From D-Boys to Dope Art

17 min
Timothy B. (Pendarvis Harshaw)

Oakland native Timothy B. has been putting paint where it ain’t for some time now—and the center of his work is family.

He was born in 1992, the same year his father, Timothy Bluitt Sr., was sent to prison. A former high-ranking member of the East Oakland street organization the 69 Mob, the elder Timothy served nearly a quarter century behind bars. During that time, Oakland changed a lot, and so did the Bluitt family: Timothy's mom, Dana Bluitt, worked her ass off to make sure the family wasn’t broken, and instead, made uniquely strong.

Meanwhile, Timothy B. grew into an incredible artist.

Timothy Bluitt Sr., Dana Bluitt and Timothy Bluitt Jr.
Timothy Bluitt Sr., Dana Bluitt and Timothy Bluitt Jr. (Courtesy the Bluitt Family)

In April of this year, when Timothy B. and Natty Rebel of the Bay Area Mural Program co-created a mural dedicated to the late rapper and entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle, the community came together in a way that’s rarely seen in the arts scene. On top of your usual artsy types, middle-aged folks broke stride in their jog to look at the piece, nonprofit workers in slacks got in glimpses as they went home from their jobs and former d-boys parked candy-coated muscle cars nearby to take flicks in front of the fresh paint.

Timothy B. and Natty Rebel of the Bay Area Mural Project
Timothy B. and Natty Rebel of the Bay Area Mural Project. (Pendarvis Harshaw)

For this week's episode of Rightnowish, I sat down with Timothy to talk about how Oakland is diverse, but it’s also very divided. How’d Timothy manage to bring out the different flavors of the community? What do his parents think about Timothy’s growth? What does the family’s story say about what’s going on right now … ish?

Listen to this week's episode to hear all about it.

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