Hello everyone! This piece will be the second installment of my newest series titled “Da Hood Prospects”, where I’ll introduce readers to inner-city youth that are rising stars in their respective fields of work. Enjoy, and please share it with your friends.
• This piece is dedicated to Kameron’s younger sister Shania, the most important person in his life.
The game of basketball has also allowed me to cross paths with some unbelievable people in my life.
Like my guy Kameron.
Or Kam, as I like to call him.
Kam, the mastermind behind the underground clothing brand Good Kid, Bad Intentions, and I, met three years ago while at basketball practice.
It was midway through our junior year. One day, my high school’s varsity-B squad was in the early stages of a two-hour workout.
Before sprinting drills, our coach introduced us to a student who’d recently transferred to Frederick Douglass Academy, my high school.
Being his first day there, he’d be joining us in the basketball program.
That student was Kam.
Hoping to make a good impression on the coach, I wanted to be the first player to befriend Kam, and show him what our program was all about.
Following the workout, I went to introduce myself.
Shy at first, Kam quickly demonstrated the infectious energy that still resonates with me today.
In our next time practice, while working on defensive techniques, Kam stole the show.
During the drill he slid his feet & was physical with other players, much to the delight of the coach.
After watching him go to work, he earned my respect with his hustle, and tenacity on the court.
Despite Kam leaving the basketball program shortly after we met. we managed to remain, friends, as time went on.
Still good buddies three years later, I’ve been blessed to see Kam reach the accomplishments he’s enjoying today.
Who knew that our friendship would be established after just one basketball practice?
And that’s not even the most important part of this story.
You might be asking, how did Kam, a Harlem resident, end up in FDA?
Well, because he got in trouble. I’ll explain in a few paragraphs.
See, Kam has never been a “bad” kid. There aren’t any hateful bones in his body. If anything, he’s misunderstood.
Kam is someone who cares about others and knows the difference between right and wrong.
In my eyes though, he’s always been a “good” kid.
However, occasionally when things aren’t unfolding how he envisioned, or, if people take advantage of his kindness, it could trigger some of his “bad intentions.”
Some people won’t ever understand that.
As you continue reading, you’ll notice that being a good kid, sometimes with bad intentions, seems to be the story of Kam’s life.
Born on Christmas Day in 2000, Kam lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his mother, who he describes as a hard-working and resilient woman, along with his aunt & younger sister.
Kam moved around frequently during his youth. His nomadic upbringing helped him build relationships across the country, which is crucial in his field of work.
He moved to Queens, New York when he turned seven, then moved again, this time to Atlanta, where he started fourth grade.
For Kam, living in Atlanta was an eye-opening experience. It’s the city where he discovered the game of football.
After seeing his friends play the sport in his neighborhood, he decided to give it a try.
His group tried out for the Norcross Blue Devils, a park league team in their neighborhood. It was Kam’s first opportunity to play the sport competitively.
Kam spent a couple of years suiting up for Norcross. Playing the cornerback & safety positions, he enhanced his skills, and built relationships with teammates on the field.
Around this time is also where Kam became enamored with the game of Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, his favorite football player & role model.
Despite the progress he made in the Peach State, Kam would move yet again, prior to his seventh-grade year.
He moved back to New York City, but would attend boarding school in Illinois to be closer to his grandparents, who lived nearby.
Kam yearned to spend more time with his elders, and this would be his chance.
Unfortunately, he found himself devoting more time than he wanted with his education.
The institution was extremely restrictive, as Kam felt cooped up, unable to live life as a youth should.
He despised that academy, but it wasn’t all negative.
Kam joined their football program, sticking around through high school.
As he grew older, Kam showed massive improvement on the field. He racked up statistics & team awards for his defensive talent.
Unfortunately, that athletic success came to a screeching halt in his junior year.
Although a blessing in disguise, this roadblock would change the course of his entire life.
One night, Kam was relaxing in the dormitory of his boarding school with his roommates.
Suffering from boredom, his roommates felt like smoking, an activity prohibited in the dorms.
The marijuana they’d be using was already in their possession, they just needed something to smoke it with.
Scavenging through Kameron’s room, they came across one lucky item, the mouthpiece to his trumpet, which they’d be using, in order to get high.
Kam wisely decided to sit out the festivities.
The next day, he took back his trumpet, to use for his music class.
Midway through that class period, Kam was playing the instrument like normal, when his music teacher noticed a peculiar smell.
The room reeked of marijuana.
The teacher halted instruction and searched his classroom for the culprit.
That smell of marijuana had been coming from the mouthpiece of Kam’s trumpet, the same one his friends used the previous night.
He was quickly sent to the principal office for questioning.
Despite Kam and his friend’s consistent pleas towards his innocence, it did nothing to sway the principals decision.
He would be expelled from the boarding school, and sent back home to New York City.
Do you notice that good kid, with the so called bad intentions?
Kam innocently allowed his friends to use his mouthpiece, only for it to be what got him kicked out of school.
His expulsion proved to be a bittersweet moment.
Yes, he was leaving the institution he initially dreaded, but he’d found his niche at the school and was improving as a football player.
Nonetheless, he was en route to Harlem, where he enrolled in FDA for the remainder of his high school career.
He chose the FDA amongst the many schools in the area, due to the academy’s strong football program.
Unfortunately, by the time he began his first day there, the football season was nearing its conclusion.
With the sport no longer being a viable option, Kam quickly needed to find an outlet where he could exert all his energy.
Anyone who takes the time to help Kam is near and dear to his heart. He’s an appreciative person.
That appreciation is what helped him find that outlet he was seeking: fashion.
Near the end of his junior year, Kam began attending a college preparatory program at Columbia University.
The program allowed him to network with professionals from several well-known companies, so he could figure out his plans following graduation.
One of those networking opportunities included participating in an internship with Adidas.
When he got news of this, Kam was ecstatic. Adidas was a brand he grew up wearing, especially while playing football.
Throughout his internship, he connected with Adidas representatives, and also created his own prototype basketball sneaker.
All in all, working with the brand offered Kam the hands-on action he craved.
This experience also opened his eyes, triggering his increasing interest in clothing.
As his senior year quickly approached, Kam became more assertive with his outfits, carefully selecting which pieces complimented each other.
He even engaged in a few modeling opportunities, including one with his friend Ella, creator of the streetwear brand The Series.
Kam’s closest friends, already involved in fashion, began noticing his evolving style. Those comrades, as well as a handful of strangers, would shower Kam with compliments.
For him, that was an unbelievable feeling.
Oozing with confidence, Kam felt obligated to step outside his comfort zone and share his imagination with the world.
After some thought, and with the encouragement of his friends, he decided to do something that seemed impossible over a year ago while in boarding school.
Create his own clothing brand.
And thus, struck the birth of “Good Kid, Bad Intentions.”
Kam chose the “Good Kid, Bad Intentions” for his brand because he felt like it represented the life he was living. Plus, it was catchy, and simple to understand.
He wishes that his first official release, which took place in November 2019, was as simple.
Originally planning to launch his clothing brand on Halloween, due to the impressive concept of his first pieces, Kam admits he wasn’t prepared in time.
He’d eventually get on track and enjoyed a decent amount of sales during opening week.
Ahead of his first release is when Kam met his right-hand woman, and fellow fashion designer Fatima, CEO of the underground clothing brand portal2mymind.
The two met on social media, and instantly clicked after realizing they shared the same hunger to prosper in the clothing industry, and see others flourish alongside them.
Kam credits Fatima for improving his work ethic, and pushing him to become bolder with each succeeding release.
Kam also credits his upbringing for leading him to where he is today.
After returning to New York from boarding school, he resided at the Polo Grounds Houses, in Harlem.
He witnessed poverty in each corner of the housing development. Living there gave Kam the determination to make it out that environment.
In the future, he’s interested in working on cardigans, shoes, and women’s clothing, like dresses and skirts.
My intrigue began to grow as I listened to his plans during our interview.
For Kam, the hardest part about owning a clothing brand is the heavy workload.
He’s currently running a one-man show, which he prefers, since he gets the final say in each decision, even though it can become overwhelming working alone.
On the flip side, he benefits greatly from the amount of time he spends designing his clothing.
Over the last year, he’s noticed the quality of his production improve drastically.
He’s also developed a higher sense of accountability with his brand Good Kid, Bad Intentions.
During our two-hour interview, he emphasized that he’s came a long way in terms of promoting his clothing, and conducting his releases.
Despite his growth, Kam can’t help but feel overlooked within the underground fashion industry.
He compares the feeling to how fans overlook J.Cole, his favorite hip-hop artist, in favor of flashier names.
Feeling like Cole lacks the mainstream recognition he deserves, Kam admires how he fuels that anger into his music.
Kam looks to fuel his anger into creating exceptional clothing.
In five years, Kam hopes to become wealthy, with Good Kid, Bad Intentions thriving.
He praises how Kerby pushes the African American agenda, by collaborating with other black creators, hiring black models, black interns, and more.
With that being said, Kam didn’t anticipate this type of success when he decided to create a clothing brand.
When first embarking on this journey, he expected this to be merely a side hustle.
But now, he finds himself living comfortably off his hard work.
Ultimately, Kameron wishes for his legacy to be an influential figure who helps others.
His goal is to pave a path for rising fashion designers like himself & become that mentor he never had.
In my opinion, he’s already on his way.
Whenever we discuss his work, I can sense that passion he has for his clothing, and fashion in general.
I’m truly excited to witness what’s in store for my guy, especially given his turbulent past.
And, regardless of what the future holds for Kam, and his brand, he’ll assure you one thing.
Good Kid, Bad Intentions will live on forever.
If you made it to the end, thank you so much for reading. Leave a comment if you enjoyed this piece. And please, share this with your friends!
Special shoutout to Kevin, Alexis, Kim, Reno, Astro, Nigel, Yaya, Tianna, Amira, Khaciff, Hamzah, Santana, Ian, Marcel, Leo, & Fatima. You all played an instrumental role in the success of Good Kid, Bad Intentions.