ミックス・テープとはDJなどが本来はパーティーで流した音源をカセットテープに録音して売っていたもの。そんな中、MURO氏がHIP HOPの楽曲がサンプリングされたオリジナルの曲を集めた作品『KING OF DIGGIN `Vol.2』が96年にリリース。サンプリングとは楽曲の”一部分”を使うことによって、新しいHIP HOPの音楽を作るシステムの事。MURO氏の『KING OF DIGGIN` Vol.１と`Vol.2』はHIP HOPを知らない人々からもとても聞きやすいミックス・テープと評価を受けアメリカやUKでも評判になった。
そんなMURO氏との出会いは、私がNYのアップタウンにあったセレクトショップ『SLAM』の店員の頃です。当時９０年代、NY HIP HOPはゴールデンエージの時代。NYの犯罪率は減少するが低所得者の雇用は厳しく麻薬を売って生活する若者が多い時代。ナズ、ウータン・クラン、ジェイ・Zやノトーリアス・B.I.G、モブ・ディープ、ダックダウンなどのNYのラッパーが大人気。かなりとんがっていた時代です。音楽と時代が比例する時期でもある。
Speaking of HIP HOP cars, the "Mazda MPV" is that car !
NY hip-hop artist Biz Markie started the trend of riding the "Mazda MPV" in 1989. Then DJ Premier, Notorious BIG, Big L, Artifacts, Prodigy, Fat Joe, Diamond D and others owned them as their favorite car. In the 90’s, the "Mazda MPV" became quite popular in New York.
The fact that these cars appeared in the lyric of the famous song "C.R.E.A.M." released in 1994 by NY rap group "Wu-Tang Clan" is a well-known fact, these group of young rappers have also been able to make a name for themselves in the HIP-HOP world.
Wu-Tang Clan - C.R.E.A.M. (Official HD Video)
The song “C.R.E.A.M." is one of Wu-Tang Clan’s biggest hits. This song is the number one Hip Hop song for new Hip Hop listeners. The first verse sung by rapper "Raekwon" got so famous to the extent that people automatically chorus it in clubs.
"Rollin' in MPV's, every week we made forty G's"
The edgy lyric that translates to "I lived by delivering drugs using MVP van every week and earned $ 40,000 ".
Throughout the 80s and 90s New York was going through a recession. In 1992 alone they had 2154 murders in New York and no job opportunities. It became common for people to sell drugs to survive during this period. The "Mazda MPV" has a lot of historical background dating back to the Hip Hop culture in NY.
The Raekwon's lyrics "We made forty G's", "Mazda MPV" and "NY 90's scenery" are airbrushed on the T-shirts. This T-shirts is dedicated to the 90`s HIP HOP fans.
Ralph Lauren is a brand that symbolizes the Ivy League fashion that was popular in the 1960s in the United States. Their polo “preppy bear” gained popularity in 1991. This bear was a must-have item for the 90's B-BOY, and it is still a popular brand of polo worn by many till date.
The teddy bear style is still quite popular and iconic in street fashion.
People’s attention has also been drawn to other brands like the Italian brand "Moschino", the former NY street brand "ELEMENTS OF STYLE", and recently the LA brand "Palm Angels."
We also started a bear project! But I was like "I don't like ordinary bears!" I got my own inspiration from the animal ride at the Mall !
The Electric Scooter Bear Toy.
This first EXPANSION bear was done by a Japanese graphic artist who is particular about drawing. “He only draws the vehicles that appear in science fiction and draws only on sideways".
Introducing a T-shirt in collaboration with NY’s HIP HOP royalty and one of the best lyricists “Master Ace". Let me tell you a little bit about this amazing artist so that you’ll get an understanding of how important this collaboration is to me.
He’s one of the most amazing HIP-HOP musicians and I’ve been an avid listener for 32 years now. Yep! I am a huge fan of his, not even going to lie. His music inspires me a lot, his wordplay, the message he passes, his internal rhyme, storytelling and his beat selection is on a whole new level of its own.
Master Ace’s music has evolved with the times in the 33 years of his career, gaining him new fans with every album he releases. He has a lot of hit songs and you can’t just brand him with the term “old school” or "legend" alone. There are times we don’t even remember that he was an integral part of a very popular HIP HOP group called Juice Crew in the late 1980s.
Juice Crew - The Symphony (Official Video)
He has 12 albums at the moment, including the album "Take a Look Around" which was debuted in 1990.
Although we did not see much of him after his 1995 hit album " Sittin' On Chrome." During this period, Gangster rap like the East coast Hip-Hop group N.W.A became popular in the HIP HOP world.
During some of his interviews, he explained that the thought of retiring from rap had crossed his mind due to the use of Rap Music in quoting money, drugs, violence and sex.
Nevertheless, he released "Disposable Art" in 2001, followed by the album "A Long Hot Summer" in 2004 with his style still intact.
These two albums were ranked so high to the extent that they were sold for over $200 until the reissue was released. He was making the props in the Hip-Hop underground scene all over the world rock solid again.
In 2000, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), but he did not make it known to the public until 2013. This came as a surprise to his fans.
"Pharoahe Monch" were featured in the album "The Fight Song" which was released in 2018, the song personified the MS itself and and was composed by "Marco Polo”. It was described as the most "Amazing rap song ever".
Masta Ace & Marco Polo ft. Pharoahe Monch - The Fight Song (Official Video)
This "Master Ace" collaboration T-shirt was art-directed and approved by Master Ace himself. The idea for the graphic designs came from the artworks done in the albums "Disposable Art" and "A Long Hot Summer".
These T-shirts are limited edition. Available July 7th 7:00 AM 2021.
Proud to announce the collaboration with #1 famous Detroit donuts shop, "Dilla`s Delights". The shop opened in 2016 to honor the memory of hip hop artist J Dilla. Vetements, a French clothing Company that started the movement using unconnected collaborations (big names such as IKEA, DHL, and McDonald's) with apparel business. Due to their successful turn-out, it made a huge impact in the fashion business. I was inspired by their movements so I'd decided to do a similar concept movement which related to my back ground, the 90's HIP-HOP. On the morning of 9/3/2019, I'd reached out to Mr. Herman Hayes and had expressed my interest of doing a collaboration with him and he called back in the afternoon expressed his interest of working with me. Immediately, I'd booked a flight on my birthday,9/5 and flew to Detroit to see him. The entire process took 7 months and the products are finally out!!!