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, June 30, 2007

Merry Karnowsky Gallery ~ 10th anniversary

I got an invite to celebrate 10 years of Merry Karnowsky's gallery. She's got some connections as Jason spotted an Obey portrait of her in the entrance to the gallery just for this show. How cool!

I saw Buff Monster at the spot and we had a good ol' chinwag about the art business. Hmm. Intriguing. He's launching his toy range later this month with MINDStyle who also work with Michael Lau. I skipped Buff's Culver City art show the other month, but expect a little report from me on the toys.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Snoop Dogg....

What a thrill to see Snoop Dogg on home turf at the Henry Fonda...but truly, what a let down. The show was half full and the whole live band thing wasn't tight. They looked like Muppets, and certainly weren't driving the show.

I was so excited to go thanks to Ja's tix. I rolled up at 11pm and went through security. The gangster ahead of me dressed in his houndstooth suit, bowler hat and shades kept setting off the metal detector. He took off his blinged out watch. Still alarms. He took off his shades. Still alarms. He waved his Gucci loafers past the was his shoes that the alarm was sensitive to...pimp daddy had blinged out shoes, I guess?! ;-)

The show should've been like a home-coming - with his dancing girls, more props and some guest stars. No Pharrell? No B-Real? What's up with that?!

Here's a clip of Snoop sipping 'Gin n Juice' earlier this year

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

3rd Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival (NYC Part 2)

As I wandered around the LES (Lower Eastside) of New York I spotted a hot (un-named) record store: "hmmm, where did you move from 'cause I don't have you in my Palm..?"

I didn't buy anything, after all vinyl is way too heavy...but I did grab the poster pinned up on the wall after some negotiations: '3rd Annual Brooklyn hip hop Festival'! Wahhh...and I didn't even know about it!?

Crap. The last day was today so I missed everything, but luckily YouTube has some amazing clips. The line-up of acts is ill, and the energy and brotherhood is wonderful to almost reaches out from the PC screen and touches you!

Chubb Rock...Brooklyn!

Ghostface Killa..."Shimmy Shimmy Ya.."

Fat Joe..."New York"

Large Professor..." 'bout That Time"

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Friday, June 22, 2007

New Yawk City, baby! (Part 1)

Ahhhh. This city is full on! I've gone a bit soft from the comfort and relaxed pace of Los Angeles methinks! ;-)

I spent a couple of hours this morning planning my time in NYC after Brittany left for UrbanWorld. She was late as we didn't sleep till 3am because of the opening festival party (with Biz Markie!). I was late into NYC and to sleep because I had a 3-hour delayed flight spent mostly sitting on the runway in both Chicago and NYC! Yuck! I know it's not Delta's fault, but it'll be the last time I go with them. Yesterday they kept me on the phone for over 1 hour to make a simple itinerary change!? Oh, and the mofos charged me $50 for the pleasure!

New York window-shopping
A quick Google search and I had my plan for the day. Lafayette and LES (Lower Eastside) to check out the latest boutiques and pop in of the established ones. Things change. What's 'appened to Prohit? Stackhouse? Over the course of this long weekend I wandered around picking off my list of stores and spotting new ones.

Urbanworld VIBE
I attended a couple of films, but the one I really wanted to see was Mr. Untouchable about Nicky Barnes, the infamous heroin dealer from Harlem and what he did to jail his ally come foe, Guy Fisher. It was pretty good, but not as strong as Cocaine Cowboys that Magnolia Films also released. Damon Dash is one of the producers and he was in the house, but he seemed to like the glamour of the druggling and frowned upon the fact that Barnes broke the 'no snitching' honor code.

Shepard 'OBEY' Fairey
On Saturday night I met Adam at my hotel and we headed to the opening of Shepard 'OBEY' Fairey's new show downtown. I was late, but the show went on till 10pm so it was all good. The art was a commentary on the war mongering going on around the world. His work seemed even more relevant now with its propoganda style.

After a bite to eat in Chelsea Adam and I parted ways and I went to the Urbanworld closing festival party at T-NY club which was pretty hum-drum. Come to think of it, I think the last club I went to in NYC was during the New Music Seminar days in, old man! ;-)

On Sunday, Britt and I moved to Bryant Park hotel which was wonderful compared to Amsterdam Court hotel...yuck. There I managed to catch up with Linden, Elita's sister, who now lives here with her hedge fund husband in the park over brunch. Later on that day after Britt caught a siesta we hit Florent diner (yes Tina, you introduced me to this spot ;-) ) and then went uptown to a bar/cafe at 110th/Amsterdam...home to Columbia Uni folk.

Do or Die Bed-Sty
On Monday came the big move out of Manhattan to Bed-Sty, Brooklyn as Britt had a sub-let arranged for July. That was an enlightening adventure. The Marcy Projects, the run down homes, the people on the stoops and stores with no fresh fruit or veg.

As Britt and I walked around the neighbourhood I spotted a Chinese take-out place...we entered.
Me: "Hi, is this area ok for my friend to come at night to get food?"
Shop-owner: "You know this is Bed-Sty, right?!"
Hahahah! SHIT!

New York's energy is enviable if you can keep the pace and hold your focus. There's so much to do and see that a few days is never enough. But now it's only $350 and 5 hours away it seems more attainable.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Liverpool and the Amazingly creative Brits!

The BBC reported that Liverpool was voted 'Cultural City of Europe'. So, what keeps Britain on the map? Well, I found this about Liverpool (the home of The Beatles, the Tate Liverpool art gallery, and The Liverbirds) - it's displaying this wonderful piece of contemporary installation art by Turner prize-winner, Richard Wilson. Called 'Turning The Place Over' (I think it's a cheeky reference to a Scouser's reputation for petty crime and buglaries).

See the video below - Wilson has cut a circle out of a building wall and rotated it 360º. The engineer who managed the project said that all it took was some O' Level geometry to work out what to do?! The building featured is the old Yates's Wine Lodge which will be demolished in 18 months, although the project cost nearly GBP450,000.

Look up Wilson and know that, like his earlier work (20:50 oil installation), the turning building needs to be seen to be truly experienced. (20:50 can be seen at the Saatchi Gallery in London).

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Monday, June 11, 2007

'As seen in Complex magazine'

adidas has begun to reach out to trendsetters online. Not content with just promoting products online, adidas has set up a integrated campaign to link its website with products that are featured in Marc Ecko's hip buyer's guide magazine, Complex.

So, now this people can go buy products featured in Complex's fashion photo spreads in this section. Cool, but kinda obvious.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Human champs

Do you know The Roots? Then you know Rahzel...and his Robocop obsession. He's good (see the clip below), but in terms of versatility I think the the (white) Europeans have got something going on! ;-) Seriously!

YouTube delivers proof
Quality beatboxing comes from Belgium's Roxorloops (?!) and London's Killa Kella who freestyles with Supernatural! Here's Roxorloops...he beats the competition with his sound effects...listen for the echo.

Check the lyrics
This clip below shows Supernatural freestyle rhyming over Killa Kella's beatbox skills. Oh, mate...I've got some Killa Kella 12" from 2003. London, baby! Check the video. It's the ill-est freestyle for years!

Check the rhymes: Korea, Japan and the Louis Vuitton flow is just outstanding, dog! ;-)

If you want to learn more about Supernatural, read this interview. I, for one, didn't know he's been on the scene for years.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Talk Box mayhem...

What do you do on a Saturday night indoors? Well, apart from stay up till 2am watching Heroes on, I was stacking up my trivia...tonight I discovered a 'talk box' is not a vocoder!?

What? Well, my Swedish friend and fellow MySpacer asked me about Chromeo as they're playing Sweden this summer. (Big up myself: I saw Chromeo in east LA in 2005 in a little gig with about 40 people.)

'Do you like talk box music?', she asked.
'What's that?', I asked myself. Or rather, I asked Wikipedia.

Then I discovered all this talk box stuff online. Here are my three fave clips: Oh, I'm loving the pioneers of talk box funk, Zapp, and the TV footage! So Tuff, So Ruff! And everyone's loving Talkboxmayhem on YouTube (he's sooo straight cut it's funny to hear him talk about himself as 'ya boy, Mayhem'...Hahahah). At first, the thumbnail on the last clip for Shabang007 had a dude who looked like the guy from Chromeo.

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Tokyo Undressed

Vice Magazine always delivers the coolest stuff, but everyone should pray they never feature in its 'Dos and Don'ts' Polaroid section where people get dissed for the most random things ;-)

The latest email from Vice had news of a blog from Rikki Kasso, a 27 year-old American photographer who moved to Tokyo a couple of years ago. He takes photos of pretty Japanese girls in various states of undress and puts them on his blog called, funnily enough, Tokyo Undressed. Oddly enough, one photo shoot linked up with Kozyndan, one of my favourite contempory artists.

What I was intrigued about, especially since I've been to Japan was the photos mainly in the 'love hotels' (hey, can we call they l'otels? ;-) ) This is a whole part of the pop culture around the cities. I love these websites for what they reveal about the whole love hotel phenomenon: Justin lived in Japan, and this Japan Visitor is an informative website with, hmmm, info!

The Vice readers's comments expressed both joy and distaste at Rikki's Asian fetish...If you look at his blog it is a bit weird, but he has seven blogs in all ranging from customised clothing being sold in the US to sketches and drawing. Hmmm. I wonder if his cute Japanese wife features in his voyeuristic photos? Nice.

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