November 14, 2007
Some real fly hip-hop concert tees. Hip Hop shows have the worst merchandise for sale, or even more often, no merchandise at all for sale. I’ve probably seen ten hip hop shows this year and not one of those had anything better than some bootleg shit for you to buy. How the hell does Hova, a cat that owns his $600 M per year grossing clothing line not even have one damn t-shirt that says, “Dope Boy Fresh,” “Roc Boy in the Building” or “So Enlightened, I might glow in the dark.” Shit stay in the spirit of the thing and make something for the girls too, “Fly girl since ’88” or “Magnate magnet.” That shit upset me man.
That new Lupe ish. I know no one anticipating this like they were Kanyeezy or Fiddy, but mark my words, The Cool is on the extra-planetary tip without losing the audience. This is going to challenge The Graduate on many end of year lists.
For everyone to acknowledge that Nas was wrong. Or maybe he wasn’t. Maybe hip hop was dead and he went ahead and sparked a heartbeat in the damn thing. Hip Hop is feeling real lively to me right now. That Kanye vs. 50 battle might have been stagey as all fuck but it got cats hyped and thinking about what they care about in Hip Hop. The Kanye album was ridonkulous, Common was on point, Dizzee Rascal repped the UK right, Jay-Z dove into his rubber band stash and pulled out a classic, I’m anticipating one or two more seriously rough albums soon (I see you Wyclef, Lupe, Wu-Tang). The mixtape game remains solid even with the feds fucking with it and I’m seriously feeling some of the young cats on the come up (Termanology, Cool Kids, Mickey Factz, who have you).
A more focused Flint’s Philosophy. I’m back like the peace sign.
August 21, 2007
The sartorially inclined will want to rush out and cop the August/September Complex magazine. Mr. West, Kanye is guest editor for the issue so of course it’s all about the threads. The first really engaging piece has Kanye expanding on the future shock, sci-fi cool look he’s been promoting Graduation with. It’s not a look that’s easy for amateurs to pull off, particularly in its reliance on loads of high end minimalist gear from Jil Sanders, Dior Homme and the like. Nevertheless it’s really cool to see such a specific look explored in a range of ways and it’s all pretty much cool as fuck.
The real gem for someone like me who’s trying to get his grown man on though is the T.I. “man in a suit” pictorial. Jesus H. Christ! No one should do a fashion shoot without getting T.I. involved ever again. Plain and simple, the man rocks a suit. I mean, there is a shot in the magazine of him in a Chambray shirt, charcoal suit, black shoes and pink socks. That’s certifiably sartorially advanced. There’s a good range of really interesting suit ideas, as good as anything I’ve seen in any of the high fashion magazines and with very little of the silliness. The good thing about getting someone as street as T.I. to model is that you know he’ll never agree to the silliest of the fashion contrivances high fashion stylists lean on to differentiate themselves with. What you’ve got are interesting, innovative ways of wearing a suit without looking like an idiot.
Image via Hip Hop Crunch
A note about Complex Magazine itself is that they’re really killing the game in their own quiet way. No Hip Hop associated magazine has production values nearly as good. Their photo shoots are always great and the interviews worth reading. The magazine stays narrowly but very sharply focused and for the fashion identified, each issue might as well be porn. Get in on it.
August 2, 2007
The mix of surrealist imagery, historical allegory and social criticism in Dizzee’s video makes it likely the sickest video of the year, from one of the sickest (and my favorite I think) Hip Hop albums of
the year. The other thing that’s great about this song that’s missing from a lot of Hip Hop is good old fashioned story telling. Hidden behind that scattered flow and accent of his are storytelling chops worthy of anyone from Slick Rick to Jimmy Hendrix.
“1 day i was with ma breddrin Aido roaming the street, on the main road hungry looking for summin 2 eat, not no burger or no chips, shit that’s easily digested, its the shit that if your caught u’ll be easily arrested”
It’s really annoying when the guys from across the pond do better work with a form that originated in the US but I figure it’s for the same reason as NY losing it’s dominant place in Hip Hop. Ownership breeds arrogance and stagnation. Everyone whines about how everything that comes out of any other market isn’t real Hip Hop rather than taking creative chances and letting their work evolve with the market. It isn’t 1994, but from the artists and music NY keeps fielding, you’d think Biggie and Tupac hadn’t already had their day and everyone had to keep trying to recreate them.