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.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Secret Wars...London rocks the spot

I was surfing the net and boom! This pops up. In the UK is an art event that captures cool and manages to bring with it the talent and a structure that could make it an annual event or franchise (alright I went to business school, so sue me!?)

I looked at the Secret Wars MySpace page and spotted a familar face. Yes, mate...that's Inkie. Bristolian. B-Boy. Brilliant. But, he knows it ;-) He printed the Slave of New York sweatshirt I have (under his Flying Eye clothing label).

Secret Wars describes itself as "...Put simply, it is a war between artists. The ultimate question however, is who will reign supreme? The only weapon they carry is the Edding pen they hold in their hand.

"This is Secret Wars. There can only be one winner.... paint will spill!"

What is Secret Wars?
"Started up as a friendly battle between Monorex and Jon Burgerman’s Black Convoy, things have gone from strength to strength. With the crowd hungry for more we decided to drop a whole load more…

Roll up, Roll up! And bear witness to a spectacle like no other as design behemoths (Sickboy, Koa) take on young upstarts (Fybe, Alfamale, Kept, Gustav, Cpt. Buckio, RichT, Teck 1, Squid Inc and more.) in an art battle to the death. Armed only with an arsenal of pens, paint and stretched cloth these mighty crews will duel live at the forthcoming sensory spectacular we know as ‘Secret Wars’ at Juno Bar, Shoreditch."

Ok, so here are the dates and UK locations for the Secret Wars events...

FEB 17th All-Star - Pete Fowler vs. Jon Burgerman @ Custard Factory (B'ham)
MAR 3rd Tag Team (4 v 4) - Monorex vs. Grafik Warfare @ Riki Tik (Brighton)
MAR 26th 1 on 1 Teck 1 vs. Inkfetish @ Cargo (London)
APR 7th Tag Team (3 v 3) - Monorex vs. Sketch City @ Contact Lounge (Manchester)
MAY 10th Tag Team (4 v 4) - Monorex vs. Undergrowth @ Orange Rooms (Southampton)
MAY 24th Special Tagur shoes x Secret Wars @ Gloria’s (Brick lane)

Coming soon
Bristol, Brighton, Isle Of Wight, Liverpool, Nottingham and Cardiff...

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INSA hits Los Angeles

This weekend was a great one for Hip Hop....Vapors Magazine and Kangol hosted the opening reception and the first LA show for *INSA*.

I looked up INSA, who's from Leeds, but based in London. His blog has some old pics of his bombing, but this LA show featured INSA’s Graffiti Fetish. The canvases were great...the fetish of feet mixed with high heels and Nike sneakers...very well executed and a clever take on a cliched theme.

INSA is a mate of Inkie's so we had a chat. He also said that he'd painted with the TATS Cru in New York a while back. Small world!

"His first solo show in NYC saw the iconic design wrapped around many objects of desire such as a lowrider bike, custom sneakers, ladies’ underwear, as well as a classic 1968 Lincoln Continental and now this set of three luxury woven fabrics. More photos and info can be found at"

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Tigra and TATS Cru collaborate!

Driving home can be a mundane journey...even though I know I'm passing historic Hollywood Blvd. and trendy Melrose Ave., it's sooo routine now. But, tonight, as I'm nearing La Brea I spot a group of people and a mural wall. There's lots of murals in the area selling everything from Nike to Ford Fusion cars. But what was this one about...?!

I pop home and grab my camera and head to the spot (Orange and Melrose, between La Brea and Highland). It's 7pm so the sun's setting, but I've learnt to adjust the Canon's setting for low light...(uh oh, trouble! Stevio with a bit of tech knowledge). I park up and walk over and snap a whole heap of pics, but I have no idea who's who. I just listen and watch.

Ol' Skool in the house. Bristol in the house.
I see Duce, Pete Rinau and Kevin Blum (yea, I found out names later). But then there's another dude talking to the B-Girl in adidas gear. "Who's that?", I ask. "Nicer, from TATS Cru". No shit! TATS Cru came to Bristol in 1987. You remember? Goldie was around, Delge 3D and the stars from America...Brim, Bio, Nicer. There was a documentary filmed about it all too called Bombin'. That's absolutely crazy! I still have pics from Bristol somewhere. And now I'm meeting the man who's still doing his thing!

This mural was for High Score records artist, Tigra. See it all in action below - this beautiful time-lapse video was done by Kevin Blum. I have no idea who Tigra is, but I'm gonna Google her.
So should you.

Check this article for more about TATS 2007. Nicer said I should check out the TATS DVD. Click below. I checked it out and had to buy it...$20! Bargain!

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Hollywood Hills...on fire

I was whiling away my time in the office when I heard commotion in the conference room...out of our 8th floor window I could see smoke and flames in the distance. We switched on the TV and watched coverage of what we found out to be the the Hollywood Hills fire.

The LA Times reported the story: "A brush fire erupted this afternoon in the Hollywood Hills near the Oakwood apartment complex, darkening the sky with thick plumes of smoke visible through much of the city.

At least five helicopters and about 200 firefighters rushed to battle the blaze, reported about 12:50 p.m. around the 3600 block of Barham Boulevard, near Universal City, said Ron Myers of the Los Angeles Fire Department."

"Two teenage males from Illinois suspected of setting the fire turned themselves in to authorities, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a news conference. A witness observed the teens, ages 16 and 17, starting the fire, he said.

"They were old enough to know what they were doing," the mayor said.

Fire officials said at an earlier news conference that they will send arson investigators to probe the cause of the blaze, which burned at least 150 acres by 4 p.m.

For more than 90 minutes, the fire chewed through thick, dry vegetation, threatening apartments, the Warner Bros. Studios, even the iconic Hollywood Sign."

Don't worry, we survived. I got home in record time as traffic had evaporated and Barham to the 101 were still open to traffic...?!


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Not 'stoopid def'...just plain stoopid!

This is just dumb! "Rapper Lil' Jon has been added to the Guinness Book of World Records as the owner of the largest diamond pendant ever."

You have no idea how much money these Hip-Hop stars earn (Jay-Z $260m, Jermaine Dupri $60m...). Don't forget the producers like Timbaland and Scott Storch (50 Cent). I don't have any Lil' Jon tunes myself, but somebody's buying his tunes! Check this out: this fool paid GBP250,00 (US$500,000) for his ugly ass pendant! It's way over the top, dog! And of course the jeweller, Jason of Beverly Hills, is happy to take you to the cleaners. His website says "every reasonable effort has been taken to ensure the diamonds chosen come from legitimate sources..." Ah, Lil' Jon can sleep soundly now! Pah!

Here are the stats: the `Crunk Aint Dead' pendant weighs in as the world's biggest - it's 7.5 inches (19 centimetres) tall, six inches (15.2 centimetres) wide, and one inch (2.5 centimetres) thick. It's nearly 12 pounds (5.4 kilograms) and features 73 carats of diamonds?! 3,756 genuine round-cut white diamonds set in 18-karat yellow and white gold. Stoopid!

So Lil' Jon, aka Jonathan Smith, says, "I'm glad the Guinness World Records folks acknowledged me and my `Crunk Aint Dead' piece. I spent a load of money on that chain. "I had no idea I would break a record and be recognised for it. It's an honour... I grew up reading and hearing about people and celebrities who break records in the Guinness world records book and it always fascinated me. Now I'm on the list."

Lil' Jon's chain is gonna be the start of the end: "Let's just see how many rappers try to outdo my pendant and break my record."

What is the Guinness World Records? It'sthe universally recognized authority on record-breaking achievement. First published in 1955, the annual Guinness World Records book is published in more than 100 countries and 20 languages and is one of the highest-selling books under copyright of all time with more than 3 million copies sold annually across the globe. Guinness World Records celebrated its 50th anniversary edition in 2004, a year after the sale of its 100 millionth copy.

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B-Boy Forms

The Mighty 4/Out 4 Fame finals are on this weekend in the Bay Area. That's gonna be dope! I love that the community is online and keeping everyone connected.

Here's some of what I'm missing...(couldn't find any YouTube for Los Angeles finals battle earlier this month). Check out a Brit B-Girl has made it through! Good luck, girl!

Out For Fame U.S. Finalists
BrickHeadz - Chicago
Massive Monkees - Seattle
Ground Problemz CT/ R.I.
Havikoro - Houston
Renegades - San Francisco
Rock Force Crew - Bay Area
Main Ingredients - Flordia

Supreme B-Girl Invitational Battle
Firefly - United Kingdom
Dama - Flordia
Defy - New York City
Shorty - Los Angeles
Eri - Japan
Gadget - Los Angeles
Crix - San Francisco
Macca - Philadelphia

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Hey sexy...

Ooh...Nelly Furtado...that Portuguese blood is doing its thang ;-)

So, here's the trivia on this hot shot: Timbaland produced this banger featuring Nelly and Justin as a total 'diss' aimed at mega-producer, Scott Storch. Why? The Wikipedia link tells it all...instead of that trivia, let's see the lyrics...

"when timbo is in the party everbody put up their hands
I get a half a mill for my beats you get a couple grand-d-d-d-d
never gonna see the day that I ain't got the upper hand
I'm respected from californ.i.a. way down to japan
I'm a real producer and you just the piano man
your song gonna top the charts, I heard em, I'm not a fan-n-n-n-n
(like said know what they say here)....
talkin greasy im the one that gave them they chance
somebody need to tell em they can't do it like I can"

Justin Timberlake
"Could you speak up and stop the mumbling
I don't think you're getting clear.
Sitting on the top it's hard to hear you from way up here.
I saw you tryin to act cute on tv just let me clear the air.
We missed you on the charts last week
Damn that's right, you wasn't there.
If sexy never left, then why's everybody on my shi it it?
Don't hate on me just because you didn't come up with it.
So if you see us in the club go on and walk the other way
Cuz our run will never be over; not at least until we say

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

LA's Asian graffiti in musuems

I love this artist! I saw some of his stuff up close and personal at LACMA when Tina was in town in Dec 2005. It was amazing to see graffiti mixed up with gold leaf, Japanese characters and all twisted in with references to Los Angeles (Raiders, gang signs etc.)

I read an article in Lifescapes, a West Coast art mag (now renamed), that said he was showing at the Kemper Museum in Kansas. That would make it worth a trip, but the show's passed now!

“There is no getting around it, Gajin’s work is very seductive,” seconds Elizabeth Dunbar, curator at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, who assembled Fujita’s current retrospective. “They literally are a feast for the eyes. But there’s definitely an edge to the beauty. He violates expectations. I don’t know if there is a way to define his work. It’s so many different things, he’s pulling from so many different sources. Then he makes it uniquely his own. It’s a curator’s dream, what can I say?”

Imagine that Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa was an East L.A. graffiti artist and you’ll get an idea of what Fujita’s artworks look like. At once art-savvy and street-smart, his works don’t just sit politely on the wall; they burst across the field of view like a multicultural electric spectacle for the 21st century. His paintings deliberately dazzle the eye, setting forth sensuous layers of color and patterns atop shimmering gold leaf with bold graffiti-style lettering and dramatic, oftentimes lurid, narrative imagery. At once drawn from tradition and deeply irreverent, Fujita’s works are a wild blend of sources and ideas, of high art references and popular culture: what theorists might call post-modernist, curators might call multicultural, and what the artist himself sees as ‘sampling’—a form of visual hip-hop. But for all their eclecticism, Fujita’s works are very much a personal statement, a giddy but authentic expression of who he is and where he comes from as a Japanese-American who was raised in a largely Hispanic area of Boyle Heights, in the vast multicultural sprawl that is turn-of-the-millennium L.A. Unlike those L.A. artists who defensively reject any notion of being “regional,” Fujita embraces his identity as a Southern California artist. Indeed, he parades it confidently, like a graffiti tagger claiming his turf. “I feel proud that I’m from the West Coast of the U.S.,” he says. “I certainly grew up here, was raised here. I feel this is my stomping groups.”

For a street artist, albeit one who went to school to learn new techniques, to be acquired and shown in musuems when it's no longer trendy shows the importance of Fujita's work. I'll probably never afford to buy a piece, but I'll get the book that accompanies the show!

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Monday, March 12, 2007

B-Boy Planet...the film

I read this campaign on YouTube to launch a cool Breakdancing film. It's amazing to see how you can use new media to spread the word!.

I saw one of the crews featured in the film at the Championships in Long Beach the other year (KNUCKLEHEAD ZOO), but am excited to see the others: ICHIGEKI (JAPAN), PHASE T (FRANCE), LAST FOR ONE (KOREA), GAMBLERZ (KOREA).
The Koreans are reallly amazing dancers. Here's the blurb. May be you can act on it.

Breakdancing never died. BRING THE MOVIE TO YOUR CITY IN 2007.

If we get 160 screening requests from your area, we will work to bring PLANET B-BOY to your local theater. Send an email to with:

1) Your email address (best to use the one linked to your myspace account so we can add you there, too);
2) Your zip code (and country if outside the US).

We're trying to bring PLANET B-BOY out to the world, and we need your help to make it happen. PLANET B-BOY goes into the lives of b-boys all over the world - what they share is their dedication to the dance as the ultimate form of self-expression. Please see our to learn more about the story!

And please send any questions or ideas you have to help spread the word at

More trailers to come - add us to your myspace or subscribe to our youtube channel to get updates.


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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Tempt One fund-raising art show

I went to Represent, Represent!, a fund-raiser for graffiti artist Tony ‘Tempt’ Quan, who was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) in 2003, a disease characterized by progressive muscle weakness, ultimately resulting in paralysis. He couldn't be at the show become he is bedridden in hospital. The money was to enable his family to care for him at home. It's sad, mate!

The Seventh Letter / Known Gallery, Dissizit and Urb Magazine organized the event at Urb’s 2800 sq. ft. Culver City Gallery space (used to be the Scion Gallery). It was perhaps one of the largest gatherings of graffiti, street and contemporary artists ever assembled in one space, with over 125 artists contributing artwork for the cause including Barry McGee (Twist), Chaz
, Eklips, Estevan Oriol, Futura, Grime, Haze, Kaws, Mr. Cartoon, Reas, Retna, Saber, Shepard Fairey, Slick and Stash.

Every piece of art on display was for sale and Known Gallery also teamed up with Zune to produce 30 limited edition Tempt One Zune mp3 players and Slick to produce signed prints for the show.

I bought myself a Zephyr piece (he's ol' skool...he and Revolt did the Wildstyle logo) and a new, what's his name?

Who is Tempt?
I didn't know, but here's what the press say:

"Tempt is from the old school era, an original graffiti writer pioneering since the early ‘80s who is known for his keen eye for simplicity, clean hand styles and is respected for his dedication to the graffiti movement. He, along with Relic, conceived one of LA’s first graffiti magazines, Big Time.

Hospitalized for 19 months, those who love and care for Tempt are filled with the hope that he can return home to the loving care of his family, which will undoubtedly lift his spirits and strengthen his will to continue this war against ALS. Due to the seriousness of this disease, he will need special medical attention, around the clock nursing and equipment to sustain him in a home environment. This event will draw artists, collectors, agents, publishers, taste-makers and other industry professionals alike. All proceeds from event will be donated to the Quan family."

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Be a film extra, LA baby ;-)

Hey...I see film sets all over LA, and the weekend causes parts of downtown to close as the streets are used to represent New York City or other cityscapes.

I got an email about being an extra in Will Ferrell's new film about basketball. If you're in LA sign up and get famous for 15 seconds...actually, probably less! The filming of 'Semi-Pro' is happening in a basketball court close to Dodger Stadium. TCheck out the description of the clothing, hair requirements etc below! Crazy fun!? Hahha!

"Be in the latest Will Ferrell movie, "Semi Pro," a 1970s "big hair" sports comedy costarring Woody Harrelson and Andre "3000" Benjamin. Be on set with the stars at a local basketball court near Dodger Stadium (exact location TBA), where you will become part of the crowd cheering on Will Ferrell's team in the movie.

First Will Ferrell was an elf, then he was a race car driver, an ice skater, and now a pretty out there basketball star with the biggest afro ya ever did see. He's trying to make it into the NBA--by trying to jump over 47 feet of cheerleaders? Go figure!You're it along with the stars. Woody Harrelson and Andre "3000" Benjamin. Up close and personal. This is not a big set where you will be lost in a crowd. It is a small local basketball court, which means you're right there with the stars. Awesome! Be there for all of their crazy, fun and wild antics. Cheer and scream for Will's team, the very flamboyant "Flint Michigan Tropics".

This film is set in 1976, and it's your choice to dress the part or not, as you see fit. For those of you who want to create the look of 1976. Here are some ideas that are easy and fun to try.

For Men: The 1970s for menswear was called the "peacock period". Think vivid and bright colors, flamboyant in style, color, and fabric. Velvet, silk, and satin were popular. Multicolored shirts and slacks in bright patterns or stripes on synthetic and polyester shirts. Wide ties in big floral prints, and wide-lapelled jackets. Leather or vinyl anything, suede and acrylic sweater jackets, pullover wweaters, flannel shirts, vests of all fabrics. Men wore long coats, shiny t-shirts, gold chains, farmers overalls, army Jackets worn with worn-out jeans, jumpsuits, painters pants, Nehru jackets and other "hippie" or African wear. Blue denim work shirts were popular. Corduroy was made into suits, blazers, leisure suits, shirts, and "cords".

Men's Hair--Big big big hair was in, from afros on up For everyone, every color and both sexes. If you wanna go all out, you can do so easily: The hair was big. Long, Blow dried or Afro. Real or fake OK. (After all, only your mother will know). Facial hair is great, like mustaches and sideburns in 1976.

For Women: come 70's casual using things in your closet. Or... "Dress historically with a sense of humor."And remember, if you don't have the "1970s look," please do not worry. Just Dress for fun and come anyway! (Just no logos or tattoos showing.) What they really want is your fun energy cheering or booing the teams. All ages are welcome. Ponchos and caftans, anything polyester, cotton, corduroy, velvet, button down shirts, crocheted, ethnic hippie wear like peasant blouses, eyelet shirts, flared or baggy pants, worn out jeans, farmer overalls, painter pants, skirts were mini, or maxi. Long coats are great, trench jackets, chunky hand knitted cardigans with zig zagged knit patterns were popular.
For more ideas, click here."

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