Growing up I had several nicknames. I believe everyone should have a signature. Everyone should have a brand that they can call their own. Your brand is the most valuable thing you own. It’s something that uniquely makes you who you are and set’s you apart from other people. From Michael Jordan’s “Jumpman” to Chris Paul’s “CP3”, we know Russell Wilson as “DangerRuss” or Lebron James simply as “The King”. Myself I had Coolcutta Calhoun and Cpreezy. But my favorite nickname growing up was Double-O AK. It sounds really funny I know, but it was a signature that was important to me. It stood for:

O-One

O-OF

A-A

K-Kind

OOAK or Double-O AK. In high school, some people just called me Double O. I remember my best friend coming up to me and using that name all of the time. I remember in college when I was in the marching band at Winston-Salem State and people calling me O-Oak and asking, what does it mean? My response, I am one of a kind. I am an original. There is nobody else like me. God made me unique in my own right. I do not care about fitting in. My question to my readers out there is, what is your signature? What is your brand? It means much more than just your nickname. Be original, be unique. After all, that is what Double O AK is all about anyway. Be one of a kind. Dare to be different. Don’t conform to the mold that society tries to fit you in. Dare to dream! Have faith! God did not put you hear to “blend in” but to “stand out”. One of my favorite songs is a Christian rap song by rappers Lecrae and Andy Mineo entitled “Say I wont”. In the song they go back in forth on the hook, “Say I wont, why ya’ll scared to be different?” That’s it! Roman’s chapter 12 tells us “Do not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Powerful is the thought of non conformity. I’m not saying that a nickname is the answer to all life’s problems. I am simply stating that God obviously values originality and diversity. If He didn’t, He would have made us all the same! This is why i created Vintage Retroman! I am different and i know it. The things of that past delight me. I challenge you my reader, that if you do not have a signature or a brand for yourself, make one! You will pat yourself on the back later.

V.R.

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