Joshua Slay is an artist, aspiring actor, author, hip-hop storyteller, writer, and passionpreneur. Born in Syracuse, New York, Joshua’s family relocated to Ann Arbor, Michigan when he was three.
Joshua’s youth was extremely troubled. At the age of 5 he discovered his mother was using drugs, when he found empty, punctured nip bottles around the house that she was using to consume crack cocaine. His father moved his sister and him into his paternal grandmother’s home, however his mother’s drug use still played a major part in Joshua’s delinquency and poor decision-making. After getting into trouble in Michigan, Joshua relocated to Lowell, Massachusetts at age 16 to live with his mother and maternal grandmother to get a new start.
The transition did not yield the new start he expected. His mother was still addicted and his father, who continues to be the one of the people Joshua most admires, died from an aneurism when Joshua was 21. Joshua’s friends would call his dad Malcolm X, referring the nuggets of knowledge he was known to share throughout the day.
Joshua spent the next few years hustling and working odd jobs. After a failed relationship with his daughter’s mother and some poor financial decisions, Joshua was left homeless in Boston for five years.
During this time, Joshua began to master the art of always staying positive no matter what is going on. “I kept my head up and didn’t complain and continued to fight for the things I wanted,” he said. He attributes much of his motivation to his daughter, because during the five years that he was homeless, her love was all he had in the world. “My daughter keeps my energy positive: she is my biggest fan and without her love I would have ended up being another statistic”.
Music and writing became his therapy. Today, Joshua continues to fight to get the things he wants and believes in, living by the maxim of “turn you pain into a paycheck.” Passionate about writing and creating new opportunities for himself and others, people regularly compliment him on his drive and energy. “You have to move differently when you have a hunger for more in life and restrain from negativity.”