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