Stevio...LA LA Lovin' It?

I'm British-born Chinese from Bristol, UK. I’m LA-based. I’m a hip hop aficionado. After 15 years in London I moved to LA to pursue a new career and outlook on life.

Back in the 80s I was a DJ. In the 90s I contributed to the world's first street style exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2011, I had my first interviews published. Today, I’m keeping busy with music, art, photos and writing.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Mear One mural piecin'! Check it out!

The graff is to signal a Dr. Romanelli reinterpretation of the crown jewel of Warner Bros.' entertainment brands, the Looney Tunes.

Here's what I found: "...Romanelli, doing his best mad scientist persona, creates a unique lab experiment that brings out new dimensions to these iconic characters. Within the Dr. Romanelli facility Bugs, Daffy and the crew undergo multiple experiments, allowing hidden personalities to come to life – decidedly darker sides that we have never seen.

The irreverent and whacked-out comedic characters are treated to the DRx unique brand of surgery deconstructing tradition and cutting out a whole new niche with sinister results. While they remain recognizable, these are not the same characters you once knew. The new DRx line includes everything from a unique Japanese manufactured clothing collection by "Over The Stripes" to a DRx/BUGS “Span of Sunset” vinyl toy sculpted by Monster 5."

The world premiere opens at 181 Martel in October.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Scion happenings

Scion's started its film series of events this week. I attended the Doug Pray (Hype!, Scratch) Infamy film screening about active graffiti writers across the States. The film featured SABER (amazing art), TOOMER, JASE (mildly obessive), CLAW, EARSNOT (total dickhead), and ENEM.

Infamy was fascinating and illuminating, even though I've followed graffiti for many years, but left me feeling kinda depressed. It was something about Earsnot's arrogance and hatred for everybody. His sneakiness, petty thievery, and general pointlessness of his energetic tagging. I mean, I believe things have moved on. Graffiti isn't just about scrawling your own name on public/private spaces. It's about statements about the world around you. Where are Earsnot's pieces? Tagging is for toys.

The humorous moments were all about Joe "THE GRAFFITI GUERRILLA" Connolly, the notorious LA "buffer" who strategically tries to out do the graffiti taggers and bombers. I have seen Joe on a speaker panel before and he's a frantic maniac. Infamy captures his energy and drive; the film also features one on his conquests and as soon as I saw it I remembered I had this photo in my library. It's on Fairfax down on Pico Blvd. It's not often Joe leaves his mark as markedly as this. May be he jealous of the attention his foes get? May be he's turned to the Dark Side?! Hahahh

The opening short film was a Boost Mobile produced documentary on the so called 'Retail Mafia', primarily based out of NYC. It features ANYthing, Frank 101, Alife, J Money, Situationormal and SSUR.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Chavpagne, Burberry and Hooliganism...Rule Britannia

Rule Britannia. It's ironic that a country that has such a reputation for style and class can produce a Chav sub-culture so despived that it has spawned a website for Chav haters.

"Chavs, Hoodies, Neds, Townies, Kevs, Charvers, Steeks, Spides, Bazzas, Yarcos, Ratboys, Skangers, Scutters, Janners, Stigs, Scallies, Hood Rats, whatever you know them as, this site is about them, Britain's peasant underclass that are taking over our towns and cities!"

Tommy B put me onto this site a couple of years ago when it was funny and observant. Now, the joke's a bit stale, but the WSJ has picked up on it and highlighted a new urban slang: 'Chavpagne'?

"LONDON — At the Play Room nightclub near Piccadilly Circus last month, a group whose members identified themselves as “chavs” — a boorish, materialistic subculture in Britain — quaffed Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Brut champagne, which costs £85 ($160) a bottle at the club.

They declined to give their names, but the identities of their favorite brands were no secret. One member dropped his watch, which he claimed was a Rolex, into a flute of rosé. “Still ticking,” he said, draining his glass.

Champagne drinking is taking on a new face — and some analysts are worried it may turn off traditional buyers of bubbly."

That's funny. And again, brands are worried that their products are becoming too popular; bite the hand that feeds it, anyone?! I'd be worried if Chavs got hold of my brand. I mean, look at YSL or Pierre Cardin. Hahahh! If you don't understand what a Chav is take a look at some of these Brits: souped up car driving, Reebok wearing, Burberry cap sporting, cigarette smoking Chavers! This will also help when you take a trip to England: How to spot a Chav

In America, you can see the same underculture and shabby class rampant in Hip Hop. I mean, there doesn't seem to be a 'shite radar' that can filter stuff: If I hear another tune about Hyphy, Stunna shades, Grill, 24" chains ("is it gold or platinum?") I'm gonna switch radio station.

Serves me right for still thinking I'm in my 20s and listening to Power 106FM. Alright, I admit it...I'm 30-something! And I support KCRW...89.9FM National Public Radio forever!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Hip Hop, Please Stop...

The WSJ's headline intrigued me: "Yo! Smirnoff Raps for Malt Beverage". What's it all about? Smirnoff's "Tea Partay" video parody launched on YouTube this week and has been viewed over 500,000 times!

The video's cool. It looks like a music video you'd see on BET or MTV, but although I'm humored by the inventiveness of BBH's approach (Smirnoff's ad agency), I worry that Hip Hop in the wrong hands could be the beginning of the end. The video mimics the cliched Rap videos (girls as decoration, cars, yachts), but swaps out video games for croquet; champagne and fried chicken for iced tea and finger sandwiches; club scenes for lawn scenes; camo for club attire, but the lyrics and attitude are the same: "Straight outta Cape Cod, we are keepin' it real!"

May be I'm too ol' skool....I mean, did I complain about Ali G? No, I embraced him because I went to school with kids like him, f'real! But, when a company can hold up a mirror to a culture and parody it so accurately for commercial reasons it's time for a change... If we, the community, own Hip Hop let's police it diligently: "Check yourself before you wreck yourself".

There's a website dedicated to the collision that is Hip Hop and advertising. It's called Pro Hip Hop. Go check it.

Alright, where's my glass of milk and my slippers? It's past my bedtime!
Please drink responsibly!