Stussy teamed up with Yo!MTV Raps for a capsule collection of t-shirts with prints of everyone from Eric B and Rakim Kim to Public Enemy and Digital Underground. As part of the project they also released two videos focusing on the historical influence of Yo! MTV Raps on popular culture. The video above focuses on the fashion and style of pioneers in rap such as Afrika Bambaataa, LL Cool J and N.W.A. The clip is worth watching not only for the pieced together montages from the late 80s to early 90s but also for great interviews with hip-hop greats.
You can see the entire Stussy collection HERE.
Ten years before Yeezus, the self-appointed Louis Vuitton Don was photographed for the cover of The Fader’s Inaugural ‘Now’ issue. These previously unreleased photos are outtakes from that shoot with Hip-hop photographer Jonathan Mannion (who famously photographed Jay-Z’s cover for Reasonable Doubt). Jonathan reflects on the experience of meeting and photographing Yeezy that day:
“At that point Kanye was already building his legacy. Already at that point all eyes were on him. Cause even before dropping that first album, he’d claimed it, he wasn’t accepting no for an answer. I think The FADER showed a lot of foresight by saying, Okay, you’re our guy, you’re on the cover, let’s go.
Kanye styled himself that day, there wasn’t a stylist. I remember he wanted props, things that represented his style. A Louis Vuitton bag showed up and he told a story, “I tried to get a bunch of Louis stuff and they wouldn’t send it to me, so I just bought it.” Whether it was that bag he bought or a big clump of Louis Vuitton luggage he wanted to stand on, he wanted it to be LV to show what he appreciated. I remember his “If I want it, I’m just gonna get it” attitude. The brick phone he’s holding in some of these dates the photos, but there’s nothing else about these to make them seem like they weren’t taken yesterday. I’m sure that phone, at that time, was the freshest, greatest, nobody had it. It was always about being ahead of the competition. His style then was impeccable and there’s nothing about it that wouldn’t apply today.”
New Yorkers can check out an exhibition of Mannion’s poloroid work entitled ‘Rough around the Edges’ at Milk Studios from Jun 18th to July 7th. The opening reception is tomorrow from 7PM-10PM.
Images via The Fader
Geng Grizzly wears many hats and his personal style is representative of his many hustles. Geng runs PTP (Purple Tape Pedigree) a hip-hop blog that will put you on to what you should be hearing (not what everyone else is playing). On top of that he’s got a fledging record label, Live From The Kitchen Recordings that is sure to be making tons of (bass ridden) noise this year. On top of all that you may have heard me make some guest appearances on his radio show Fresh Out the Box along with co-host Note D (check his style profile HERE).
For these style profiles, I really look for individuals doing their own thing outside of what the trends of the moment may be. In the case of Geng, he breaks more sartorial rules than he follows but stays true to his roots and passions. His style in complex in a way that the average passerby or fashionista might not notice. Geng is someone who is not just wearing the clothes, he’s living in them.
Norse Projects Corduroy 5-Panel Cap
The Hill-Side “Large Roses” Bandana
Vintage JC Penney Hunting Jacket
Camber “Arctic Thermal” Hooded Sweatshirt
LL Bean “River Driver” Henley
Military BDU Shorts
Falke Merino Leggings
New Balance 1300’s
Describe how your personal style evolved to it’s current state?
Back when I was a kid, I had a clean pair of velcro Nike “Uptowns”…lowtops in white with a black check and black sole. I have the photo to prove it. I was also wearing a denim sweatsuit with red trim in said photo. While I feel like I have since struggled to replicate that level of splashiness, at least the core concepts have stuck through the years. I done swapped the denim suit for one of French terry cotton persuasion and dress for comfort, contrast, and construction. Triple C’s.…yahmean?!
Now I tend to build an outfit around a well-made, timeless piece, and decorate it with things from the “other side,” whether that means pairing up the vintage mountaineering with the “high fashion,” or jumping between the lanes of core function with active wear and military/factory worker garb. Growing up in NYC, especially Manhattan, played a huge role. If you cared at all, your mission was to find a way to stick out from the pack of thousands rocking on the same type of shit. Some do it in a real “I look like Grace Jones-meets-Rufio from Hook and I am fine with that” kind of way, while others try to be a bit less outlandish with it. I usually favor the more subtle approach of putting multiple worlds together and over the years have come to better grasp how to do so by playing with the finer details like fabric weight and texture.
Military Surplus OD Wool Watch Cap
Vintage North Face (“Brown Label”) Down Vest
Norse Projects “Vorm” Pocket Sweatshirt
Vintage German Military “Raindrop Camo” Trousers
Falke “Walkie” Socks
PF Flyers “Bob Cousy” Lows
Has hip-hop influenced your personal style? What about its impact on your life in general?
By junior high, say ’92-93, I was able to start buying my own clothes and really try to get fly like our rap idols. We were all into the North Face/Helly Hansen/Columbia/Nautica/Polo/Guess/Nike/Timberland shit because that was what we saw in the videos, magazines, and album covers/liner notes. I was a Boot Camp Clik (Black Moon, Smif n Wessun, Heltah Skeltah, etc.) fanatic so I stayed rugged and utilitarian in military anoraks, my pops’ M-65 (early 70’s – ‘Nam), fatigues, and gore-tex boots. The impact of hip-hop (as a New Yorker who had about 16 years of life before the Internet touched down) wasn’t really thought about, it just WAS. As young adults, you either walked it or you tried really hard to do so (rarely to favorable results, as you can imagine). Every borough had its own angle on style in general (from slang to preferred brands and sneakers that they’d rock). It was all in the rap music…and we drank wild 40’s of O.E. and plastic cups of Henny because of it.
How did Fresh out the Box Radio and PTP come to be? Can you share a key experience or lesson from your time spent on these areas.
Purple Tape Pedigree was born in 2009. I used to post often-forgotten hip-hop and hardcore/metal videos on Facebook and folks would pop up like, “start a blog…it’s free and you probably have really cool stories to share.” I eventually did. By late 2010, rap started to get really interesting again and I began posting mostly current releases on PTP. By 2011, my ace Note (or James, as previously featured on this fine website) was in the mix. He not only helped with the daily posts (bringing in his expertise of the UK’s respective grime and road scenes), but he moved the site off of Blogspot and made the layout look all types of sexy. PTP wasn’t JUST us though, nothing ever is, so shout out to all of the invisible board members, silent investors, and loyal friends who have helped grow this into the mini-movement that it is today (air horn).
FOTB was part of the first wave of shows to be on BBOX Radio. Originally, I was going to be a DJ on Headless Heroes (Monday’s funk/soul show on BBOX), but then the idea of “new and progressive hip-hop” came up and we jumped at it. 16 months later, we’re still getting drunk on the air, playing new rap before it becomes the “new shit,” and talking crazy with rappers and brand ambassadors, alike.
I’d say the key experience is actually EXPERIENCE. Know your shit like you share a bed with it. Spend a lot of time practicing your craft before and after and don’t ever get caught bragging about it on Twitter. Finally, don’t over-think shit. If it feels right after running it through the various “Shit I’ve learned up until this point” and the “Shit I’ve heard about from more experienced people” tests…then go for it. Fuck it, it’s the Internet.
Masahiko Ono Repro Naval Watch Cap
OC x Pendleton F/W ’09 Wool Jacket
Patagonia “Down Sweater” Vest
Brooks Brothers Oxford Button-Down Shirt
Unis “Gio” Pants
Falke “Walkie” Socks
Clarks Waxed “Wallabees” (w/ new cotton laces)
Read the rest of the interview after the jump
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In the YouTube age radio is a medium that is often overlooked (no pun intended). From a personal standpoint I’ve had a love of radio since childhood. It was where I’d hear new music, interviews with my favorite artists and what I’d blast driving around town. There’s an artistry and personality that comes through radio that is timeless.
I was invited by the homies Geng-Grizzly and Note D to the BBOX Radio booth for their last episode of Fresh Out the Box. It was a great experience chopping it up on live radio with them and hearing new rap tunes that fall outside the usual mainstream suspects. Also notable on the show was the interview with Memphis rapper Cities Aviv and his manager James Goodmane. They are both extremely gracious people and they dropped ample knowledge of the Memphis rap scene.
If you are at all a hip-hop fan Fresh Out the Box is must-hear material. You can download the latest archived episode HERE. You can tune in live on BBOX Radio every Thursday from 7:30 to 9:30PM. If you liked this feature I recommend checking out style profile I did with Note D. Look out for more collaborations with me and the Fresh Out the Box Crew in the next few weeks.
Photos by Rocky Li
GORGEOUS CHILDREN are: FACE VEGA and GILA MONSTA. Together they make atmospheric rap that conjure up mental images of backalley fashion shows and workplace substance abuse. I snapped the above photos on set for their first music video GRASSNLEAN DREAMS, a double-cupped affair that uses more fake blood than a B-Movie and has more jawnz than most ‘WSHH’ startups.
You can stream or download their new full-length release “Heaven to a Fool” via PurpleTapePedigree. Describing music through words is not my forte, so I’ll quote what the homie Geng-Grizzly says about it.
“Have you ever seen the religious hallucination scene in Altered States with the fast clouds and the kaleidoscopic eye goat and the seemingly forced-upon sex atop stone podium to the circle of swelling brass lungs? This is the audio version of that, but just on mind benders.Face Vega plays the sadistic bandit running around with curved blade in-hand, opening beastly throats by which to fill his arsenal of double cups. He sits in his lucid kingdom with one hand outstretched to charred tokens of deism, the other palming the pink’ish wig-mess of an unclothed, female Fashion Institute drop-out as she gingerly cleans a set of rose gold fronts. Gila Monsta posts in front with long shirttails, but instead of a frightening set of blaring horns, he applies math and science to marrying off distortion and nougatine slabs of bass. The end result, after 12 ultra-vivid scenes, is a feeling of beyond truth (something like reading an entire Dr. Bronner’s label). Floatation tank rap.”
Photos by Rocky Li
Coming off the release of Cruel Summer it seems that the G.O.O.D. Music family is still on their grind heavily. Future joins Pusha T on the hook of this Kanye West produced banger. The punchy dystopian beat compliments one of Pusha’s better lyrical performances of 2012. Well worth a listen above on soundcloud or streamed directly from Kanye West’s website.
Riff Raff performed a high energy set last night at Santos Party House. Jody Highroller has been building steady momentum since signing with Diplo’s Mad Decent imprint in June. He went through his catalog of hits including “Caz my Gear” , “Lil Mama I’m Sorry” and “Jose Conseco”. You can download his latest mixtape Birth of an Icon” HERE.
The forthcoming Harmony Korine directed film ‘Spring Breakers’ stars Selena Gomez and features James Franco playing a character based on Riff Raff himself.
I met Black Dave almost a year ago at a Rick Ross show. Not long after that I came across his music video for Black Donald Trump. Since that video dropped I’ve watched his rap career gain momentum and spread through the downtown New York music scene. Black Dave is definitely on the come up, opening for the likes of Chief Keef and later tonight, Juicy J. Black Dave’s rap style is a reflection of his personality and New York upbringing. His songs alternate in mood from comical anthems to introspective and thought-provoking rhymes. Download his Black Donald Trump mixtape off Dat Piff.
Whether it’s true his skate tours or his ascension in the rap game, it’s a certainty you’ll be hearing more bout Black Dave.
The video for my personal Black Dave favorite – No Gracias
Photos by Rocky Li
Mike in his Bushwick Studio.
Photography has always been essential to creating and maintaining the mythology of rappers. My friend Wilbert Cooper recently interviewed Mike Schreiber, a living legend in hip-hop photography, for VICE.
A young Lil’Wayne
As Wilbert describes him “Photographer Mike Schreiber’s camera must have something magical in it, because it seems like every young MC he shoots turns into hip-hop royalty. His body of work is littered with images of rappers captured right at the tipping point of a legendary career. He’s shot nearly every notable rapper, from a young 50 Cent to the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard, all frozen in time in his elegant black and white portraits. His images have been gracing the pages of all the major hip-hop publications like the Source and Vibe for years and in 2010 he published the gorgeous photo book True Hip-Hop, which features pictures and stories he’s gathered throughout his career.”
The Opening Reception for the Book is Tonight so if you’re in New York be sure to drop by and check it out. You can read the rest of the interview HERE
True Hip-Hop by Mike Schreiber: Opening & Book Launch
37 Main St.,
DUMBO Brooklyn, NY
6 PM- 9 PM