On episode 62, we welcome back author Sulaiman Jenkins to discuss his new book, Life is Raw: The Story of a Reformed Outlaw.
In the face of unrelenting loss, one asks himself if life has, or ever had, a purpose. Left with the void created by love’s absence, Napoleon filled it with alcohol and notoriety, searching for meaning in the world’s most unstable and merciless domains.
We chronicled his journey with Sulaiman, exploring the ways in which he grew from his heartbreaking sorrow, touching on his renewed faith in God, his use of creativity to manage distress, his increased awareness of the importance of relationships, and the discovery of a more consistent form of meaning outside of the emptiness of fame.
“As an author… you have to imagine who’s going to be reading your piece. Who’s the audience? Who are you writing this towards? So, I wanted to make the audience as broad as possible, because yea, Mutah is African American, I’m African American; he’s Muslim, I’m Muslim; yea he’s in rap, I listen to rap; but we wanted, I wanted, the book to reach more people than that; that’s not the only audience,” Suliman said during his interview with Leon and Alen. “His story is a human story at the end of the day, so I wanted to touch any human that could read it, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, whatever.”
Sulaiman Jenkins also discusses with us 2Pac’s transition from loving everyone to becoming wary, Napoleon’s journey from rags to riches, alcoholism and why people remain addicts, how trauma makes it difficult to accept and trust love, Islam’s influence on Napleon’s beliefs about the world and his relationships, and why the book is meant to be a blueprint for those who feel hopeless and lost.