Saying goodbye is never easy, but it is especially tough to say goodbye to someone that you didn’t think you would have to so soon. But you see, this is worst than saying goodbye because at least goodbye leaves hope for a reunion down the road. On November 1st, 2020, I never knew that I would get a call or see a sea of messages notifying me that a man that I considered to be my big brother and the “Shaq to my Kobe” was dead due to senseless gun violence that you and I have had numerous conversations over. It seems as if over the years you and I have had to make numerous RIP posts on social media for icons within our culture, such as Nipsey Hussle, Kobe Bryant, Chadwick Boseman, etc. But NEVER in my wildest dreams did I think that I would have to make the same RIP post for a man who I considered family and changed my life for the better. This still doesn’t sit right in my spirit, but I am continuing to do what I know you would have always wanted me to do and that is grind and continuing to see that everything that you worked for continues to live on. I am truly going to miss our conversations going over the publication and simply talking about life in general. That country twang of yours will forever be embedded in my brain and whenever I’m out in these streets reppin’ True Urban Culture, I will be sure that the whole world knows who you were and what you stood for. With that said big bro, I feel that it would be in poor taste if I didn’t allow others that you have impacted along the way to also say a few words to you. Therefore, I am about to pass the pen over to the rest of the members of this beautiful family of like-minded individuals that you put together who also want to say some departing words to you.
But until next time, sleep peacefully King, and one day I hope to see you again in the heavens so that we can drink champagne and celebrate what this magazine became and will continue to be, long after we are gone.
Ladale “The Fashionisto” Nesmith
You were a true king and a true inspiration. You were a man of infinite value. Your integrity is unmatched, and your presence will be cherished forever.
I’ll never have the words to fully thank you for everything you’ve done for me. You always believed in me since day 1 when no one else was willing to give me a chance. You gave me the courage to do so many things I never knew I could do. I’ve taken that courage and all the lessons I’ve learned with me and it has shaped me to who I am today. Your impact was huge in my life and others as well. Your level of perseverance and determination in never giving up no matter what happens is something that I truly admire. The amount of love, encouragement, and positivity you’ve spread into others’ life is truly amazing and it shows. There’s so much more I could say, but I will end this in saying… your legacy will live on forever and I’ll always keep the memory of you close to my heart.
The empire you built has truly blessed many of us with great opportunities to help us grow and I’m forever grateful for that. You welcomed me in with open arms and took a chance on me as a journalist. Your thoughtful gestures never went unnoticed. You reached out during difficult times or just to sent a friendly message, and it was always appreciated. You looked out for your TUC team and it truly feels like you brought together a family within it. Your words and hard work have motivated and inspired me to aim high. Antonio, your legacy is unmatched and will live on forever.
Thank you for inviting me into such an amazing family. Thank you for providing a platform where really dope creatives, entrepreneurs, and innovators can come together and change this industry. Most of all, thank you for your genuine heart and motivation. Tony you gave me the confidence and motivation to step outside my comfort zone and run an entire Beauty and Hair team. You not only taught me courage but now I know to demand my worth in any situation. Thank you. We miss you so much.
It feels like yesterday when we first met at that bubble tea spot on Ponce, I remember coming up to you after the initial “intern” meeting and saying that you needed a creative director and that I wanted to be apart of the team. From there we began to build our relationship, covering various events around Atlanta. Hell, I remember that time we even made up our own “TUC Media Passes” so we could get backstage at music festivals. Shortly after that, we began to push the brand further and further eventually to what it is today. I’ve always admired your ability to make things happen out of thin air; your ambition and drive are what got TUC and Kulture7 to where they stand today and will continue to keep us pushing further as a team. You will always be my missed brother, Boy does time fly.
Dear Big bro,
Sorry it took a while to write this…who would have known this was the final goodbye. It still hurts, but I am still here. When we first met I made a promise and I am going to hold up my end of the bargain. Thanks for taking a chance on me and really showing me how to perfect my craft.
Never forgotten and truly missed, loved by many and a beacon of hope…
I first met Antonio back in 2009. We were a part of a group of club promoters. Tonio was like a big brother to me. He protected me and always had my back. I was new to the ATL and it was my first year in college and we’ve been close friends ever since. Even if we didn’t hear from each other for a little while, when we did connect, it was like we got back to where we left off. He taught me so many things and was a shoulder to cry on when I needed it. I still play his voice in my head when he calls “ you good big homie? Aight, just calling to check on ya” lol. I will always remember the laughs we shared, the club-hopping (boy can Tonio hold his liquor lmao), the deep conversations about life and business. We called each other for advice, laughs, talk about new things we’ve learned, and sometimes just to check on each other. I enjoyed getting a call or message about hearing his growth and him leveling up. And the way he talked about his wife and kids with so much love, joy, and pride made him such a big male role model for me. He always talked about wanting to make sure he was able to provide a different life for them and give them the world. Tonio was an amazing person and he will always be missed.
Cassandra aka “Cassie” Chrispin
My big brother. My mentor. My friend. What you have done while you have been on this earth was absolutely amazing. I know only a small amount of how you have affected lives other than mine but even then it is still so great. You pulled me out the gutter when I had absolutely nothing, you saw what future I had before I knew what I could obtain. I thank you for that. I will carry out what you foresaw for me and go above and beyond that because I know that is what you would have wanted. Rest easy my brother, look down from above and see every person you touched be blessed in their own gifts.
It took me all day to figure out just what I wanted to say. I like seriously mourned this one right here. In life, you come across so many different people, but rarely do you come across someone like Tony. A light in a world so full of darkness. He was a real one.
I have always had a love and passion for fashion and like so many of us, we are always frightened by the things we are purposed to do. That fire and desire within me seem to scare me, mostly because I am afraid to fail. I met Tony and all he said to me after spilling my heart out about my career goals and the ups and downs of success is “What are you waiting for just do it. Tell me how I can help and let’s make it happen.”
He never questioned our creativity, our vision, or ideas. He believed in all of us at TUC!!!
“Imma just let y’all do y’all, I know y’all got it.”
That was his favorite line.
Tony thank you!! Thank you for believing in me! Thank you for your kind spirit! Thank you for speaking success over my life and be willing to stand behind any idea I brought to the table. Thank you for introducing me to such a DOPE ass group of people who will forever be in my circle!!! And lastly thank you for your professional and creative contribution to the world of fashion…. especially here in Atlanta. You will be GREATLY missed, my friend!!!
Your effortless words of encouragement and motivation will forever be etched in my mind…
“What are you waiting for? Just do it and get it done!“
Love & Light
Ms Brittney Nicole
To the man, we called husband and dad. Today, we celebrate the thirty-six years God allowed us to be graced with your physical presence. In a short time, you were able to touch so many people in so many ways. To hear the countless stories of how you impacted others, encouraged others, and pushed others beyond what they thought possible for themselves puts a smile on our faces that will never fade.
Over the past 18 years, we have created great memories, traveled this old world, reached milestones, and grown-up together. Your mind was brilliant, and your visions were beyond the dreams many people only have but never act on. You would always say how smart I am but, I admired your way of thinking more than I could ever express. To witness you evolving “Tatted Up Chicks” into what is now TRUE URBAN CULTURE (TUC) and creating so many other brands speaks volumes to the growth mindset and determination that you had. You encouraged me and the girls to push past ourselves and never to be comfortable with where we are but, to continue to reach higher.
Forever your loves,
Jessica, Rheagan, Taylor, and Kyleigh