Vietnamese New Wave Party

Saturday, March 13, 2010 | |

Growing up in Houston in the 80s you couldnt be chinese and not jam out to synthpop -- that special in-between genre combining top 40, electronic, and british angst lyrics. New Order, Erasure, Depeche Mode and Anything Box. The hair was big, the makeup was serious and the fashion was out of control! It looks like some Vietnamese kids from the group Keep on Music in LA are reviving the moment with an 80s revival costume party coming up on March 27th. The folks at Amoeba did a great interview with even better pictures. Check out the full coverage here. It really took me back to riding shotgun in a dropped Integra on my way to Rainbow Karaoke on Bellaire.

Thanks Catzie and Julie for the Lynda Dai shout!!!

Hoodie Heaven

Thursday, March 11, 2010 | |

I love the japanese carry-all cloths, furoshiki, and now the folks from Conceptual Devices have created the project, Just Undo It. Transform your hoodie from pull-over to backpack, computer case, or baby hammock with a few easy steps! thanks SwissMiss!

A hoodie is not just a hoodie. In a world full of stuff, smart items should be transformable, editable. They should engage the possibility to be transformed into something else. We do not need a new object. We rather need to get rid of some of them, to reduce the complex network of things around us. Just undo it is a collection of reversible objects that could be made from a hoodie at no cost.

Cultist Shop Friends and Fam Sale

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Check out the great selection at Cultist in LA this weekend!!!

Brent Rollins is Badass

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I was super excited to hear that TheRapUp just posted an interview with the talented designer and artist Brent Rollins. You might know some of his work through Ego Trip and on the album covers of your favorite hip hop artists. Check out the full interview here.

If you’ve bought any good hip hop albums in the last 15 years, chances are you have some work by Brent Rollins sitting in your collection right now. Rollins is the design mastermind behind classic album covers by the likes of Gang Starr, Blackalicious and Black Star. His most recent work was the album packaging for Freeway & Jake One’s Stimulus Package LP.

We sat down with the man to find out about the difference between working for majors versus independent labels and his design aesthetics. And who’s that kid wearing orange socks on Spike Lee’s ‘Do The Right Thing’ film poster?

Francis Lam Hearts Biggie

Tuesday, March 09, 2010 | |

On the anniversary of Biggie's death, one of my favorite food writers Francis Lam connects the dots between hip hop and food.

I didn't think much of Biggie Smalls while he was alive. He had a few hits, he had ridiculous sunglasses, he was the opposite of a handsome man and he rapped about his girl-stealing suavity with a mushy mouth. But after he died, after I wondered why there were marches in the street for him, after my friend Eric handed me a cassette with the words "Best of Big" scrawled on the label, I came to love him, in that way where the best artists become, you hope, a part of you. He rapped about the life of a street hustler-turned-playboy, about blunts and broads and sex in expensive cars, but along the way he taught me who I would be as a writer on food.

A collection of Biggie's finest food rhymes

Biggie was a funny man, and he mastered the silliness of sex and food. Back to "Juicy":

The Moet and Alizé keep me pissy
Girls used to diss me
Now they write letters 'cause they miss me
I never thought it could happen, this rappin' stuff
I was too used to packin' gats and stuff
Now honies play me close like butter played toast
From the Mississippi down to the East Coast

And he built a legacy in masterpieces of carnal seduction like "Big Poppa":

We can rendezvous at the bar around two.
Plans to leave, throw the keys to Lil' Cease.
Pull the truck up front and roll up the next blunt,
So we can steam on the way to the telly. Go fill my belly –
A T-bone steak, cheese eggs and Welch's grape.
Conversate for a few, 'cause in a few, we gon' do what we came to do.
Ain't that right, Boo? (True.)

I mean, if he can make your girl leave you for that level of romance, what couldn't he do? Outside of sex appeal (when "b**ches used to go, 'Ewww!'") Biggie also rapped often about his fabulous wealth, invoking culinary luxuries, like here, in "Hypnotize":

I can fill ya wit real millionaire shit: escargot.
My car go
160, swiftly. Wreck it, buy a new one –
Your crew run run run; your crew run run.

And just imagine him, all 300-plus pounds, lazy eye and top hat, rollin' through his English gardens, contemplating seafood as he does in "I Love the Dough":

Country house, tennis courts, and horseback
Ridin', decidin': cracked crab or lobster?
Who says mobsters don't prosper?

Read the full post here.