In a time where the visibility of Black lives matters more than ever, a dynamic duo of New Jersey artists known as The Super Poor Kids took a creative approach to address the narrative of wrongful deaths in the Black community at the hands of law enforcement. In a dynamic Black Lives Matters art series, The Saddest Story on Repeat, The Super Poor Kids reanimate a number of the landmark happenings in the Black Lives Matters movement.
The Super Poor Kids is an art collective featuring brothers Lu and Jay, who grew up in one of the poorest cities in the country, Camden, NJ. With a passion in fashion and art, the brothers have dedicated ten years to their work, starting at the ages of 15 and 16. Starting as a part of Miskeen Originals, the brothers made their debut in fashion with a niche in custom hand-painted shirts that fused elements of art and activism.
In an exclusive interview with HuffPost, The Super Poor Kids revealed that The Saddest Story on Repeat, was inspired by Dr. Seuss’s posthumous work What Pet Should I Get. Moved by the the all too familiar narrative of Black lives being a trending topic overshadowed by news.
I remember waking up one day on Twitter and it was the number one trend in the world, on Facebook it was the number one trend. Everybody’s reaction was pretty much the same. ‘Oh my god, this is beautiful this is amazing, this is work for the new generation to see something new.’
Of course I felt the same way and was pretty happy but on the same token, on the other side there was this overshadowing of the fact that there are people dying everyday. People were so happy about this news, but this mainstream focus was on Dr. Seuss and when a person died it was like the media tried to sweep it under the rug.
With this familiar narrative of erasure in the media, the folks over at The Super Poor Kids took the reigns into their own hands. With a goal to merge the two worlds, the artists were inspired to have the story of these people live on, using the vehicle of art as way to put a positive spin on a dark narrative. With a clear background in incorporating hip hop and politics in their art, The Super Poor Kids have established their work as a way to raise awareness and to shine a different light on the how these stories are shared.
We’re raising awareness, but we’re doing it in a way that’s interesting... We’re trying to shine a different light on [tragedy]... People are so frustrated or so angry that these people died... We just created it to make people a little bit more happier.
With an emphasis on spreading a sense of optimism in the movement, the artists are prepared to share their work all over the country with a potential college tour. Earlier this month, The Super Poor Kids previewed their work in Philadelphia, PA. Check out more of the The Saddest Story On Repeat and keep up with The Super Poor Kids future work on their website!