Tiger Hood and I have a friendship cultivated over the years whenever we cross paths, usually in the West Village deep in Manhattan. Whenever I'd bump into Tiger, we'd just fall into easy conversation and pick up wherever we last left off. 
I was well aware of Tiger's unique style of street golf, but that wasn't the first thing that moved me about him. It was his art, more specifically his photography. I own one of his photographs, and I cherish it. It makes me laugh a little bit every time I see it. It's a strikingly ironic shot of an actual rooster feasting from a bucket of chicken. The moment he showed it to me, I knew I had to own it. 
Years later, when I started building the guest list for my interview series, Tiger was high on it. The only thing is, I had no way of getting in touch with him other than catching him playing golf in the streets. I knew he could be in one section in SoHo, where the first Supreme store used to be, or in front of the parking lot across from the Blue Note. However, as the years went by, our encounters became less frequent, making meeting up challenging. Imagine my sheer delight when, after what felt like a lifetime, I unexpectedly bumped into him at a spot right on West 4th. Surprisingly, he was just as enthusiastic about sharing his stories and experiences as I was amped to capture them. After that, a late-night recording of one of my favorite Tiger Hood conversations ensued. From our conversation that evening, I took away five things to remember:
1. The Journey of Personal Evolution: Tiger's long dreadlocks symbolized personal growth and change. He had moments of cutting them off, only to let them grow again. When he spoke nostalgically about the first time they appeared, like wings, it made me think about my life phases and how they influenced my identity. As a teenager, I had dreadlocks for seven years and believed cutting my hair would strip me of my personality, uniqueness, and power. I realize now that I was mistaken, but I was young and learning.
2. Embracing the Present: Tiger shared a wise lesson from his mother: You never truly appreciate feeling 'normal' until adversity strikes. I'm paraphrasing, but it reminded me of mindfulness's importance and the gift of the present, especially in pain-free moments.
3. Innovation in Familiar Territory: Golf, an age-old game, underwent a fascinating transformation in the hands of Tiger. He replaced the traditional golf balls with milk containers, reshaping the game over a decade. As he cheekily pointed out, he may not be "Tiger Woods," but he's undoubtedly "Tiger Hood." This innovative approach to a classic game made me rethink what true creativity entails. 
4. The Value of Recognition: Not only was Tiger's unique golf style noticed during our unexpected meeting, but he has also been recognized on well-respected platforms such as the Golf Channel and Golf Digest, and even has a documentary titled "30 for 30". This confirms that being authentic can often lead to recognition. Especially when you stay resilient in your craft and never give up. 
5. Humility Amidst Acclaim: During our conversation, Tiger exhibited humility. Despite his distinct talent and increasing fame, he remained grateful, frequently expressing appreciation for the supportive people in his life.
After spending some time with Tiger Hood, I gained a lot of valuable knowledge about golf, life, perseverance, and the importance of learning from every situation. What stuck with me the most wasn't just his unconventional approach to golf using milk cartons but the profound lessons he shared. I'm thankful we could record our late-night audible memory in front of the West 4th parking garage, and I look forward to our paths crossing in the near future.
Press play to listen to the actual conversation I'm referring to in this writing.​​​​​​​

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