a human race to reaching the next level. That’s what stripping us of our morals, and positive vibrations , but the consciousness and vibrations in the universe have already spoken . They want the people to be conscious. Three things that can’t be hidden forever ; the sun, the moon, and the truth .
“I’m all about giving people authenticity, originality, black power, and realness through art.”
From what you see on social media and throughout every day life, do you agree that Black culture heavily influences society?
Black culture influences society so heavily in so many subliminal and blatant ways. The only place black culture doesn’t influence anything is in politics and the work environment. The power system is set up for you to conform to the Caucasian people. You gotta dress like them , speak like them and look like them. Everyday that a black person goes to work he or she needs to be nominated for an Oscar for best acting performance.
How do you feel about individuals such as Stacey Dash who thinks there shouldn’t be a Black history month and Raven Symone who suffers from “identity issues”, claiming to be simply American and not African American?
Stacey Dash is an idiot and quite frankly I’m incredulous at how ignorant her statements are. Every month is white history month. Every channel is white entertainment television. Our education is intentionally flawed to keep everybody from the true African history. How will the young kids growing up in schools be aware of their history? If we don’t have a black history month or a BET , we lose the little bit of identity we even have , not to mention even then February is the shortest month of the year and black people don’t even own BET.
Who are some people that you consider as empowering individuals currently and why?
Lil B, Barack Obama, Vegeta, Tyler The Creator, Dr. Phil Valentine, Dr. Umar Johnson , the honorable Minster Louis Farrakhan, Bernie Sanders, Kendrick Lamar… I could go on for days but anybody who speaks truth and inspiration is empowering. How can you be inspiring without speaking truth , knowledge and inspiration? Even Vegeta in all of his arrogance and cockiness pushes me to be the best I can be.
“The pop culture and entertainment industry really got a lot of young kids heads fucked up on what reality actually is.”
I noticed that you have a hashtag on twitter. What’s the story behind #HAZETIME?
#HAZETIME is just a chance to show beautiful people to the Internet. I have a little bit of a following so I want people to send their coolest pics so I can retweet them and let everybody see some positive beautiful faces. It’s usually directed towards the women. Women are the gods of the Earth. We must protect them and lift them up. Women are not bitches unless they act as so. Bitches are friendly female dogs that go from person to person looking for opportunities. You ever had something a dog wanted , and it leaves the previous person it was with so it can come to you for whatever you have? Bitches are opportunists and low down. Females, girls, women, ladies, ect, are not. No woman should accept being degraded. I noticed a lot of these younger people accept these words. The pop culture and entertainment industry really got a lot of young kids heads fucked up on what reality actually is. They see what these famous people do and live their lives the same. What they don’t understand is, what works for Nicki Minaj ain’t gonna work for you. Guys too.
What is the story behind #FistsUpAfrosOut?
As for fist up Afros out, be proud to be black is the message. I can’t elaborate too much on it because that is my partner’s project but it’s basically to promote black power and beauty. “Hey put yo fist up (power) and rock them afros out kings and queens (beauty).”
“Three things that can’t be hidden forever ; the sun, the moon, and the truth .”