Jun 24, 2008

A Philosophical Question/ Controlling Your Art

Just got home–Hungry as hell. I'm hungry because some guy got on the train and said: "I'm homeless, I've been out of work for a year, Can you spare some money for food or food?" So I sized him up...his story seemed straight. So I gave him my Sushi that I was holding in my hand. No big deal –Its only $4 in K-town. The man gave me a huge smile (Yay! I feel good)...we exchange 4 seconds of convo and he pirouettes on his heel(jazzmatazz style) and keeps on asking the other people on the train for money ( Boo!Now I'm pissed! ).

Dude, you said you were HUNGRY? So if you have food in your hand why are you still asking for more?So, now I'M a sucker. AND I still have to find some food of my own somewhere. My stomach is talking to me in spangalese. I'm pissed!

One of my friends doesn't like give to the homeless, she says " they're just going to put it into their arms". We had this argument 3x's. My thing has been 'So what?'. Give them what you feel to give them,: if they eat with it- cool. If they smoke it-that is on them. Life on the streets is hard, if they need a little whiskey or some crack to get through their day, that's not my business. You can't chase behind good will. Plus there is the off chance they may actually use it to live.

But I'm so angry at Mr. Homeless-Sushi, I'm wondering if she was kinda right or does my anger mean I'm being stingy?

To tie this to art: My boy just told me last week that he doesn't like certain people to buy his art. "They won't appreciate it." He says "They are just too damn dumb"<– or something like that. Yes, I agree there are dumb people in this world but, I argued with him on the same premise. Once you put some art out, you can't control how it is looked at. If you paint fuschia and they see hot pink then that is the beauty of information. Art changes through interpretation. Do we have a right to control the things we hand out to other people? Whether it be dollar bills, decollage or donuts?

So if my sushi dinner ends up being interpreted as a doorstop it's all good, right?.....Right?

Chupse! I'm still pissed. Let me go fix something to eat.

Jun 23, 2008

Hank Richardson Reads My Blog!

Wow! I can't believe it. I take a late night look at my emails and I've gotten an email from Hank. Even though I gansta signed him up for the blog like I did some of you I was suprised to find not only does he keep up but he likes it. yay! Hank is the head of my very hardcore grad school The Portfolio Center. But more than that, he ( along with Sylvia and Ted Fabella) is the most influential voice in my design career. Sylvia taught me the basics, Ted taught me to make my concepts solid and Hank taught me to dig deep and think waaay outside the box. Even now when I design I still hear them all in my head.

Hanks voice is in my ear again, he's telling me my blog looks boring. Lol!. I am after all a designer first, right? So give me a little time, I'ma make it Pop, Baby!.

For any of you ( Like Mel) who are thinking about going to an art school in ATL I highly recommend Portfolio Center. It is a CRAZY experience. You work your behind off and then one day ( around 4th quarter ) you realize you have grown tremendously as a designer...then you work your butt off some more. It's like G.I. Jane...the tough part isn't getting in...it's getting out.

Hoo-Yah, Chief!

Metal Gear Solid ४ (A Video Game Comments on Our Govt.)

I love the innocuous nature of art today. Ads, Video Games, Street Wear Tees, Cartoons, Packaging...All of these forms of art have a way of affecting the consumer without them realizing it. So the new thing is that the latest version of a VERY popular video game ( Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriot, created by Hideo Kojima ) is using parallels to make a statement about American global domination and the struggle for free will...This is not my game– never played it. So please appreciate the fact that I had to read through a VERY aggravating and overwritten article to get the scraps for this post.The characters infiltrate a Middle Eastern Country, Fight an evil military corporation called "The Patriots" and suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Check out the above Image ( left ) of the game and compare to image (right) of actual US troops in Iraq.So fellas (and really cool ladies) next time you're button punching this game keep your eye out for Kojima's hidden message.

Jun 19, 2008

Vogue To Launch Black Girl Issue

Continued from Around The Way Girls.Net.

Inspired by the onset of a possible Black President and his (black as all get out wife). Italian Vogue is publishing a Vogue with 100 pages dedicated to black models and black women entertainment/political figures. The mag drops in itally next week. I'm getting mine to make sure the message is sent to the WORLD...Diversify. Next I want an all Indian girl Issue. lol!

The photographer Steven Meisel has been working in the industry for so long and with so much sucess that he can do pretty much whatever he wants...well,he want to do something different. Different in this case is to underline black women who as of late have been getting less ( positive ) media attention than even in the 70s and 80s. But the shanene's and the big mama's of the world are still doing it big. How is this even possible? As I said in my ATWG post, It's a shame that such a statement has to be made, but if it needs to be done-Lets do it! And props to Vogue and Meisel for taking that step. Lets hope it doesn't end like black history month. lol.
Editor Franca Sozzani, is saying that her inclusion of this project is due to her interest in the presidential race, and not a response to recent criticism that she under uses black women...yeah whatever. Photographer Meisel has a theory as to why Black women have been disappearing from runways etc.: It's linked to money. To sum it up Black ( girls) don't sell. Even though designers have open minds and diverse interests the readers do not. It is so odd that this comes up right after the debacle not to long ago about Lebron James being protrayed as King Kong on the Vogue Cover. You get a little you give a little.

Says Meisel of underworked ( soon to be featured model ) Sessilee Lopez :. " Here is this exquisite girl...what don't you get?".
I mean really! A good season is predicted for Lopez next year!
Shout to Jazz-Phae for reminding me to get on this article...Looks like everyone is getting excited.


Jun 17, 2008

Dope Lyrics- Roots Crew Review "Rising Down"

My friend Esen tells me I have to listen to it, "Black Thought sounds fed up!"। True indeed, I take a listen the first track, and what do I hear but a a recording of the artists arguing with each other. My heart skipped a beat...what?! the roots better not be breaking up, I haven't seen them live in 4 years! Black Thought is my favorite MC hands down. On stage he has an energy that just crackles. This CD seems to be a departure from the norm, With a heavier contributions from outside artist like, Mos Def, Common,Dice Raw & Talib Kweli। The lyrics a little more raw and a little less edible. You're getting straight vegan here, y'all. The lyrics are filled with a lot of frustration and Scarface-like reflection. The tracks are less acoustic. This is definitely an album I'll pop in, when I'm in a certain frame of mind.Esen was right...someone has had it. The songs I'm definitely feeling the most are Rising Up ( with the hot DC style go-go beats) and I Will Not Apologize.
In true Dope Lyrics fashion here are some lyrics that stood out to me:

"Yesterday, I saw a B-girl crying, I walked up and asked 'what's wrong'/ she told me the radio's been playing the same song all day long..." [Chrisett Michelle]

"Real rappers ain't eating, they Olsen Twinning" [Wale]

THE ROOTS (feat. chrisett michelle & wale) Rising Down "Rising Up"

"For the statements I'm about to make I will not apologize
Niggas talk a lot of shit, really need to stop the lies
Jewels rented, cars rented, homie that ain't authentic
Acting tough on TV but to me you seem a little timid
Don't blame the nigga, blame America, it's all business
Acting like a monkey is the only way to sell tickets... "

[Dice Raw]

THE ROOTS (feat. Dice Raw, P.O.R.N.) Rising Down "Rising Up"

The Roots - Rising Up (Feat. Wale & Chrisette Michele)

Jun 16, 2008

Talib Kweli, BlackSmithTV.Com

I'm going to just be honest. I'm using this blog as a bookmark right now. It's 11 pm, i'm doing research for a music production company logo and I came across this. I'm not sure what on earth this is, but it looks like it's trying to do something positive for hiphop. I'll google this properly when I get some time. In the meantime watch the movie, and if you know anything about this, pls let me know.

if anyone is curious to find out what the real deal is check out, then get back at me!

Jun 14, 2008

PieceBook ( Graffiti Book Launch)

Last Thursday I went to the launch of PieceBook: The Secret Drawings of Graffitti Writers. The book was produced by Sacha Jenkins and David Villorente. The book is a tribute to the works of some of earliest graf writers by showing a collection of their sketches from their old "piecebooks" most creatives will recognize that as the "blackbook"; it's like our visual diary. Most creation starts ( and usually ends) here...or in my case its starts and ends on the back of my electricity bill envelopes. The cover of the book is actually a replica of the artist's black book. The inside is a collection of the marker and pencil sketches-some more elaborate than others-from 1970s-1980s era writers like: Zephyr, Dondi, Daze, CRASH, Lady Pink, T-Kid, CAP, and Ghost, .The book sold, at the show, for $30. Many of the artists were gathered in the back NYC's Reed Space . They were reunited after many years and they were available to sign your books in style with sharpies. When they were done signing it was hard to tell which was printed and which was just written. I got a kick out of watching some of these dudes write my name in my book. It felt like the last day of high school!

Wild Seed Boutique opens in ATL...( Do it Kiki!)

Love goes out to my girl Kiki ( Kianga Peterson). Her new boutique Wild Seed is on and popping in ATL. For those of you reading this blog in Atlanta, I can vouch for her good taste, go check it out. They just got a mention in Daily Candy and I just ran into Jen (St. Agnes) of Worship Worthy fame, who was flying down just this friday to work on promotions. Kik is a highly experienced designer who has worked in a diverse range of brands Heatherette-Sean John. What I love about my girl is that she will casually mention over drinks that she is planning on taking over the world...next thing you know she has Wisconsin and South Dakota on lock. I love it ! She is joined by partners Set Shakur ( Tupac's Sister), and Custom Tailor Tamúra White.
I will be in ATL next weekend, I'll be dragging some friends to see the new spot.

P.S. Kik, we're doing Martini night in queens,( yes QUEENS)–don't trip. Jazzy Phae is bringing the tequila. lol

Peace & Love


Jun 9, 2008


I know they were trying to be funny, but I'm kind of diggin' it! Marx and Guevara are my favorites. Why didn't they put my Sweetheart in the game tho..Hugo Chavez? Lol!

Jun 8, 2008

Gov't Sticking it to Creatives/ The New Orphan Works Bill

It's hot in NY friends. So of course folks-is-grillin'. Yesterday a couple of bb-q's among the NY creative community generated some heated discussions about the latest Orphan Works Bill. People are up in arms about this new proposed ( about-to-be-passed)bill. Apparently your ( our )work is about to be up for grabs, anyone, meaning ANYONE can take your work as long as they show that they "attempted to contact you for permission" to gank your stuff. Artist will lose more control over their artwork than ever before. Not that we weren't already being robbed.

The real question is what is considered an attempt at contact? If you ring the phone and hang up, then bring the phone record to court is that considered an attempt? And lets be real, your run of the mill artist is broke-broke-broke! Who has the funds to challenge the theft in the first place?

I've had the pleasure of watching knockoffs of my work walk around me in the New York Streets, one knockoff wearing dude sat next to me in the subway the other day. No one sues over such things, It's part of the fashion game, I guess-Whatever. But with this bill there is even less of a likelyhood that the little man is going to go to court. Whats the chance he's going to win? I mean, damn, can he even AFFORD to win in the first place? Winning is expensive!

The real question is who is benefiting from this? because as animator Reggie Butler pointed out last night..." Doesn't the gov't have other shit to worry about right now?". Why are they even spending time on this? Word is that Google is the powerhouse behind the bill, how they benefit is yet a mystery. I'll let you know when I do...

Read More about the bill HERE


Jun 6, 2008

Don't Tell Me We Can't Change! He's the Best Mayne!

This video gave me chills, and brought tears of pride to my eyes. YAY Jay Smooth of illdoctrine.com for creating this video! He Deed it ! ( whats up with the D-E-E-D tho, jay? i watched the video and I still don't get it)

"An all-star tribute to Barack Obama, courtesy of Jay Smooth, Dipset, Just Blaze, Eli Porter, Rebecca Sealfon, Cyrus, Morpheus, Nas, and Gabby Johnson (RIP Hedley Lamarr)." From Jay Smooth

If you're getting this thru email...Go to the site You gotta watch this!

Jun 5, 2008

Presidential Pound

Michelle O, give her political husband some dap. Hows that for changing business as usual? Most people love it, but, some people are already calling it the Black Militant salute...LOL.

Jun 2, 2008

Police Brutality: An Unfortunate Rite of Passage

"'Son, do you know what I stopped you for?' 'Cause I'm young and I'm black and my hat's real low/do I look like a mind reader,Sir? I-don't-know. Am I under arrest or should i guess some mo'?'"
99 problems, Jay-z

The upcoming article is a word of wisdom from Dan Tres aka (Brother Omi) But first I want to talk about this topic, and my realization that aside from the actual brutality it is the systemizing of Black and Latin males that is a huge problem. In undergrad, my friends I kept getting into these frustrating incidences with the cops. Either myself, or my people have been pulled over for: driving 5 miles too fast, driving 5 miles too slow, switching lanes without using a turn signal, slowing the car down near an exit, having suspicious packages in the car and all kinds of other foolishness. An excuse of course to get into the vehicle and find something incriminating. Of course being college students every once in awhile someone WAS up to something, and the harassment ended in a life altering event. Now my experiences were nowhere near as jarring as Dan Tres's, but it burned me up nevertheless.

The way the police treated me and other women vs men was scary. The men always understood better than I did the danger that we were in. While we were being harassed the men around me silently tried to wait it out. I was always ready for an argument. When I'm feeling righteous I had no (common) sense of danger whatsover. My friends would pinch me, hold my shoulders, drag the back of my shirt, all the while I was arguing. As time went on I adopted that same tension/fear many of us all have as kids when the cops come around,. You can have nothing more dangerous than a pack of gum in the car, but when the cops pull up to a group of black or latino kids in a vehicle EVERYBODY shuts up, gets real still, stares forward and waits for the light to change. More than getting fined, lockup or embarrassed you can end up in the system.

Starting soph. year in college I started asking the black men in my life if they had ever spent a night in lockup ( I don't remember what started this questioning). Once in awhile, when it occured to me, I would just ask: over card games, at the movies, at a party, over dinner. It took me almost 7 months before I could find an entire room who said "no". These were COLLEGE KIDS! Some got good grades, some did not, some were into girls, some couldn't get any, some men were rich kids, some were broke, some liked to fight, some liked to write–they were all totally different, yet man after man said " Yes" for almost 7 straight months. So all of these 7 months of men have been entered into the system-forever. They have been fingerprinted and booked, lost time away from work and school, and been punished for the things that are part of many normal peoples coming of age ( fighting, experimenting with marijuana, driving recklessly etc, leaving your license at home...). And once you have been entered into the system for whatever, how easy is that for someone to deny you a job?

Well let me get off of my soapbox and put Dan Tres on his...His police encounter occured around-yes you guessed it, his artwork i.e. tagging ( I'm trying to stay blog-topic consistant here). Please read on as my homeboy expresses himself with this touching article.

"My first experience with police brutality occurred when I was just nine years old. As a youngblood living in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, I used to frequent the Pitt Street Boys Club. Back in the early eighties, the building was surrounded by several abandoned buildings. Some of us would leave the Boys Club early and hang out in those abandoned buildings. We would play tag and have rock fights. Some of us would bring cans of Krylons, to place tags on the hidden walls. Of course, heroin addicts used to frequent those abandoned buildings. At times, they would chase us out. Other times they would be too high to even notice us...."
{Click here to read on}

Jun 1, 2008

Give The Drummer Some-ESEN and M.O.M

 Went, last night, to Supreme Trading in bklyn to see my Super-Mega-Funky-Fly homie rapper Esen .  ( Also there was Evil Dee and Large Professor ) I(We) came rocking home-made fan tees that said: ESEN IS THE CHEESE TO MY MACARONI.  Unfortunately circumstances lead only one of us "groupies" I could make it to the show, and even more unfortunate, I came too late to see him rock the mike.  But I repped like a real trooper with my glow-in-the-dark oversize tank shirt. AND...I got to hold his backpack while he did an interview....Ooooh he's so dreamy! ha ha...Next time, Esen– Heather and I are going to throw big walmart granny panties at you while you are on stage!.  True to my usual form I was in and out like a light, but I did manage to see one group that I want to shout out.  They were hot, M.O.M ( That's M-round african mask-M) was the name and I can't find them on the net.  The tall slim one had a tight flow and a voice that reminded me of mos Def & Andre 3000 all at once.  They had mad charisma and the lyrics were on.  I have to check them out again, if anything knows anything about them pls let me know, they weren't listed on the flyer.  True again to my usual form, I took really blurry pics, but untrue to my usual, i was too shy to go up to the M.O.M rappers when I had a chance so this is all you get!

Special Shout to the floor camera man and his weird Mad Max camera wonderwheel. is that protocol?