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GANGS

October 16, 2011

Every time anybody compliments me on my blog, I’m not sure how to react. It’s kind of like being complimented on your jacket…what are you supposed to say? I’m grateful to anybody who takes the time out to read it though. It indicates that I’m not alone in my obsessions with the unnecessary. It’s also kind of strange to see me described as a creative director online because of an in-joke made on camera last month. Once you take an in-joke out, it’s often misconstrued. I’m not a creative director. I’m too preoccupied with what’s already been to do much creatively, but as misinterpretations go, it’s better than being wrongly accused of wifebeating or burglary. So I’m not going to make a strenuous attempt to clear my name from allegations that I’m a director.

This is another of those blog entries where I throw down anything on my mind at this moment rather than dwelling on a solitary subject. Browsing Hostem (one of London’s best stores and an oasis of creativity away from Oi Polloi copyists) I was thrown by this mastermind Japan Beanie Hat. Sure, it’s cashmere and mastermind has long been an expensive brand. Not in the exhale at the RRP kind of way — we’re talking cartoonish double takes. Masaaki Homma is somebody who truly understands luxury (and getting a Goyard collaboration is no joke), but if you can afford to lay down 1065 GBP on a beanie, then you’re truly balling.

Twin it with the mastermind Japan Rabbit Fur Flight Jacket for 13,745 GBP and you can dress like Jim Jones or Max B for oligarch money. While I’m opposed to the use of rabbit fur, the fur skull and crossbones is a strong look and the stud version of the logo on the beanie completes the high-end goon look. V-neck tee, YSL belt buckle, wallet chain and concealed firearm are optional. There’s something about laying down that kind of dough (and the yen is out of control) on clothing that fires my imagination and makes me wish that I was some kind of art director who could hurl money around like Matthew ‘Scar’ Allen. The best Max B photoshoot is the Angela Boatright ‘Vibe’ one from early 2009, with some bare-bones lounge waviness and I only recently found out that Biggavelli shares my exact birth date. That makes us practically related.

Beyond some fuzzy jail phone freestyles, Max B’s (thanks to newmaxb.blogspot.com for constant updates) and appropriately amazing artwork, French Montana and Juicy J have been holding it down on the mixtape circuit this year. The Juicy J ‘Stoners Night’ video from August with the ‘Drive’ font before ‘Drive’ and an unlikely-looking video vixen was one mixtape favourite gone visual, but this week’s ‘Wasted’ video (with Chinx Drugs) via French’s official videographer Heffty was an unexpected treat, reinforcing Maybach rumours with those guest spots — this week I’m all about the lo-fi black and white videos with the twitter handles at the end. I’m re obsessed with the History Channel’s ‘Gangland’ again.





I actually experienced what I believe to be total happiness after returning from the Nike campus last year and eating a vast pastrami sandwich the size of my head with potato salad, a litre of ice tea and the ‘Gangland’ on Larry Hoover on my hotel TV. The MS-13, Logan Heights, Aryan Brotherhood, Latin Kings and New York Bloods episodes are all fascinating. The programme should really be called ‘GUNSHOTS AND RECAPS,’ but I could watch it all day via any of the many YouTube channels peddling episodes in fifteen minute chunks.

On the subject of Harlem crews, Soul Jazz’s new book ‘Voguing’ compiles Chantal Regnault’s photography of the 1989-1992 ballroom voguing scene. The fact it was a gay scene will almost certainly alienate a few folk, despite Kanye’s crew infamously standing in full executive realness mode (discussed on this blog before a while back) with briefcases, a preoccupation with high-fashion (Margiela, Lagerfield and Mugler rap namechecks are on the up) and that there’s plenty of hip-hop attire echoed in current trends in the book’s images. Funny that plenty of folk want to be immersed in fashion but still carry a whiff of homophobia.

On a tenuous gang topic, there’s unlikely to be a ‘Gangland’ on the Socs or the Greasers — and I still don’t understand why everybody wants to dress like a Soc — after over a decade of waiting for ‘The Outsiders’ to not appear as a UK DVD, despite two US DVD versions, we’re getting compensation of sorts in Studiocanal’s UK Blu-ray at the end of this month. America’s been left behind on this one, but this British release looks like a port of the director’s cut with the altered soundtrack and extra 22 minutes. It’s a ’12′ rather than a PG now too. It’s melodramatic, but it’s still my favourite film ever. Hopefully it’s not a DVD port in terms of sound and visuals — it’s a beautiful looking film that deserves the extra remastering.



More tenuous tribal links? I never realised that someone kindly upped the rarely seen (apparently director John T. Davies lost his archive in a fire) documentary on late 1970s’ Belfast punk rock — 1979′s ‘Shellshock Rock’ onto YouTube. Don’t complain about the tenth generation video quality. Just be grateful that it still exists.


Art Wednesday
‘s free (and ad-free) publication, ‘Art Wednesday Editorial’ just dropped. You can get a little preview of it via this link, but it looks like something that warrants a tactile look, feel and smell above any digital medium. Finding it sounds like a case of being the right person in the right place at the right time. I like Art Wednesday’s jollier approach to the subject than the sterner outlets. And in a curious way, that jollity tells me that they’re confident in what they do too, which makes me like the site more.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 17, 2011 7:52 am

    Wifebeaters of the world unite! It isn’t always easy to accept acclaim and praise. When it comes from those you respect and admire then you gotta suck it up buddy. Stay creative.

    • gwarizm permalink*
      November 1, 2011 10:57 pm

      I try! Thank you sir…

  2. October 18, 2011 9:36 am

    You need the bootcut True Religion jeans with a scene from the old testament in rhinestones on the back pockets to complete the Byrd Gang look, b.

    • gwarizm permalink*
      November 1, 2011 10:56 pm

      I wonder who’d win in a denim-off between Max and Jim. The width of their bootcuts threatens to engulf the earth and allow them to do the Pigeon Street glide…

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