Skip navigation

“The conversation was stimulating.  Something different from the usual flashy convo that I was used to.  There was no talk about cars, designer labels and how big his pockets were.  It was a breath of fresh air to talk about things that actually mattered.  Each conversation was better than the last.  A mental foreplay that left me wanting more…  More questions, more dialogue, more time.  Time to get to know him and for him to unravel the pieces that were “me”.  However, there was a nagging in the back of my mind that made me wonder if this was real or just a figment of my imagination.  Did he really see me for me or was he enchanted by the idea of me?  Was I just some image he conjured up and put on a pedestal or was he really interested in who I was?  This beautiful, wicked, misunderstood woman who others so desperately tried to box in with their assumptions and lies.  Only time would tell if he’d stay…”

-Her

Advertisements

“I had seen her out around town, and I only knew 3 things for sure.  She was a pretty girl…in a fast car…and I wanted to be wherever she was.  She looked like she didn’t need anything.  I knew better.  Every woman needs something different, but they all need something.  There’s always a moment when you make a choice.  How you make that choice determines “the story”.  Is she “the one” or just “one of”?  Does the beautiful woman become an ugly mess when I get close enough to take a better look?  Will I end up fulfilled and happy or broke and alone?  Regardless of what she is, do I have the power to make this situation what I want it to be?  So, that moment eventually came for us.  She pulled up.  I got in…and put on my seat belt.”

-Him

I’ve seen a couple others, but this is by far the best execution Ive seen.  Shot entirely on the iPhone4.  Stretch your imagination. Use the tools at hand.

Looking for inspiration one day, and checking some of my favorite blogs I came upon a post on my friend G-Roc’s blog, The Shoe Game.   The post was for a video by an indie rapper from Seattle, named Mackelmore.  The song and video were about Air Jordans.  Now, I’ve been super skeptical of songs and videos like this.  I mean, I’m a rapper and also studied film.  Especially, since “sneakerhead” culture has become so popular.  Most of these songs came out pretty shitty, for lack of a better word.  And the ones that had visual interpretations were even worse.  But, at G-Roc’s behest I pressed play anyway.  And I was floored…

Now you can take what you will from the video and song.  I thought his account of his childhood fascination with Air Jordans, consumer culture, and the lessons he learned as a result were awesome.  But moreover, as an indie artist myself, the lingering question was…How the f**k did he make that video!?  From the actors, to the mid-late 90’s Nike commercial-esque look of it all…How did he pull it off?  That led me to another Youtube video that explained how he was using Kickstarter to make the video for “Wings” as big as he had imagined it.

$18K+ later, $3K over his projected goal, he and Zia Mohajerjasbi shot “Wings”.  Now, I can read between the lines.  There’s a number of reasons this worked.  First of all, after watching some more of Mackelmore’s work, he’s definately put in hard/groundwork and has a following.  The songs subject matter isn’t self-absorbed, like a lot of rap, and speaks to a relatively large subculture.  So the idea of getting fans, who can latch on to the song, to pay for the video isn’t far-fetched.  The pitch is about more than, “I’ve got a hot club banger, that I think, you’ll think is hot too.  And, you should donate money for me to make a video that looks like it belongs on MTV Jams.  Bitches, booze, club lights, and sunglasses at night.”  So, I see why he won, and won big, on Wings.  I could go on and on about how music video has changed because of the internet.  I could talk about how technology and the decreasing cost of it has changed the creative landscape, making it harder to distinguish the bullshit from the diamonds.  I could even talk about the artists I know personally, who have begged, borrowed, crawled on hand and knee through alcohol soaked glass shards and pleaded to even get 2.5 minutes of decent 720P footage shot and edited.  I would even place a wager on the idea that directors would be willing to put up their own money and resources to work with Mackelmore, post-“Wings”, just to see if they can top it.  But, I wont.

Even with all the fine print, Wings, is a piece of work that, for Mackelmore, is a one-stop calling card for everything that is great about his work.  Every artist is looking for that one piece.  This is his “Thriller”.  If somebody asked me, “Hey, I heard about this guy Mackelmore.  What should I check out by him?”  My response will simply be, “Watch ‘Wings’.”  Maybe he’ll top it one day…maybe not.  But, as an artist myself, this looks like a career landmark for him.

I was inspired by the work itself, and what went into making it.  Job well done.

So, way back in 2003-4…when TI was riding on 24’s…S. Carter was on his 2nd set of Blueprints…and the Neptunes realized they had a lot of Clones…Pharrell Williams made his first foray into acting.  Not to be confused with the never-released “Dude, We’re Going to Rio”, The Ecology of Love was shot, starring Pharrell and Dania Ramirez.  A clip surfaced about a year or so later, that featured one of my all time favorite Neptunes productions, Sade’s “By Your Side” Remix.  Here’s the full film, that recently made it’s way online almost 9 years after it was shot.  Simply dope.  Vulcan signs held high.

Mike Bibby in the Nike Foamposite One, 1997.

Have you ever gotten up in the morning, and asked yourself, “What can I do FIRST today?”  As in, be the first person to ever do something…

When I was in college, my friend, animator extraordinaire, Chad Bailey, and I played around with the idea of starting a t-shirt company called Kanvas.  We were 2 art school kids coming into our own, style-wise, and constantly looking for inspiration.  This was around 2003-04.  “Streetwear” (I hate that term) was coming into its own.  We knew the major players, and brands that were just coming into their infancy.  I had gone through my phases of adoration for brands like Ecko & PNB.  But, I was always intrigued by the guys behind the brands and the way they presented themselves.  Guys like Nigo, seemed to be highly concentrated creative powerhouses that break off pieces of themselves to sell  their vision to the masses.  What do architects do when its time to build homes for themselves?  What do jewlers make when they need a ring or a necklace?  And, how do fashion designers dress themselves?

Jonas Bevacqua was no different.  I never really got into LRG, for 2 reasons.  One: I could never find it at my area retailers in my size (thanks, Savannah, GA).  Two: I didn’t want what they had at the store.  I wanted what Jonas had on.  He was/is an inspiration to me.  At the end of the day, if I was gonna be a clothing designer, I probably would’ve been much like Jonas.  Always fresh.  Ahead of the game.

Jonas passed away recently.  A lot of times, when i get into brands, I buy in because of the stories behind them.  Jonas seemed to be a  good & genuine dude, creative in his approach, with a very unique background.  He presented great ideals for the company he headed.  He was also stylish to boot.  From the ad campaigns featuring up an coming rappers and athletes, to the outrageous jewelry, Jonas embodied his brand.  And with all great products/brands, you should be able to look at their creator and see the correlation.  Jonas was nothing short of that.  Rest in peace, Jonas.

The jacket surgeon, Dr. Romanelli.

Patient No. 3519650: Mike Posner

Sidebar: Michael Jackson’s Thriller Jacket, the original worn during the video production, was recently auctioned off for $1.8M. I’m so timely.

A couple years ago adidas Originals did a collab with the All Blacks soccer team from New Zealand.  This is a watch Bulgari did for them (via Hypebeast).  I need to visit that store soon…

Lord of the rings…

trinkets and other things…

Honorable mention to the purple and yellow croc leather Hermes duffels, the Ferrari Enzo and countless other stunt worthy, vomit enducing, wildly blinding showcases of style.  According to Jay West, I’ll top all this when the time comes.  We shall see.  Honestly, I probably will.  The biggest stunt of all…we both don’t age. *insert Vincent Price laugh from Thriller*