Tag Archives: hip-hop

BRICKS & HEATED WORDS

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You may have noticed a predilection towards rap magazines here before, and finding a stack of 20-year old publications a few weeks back I thought I’d lost had me feeling a little nostalgic for the days when WH Smiths had at least a few homegrown publications of worth on the shelf. Mainly because, with my Medusa touch, I managed to make every single UK rap magazine I’ve ever written for fold within a few months of publishing my work. Hip-hop magazines are a hard sell when you can log on and get something more up to date or catch something long form on Unkut or Complex.com, but there’s room for something created with care that captures the current state of the industry. Those with a long memory will recall an underrated British ‘zine called The Downlow that ran for four or so years (1992-1996) with an over designed, occasionally unintelligible layout with a ton of electronic typefaces that recalled David Carson’s work on Ray Gun around the same time or Neville Brody and Jon Wozencroft’s FUSE. It favoured words over pictures. 1992’s BLAG (which is, admirably, still standing) and 1995’s shortly-lived True (which switched to Trace after True folded) united hip-hop culture with style well, bringing some spirit seen in America’s Vibe and The Fader. I’m interested to see BRICK, a new British hip-hop publication, in the flesh — especially after enjoying the second issue of another London-based project, Viper. Founded and creatively directed by photographer Hayley Louisa Brown, designed by POST — and edited by RWD’s Grant Brydon, the careful approach to the all important look — complete with custom typefaces — is both evocative of the more sincere locally created mags of old and hip-hop’s current aesthetic (despite, bar honourable exceptions, a dip in the quality of album cover art during the last decade). Neil Bedford’s shots of Supreme-hating, Cobain swag jacking stoner Wiz Khalifa for one of BRICK’s cover stories made the Daily Mail (we’ve come a long way since that Snoop “KICK THIS EVIL BASTARD OUTDaily Star cover) and hopefully that attention will turn into sales. Shouts to the team for making it happen. Go check out this fine It’s Nice That feature on the making of issue #1 and visit the official site here.

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On the subject of rap and typography, the Heated Words crew are studiously examining the history and legacy of the mysterious but influential b-boy font seen on Dynamic Rockers, RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ, Mick Jones, Biz Markie, Malcolm McLaren and Joe Strummer that defined 1982-era hip-hop style. Supreme have used a replica of this classic heat pressed typeface several times and Alex Olsen’s Bianca Chandon recently homaged a Paradise Garage tee with it on from back in the day. It’s integral to UK street style too — imported by intrepid tourists who hit up the Albee Square Mall to get a custom creation and the Heated Words: Initial Research exhibition to set off the project opens on the 27th of this month for a couple of weeks at London’s House of Vans. Videos, photographs by Martha Cooper, Mike Laye, Michael Markos and several others, old ads and some of the clothing in question. If you like some of the nonsense I link to here, you’re liable to really enjoy this one.

While we’re talking old magazines and Neville Brody, this Gilded Words piece is great: Jamie Morgan talking about a contact sheet from a classic Buffalo shoot for with Felix Howard for the March 1985 issue of The Face and the moment when every person started calling themselves a stylist.

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SUPERFLY

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Apologies for the lack of updates during the week — I was at the launch of the new Superfly in Madrid with Nike and didn’t get much time to do much research on anything. It was good to get some interview time with Mark Parker to discuss HTM, football design and other related things — that conversation should be up on a certain magazine’s website pretty soon. It was also good to see what Nike is planning with its top-tier think tank when it comes to football design — previous attempts from every brand to cross football and lifestyle on the footwear front have been variable, but the prototype of the Nike Free Mercurial Superfly HTM looked very good up close. That project has come a long way since the days of fruitlessly rushing to Footpatrol at the weekend after a Being Hunted heads up to grab some Presto Roams or Terra Humaras with the three-letter premium. Then again, a lot’s changed since then — I never thought I’d get the opportunity to work in that particular field back then, because I was buying shoes with Jobseeker’s Allowance and a pit of credit card debt.

If you’re interested in the incredible attire on some of Britain’s street-level elite back in the day (and I’m assuming that you’ve already got a vague interest in hip-hop), join the UK Hip-Hop Archives Project group on Facebook and check out the collection of Martin Jones’ (Goldie’s former manager during his graffiti/b-boy years of 1984-1989) incredible photographs that are currently being scanned. A 1987 picture of Trans-Atlantic Federation era 3D wearing Nike Air Safaris and a Mercedes pendant (the only other celebrity I’ve seen in Safaris beyond Pos and the Biz) is just one of the current highlights. Go get involved.

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(Image by Martin Jones, taken from the UK Hip-Hop Archives Project page)

An interesting looking biography of Ol’ Dirty Bastard is on its way late this year. The Dirty Version: On Stage, in the Studio, and in the Streets with Ol’ Dirty Bastard by Buddha Monk and Mickey Hess drops via HarperCollins in December. With Buddha Monk being a Brooklyn Zoo member, he should have some extra insight on the ODB myth. Buddha’s been doing the rounds with some tales of misbehaviour that indicate that this could be a potential classic for rap trivia obsessives. With a North Star member cut his genitals off, it’s been a bad month for Wu affiliates, but this should readdress the balance (speaking of obscure Wu family, whatever happened to the brilliantly named Ancient Coins?).

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I don’t know whether this is real, some kind of Jimmy Kimmel prank or a viral for a movie, but Miami rapper Stitches (who’s apparently just 18 years old) has some of the most insane face ink to date — stitches on the mouth and an AK on the cheek (plus a startling amount of Instagram followers). Pinhead hurling Johnson’s Baby Powder around, guns being wielded and a shouty mixtape with a cover that doesn’t live up to the visuals in the video are just part of his initial assault. Snitches might get stitches, but Stitches preaches a no-ratting rule, as the No Snitching Is My Statement title testifies. It takes a lot to make me bat an eyelid when it comes to rap, but this had me doing a full Roger Moore eyebrow.

TASK FORCE

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I think I’ve got a grip on the origins of pretty much every brand that had an impact on me during my childhood, but after they imploded, a lot of hip-hop cash-in companies didn’t leave much of a trail. While it’s easy to chuckle at the fly-by-night imprints that put out pricey outerwear then vanished and dismiss them as tat, what’s the difference between a Troop jacket and whatever godawful brand is hopping on floral prints right now? Nothing. Task Force remains a curiosity — just as Troop was booming, pre-KKK rumours (which I’ve always assumed were spread by a rival brand), their Jewish and Korean brand partnership seemed to spawn a ton of similar business models. I’ll concede that I thought Task Force was a sibling of Troop because I though it had a man with the surname Kim as an owner, like Troop’s William Kim. Then I found out just how common the Kim name is in Korea. Task Force put out jackets and shoes like Down Troop Sport’s output that were on sale in spots like London’s 4 Star General (which automatically, unquestionably made them seem credible to me), but looking back at them (it was the eBay-induced flashback of the Jekel stadium jacket where the below label is from that had me in nostalgia mode), the gear was pretty crap.

What I do know about Task Force is that it was a trademark of Eddy Sports Wear Inc. who were based in Brooklyn. Jekel was an Eddy brand who operated circa 1987-1989 who put out ski jackets, Task Force and the Extra Goose line (I’m assuming that the Eddy and Extra Goose thing wasn’t an Eddie Bauer rip). The names Jung Kuen Lee and Paul Siegert come up as folks involved in the company at a senior level, and it’s worth noting that New York’s garment district was awash with feather-filled lines around 1987 – Double Goose (I started assembling a Double Goose article that never got used and Thomas who obtained the DG licence told me, “Regarding the brand, we found out about the original owner by asking in Orchard street’s leather stores! He was an American-Korean living in NY”), Triple F.A.T. Goose and Goose Country were all doing their thing then too, which explains the strange trinity of Jekel, Task Force and Extra Goose on some badges on Task Force pieces. I’m sure Task Force made an appearance at the V&A’s Black British Style exhibition back in 2004, but I’ve seen little since. Their trademark expired in 1989 after being registered in 1988, which coincides with Troop’s collapse.

Normally I approach these blog entries with a certain confidence, but I know very little about this topic (this is just built on scraps), so if anybody knows more or has any Task Force shoe imagery, I’d love to see them. It might have been exploitative, badly designed and overpriced, but it’s not like brands are still pulling similar moves to channel a current zeitgeist and Task Force deserves a little spotlight if we’re trying to complete the bigger picture when it comes to UK street fashion throughout the years.

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PROTOTYPES

Mike Tyson Running On Boardwalk, Pre-Dawn

26 hours late with the blog update. Sorry, I was on the phone to a faraway land. Seeing as this site is a receptacle for pictures of Mike Tyson (and this Peter Rosenberg interview is excellent — especially when he blames sour diesel for some of his capers and Teddy Atlas putting a gun to his head, because Teddy, as this interview attests is not a man to cross) the small image above of Mike running some running in the dark circa 1988, wearing some New Balances is a personal favourite. If we’re going to stay nostalgic this evening, I have to mention the Clothes Show hip-hop fashion in Bristol clip that Mr. Glenn Kitson brought to my attention before Christmas. I remember my mum calling me downstairs to watch this while she was ironing on a Sunday evening back in 1990. Kids with Jordan Vs and C&A denims, is one thing, but Brenton and Clinton eschewing baggy street style for some Kool G Rap and Polo esque executive realness, with Clinton’s suede jacket being a strong look and Brenton’s camel coat preempting Kanye’s Margiela number by 23 years. A Foot Locker Limited Edition tag on the Filas, Brizzy’s own Fi-Lo Paul ‘Fila’ Rogers in with the hat, shirt and hikers, a brief glimpse of the suede Champion footwear that Ewing and Pony man Roberto Mueller apparently had a hand in, and some chap trying to front in those shitty LA Gear MVP Jordan IV knockoffs are all part of a rare snapshot of a time when people flossed in beaten shoes and fake Chipie.

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When every piece of sports footwear territory has been covered already, it’s interesting to see how things are developing. When no idea’s original, we’re hunting for things to reissue. A Jumpman becomes a swoosh and servers melt down on a Jordan III, the Undefeated Dunk I always wanted that originally appeared as 48 pairs reappears on Saturday and last weekend mita dropped the Air Max 95 neon (the best running shoe ever) in its Prototype form. There’s something about fiending for a co.jp AM95 that makes me feel I’ve gone full circle (or regressed, like Benjamin Button), but I’m sure the taxes on its delivery will slap me out of that euphoria. What’s so special about a black tongue on an AM95? It was featured in a Boon AM95 Q&A with designer Sergio Lozano as an early sample. Salutes to Japanese fanboys for bringing that back. I know it won’t have p.s.i. pressure markings, but I can deal with that. Nike need to drop more prototypes — remember the Air Trainer 1 First Take based on Tinker’s early AT1 sketches that weren’t possible to manufacture in 1987? And did I dream it or did an alternate Air Raid in a similar vein drop in the early 2000s? Anyway, here’s a picture of Sergio with the shoe that had hardcore fans hyped.

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As a product of the video shop days, there was no way I was going to miss this. REWIND THIS! is a documentary about the power of the tape in putting b-movies on the same shelf as big budget films. Provided there was gore on the back and a lurid cover, the rental store was a democratic place where I could be equally as excited about Conan the Barbarian and Deathstalker, despite the latter’s crappiness once I got it home. I’m looking forward to Adjust Your Tracking too, which documents a contemporary VHS obsession. Were it not for the video format, I would have not seen that Clothes Show clip again, or Phase2 and Daze on a Melbourne TV show (The Factory) in 1988.




It’s alway good to see London spots in Japanese magazine, so seeing Good Hood and The Hideout in Clutch was a good look. What’s even better is that they’ve given Rich from The Hideout a comedy shouty speech bubble, which is nearly as good as getting slandered by some wild nickname in the Rugged Museum at the back/front of Free & Easy like labeling a man with a tiny noggin “Mr Little Head” in an issue a few years ago.

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Homer Simpson once said, “There’s only two kinds of guys who wear Hawaiian shirts: gay guys and big fat party animals.” I think the Engineered Garments Hula Girl Popover Shirt sidesteps Homer’s theory, provided you smoke like a chimney and have a big fucking quiff. It would look good on big fat party animals too if they could fit into EG designs.

READING

Has it really been 20 years since Koon, Powell, Wind, Briseño and Solano were acquitted, LA burned, Perry Farrell masturbated multiple times and then everybody declared war on rap and announced that everything with an f-word was “gangsta”? It led to ‘Get the Fist’ — not a pro-fisting anthem, but a charity record that’s better than Live Aid II and III’s reminder that 1989 and 2004 were dark musical times, but not as good as Springsteen and Run-DMC condemning Sun City. I remember footage of Positive K, Biz and MC Serch’s albums being sent beneath the steamroller during the storm over that crappy ‘Cop Killer’ song too.

Still, it was nice to feel like you weren’t meant to be listening to the music — authorities, parents and even the artists goading me and calling me a cracker made the experience fun. Now it wants to be your friend — it retweets you and collaborates with Katy Perry, then saunters off and reworks an Aston Martin. Hip-hop practically strokes your balls and asks how your day at work was. Things done changed. I still can’t resist the lure of the rap autobiography – DMX, Ice-T, 50 Cent, Jay-Z (a decent read beyond the lyrical deconstructions), Common and J-Zone’s efforts were decent in their own ways, but Prodigy set the standard with ‘My Infamous Life’ by talking smack as if he was never going to be released and not letting too much truth get in the way of a good yarn. That seems to have instigated some impending tomes — Lil’ Kim’s ‘The Price of Loyalty’ drops in June, ‘Bizzy By Choice, Bone By Blood’ by Bizzy Bone, ‘The Dynasty: Sex, Drugs, Murder and Hip Hop’ by Ray Benzino arrive in July, Boots Riley has one set for December and Q-Tip’s ‘Industry Rules: the World According to Q-Tip, From Linden Blvd. to El Sugundo and Beyond’ is a long way off (25th March 2014 according to Amazon). Somewhere among all those releases, RA the Rugged Man’s book might appear too.

Given his notorious inability to hold his tongue, Benzino’s book appeals to me – I want more information on the whole ‘The Source’ deal, the early Boston rap days, label issues as a result of the aforementioned ‘Cop Killer’ fallout, the CGI magic carpets and that strange documentary that was on WSHH recently, which featured an inexplicable Jay Electronica appearance banging on about Satan and the illuminati, years before he took to blasting the shit out of pheasants with Zac Goldsmith of an evening. I imagine it will probably indicate that Made Men made classic albums too, but I’m willing to overlook all that. Every rapper used to have a book, film and beverage in the offing, but many failed to materialise. I never believed ‘Zino’s book would appear, but now there’s even a cover shot as proof of life. On a biographical note, HarperCollins are reported to have obtained UK rights to Mike Tyson’s memoir and it’s apparently set for an October 2013 release — very good news indeed. Getting overeager about these things can prove humiliating though – a lot of us have been waiting for ‘Bowie: Object’ (which sounds like an even fancier version of ‘My Rugged 211’ or that Hiroshi Fujiwara ‘Personal Effects’ book, but this time, it’s a tome showcasing some of Bowie’s favourite archive artefacts), but Bowie Myths showcased a “leak” that looked questionable. It was evidently written by somebody that understands Bowie, yet predictably, it turned out to be fake and even the man himself took to Facebook (“Blinkin’ garden gnomes! Really”) to dismiss it. Between that and a hastily doctored pair of Jordan Is with the Nike SB logo on the tongue (as I understand it, that Jordan I SB for the Bones Brigade film isn’t happening), fast news travel and a hunger for information are optimum conditions for pranks.

Every meeting I’ve gone to lately seems to have talk of “a print project” thrown around in the same way they were banging on about an “online magazine” a year or so ago. Unless you’ve got an oligarch backer the high gloss approach will crash and burn and just trying to be ‘Monocle’s fashion section distilled down like weak Ribena – a sickly pink when it should be a purple, isn’t enough. I can’t say I’ve been awed by a magazine lately (though there’s been some strong content) on visuals alone in the same way that ‘Relax’ used to blow my mind frequently. Sure, it got to a point where on grabbing it from Magma, it was all plants, pastels and Mike Mills again and again (the visual angle was important, because I couldn’t understand a bloody word of that Japanese text) and then it was cancelled in 2006, but before that, it was a perfect, progressive example of magazine design — inserts, posters, stickers and those covers…inspirational in a way that ‘The Face’ once was and very little has been since…at least nothing that would leave you with change from a tenner. The adidas and Dogtown issues were tremendous and there’s still room in my life for something just as powerful. The Being Hunted crew always seemed to worship this magazine too (I’m looking forward to seeing Being Hunted 7.0), because Jorg and co know their stuff. Salutes to the LMCA archive for maintaining the covers and the YouWorkForThem squad for keeping their magazine and book visuals stored, even after they stopped selling them. Why isn’t there a ‘Relax’ retrospective book? I still believe print can change lives, but `also I believe that it’s a format that only a select few can truly succeed in.

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If it’s quirky, it’s cult now. I’ve been trying to work out when cult ceased to be an appealing tag – perhaps it was the post Quentin slew of chatty, smart-Alec mob flicks that jarred each and every time. Maybe it was Rob Zombie and co’s attempts to reproduce a moment in time that was originally simply a victim of no means and a lack of professional crew. Either way, the best stuff from back in the day had an earnestness about it and a sense of strange that wasn’t synthesised. All the talk of ninjas last week had me thinking of David Carradine’s work and I still maintain that 1989’s ‘Sonny Boy’ is underrated. Alongside ‘Santa Sangre’ it offers something uncomfortable but intoxicating in a totally unrestrained approach to bloodletting and Carradine’s commitment to the film, from his cross-dressing performance to the work on the soundtrack is admirable. Cheap and memorable is a fair summary (like 1990’s unnerving ‘Luther the Geek’), but that doesn’t necessarily make it a film for all tastes — come to think of it, many will just find ‘Sonny Boy’ deeply offensive, but I guarantee you’ve not seen much like this one before. Brad Dourif has spent much of his career stumbling into curiosities like this and I’m assuming distribution issues mean it won’t ever get a proper DVD release again.


90s KIDS

Many months ago, I wrote a post on here decrying the 30 and 40-somethings bemoaning the current state of hip-hop and dwelling on 1993. I still believe there was plenty of crap around back then to match the current onslaught, but I have to admit to a certain hypocrisy — look at the old Source magazines and old ACG fanboy uploads in the posts that followed…it’s tough to shake off a love for the early 1990s aesthetic. I still have a problem with the people who seem to spend a great deal of time writing “THIS IS THE REAL HIP HOP. NOT WACK SHIT LIKE DRAKE AND LIL WAYNE” under pretty much every rap video from pre-2000 on YouTube. Less time spent on your anti-Drake crusade and more time realising that Roughhouse Survivors playing in a club isn’t conducive to meeting the opposite sex and maybe, just maybe, you’ll at least hold hands with a woman one day.

What I do miss is the level of criticism that went down back then and the seriousness with which rap journos went about their work. The ‘Unsigned Hype’ section of ‘The Source’ felt like something to aspire to and the magazine’s reviews would knock a mic off for minor infractions. I’m sure I recall ‘Beat Down’ dismissing ‘Life’s a Bitch’ for being too smooth. And yes, when we lost that sense of integrity, we ended up with Made Men albums getting 7 mics out of 5. Still, I would give ‘Classic Limited Edition’ 3 miss for the ‘Is It You?’ video alone, which combines some thug Aladdin ‘A Whole New World’ steez with leather camo gear rocked on flying carpets, the worst CGI sphinx ever, Master P as a hologram and cheap ‘Stargate’ knockoff elements that don’t fit the music in any way, shape or form. It’s more fun than another Rik Cordero production though.



What caught me off guard was the new generation of young MCs and their dedication to the early to mid 1990s. Mac Miller spitting over Lord Finesse’s ‘Hip 2 the Game’ was interesting, but Joey BADA$$ and Wiki seem to go even further in their preoccupations with old rap. Are we seeing some curious reaction from the young ‘uns to the mid-life crisis of rap fans my age preoccupied with the works of Gunplay and the artist formerly known as Tity Boi? Joey’s ‘Survival Tactics’ sounds like it’s from the HAZE ‘New York Reality Check 101’ compilation. It’s a bloody Styles of Beyond beat…it doesn’t get more Mr Bongo Jansport headnod than that. Pro Era might stand for Progressive Era, but it’s a throwback sound and the impending mixtape’s called ‘1999.’ That Joey’s 17 is pretty staggering — it’s not surprising that someone can spit at that age…Nas was on ‘Live at the Barbecue’ at 18, Kane seemed to be ghost writing for some greats at 16 and wasn’t Bun-B making UGK music at 15? What’s odd is that Joey was around 4 years old when Styles of Beyond’s ‘2000 Fold’ originally dropped. That makes me feel downright pensionable. Are we seeing indy rap’s sound and look being retroed by a generation too young to remember it burning out in a blitz of verbose super-scientifical babble (and full-lengths bogged down in boring Tribe-copy beats from a time when even a Tribe Called Quest were treading water musically and primed to implode)?

Wiki’s 18 but with a graff preoccupation, Rammellzee and Suicide references on deck, well rehearsed breath control, and inspiration from Cam’ron at the close of his Epic days and Buckshot’s work, he’s defiantly New York at a time when even New York doesn’t want to sound New York. Trumping Joey’s tape date by called his first EP ‘1993,’ I recommend picking it up for £3.25 or so from Bandcamp — it’s accomplished stuff that’s heavy with the wordplay and chunky beats in a world dominated by fluid ambience on the production front, despite the arty presentation it’s not some abstract project. Had ‘1993’ been released in 1993, it would have fallen through the gaps with Jungle Brothers’ 3rd album then been resurrected by German rap bloggers rinsing the Yousendit account in early 2005. Remember that scene in ‘Belly’ with Tommy watching ‘Gummo’ (“Shit is bugged out”) on that big screen in his palatial home? Looking at Eric Yue’s ‘Wikispeaks’ video, it’s as if Hype’s filmmaking opened some weird vortex where a high gloss and lo-fi world merged. Those children of the 1990s are making some interesting music and visuals. It’s all about the movements, and teams Pro Era and Ratking seem happy to talk about their reference points whereas OFWKTA get pissy at talk of anything pre-Pharrell. I like the Ari Marcopoulos helmed promo for Wiki’s ‘Piece of Shit’ too. Are we going to see major label dough getting thrown at folk making music like this? That really would be an early 1990’s throwback.





While we’re talking about the kids, shouts to commanderdeviss3 on his YouTube video where he shows off his “Swag collection” — this looks like a Harmony Korine creation, from the young man’s periodically disappearing headphones to the total lack of joy for any of the amassed swagger he’s hoarded. commanderdeviss3 is awesome.



Out of interest, can anyone explain the Crustified Dibbs/R.A. the Rugged Man ‘Night of the Bloody Apes’ comic book? I’ve never seen this item beyond this mention here. I’m assuming that it was a Jive promo item like the Extra Prolific and Casual comic books, with Crustified’s proposed 1994 release date being around the release of ‘Fear Itself.’ I need more information on this one.

RECOMMENDED READING

My time management is weak this evening, so this is a blog update for the sake of blog updates. I had something to throw up here, but an embargo deaded that plan. There’s plenty on the internet at the moment that’s better than this blog. First up, this Wall Street Journal piece entitled ‘Made Better in Japan‘ is very good — it did the rounds the other day, but the talk of Spanish napkins at a tapas bar, baristas barred from foamers or espressos due to inexperience and Hitoshi Tsujimoto of the Real McCoy’s owning around 100 Warhols makes it amazing. My friend (and one of the reasons I have the job I have now) Mr. Chris Aylen’s Trash Filter site has an excellent interview with Futura 2000 to coincide with his ‘Expansions’ show in Paris. It feels like a well-executed sequel to the old Spine Magazine (I really, really miss that site) interviews from the early ’00s that made me want to enter this whole miserable subculture in the first place. Now it’s considered remarkable to offer up content that could be in print online, but back in 2000, Spine was doing that. I think a proliferation of cornballs (and in a preemptive answer to any “Was that aimed at me?” emails or Tweets, yes it was) dumbed things down to the point where it seemed novel to offer real writing. Salutes to Spine and props to Chris for resurrecting that style on Trash Filter.

On the Futura subject, was I the last to notice his work in Heavy D & the Boyz’ ‘Now That We Found Love’ video from 1991? I knew Lee Quinones was involved, but Ernie Paniccioli’s snapshot of Lenny with some video vixens on set and watching the video again reveals a substantial input from him too. I’m also late to the party in studying Steven Hagar’s (who wrote ‘Hip-Hop: The Illustrated History of Break Dancing, Rap Music and Graffiti‘ which trounces David Toop’s revered ‘Rap Attack’ and ‘Art After Midnight‘ on the East Village art and music scenes) blog, which contains some fine hip-hop trivia. Mr. Hagar is selling both those long out-of-print tomes as ebooks for $2.99, and they’re worth your time. What’s even better, is THE ENTIRE FUCKING SCRIPT TO ‘BEAT STREET’ FROM WHEN IT WAS CALLED ‘LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT BEAT.’ That’s the script Hagar sold that was altered significantly, resulting in the much-loved but tacky cinematic rap classic. I’m assuming that might be of interest to a few of my fellow nerds out there.

I’ve let you down on the word count today. Two other things of interest are a UK Blu-ray release for Monte Hellman’s sparse and deeply influential road movie, ‘Two Lane Blacktop’ courtesy of EUREKA!s Masters of Cinema series. It isn’t as extensive on the extras as the Criterion DVD was, but it’s Blu-ray and you need to admire Warren Oates’s knitwear (my second favourite selection of Oates outfits after his inappropriately light suit for the dirty duty of severed noggin retrieval in Peckinpah’s ‘Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia’) as well as a beautiful scenery. ‘Drive’ proved that there’s still mileage in unnamed drivers — word to James Taylor. This 1970 ‘Rolling Stone’ article is another recommended read. I don’t own it, but I’m deeply jealous of anyone that recieved the (camera phone image retrieved from Soldiersystems.net) Arc’teryx LEAF V.I.P. pack at the SHOT shooting, hunting and outdoors trade show a few weeks back. Arc’teryx Moleskines look good, but the Cordura Brand fabric t-shirt, made from the same material that lines the Talos Halfshell jacket and the Arc’teryx LEAF GORE-TEX camo iPad cover are my kind of giveaways. Mr. Charles Morgan put me onto this action figure of firearms instructor Chris Costa that’s got a scaled down Arc’teryx Hyllus jacket (and an Arc’teryx hat on one variant) in addition to his other brand-name garments of choice.