Bull Horn is an avenue to give wings to the stories that matter most. This series, from Red Bull in partnership with the Chicago Reader, invites guest writers, artists, activists, and community members to share their ideas and amplify timely, crucial topics they feel are important now.
BRAVEMONK is my alias or soul/spirit name. It is my call sign, like that of the bat signal to Batman. It is a reminder of my purpose and way of being. It came about through divine inspiration and reference to similar names given from some of my friends coming up, as well as my godfather and elder who is now in the realm of the ancestors. (There is a longer, in-depth, more metaphysical explanation, but this is the short one.)
I call Chicago my residence and the multi-unified [Universe] my home. I’ve been here in the city now for more than 20 years and have poured a lot of heart and soul into the ether of many places, spaces, people, and things. I was born in Normal, Illinois (just 2-2.5 hours south of Chicago), the furthest thing from normal . . . You catch what I mean?
There are a lot of things I do, and rather than fit in a box or construct, I exist and express myself in and through multiple mediums. As an Artist, whether through movement, spoken word, emceeing, or any form of art, I connect with the creative core that is. The process of cultivating, creating, and producing is that of Art, and as one who has developed several forms into skill, I uphold this. I Am a Creator, We are all Creators. The question is, what are you, I, or we creating? I always daydreamed as a child (and still do) and believe it is one of my most powerful skills. To think, the thing I used to get yelled at for in school, is what has opened up so many paths, opportunities, and connections, and shaped my livelihood and world. Ideas are formed through thought. You turn those thoughts into things. So yes, I am all these and more . . .
I have a spoken word piece called Original Man-eYe-festation I wrote and recorded at a Time I felt it was and still is necessary to hear, that speaks to some of what and who I identify as. (You can check out my soundcloud: soundcloud.com/bravemonk.) At the end of it all, I like to say I Am Spirit!
I’d love for anyone—organizations, artists, collaborators, changemakers, entrepreneurs, movers, lovers of people, and supporters of any type—who this resonates with, who feels moved, inspired, or wants to know and build more, to connect and get in touch. There are so many projects and things unfolding and in the works.
Also, be on the lookout for B-Series, a mini hip-hop and street dance festival, that Kelsa (Kelsa “K-Soul” Robinson, dance artist, educator, and member of Venus Fly, an internationally known all-styles crew) and I, along with students at Columbia College Chicago, co-curate on Instagram @Bseries_hiphop.
Daniel “BRAVEMONK” Haywood is an artist, B-Boy, visionary, and dance educator based in Chicago. They’re a member of Chicago’s legendary and internationally recognized breaking crew Phaze II Crosstown Crew (est. 1982), and co-founding artistic director of BraveSoul Movement, whose mission is to utilize creative and artistic experiences and mediums to foster a better understanding of who we are, our capacities to transform our world, and the will to do it! They can be found at @BRAVEMONK and @BraveSoulMovement on social media and by e-mail at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org