Archive for the ‘E.B Interviews’ Category

The Definition of A Pink Summer: Bucky Malone

Friday, May 26th, 2017

Since the beginning of the year rapper Bucky Malone has been on a constant move, giving us more music and an aesthetic to match. The DMV rapper caused us to start talking back in 2011 with his mixtapes like That Yea. , Weekend at Coney Island, and his collaborations with A$AP Ty Beats.  In January, the DMV artist released his mixtape enitled The Pink Summer featuring  a major amount of production from Divine Council’s ICYTWAT, Blackyouth and Baltimore producer Aaron Lacarte. Post dropping the mixtape, he released two visuals for “Wi$hlist” and “Missions” , and as of this week a playlist to show his appreciation for his fans .During the interview, the DMV artist and I chop it up about what he misses about the 90s, how him and ICYTWAT joined forces,  how close he’s gotten to his “Wi$hlist”, and what a perfect day exactly consists of for Bucky Malone .

Me: What’s up Bucky , how are you ?

Bucky: I’m good, thank you

Me: So I know you are originally from Virginia but  what part of VA are you from because there’s the DMV and then there’s  the remaining cities like Hampton, Richmond, and Norfolk?

Bucky: Word word, I’m from Northern Virginia, specifically the city Manassas ,like 10 minutes away from DC.

Me: What was growing up in the DMV like for you ?

Bucky: Growing up in the DMV influenced me in many ways. I grew up in nothern Virginia which for the most part is suburban you know. While on the flipside I would go across the bridge in DC and Maryland with my dad side which was closer to the inner city so I kinda had the best of both worlds.

Me:I feel it. So you have a song called “Lil Ralph Tresvant”, was Boys II Men a musical influence for you growing up or?

Bucky: Oh yeah I been a fan wayyy before the biopic came out and all that. I know a lot of people that didn’t know too much about them before the movie but I’ve always been a fan of Ralph specifically though. I just feel like… I  can relate to him in every angle.  He had a lot of people hatin’ on him and I’ve been there.

Me: Did you like the biopic ?

Bucky: Yeah it was dope ! I loved it just cause everything was accurate so it was just crazy to see it in  the form of an actual movie. I think they did a great job from the actors to the routines and situtations, all that. I f*cked with it.

Me: So earlier this year you released a mixtape called “Pink Summer”  that includes a lot of production from  Divine Council’s ICYTWAT.  Now I know you all have been working since “Beeper” (2015)  but how did you guys’ musical chemistry  inititially  come about  ?

Bucky: Believe it or not, we just met.

Me: Wait, are you serious ?

Bucky: Yeah we’ve been in contact via internet for a minute now. Shout out to my nigga Robert Gallardo( one of the minds behind AWGE,  A$AP Rocky’s art/creative-direction team), we was smoking in the crib in New York and one of his songs came across the Soundcloud and I was so blown away.I really f*cked with his sound  cause he was so polished at like 16. I was impressed. As soon as I came home from NY , I immediately did a verse on one of his instrumentals, asked him if he f*cked with it in a DM, and he said he did so that song is what became “Dirty Bitch Freestyle” .

Me: Wow that’s really dope

Bucky : Yeah we just kept the ball rolling from there. I came out to one of their shows late last year and that’s when I met $ilkmoney, Cyrax!, and Lord Linco.

Me: This is while they were on tour with Young Thug or after that?

Bucky: It was sometime late last year so yeah it was after the tour.

Me: Thats really wassup ! Now on the mixtape yall worked on, you sorta painted a 90s aesthetic from the “Flicking Thru Channels Skit”, to even the  90s Nickelodeon visual for “Missions”. What is something about the 90s culture that you wish was still relevant now?

Bucky: I grew up on all the 90s shows and I just miss how simple life was. Those times were some of the happiest moments of my life, you know what I’m sayin’?Alot of people aren’t hip to the 90s like at all but ultimately it’s just the ora that I miss about it. I see A$AP Rocky bringing certain 90s fashion back and Lil Yachty with the Nautica. I guess what I miss about the 90s is everything.

Me: Great points, maybe we’ll get it back one day but now I wanna discuss your song  “Wi$hlist”.  I peeped it when it came out , digged the visual, and you placed Keke Palmer, Yes Julz, Zoe Kravitz, and  London Zhiloh as THE girls on that list. Since putting out the single, have  you managed to get in contact with at least one or close to it ?

Bucky: To keep it real I ended up performing right in front of Zhiloh in Philly. It was a Reeok party out there and I pulled up. I found out she was hosting and it was just too trill. I turned next to me and there she was. I was like oh sh*t. I got up and performed it right there on stage.

Me: That’s definitely wassup! So you recently  just dropped a surprise playlist for the people who were hip to your mixtape release back in January. Why was this playlist so important for you to drop ?

Bucky:  This album was to not just to promote my earlier project but to give something to the fans that fucked with “Pink Summer” when I dropped it. Also the playlist is so that they can have something to listen to until the next project. I didn’t feel right just putting out one project for the year and letting it just be that. It’s the summer time so it’s time to turn up.

Me: You have an intro on the playlist called “Little Tokyo II”. How’d you link up with A$AP Ferg’s producer HighdefRazj for that one?

Bucky: Shit shout out to Raz, he’s from VA too so we have mutual friends . It’s one of those things where he came across my music one day and it was just like shit, let’s work.

Me: Do you plan on dropping another project this year?

Bucky: Imma be doing more visuals for sure, more features, but as far as another project….I can’t speak on it .

Me: On your latest projects , you paint some nostalgic moments through smoking blunts , dissing groupies, and capturing the 90s era.  What does a perfect day for Bucky Malone consist of  exactly?

Bucky: It would probably be just to wake up, hit a blunt,kick it with my n*ggas, and probably end the day with some sex, more than likely.

Me: Alright, respect . At the end of the day, what is your ultimate message to your fans ?

Bucky: I think the message i’d like to leave my fans with is that i’m not a role model but if I can help mold them more than yesterday then great.I’m myself 1000% of the time so I want to motivate others to accept themselves in the same way.

Me: Wow, that was definitely a quote to remember. Thank you for that Bucky, that wraps up everything!  It was a pleasure to speak with you today here at Everything Boisterous.

Bucky: No doubt , Thank you!

 

R.LUM.R talks “Frustrated”, his come-up from Sound Cloud, & wanting to collab with Sampha

Friday, May 5th, 2017

I had the chance to catch up with rising R&B star R.LUM.R at the  Art Of Cool Festival to discuss his come up, his R&B influences(from George Benson to Erykah Badu), his single “Frustrated”,and wanting to collab with Sampha. Catch R.LUM.R touring this summer via http://www.werlumr.com/

 

First Lady of The Sailing Team: Kodie Shane

Friday, April 7th, 2017

From doing singles like “Sad” and “Drip in my walk” to being considered for XXL, I got the chance to sit down with rising pop star  Kodie Shane to breaks down her top  5 rappers, being from Chicago and not Atlanta, SXSW, The Sailing Team, Future, and so much more. Check out the video below:

Charlotte’s Well$ spits freestyle while sick, talks politics, and his new album TWILMMMN

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Recently Charlotte MC Well$  dropped his first album The Way I’m Living Makes My Mom Nervous and it’s been causing a lot of talk from the cover of the album to the lyricism. That being said, I came up to Raleigh to catch up with the artist to get the scoop on the details of the album (like how him and Metro Boomin linked up for “Heaven’s Door”), his upcoming tour with Waka Flocka, spit’s a freestyle while actually being  sick, AND most importantly answers if his mom is aware of the album’s EXISTENCE. In continuation with the video above, catch the rest of the interview (that you didn’t catch in the video) below.

Me: So how long did it actually take you to make this project and who all did you get involved that you didn’t put on Revenge of The Booty Scratcher ?

Well$: Um it really didn’t take long or well… I guess you could say it did as far as like…last minute stuff .

Me: Now I know you got to work with Metro Boomin for ” Heaven’s Door”. How did both of you guys link up for that track ?

Well$: Honestly it just kinda happened. We had a mutual contact that ended up just connecting us.

Me: So it’s possible to say Metro Boomin trusts you?

Well$ : Oh yeah, very possible.

Me : So you’ve told me “Us vs. The World” (which is one of my favorite tracks alongside Young Man)is a track you wouldn’t mind consistently  performing for a couple years .Now in the song, you reference a lot to North Carolina. Was there ever a moment you felt like  the culture of Carolina was either not being given the proper respect or just not taken as seriously as now ?

Well$:For sure. I feel like we’re still being slept on right now.

Me: There’s one lyric that really stood out is when you said ” Used to be the nigga in the crowd now I’m the one with the crown.” Well NOW your about to be on the road with Waka Flocka & DJ Whoo Kid. How do you feel about your own come up ?

Well$: I’m just humble man. Sometimes I still cant believe it but I’m honestly just really humble right now. The tour kicks off January 14th

Me: Are there any NC artists on the scene you mess with heavily (Bankroll Bird, JK The Reaper, etc)?

Well$: I rock with a lot of NC artists, s/o to the 006 SET . I mess with a lot of the talent here though.  There’s just hella  talent in Charlotte alone that people just aren’t hip to yet feel me ?

Me: So the question I’ve really been wanting to ask: Does your mom know about the album and if she does, has she heard it ?

Well$: Nah, she still doesn’t know about it.

Me: Do you think you will ever tell her about it?

Well$: If I have to, yeah. For now, nah .

Me: Enough said, thanks a lot Well$  for being here ! The album is great and I wish you the best.

Well$ : Oh yeah no doubt , thank you !

 

 

Silent Listening Party with Nick Grant

Monday, December 5th, 2016

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Recently I had the pleasure of attending Nick Grant’s Silent Listening party at Social Status in Raleigh, NC  for his new album entitled “The Return of The Cool”. The  South Carolina native has always aspired to be in this positon but it wasn’t until his single “The Jungle ” that attracted not only us but icons like Andre-3000 to co-sign.  Based off hearing the  whole album,  he’s raw , versatile, and definitely an artist you might want to pay attention to and get familiar with . Some of the best songs (because one just isn’t enough)on the album would have to be “Get Up”(which is available on ITunes right now),”The Return of the Cool”, and many  more (that I wont spoil for you guys) . Needless to say, next year is gonna be a huge year for the rising artist.  Luckily I just happened to be at the right place to catch up with the rapper:

Me– So I was definitely feeling the project as a whole. What’s  the date that the album is set to release on ?

Nick Thank you , I appreciate that and  it’s set to drop January 17th

me — anything special about the date ?

Nick: As much as I wish there was it’s just the basic reason, the label.

me — Aha, gotcha. How long were you working on this album ?

Nick : Uh…I believe it was about four months

me: Any producers  that helped make this album come to life ? Any ghost writers ?

Nick: Definitely no  ghost writers, every song was written by me. As far as producers go…I worked with Chaka Zulu, Organized Noize (who’s worked with Outkast), Don Cannon, and  Dominant Gordon

Me: What song took you the most time to write on the album ?

Nick—  I would have to say “Sometimes” took me the longest

Me–Speaking of a long time, I know you have always had a passion for music since you were a kid. What artists would you say influenced or pushed you to start taking your own music seriously?

Nick — I would have to say Andre 3000 and just the whole Outkast  movement , Nas, Jay-ZThe Notorious B.I.G, Tupac, and Eminem, the legends.

Me: Is there anyone from South Carolina who you haven’t had the chance to work with yet but would  eventually like to?

Nick– I would have to say Young Scooter for sure

Me: What are 5 things  that people don’t know about you ?

Nick:  Mhmmmm imma let you tell it

Me: Alright ill compromise, give me two

Nick: Ok,  well I base everything  I do and the things around me off of just being humble at the end of the day. My number two… would have to be that everything I come into contact with is based on God.

Cloth Talk with TCS704’s Jeffrey Lockhart

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016
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Jeffrey Lockhart (on the left) & Jonathan Mclean (on the right)

About two weeks ago, I was strolling through Twitter and I came across all these different people that I knew as well as some very likable artists like Big Sean, Playboi Carti, The Cool Kid’s Chuck English, Dom Kennedy, Wale, Asher Roth(and the list goes on) rocking either the “Eat Your Wheaties” tee feat. the iconic Juelz Santana dipped in Bape  or the Sade shirt and I was like damn …. who’s making these and how can I get one ? Turns out the two creators that I was looking for Jeffrey Lockhart and Jonathan McLean were out of the 704 (Charlotte, NC) and I spared no time sending a quick dm (cause that’s  just apart of the process sometimes) and an email of course. Below, me and Jeffrey chop it up about the foundation of TCS704 , the  crazy finessing that has went into the journey, the phone call with Juelz Santana, and future plans  for the expanding street-wear brand.

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So first of all, did you and Jonathan have a set plan for what TCS(The Clean Slate)704 would be ?

Jefe: The Clean Slate was originally a blog/online publication. I went to New York for two summers and interned for Mass Appeal and Jonathan was interning at Complex. The internships were very eye opening for us and we kinda strayed away from journalism. For a while, we didn’t know what we wanted to do to reinvent The Clean Slate but things just happened naturally. I ended up getting Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and taught myself how to design so we started designing t-shirts. There was never really a purpose. We just knew we were guys with taste and an eye for what’s cool. Things happened very organically. We never announced a transition or anything. It all happened smooth.

What made you both want to make this into a streetwear apparel company ?

Jefe: We are both kids of that classic streetwear era (2008-2013). So I guess, even if we never exactly said “I want to own a brand,” it was destined in a way. All those days of being on Hypebeast and Sole Collector Forums in high school lead up to this. We’d see our big homies rocking stuff in high school and then go home and google it. That’s how we got put onto a lot of different shit. A lot of the underground brands that eventually influenced our own.

What or who inspired you to actually  take fashion and branding seriously ?

Jefe: What inspired me to take it serious was the response to the first bit of shirts that we did. I had no prior experience with design so it inspired me to learn more about it and seek out more information.

What kind of accountability would you say that  you hold right now as far as being apart of an expanding brand out of Charlotte?

Jefe: Just staying original and helping carve out this fashion industry in Charlotte. Charlotte isn’t really known for our clothing so we just want to raise awareness and let people know that Charlotte got fly shit too.

When was your very first pop up shop ?Anything you had worries or fears about during this time ?

Jefe: Ahh man, our very first pop up shop was in Atlanta at OG Maco’s Birthday Bash, last year in Atlanta. We lost a lot of money doing that pop up shop. First off, we had to pay 50 or 60 bucks just to set up a table. I’m honestly not sure why we paid to vend somewhere, especially at a concert. It just wasn’t the right environment for a pop up. We got put in an off set corner in the venue, away from all of the traffic. The lighting was off. It was super dark and they might’ve gave us like a strobe light or some shit. I’m huge on presentation especially when it comes to selling product, so this was all stuff that I took into account. We had spent all of this money on a huge shipment of shirts and maybe sold like one or two. These were early mistakes that we appreciate now. It was all a learning curve.

-So we’ve seen people from Big Sean and Wale to Smoke Dza and Playboi Carti rockin’ your sh**..How hard did you guys have to work in order to get your clothing to these rappers with platforms ?

Jefe: A lot of finessing but some were through prior relationships that I had through interning at a magazine and moving around in NYC those two summers. I had met a lot of managers through doing interviews and shit like that. But we’ve did it all from running up on Peewee Longway in the back of the club to waiting hours outside a venue for Flocka to come out a venue. It’s usually always a challenge but that’s the work that people don’t see. Funny story, that’s how we actually got the Freek’n You tee to Wale, it was at the GHOE concert last year. We went to Kinkos and made fake passes, got thru majority of security and handed it off to my little brother Greylen, who had been backstage because he hopped over the barricades. At TCS, we believe that teamwork makes the dream work haha.

What do you think they love most about your brand ? or what reactions have you guys at least observed from them?

Jefe: I think they end up wearing the gear because they can relate. Dom and Big Sean were coming up in the rap game during that classic streetwear era. That was the era that inspired us. Carti is not much younger than us so he grew up in that era as well. All of our products tell some type of story, even if you can’t tell, and some people catch nostalgia from the stories in these shirts. 

Wow, that’s really dope and definitely a work ethic but I can respect.. But speaking of rappers ….What was that phone call with Juelz Santana like ?

 

Jefe: Absolutely surreal. I grew up on Dipset and Juelz was always my favorite out of Dipset simply because he was that young nigga that was killing shit. He had the swag. I mean, Cam did too, of course, but Juelz did it on some youthful shit. He was always ahead on the style. We were glad that he embraced us and wasn’t tripping at all. We sent him a package out and we spoke about potentially doing some creative work for him. Only had a conversation with him twice though and haven’t heard from him, All love. Even if we never work, we were just excited to get his blessing.

-When did yall realize that you all had something very special on your hands ?

Jefe: I realized this when I was at the Travis Scott x Young Thug x Metro Boomin show and Metro came out in the Trap God T-Shirt. At that moment, I knew that this could be something. I couldn’t believe it. We had given it to him before the show and he said it was hard and that he was going to wear it but I didn’t believe him.  Shoutout to Metro tho, he’s a man of his word.

-In one word, how would you describe your work ethic up until this point?

Jefe: Everlasting. I’m always working. I think I might’ve slept 8 of the last 48 hours. Being that I work for Diamond through the day. I allow my nights to be the time that I work on personal endeavors, whether that be TCS704 or freelance work.

So being that your interning for Diamond Supply and Jonathan interning for Play Cloths right now, what are you guys’ plans for the future of TCS704?

Jefe: We’re soaking up professional game with these brands. I’m about to go finish out my last semesters in school so TCS704 is pretty much going to be my focus since I’ll be back in NC. Jonathan will still be in NYC but our design process is very easy and convenient. I pretty much design things and he gives his input and opinions. We always find that common ground when we reach a difference. We’re going to apply what we’ve learned from these brands and apply it to our own.

-What would you say consistently motivates you all to keep creating even though you both have experienced a good amount of success off the brand so young?

Jefe: Knowing that we’re inspiring kids to follow dreams is one things that keeps us pushing and of course, more money haha. I wanna buy moms a house off fashion money.

Oakland’s Soul Food: Elujay

Friday, May 6th, 2016

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So I was scrolling through twitter (literally yesterday) and I was scrolling on my tl and I came across some outlets that were talking about this guy named Elujay and his new song “Flagrant”with Saba (who’s name I’ve seen alongside Mick Jenkins before). So being the nosey person I am, I decided to just click on the link to see what all the hype was about and….. I was immediately interested. The song had instrumentation and I was like “damn this is quality,  I need to get the sound cloud” and after going through all of the songs, I made up my mind. I had to find this Oakland dude and someway… somehow I did just that. In my interview with the rapper, we discuss being a rising artist, getting  advice from Kehlani, and linking up with Chicago’s Saba. (Peep below)

 

Hey Elujay! How are you ?

Elujay: Hey ! I’m good, how are you ?

I’m great ! So before we jump into this interview….how old are you? I’m asking because you highkey look young as f**k..like a good 17

Elujay: Dang guess that’s a good thing but no I’m actually 20

Oh wow that’s crazy. So how long have you been rapping then ? Since 2012 or 11′ ?

Elujay: Dang how’d you know that ? Nah I actually started making beats at first in the 7th grade and then I started rapping around the 10th grade

-So has this always been your passion or was this  just something that happened overtime ?

Elujay:  I mean I been around good music my whole life . My mom played the piano and then my parents always surrounded me musically with Erykah Badu and Tribe Called Quest so music was always just a good vibe for me.

Oooooo what’s your favorite Tribe Called Quest song ?

Elujay : I would say Scenario but honestly that whole album is good so..

Very true and the whole Midnight Marauders too

Elujay: Definitely

-So being that your from Oakland, who would you say has inspired your music ? 2Pac, Too Short, or Mac Dre ?

Elujay : Mac Dre for sure

-Dang, not Pac ?

Elujay: I mean Mac Dre rapped over some ass beats but his delivery was always polished plus … he put me on to his player ways *laughs*. 2 Pac was cool but to me he doesn’t represent the Bay Area. No disrespect to Pac tho.

-I feel it. So I noticed that most of your songs like Soul Food, Pushing Lines, and Flagrant you use some type of instrumentation . Is that a style you plan to be consistent with or ?

Elujay: Oh yeah! It’s just because like…I feel like there isn’t a lot of musicality in music anymore in general and especially and in Hip Hop. It just seems like everything is computerized these days.

-I see so far it’s been working out to your advantage . The instrument use definitely caught my attention especially on your song Soul Food. How’d you link up with Saba for that track ?

ElujayTo be honest my manager put me on. Saba came through the studio one day and just wrote a verse to it . We actually made that song awhile ago but we just sat on it for awhile.  Most of the songs I’ve released, I always sit on them for a little bit. I just like everything to be released in a certain way. I just want to push my project (Jentrify).

-Dope ! SO speaking of Soul Food, have you ever watched it before ?

Elujay: I should. I don’t know why I haven’t seen it. Like..even my dad has the soundtrack for it

Oh yeah that’s wild. You definitely got to watch it. It’s a classic ! What date are you pushing for the release & what kind of project is it going to be?

Elujay : I’m shooting for a full-length project for June sometime.

Anyone your collabing with  on the project?

Elujay: Yeah I got a couple artists I’m working with. Oh yeah and I got Samaria in the cut.

Dope, dope ! So I gotta ask this.. In your song you say “rolling up that Keisha Cole” and “I smoke that Rosa Parks”. If you had to choose between the two, which one would you smoke?

ElujayDefinitely that Keisha Cole, that’s that California kush

Aye okay [laughs]! Okay so being that your out of Oakland….  can we see a  Kehlani collab soon?

Elujay: It’s crazy cause I used to kick it with her and the people at her school. She’s definitely doing her thing  but yeah um… If we’re working in the studio together, sure. If not then I don’t know. I really like things to be organic ya know  ? I’m just a laid back nigga. It’s funny cause I still got a picture of us with  Domo Genesis when Odd Future was just coming out but yeah like she’s just doing her thing right now so I’m proud of her.

Yeah she’s definitely dope for sure ! So  you actually dropped your Flagrant single  today with YMTK on Pigeons and Planes. What made you guys collab for this particular song  & were your lyrics relevant to any real situation or?

Elujay: My home-girl mentioned me on twitter with this producer and said that we should get together and so eventually we tried to link up but for some reason we couldn’t get a date together. Eventually we met up and he was playing the sample of the song and I was yooooo what is this ! He even brought the emotion out of me for the song. Like I was going through some shit and he got me to put it in the song.

I know majority of your songs you not only rap off but you produce it. Do you want to bring in other producers eventually or is this just a personal preference thing for right now ?

Elujay: Oh no I love working with other producers but making beats was my first love. If my hand isn’t in it then it’s not my sound. I mean if someone makes beats, why not use them ? But I like the process cause it gives me a chance to sorta wear the artist hat and be the driver of my own sound.

Now being that your sound is pretty unique , semi-instrumental, and catchy like sh*t, have you gotten any Chance The Rapper comparisons?

Elujay: Actually a blog from the Bay Area just said that today and ya know…. it’s whatever. I don’t think I sound like him. I think Chance made it cool again to use instruments like Kanye made it okay to rap about things outside of drugs and shit . I’m an avid listener of Chance though so I think he’s dope. Not that long ago I got the opportunity to work with Nate Fox who worked on Acid Rap

–  Do you ever take those comparisons as a compliment or are you just trying  to keep focus on your own identity ?

ElujayYeah I’m just trying to push my own thing right now. I like to step out the box ya know ? Like my music reaches people outside of Oakland and I get a lot of love out of it. Last year I was at Kehlani’s and she told me… never stay in  the box and that you got to make people fuck with you outside the Bay Area then bring it all back.

-Seems like that’s pretty common for most artists though. Once other people mess with you , everybody else will want to catch up. Your music has definitely  been speaking for itself lately though  so all in all your dope. What can we look forward to this summer coming from you ?

Elujay: Think I’ll be here in LA, trying to figure it out right now so I don’t wanna speak it into jinx. I’ve been getting international play lately so hopefully within the next 6 months ill be setting up for a tour.  I’m coming up slowly but surely but that’s what I love about it. It’s organic, grass roots.  

-[laughs] Well thanks so much for letting me chop it up with you for a little. I’m looking forward to your project dropping and excited to see where you go from here!

Elujay: No, thanks for having me ! This is keeping me going, I appreciate it !

 

 

 

 

 

The Picasso of Harlem: Jay West

Friday, July 31st, 2015
Harlem's Visionary, Jay West

Harlem’s Visionary, Jay West

I had the grand opportunity of being able to get to know a very special pop expressionist artist out of Harlem, NY who’s currently dominating the art world. This Harlem visionary goes by the name of Jay West and is masterpiecin’ creative works  that just cant seem to be duplicated. His work  could possibly be described as a marriage between the Renaissance and graphics of  1930’s cartoons but there’s so much more that  could be spoken upon his unorthodox element. From doing the artwork behind the videos for A$AP Rocky’s “Purple Swag” and “Wassup” to having collaborating with Bape. It’s more than safe to say  that he’s one of the biggest if not already this generation’s most important visual artist of our time. Although we know what Jay’s capable  of putting down in front of the canvas, I decided to chop it up  and get to know the man behind it. From discussing his upbringing in Harlem with A$AP Ferg to his influences and his own brand Almighty 7, I got to cover it all. Check out my interview with the highly poppin innovative artist below:

-So I know your based out of NY, but what part would you say you claim ? 

Jay: I hail from the northern regions of Manhattan better known as Harlem   

 

-Dope! How did your interest in the arts come about and who would you say is your favorite artist

Jay: The arts chose me,  I didn’t choose it! I’ve painting and drawing since I was about 4 literally, sonic, Marvel comics, sonic etc…and I never turned my back on it. It was the one thing that made me happiest, it never turned its back on me so I gave it my life, and its given me more life in return – my favorite artist(s) are Francis Bacon, and Willem De Kooning.

What was it like growing up in Harlem with ASAP Ferg? 

Jay: A$AP Ferg and I grew up together, that’s my brother. 

 

So I know you used to sell belts and do a little bit of designing coming up but what was your very first hustle? 

Jay:My very first hustle was actually (drum roll) ART!!!! I would set up shop In the lobby of my old building back in maybe 97’, selling my sketches for $5…mind you at that age, my mindset was “out of allllll the tenants in this damn complex, more than half gon want to just grab an original “little kid” sketch just cuz…I went and bought my own super Nintendo with extra controllers, and 5 games the next few days….that LIT MY FLAME  

 

Being that you were interested in the arts, what did you decide to do after high school?

Jay: After High school, I was extremely stuck, and a bit depressed, and it actually got worse after I discontinued college. I felt as if I betrayed my families cliché plan of what you’re supposed to do proceeding high school. 

Seems like you had a really humbling beginning. What did you end up doing with the money  from your very first piece of sold  artwork ?

Jay:The very first thing I think I spent money on my very first Gallery sold painting was catching up on bills, and helping my mom with a bill or 2…couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror had I just stuffed it in my pocket and my mom needed help with a bill. After that it was more canvases and maybe a few nice dinners lol (story of my life) 

 

What are the things that influence your artwork the most?  

Jay: Renaissance art, De Kooning and all of the abstract expressionist painters really influence my work, I look at Abstract expressionist work and feel an INSTANT, and intense connection to most of it. I can sit and spend 7 hours on one eyeball of a painting to make it photo-real, but I feel too much, when I’m in a certain mood I resort back to what I’ve analyzed about expressionism and it’s spontaneity.  

Being that your Harlem roots have inspired your work, what do you think sets Harlem apart from every other city?  

Jay:Harlem is very special because it isn’t a borough, at ALL, but gets respect, clut, and represented like it’s totally apart from Manhattan…It was the African American axis, The Renaissance that brought an influx of new wave art, music, theater, performing art etc the place where Malcolm X started his wave, preached on the corners of Lenox avenue, Joe Louis paraded through these streets after defeating opposing foes for the stature of Black people in America, Mohamed Ali would join  Malcolm on his Harlem marches, (not to be glorified) but in pop culture Harlem’s relentless reputation for Hustle, and the figures that have added to it…it’s an extremely special place in New York, and the world for that matter… 

Has there been anyone that has given you advice yet regarding your grind ? What was the advice?  

Jay: My collector Ernie(who purchased my first sold painting) would invite me over to his extremely dope, art filled brownstone and we would just sip wine, or I would sip Henny and discuss all the periods of art, and what made the players in it significant!! So those conversations expanded my mind, it put me in his mental driver seat of the times he would rip and run the city, and ride the bus from PA to NY with Keith Haring.  

What can you tell me about your brand Almighty 7 ?  

Jay: Almighty 7 is a brand that represents positivity, uplift, and righteousness! 

What do you think has been the best & worst part of fulfilling your dreams thus far? 

Jay: The best part of this journey is that I get to see how powerful my mind is, the fact I can create things that don’t currently take up any real estate in the world at the moment, its only an idea in My head, and then I can go make, or create…that’s the biggest high! The toughest part is that it’s not a scheduled 9-5, it’s not a guaranteed wave of excitement, or income, or stability, but it’s all leading up to extremely stable situations  

-Can you see you and Ferg ever collaborating on anything anytime soon? 

Jay: Ferg and I have always been a collaborative force to reckon with, when the time is right, and we need to join forces we’ll do so with no hesitation.

Are there any supporters that stand out to you ?  

Jay: I’m in love with cars, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I Segway my Glow into F1, or some kind of car enthusiast stuff…boats too, but cars are cheaper, I got friends with boats so they’ll just set sail whenever I call for that time. 

-Do you have any other passions outside of painting ? 

Jay: I’m in love with cars, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I Segway my Glow into F1, or some kind of car enthusiast stuff…boats too, but cars are cheaper, I got friends with boats so they’ll just set sail whenever I call for that time.

Where do you see yourself a decade from now?  

Jay:10 years from now I see myself in books, and I’m alive to read my excerpts, and chapters about my contribution to art to my kids….chillin, in my zen, same me in essence just years down the line; time is an invisible, but VERY instantaneous force…therefore I only put a block on myself by acknowledging a numerical age lol  

Seems like you’ve accomplished a lot especially for being so young. Do you have any current goals for yourself?  

Jay: My current goal is to surpass the status quote, uplift my generation, challenge them to challenge themselves; when I was younger kids used to tease me because I had a vast vocabulary, and I understood the words, and the context in which I was speaking…I want the youth, and my generation to embrace their higher selves. Just have faith in yourself and keep pushing .

Thank you Jay for your time and this interview , definitely a pleasure !

Here’s a recap of Jay’s solo exhibition from earlier this month:

 

It Was All A Dream: Complex’s “Jinx”

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015
Complex News' News Anchor and Editorial Producer "Jinx"

Complex News’ Anchor and Editorial Producer “Jinx”

Often, watching the news can be everything but interesting when we just want to know what’s happening on twitter, the latest beefs, and discover new music. Thankfully Complex’s Brandon “Jinx” Jenkins seems to have managed to make every type of news (whether political or pop culture related) seem relevant and worthy of bringing our attention to.  I recently got the chance to chop it up with  this very busy guy but nonetheless worthy of getting ahold of.  Whether he was busy outside the states, working on his DJ skills, working on a story, or wrapping up an interview with Vince Staples or Spike Lee, he somehow made the time to get back to me. The influential Complex news anchor and editorial producer “Jinx ” lets me in on how one experience at Morehouse  managed to change his life, his choice between happiness and  bankrolls, the very real struggle of being in between gigs,  and his priceless memory with Jersey’s GOAT Just Blaze.

So being from Jersey, what were you planning on doing at Morehouse ?
Jinx:I went to school in pursuit of an engineering degree, but swapped to Marketing in our Business department. It was the only curriculum to get me close to advertising, and other creative fields. A professor at Morehouse, exposed me to the world of branding and advertising. I can say for sure that it changed my life.

Dang, shout outs to him then. What was your initial plan for after Morehouse ?

Jinx:My initial plan after Morehouse was to land a gig at Translation, an ad agency in New York. I got an internship there as a result of a series of very dope events, but ultimately got shook about not having a confirmed job and ended up bouncing for a full-time gig elsewhere. The job I took sucked, and I regretted it for a while. But looking back I can see that it all kind of worked out. Still, fuck that other job though.
Sheesh, the struggle seemed like it was real. What got you into Complex?

Jinx:As a reader, I became familiar with Complex in college. I was flying home for the first time from Atlanta, and I saw it in the airport. I’m pretty sure I purchased one every time I was in the airport from that point on. I was always interested in the content, and it really struck a cord with me. I was into a lot of shit that my friends weren’t into at that time. In order to talk about different music I had to hang with different kids. Or if I wanted to discuss the new Nikes in depth I had to hang with another homie. Complex captured all those things in one zine.
That was high-key fate for you then. What were you up to before landing at Complex ?

Jinx: Before I got on at Complex I was over at Mass Appeal as the Video and Programs manager. It was something I had just landed before I left, but mainly I was writing for the site, doing video interviews with whoever would fall through, producing and trafficking content. Honestly, a lot of us did a little bit of everything. Crazy, but fun.

-When you got to Complex, who was your first interview with ?

Jinx: I think the first person I interviewed was Just Blaze. I’m from New Jersey so he’s like HOF, one of the GOATs for us. He was really cool, and I think he understood that I was new so he let me take longer to get my questions together and gave me dope answers. Low key, I don’t think the interview was ever published. I wish I could remember the advice he gave me, but I remember writing it down in the notebook I had on me. I save them all, so I’m sure I’ve got something ill scribbled somewhere.

-Wow, looking at now, seems like you get to do a little bit of everything. What do you think has been the best and worst part ?

Jinx: That’s a tough question. BEST: Getting a taste of what it’s like to create. WORST: When you make cool stuff, you want to make a lot more of it. It can be an anxious and unsettling feeling. I mean worse, more specific moments have occurred, but that’s just how it goes.

How busy would you say you are during like a normal week?

 Jinx: Pretty busy. I should also state that I’m a huge fan of sleep. But work is like a constant flow. News doesn’t stop. And the production element of our work takes up time as well. I’m not tethered to a desk so time passes pretty quickly. I’m not out often unless there’s something I can’t miss, but when I’m home I’m still on the internet sifting around. It’s kind of weird to think about, there’s always something happening in the culture, so you’re always devoting some amount of attention to it.

-So from politics to pop culture, it’s obvious that you’ve met a range off great people. What has been the best advice you’ve gotten thus far ?

Jinx: I’ve met a lot of people that have given me great advice. My parents, family, teachers, professors, colleagues, homies. Some I share as good word, some I keep to myself as a competitive advantage. One that I always repeat to other people is “Stay the course.” Sometimes.. often your situation is gonna be bullshit in some form or another. You have to pick when to stay the course, thug it out. You usually come out a better person than you would have been if you succumbed to the pressure or quit. Stay the course. In order to get chose you have to be present.

-Have you covered anything that still stands out to you today  ?

Jinx: I can say traveling to Ferguson was probably the most important and personally informing story I covered. The experience it self was like nothing I’d ever experienced. But as a black man, as a human, it awoke an awareness in me. An awareness that’s existed as long as I can remember, but hadn’t been at the forefront of my mind in the way it is now. Just the awareness of the black population in society. It’s seriously too heavy to try to break down, without devoting an entire convo to it. But yeah, that coverage was a moment where I felt like I was doing something that really mattered to people beyond the usual folks I’m talking to and for. 
-With dealing with such an unpredictable schedule, how do you balance business with your personal life?
Jinx: Ehhh.. My job’s a little weird cause it’s a outward facing position. So even when I’m not on the clock there’s the potential that I could be in an “on the clock” moment

-Who has been your biggest supporters thus far?
Jinx: My biggest supporter has been my family and myself. My family hasn’t always understood what my interests were or how they filtered into a paycheck, but after a while they got the idea that I was really more about being happy and enjoying the time I spent working, producing work that I valued. They’ve always had my back and are actually the reason I have a lot of the interests and skills that I have today. I say myself, cause you have to be your best advocate, even if you’re being brutally honest. You shouldn’t beat yourself up, the world will do that for you. But you should be the one pushing yourself and at times patting your own self on the back. I feel like Katt Williams said something similar, but way cooler. 

-Would you say that you are living your dream now ?

Jinx: My dreams are always evolving, and of course I want to do a lot of things. I’ve got further to go.

If you could go back in time and give yourself some tips, what would they be?

Jinx: Save money. Complain less. Roll the dice.

-Yeah.. I’m officially stealing that. Have you had an “oh sh**” moment as a news anchor yet ?

Jinx: Getting tear gassed in Ferguson and being in the middle of a mix of protesters and rioters who were disobeying the curfew. A couple of them were strapped, and in the middle of it, a dude recognizes me from my interviews with rap artists. 

So you have clearly witnessed the glamorous and the not so glamorous side  of things being in the position that you’re in. What would you like to be known for 10 years from now?

Jinx: Well in 10 years I’ll still be in the mix. So I hope whomever I cross paths with, I leave them with with a sense that I care about the culture and contributing to it in a positive way.

Well thanks so much Jinx  for your time ! You’ve definitely inspired me and have been influential to this generation. Please continue to keep our attention making culture pop !

Jinx, ladies and gentlemen.

Rocksmith NYC X SlamXHype’s Humble Pie: Knarly DB

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015
Rocksmith NYC's Knarly DB

Rocksmith NYC’s Knarly DB

After much communication and a little persistence, I had the very pleasure of being able to chop it up with a very special Ohio native. He not only plays a key role in what has been influencing Hip-Hop culture for almost  a decade, but he pretty much owns all the kicks everyone tries to get for the low-low (if even possible).  When I first got to know this guy, I was just thinking to myself “does this guy know how lucky he is?” and in fact he actually does.Toledo,Ohio’s Daryl Brown aka “Knarly DB” is the Style Director for the very successful Rocksmith NYC as well as for SlamXHype AND the personal stylist for MGK (Machine Gun Kelly) but of course there was levels to this.  Knarly DB filled me in on his journey to Rocksmith, what kicks he’s looking forward to,  what Rocksmith NYC is cooking up, and even sheds light on his own life perspective .

-So it’s pretty safe to say that you’re in a really great place right now. Where were you before you came to Rocksmith?

DB: Before Rocksmith I was a conductor for Norfolk Southern railroad and helping my friend Zach Beebe run a streetwear boutique, N.E.X clothing co.

-From Toledo, Ohio to the city that doesn’t sleep, how did you end up at one of the dopest and most influential brands? 

DB: I’m a stylist also in my personal life .While working with MGK I established a relationship with Rocksmith .I would put MGK and other artist and athletes in Rocksmith which lead to me moving to NYC from Ohio and getting hired by Rocksmith.

-That’s wassup ! It seems like throughout the years Rocksmith has definitely made an impact on the industry. Who’s responsible for that?

DB: Rocksmith was started in 2004 by two designers Erik Marino & Kenchin Ichikawa.

-What kind of threads would you say they’re responsible for ?

DB: Rocksmith is a Hip-Hop influenced streetwear lifestyle brand.

 -Are there any pressures being apart of such of a big brand?

DB:The pressure is constantly staying relevant and out doing your last move
-What would you say has been the best part about being apart of Rocksmith?

DB:Being able to create and learn and grow with your peers. We are a tight family here at Rocksmith that continues to get smaller.

-Do you think the brand has influenced any of the industry’s style ?

DB:I would say we have influenced the industry as well as given back.

-How important is it for you to stay creative and original within your own style?

DB: I think its important to stay motivated most importantly. Its so easy to become discouraged or overwhelmed.I always look back to how I got here to help keep my creative juices flowing.

-Are you looking forward to any kicks that are dropping this summer ? 
 DB: I’m personally looking forward to any release from John Geiger( the human form of Flight Club)
-I recently saw OG Maco in some of you guys’ summer collection. Who has Rocksmith
been collaborating with lately?
DB: We have a summer collab releasing with Diamond Supply Co. and also Famous
Stars & Straps this fall 2015
-Are there any new items that Rocksmith has out right now ?
DB: Rocksmith 2015 Summer collection just released: RocksmithNYC.com
 –What do you think Rocksmith’s legacy will be ?  
DB: I feel it will be one of the dopest Streetwear brands to ever do it that paid homage, gave back to the culture of music, and fashion that provided opportunities for people from all over the US.
I’m sure you didn’t see this opportunity coming your way a  couple years back but what does it mean for you to be apart of Rocksmith? 
DB: Its a blessing! I’m just a guy from Toledo and Rocksmith took a chance on me about 5 years ago and its been up hill since .Ups and downs like all, but I wouldn’t trade
it for the world.
I cannot thank you enough Knarly for doing this interview, but THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.   You saw what I was doing in it’s early stages and you kept your word and for that , you definitely have my respect. That humble pie diet is definitely paying off seeing that you’re really doing what you love and inspiring many like myself.Everyone be sure to keep up with him and to be on the look out for his upcoming line God Bless The Fresh ( he clearly doesn’t sleep).  Thank you Knarly DB for being boisterous. #staytune