Tag Archives: music

RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan on the Return of Wu-Wear

When it comes to the world of fashion music is one of the biggest influences when it comes not just to people’s personal style but for the direction, fashion is moving in. One of the largest impacts that music has had on fashion was the rise of hip-hop. You can go all the way back to rappers like Slick Rick and Big Daddy popularizing over the top gold chains that were literally things only your favorite rappers could wear to groups like the Wu-Tang Clan popularizing Clarks Wallabees and Ralph Lauren’s Polo Snow Beach collection. Groups like the Wu-Tang Clan didn’t start dressing like this because of their new found money from rising through the ranks of the music industry they dressed like that because it was how they always dressed. There is something different in terms of the connection between the musician and his audience when the person listening is able to reflect how they connect with the culture. They are able to portray this in what they wear and when it is easily attainable for the listener that bond grows even stronger.

There were band tees dating back to the late 60s and early 70s that allowed a fan of a certain musical group or act to show their friends that they attending a show or went to a certain stop on the tour, but nothing that just showed that they were down with the group and the movement they were starting. Wu-Wear, the clothing line started by RZA and many other members of the Wu-Tang Clan, revolutionized this idea and perfected it in a way that would inspire many other rappers and groups to follow suit. Wu-Wear was started in 1995 after the success of the Wu-Tang Clan’s debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). The clothing line was carried at stores all over the country and was a huge source of income for the entire Wu-Tang Clan, even allowing them to open their own separate retail locations in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Norfolk. Wu-Wear allowed the fans of the Wu-Tang Clan and just those that followed street fashion and street culture to get down with the Wu-Tang Clan’s movement and show their support for the group out of Staten Island. Although Wu-Wear folded in 2008 it has left a huge impact on the culture surrounding hip-hop designed and inspired clothing lines.

Today with the resurgence of 90’s hip-hop culture into the mainstream it’s only right for the return of Wu-Wear but marketed in a way that nobody would’ve expected, it’s being promoted through an event at Barney’s. The fact that Wu-Wear is coming back in a fresh new way at Barney’s, with updated designs and the focus of not just promoting the group but being on trend while still being able to respect its origins is incredible. This just goes to show you that the rich culture associated with hip-hop and rap music has ascended more than just music. Hip-hop today is regarded as one of if not the most popular genre of music today and it shows with everything around us. Barney’s which is a luxury department store that no one, not even RZA, would’ve imagined his Wu-Wear line rolling out a ten-piece collection exclusively for them is just another mark of how hip-hop music and fashion today really go hand in hand. This gives many older hip-hop heads a chance to reminisce on the early days of the Wu-Tang Clan and can cop and rock a piece of the new Wu-Wear while still allowing the younger generation to get introduced to the Wu-Tang Clan in a whole new way.

The Jonas Brothers reunite for fashion show

Joe, Kevin and Nick Jonas all attended the John Varvatos fashion show on Friday, Jan. 26 in New York City. The boys were seen enjoying a guy’s night out while wearing matching leather jackets. Kevin and Nick, 30 and 25 respectively, who have a limited-edition collection with the menswear brand, were spotted on the front row of the show.

The Boys

A post shared by J O E J O N A S (@joejonas) on

Joe, 28, shared a photo after the show of the three of them posing and captioned it “The Boys,” while Kevin posted the same photo soon after in black and white. Fans quickly jumped to conclusions about the band reuniting. They commented things such as, “REUNION TOUR PLSSSSS.” Another wrote, “IF THEY DO A REUNION … MY 2008 SELF WILL SOB.” One simply wrote, “Quit playing games with my heart.”

There was a previous report about the brothers getting the band back together when, on Jan. 15, photos of the band’s original Instagram page reappeared for the first time in four years. None of them have commented on the rumor.

The brothers first opened up about their decision to end the band in an interview with Good Morning America back in October 2013. “We feel like it’s time that the Jonas Brothers comes to an end,” Kevin said. Nick added to his brother’s statement:

“We’re family first and that’s always been our main priority and so honesty within what we do as a group was really important. I came to the table with the guys … and shared my heart with them and my feelings. I said, ‘Look, I feel like we’ve had some complications within the group for a long time [and] without addressing them I think this train will fall off the tracks. It was a tough conversation. It was the first time we really had that real conversation.”

Future Hip Hop Star Jirias Releases New Single, “Box Me In”

With every year that passes it seems there are multitudes upon multitudes of new artists popping up, doing their best to receive recognition for their skills and ideas, so much so that it often becomes extremely difficult to find artists hidden in the rough, there is just too much white noise obscuring us from finding true talent. That is where we come in, we dive into the sea of new artists to emerge with the fresh catch of the day, and today that is Jirias with his latest released song, Box Me In.

Jirias is a unique example of modern day hip-hop; eschewing the “club banger” beats and overplayed samples in favor of creating a sound profile that features both classic motifs interposed with modern sensibilities. Hailing from New Jersey and wearing his inspirations on his sleeve, Jirias is an artist to keep an eye on.

Box Me In’s four-minute and sixteen-second runtime tells you right off the bat that Jirias isn’t going for some bubble gum two-minute long club affair. Featuring an upbeat instrumental backing that inspires the vision of driving a fast car at night through an empty city. In fact, Jirias’ use of imagery continues to his lyrics as well, with many scenes playing out through his use of wordplay and storytelling.

Confidence is another major aspect we here like about Box Me In. Jirias has an almost palpable swagger on display; he just positively exudes star qualities in his flows and deliveries, he makes you believe every word he says, it doesn’t simply feel like he is reading off a sheet of paper or trying to emulate another artist, he is simply Jirias being Jirias, and it is a breath of fresh air in a stagnate industry desperately in need of something new.

Jirias is a favorite among us here, and we forsee big, big things for his future. To hear more from Jirias, check out his Soundcloud for his latest releases, and the Spotify link below to listen to his latest album relase, Castle:

Men’s fashion at Heineken Lagos Fashion Week

The Heineken Sponsored, Lagos Fashion and Design week this year was astounding and riveting. It was themed “Shaping Fashion’s Future” and it took place at Eko Atlantic, Lagos.

The show absolutely put the African fashion industry in a standstill with how the fashion showcases showed plenty of new and fresh collections. The fashion shows were met with bigger crowds than normal and they came with an even bigger appetite for fashion. Although there was a diverse collection for men’s fashion, there were a couple collections that didn’t quite sit right with the crowd. Maxivive’s menswear and Clan’s class collections had some remarkable pieces that more than likely will never go out of style.

Even with the clothes setting off fireworks, the runway was also focused on pageantry and entertaining the crowd. Designer Mai Atafo combined every factor together during his collection. His designs were fun, versatile, and just plain amazing, but the closing dance was arguably the best part. The People of color collection was by far the boldest. It was filled with daring and beautiful colors. Overall with this collection there was a very playful and laid-back vibe.

The men’s collection was more so a mix and match type of fashion show, showing the audience some ideas on the wearability and styling options for each outfit.  Fashion overall has evolved into a new era where accessories are everything. A lot of the models wore sandals, homegrown trainers like xeexs, and a variety of them were showing off long beaded necklaces over their outfits.

The shoes from the attendees also were making a statement of their own. The shoes worn really showed off the personality of the owner. Slips on were running amok and the more fashionable men paired them with bold looks.

Noble Igwe, Denrele Edun, and Denola Grey really displayed their ‘bad boy’ side of fashion. The Sound Sultan, Enyinaya Nwigwe, Bovi, Bryan Okwara, Yomi Casuals all showed up with class, with little or no persona attached to their plain but outstanding outfits.

What followed the fashion show was also just as spectacular. The Heineken ‘Live Your Music’ party was the after party for the Lagos Fashion and Design Week.  The party kicked off with Dj Big N and Dj Neptune playing the best hits from Nigeria’s biggest artist to really set the tone for a really extravagant night of music.

Do-2d-tun had a special feature that night called the ‘takeover’ session. This special segment provided the guests an opportunity to ‘live their music’ as the crowd had the chance to vote for their favorite songs through the Heineken ‘Live Your Music’ wristbands they wore.  The songs with the highest votes were played in real time for the Dj set. The headliner of this amazing music event was none other than Jidenna. Jidenna played all his hits like ‘Classic Man, ‘Little Bit More’, ‘Particular’, and even premiered his newest single ‘Boomerang’.

For photos of some of the best looks go to, http://allure.vanguardngr.com/2017/11/mens-fashion-at-heineken-lagos-fashion-and-design-week/

Anik Khan shows off a new design for tour merch

Anik Khan has had arguably the best year any up and coming artist could have. The Queens rapper released his first EP Kites and his first show in New York City sold out. He recently just wrapped up his first tour filling up venues from the west to the east with another rising star, Jidenna.

Anik Khan is known for having his own unique style to him, that is, embracing who he is and not hiding behind a persona. His five million streams on Soundcloud show that, so far, it’s getting him somewhere. For Khan, his success isn’t for himself but more so for the group of people who rarely have a voice, the people of Bengal. When asked about Bengal, Khan says, “We’re a young country that’s still figuring it out, but we have so much to offer”.

Khan has brought his talent as a singer/songwriter to America and is telling the story of an immigrant. Khan has found a new and innovative way to express the story, portraying it all over his tour merchandise. Khan has collaborated with designer Joshua Vanleader to create a different type of tour merch. Together they created a way to express the diversity and culture that raised Khan. Khan has put three of his favorite spots in Queens on his tour merch including: Trinciti Roti, Mahmoud’s Corner, and Fatima’s Halal Kitchen. All the shirts for the collection have been manufactured by Far East Knitting and Dyeing LTD. The tees are available at http://anikkhanmerch.com for $40.

“Let a Bengali-born, Queens-borough New Yorker show you a new meaning of what it actually means to be ‘Made in Bangladesh’”.

 

The shirt designs are all relatively similar. The menu printed on the front and store information on the back with Khan’s name only visible on the sleeve. The Shirts closely resemble standard uniforms at anyone’s local roti restaurant. Khans says, “Queens is the greatest place in the world. I want to promote these amazing businesses and tell their story”. With his new style comes as a breath of fresh air seeing as most artist tour merchandise comes with the nearly the same designs, such as, artist name, tour name, and dates of cities they will be visiting.

The tees also show off Khan’s optimistic side. Even with all the political debate or racial stereotypes of middle eastern culture, Khan doesn’t let it put a hamper on his vision and how he wants to show off what his upbringing and culture background means. Being an immigrant in a seemingly hostile America isn’t an easy task, but Khan has found a way through it all with his talented music and surprisingly tasteful merchandise.

 

To keep up with the latest news of Anik Khan you can follow him at the following social media platforms: Instagram (@anikkhan_), Twitter (@AnikKhan_), and Facebook (Anik Khan).

 

Music Spotlight Highlight: Chris Stylez, R&B Sensation

How do you describe the future of R&B music, and music in general, in just two words? That is easy: Chris Stylez. A native of Ottawa, but based out of New York City, Chris Stylez is a name you will soon become very familiar with, if you haven’t already, that is.

Rocketing up the ranks as a rare triple threat talent – a singer/songwriter/producer – Chris Stylez made his break by becoming a Vine superstar, collecting over 50 million loops of his songs through the popular service. He has quickly found himself touring around the world based on the fruits of his hard work and dedication.

But Chris Stylez hasn’t let his success affect him, he manages to stay humble in the face of mainstream popularity:

“I’m thankful everyday to be able to do this [music] full-time, I have friends who have struggled to maintain through the high’s and low’s of this music business, so for that, I stay humble and appreciative day after day, that I’m still here.”

Chris Stylez

When asked about how he approaches songwriting and music videos in regards to his song, “Who Is” (linked below), Chris Styles had the following to say:

“To appreciate this record is to open yourself up to uncomfortable conversation, I wanted to keep the minimalistic approach of the music consistent in the visuals. This is about more than the physical aspect of sex; it’s about the complex emotions involved.”

For those interested in hearing more from Chris Stylez, his EP can be found here, and you can connect with him through Facebook and Twitter.

Cultural Appreciation, Fashion and Music with Solange Knowles

Cultural appreciation is frequently exhausted through media. Rather it is through a simple tweet, an art piece or a visual for a music video, culture is everywhere. A case in point of cultural appreciation is an artist’s expression shown through music. Solange’s hit song “Losing You is a funky and vibrant song with an inimitable visual.

Produced by Dev Hynes and Solange, the song originally released on October 2, 2012 off of her EP True and grabbed headlines and the attention of many. Coming in at No. 22 on the UK Indie charts, the public loved her sound. Solange mentions with an interview with the South African Sunday Times that the influences of the song are from the 80’s and African percussion instruments. It is indeed a song of Rhythm and Blues also with a dash of electronic wave.

The visual of “Losing You” was directed by Melina Matsoukas; director of Grammy Award Winner “We Found Love” by Rihanna. Matsoukas’s resume is pretty dope, filled with projection done like Ne-Yo’s “Because of You,” Snoop Dogg’s “Sensual Seduction”, and many videos for Solange’s older sister Beyoncé. Did you see the On the Run Tour Promo video yet? Yes? It was done by Matsoukas herself.

Moreover, the video was directed in the township of Langa in Cape Town, South Africa. It was inspired by Italian Photographer Daniele Tamagni’s book Gentleman of Bacongo.  The book is filled with photos from Le Sape Society, also known as Society for the Advancement of People’s Elegance. The VIBE Vixen mentions that she was styled by Ty Hunter and selected by Elle South Africa fashion director Asanda Sizaniwas. Solange wears bright colors and exciting patterns by Suno, KenzoDiane von Fürstenberg, Opening Ceremony, and J. Crew in the visual.

via Daniele Tamagni
via Daniele Tamagni

The video is a combination of fashion and cultural tributes to African culture and also to correlate to the lyrics of her song. The words express someone who is realizing they are losing their lover. She sings “Tell me the truth boy am I losing you for good, We used to kiss all night but now there’s just no fuse, I don’t know why I fight it, clearly we are through.”

Her awkward placement in the video gives viewers the vibe of when something is going wrong with your love life and your feelings start seeping through your pores. You become still, you become out of touch with reality but yet you yearn for someone to notice you. She sings blankly in the camera while people move around her not realizing she is standing there or yet alone dancing in their work places. She identified herself not as Beyoncé’s younger sister, but a woman who walks to the beat of her own drum. She has received positive feedback from MTV’s Buzz Worthy Blog, where its mention only Solange could pull off this style.

Observe and absorb the cultural appreciation of Solange’s creation.