Photography and Video by: Charles Andre Thomas
It’s winter in Chicago; the time is 6:50 pm in the auditorium of the Harold Washington Cultural Center on M.L.K Drive. The seats in the auditorium began to fill up instantly and despite the frigid temperatures outside, Chicagoans came to witness two dreamers; both on stage together for the first of many times. As I glanced at the stage, I saw two chairs and a poster of the night’s speaker’s; Kenny Burns and Rob Hill Sr. Burns and Hill walk out not long after the clock struck 7pm. The sound of applause and cheer filled the room. Sitting to my right, left, and behind me are hundreds of ambitious souls.
In case you have been living under a rock for the past decade, or you’re not addicted to Instagram like the rest of your peers, allow me to introduce you to the extraordinary lives of Burns and Hill.
it’s hard to define this one. With a gigantic personality and a go-getter mentality, he has been trumping the entertainment scene for more than a decade. Burns made a name for himself in the Atlanta party scene at the age of nineteen. Becoming the go-to party promoter, he gained the respect of his peers, and gained the attention of the movers and shakers in ATL. After mastering parties, Burns moved on to the music business. Step by step, Burns made his presence known throughout the industry. Over the years, he has formed friendships with his idols and even launched his own clothing line. Burns has taken all his life experiences and is sharing it with the world with his tour, and his new book “The Dream Is Real’. He is the voice of generation X, Y and the millennial.
Rob Hill Sr..
well, “the heart healer” is what they call him. He’s a newcomer making big noise, fast. With almost 350,000 followers on Instagram, Hill’s words are spreading among the masses like a wildfire. From inspirational quotes, to coping with the loss of loved ones, his mission is to inspire and heal. Hailing from VA, he was kicked out of his house at the age of 17. In search of his purpose, he experienced love, loss and adversity, which all, would be the blueprint of the man he is today. He took all his bad decisions, empty promises and hardships, and made them work in a mission to help others. Today, he is the author of two books, proud dad, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur. There are no excuses or fears that live inside of Hill; the sky is limitless for him.
Have you caught up yet? Good now back to their inauguration event. The anticipation was high, the atmosphere felt good and inspiring. It felt like you were about to have the realest conversation of your life. Rob’s words and wisdom have gained the attention of women everywhere. Ladies, this man is our relationship guru. Y’all know what I’m talking about. He has women, talking to themselves like “Where is my Rob?”. This man says everything we want our man to say and more.Kenny is a boss, simply put, a born leader. Like many here, I’m eager to hear his secrets that will help me grow. I know a lot of people here want the same. Kenny kept the crowd engaged with witty one liners and timely jokes. He’s a pro in hosting. Rob, comes off a bit more serious in tone and subject matter. Perhaps because relationships are so fragile and emotions can be as well, he takes it very serious. At first it seemed more like freestyle but as they settled in, you can see the tag team at work.
Both are loving fathers, and you can see that in their stories about their sons. Burns and Hill said having children molded them into the men they are today. Kenny spoke highly of his wife, and the impact she had on his life. Rob shared that his journey is not yet complete. He said, finding that someone is hard, when you are still in motion.
The highlight of the evening for me was towards the end of the event, during Q & A. A woman shared her story. She experienced loss with not just one significant other, but two. You could feel her hurt transcend into the audience. As my eyes began to swell in tears, I looked around and others were too. Kenny, in natural fashion, jumped from the stage and gave the woman a hug. The crowd embraced the moment with cheer as if Burns had given us all a hug. There are times when words won’t do or heal a broken spirit, at those times; we just need to feel love.
Burns and Hill are inspiring a new generation of dreamers through their “Living Life for a Living “tour. They’re healing the hearts of the bitter and broken, and creating the motivation for the ones who lost hope, drive, and stimulation. This tour will awaken those ideas you thought you buried, the scars you thought were healed, and the past that you can’t forget. This LLL tour will change lives. Burns and Hill are giving a new prospective on life, a chance to start over.
I walked away feeling inspired, humbled, and knowing that the only thing stopping me is myself. I learned that the risks that you take, will eventually determine your fate. Life is not picture perfect. In fact, it’s nothing you expected. The ups and downs, twist and turns are what make it such an incredible ride.
Burns and Hill had no idea years ago what their life would become. Through their own experiences in life, love, and relationships came the most rewarding gift of all; purpose.
The tale of Burns and Hill is unwritten. Stay tuned.
To see the full tour schedule go here: Studio43.com