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.

Monday, March 31, 2008

UK representing hip-hop...again

Ken Swift is going to the UK to do a Breaklife workshop on B-Boying. Nice! All the way from Nuevo York to, umm, Cambridge, UK!

Ken Swift was in the legendary Rock Steady Crew in New York. Forget about their records which were only worth having for the album sleeve artwork. No, remember the RSC for being in films from Wildstyle to Flashdance, and inspiring generations of dancers and hip-hop followers around the world.

Without them, there would be no documentary, Planet B-Boy, screening across the US now, as there would be no struggle to get to the "Battle of the Year" B-Boy world championships in Germany.

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour...were you there?

My friend Shirley sent me this picture from her work at the Sydney Sunday Times where she's a picture editor. Cooool!

Obviously this looks better without the watermarks, but what can you do with bloggers like me infringing copyright on the Internet?! ;) I'm just showing love...!

Labels: ,

Monday, March 24, 2008

BBC Radio've got me dancing around my room like a nutter..

BBC's Annie Mac show is tres cool...(just click on Annie Mac Mash-up link if it doesn't work!) Hearing her West Country/Birmingham accent on the (Internet) radio reminds me of home. Having this on in my LA apartment gives me the vibe I'm in my London flat in Holloway on a cool spring evening...especially as she reads listeners' messages over the air. I could almost be there: "I might be 43, but you've got me dancing around my room like a nutter...", said one listener.

The Easter mix show minimix is outrageous with over 40+ tunes mashed up into a 5-minute smörgåsbord that took 11-hours to mix....sooo cool! Love all the tunes she played. Some drum, some bass, some rap, some disco, but alllll bangin'! Even some of LA's Fool's Gold record label scene.

Labels: , ,

29th March is Earth Hour - please support it

On Saturday night, 8pm local time supporters of
Earth Hour will turn off their lights for an hour.
This will save ~10% of energy!

The idea was a bright one from the Aussies. On March 31, 2007 over 2 million people and 2,000 businesses in Sydney, Australia, turned off their lights for one hour. Imagine a blackout in Sydney!? Yep, the famous skyline of the Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House went completely dark! And people noticed enough to make this a global event in 2008 so please support the cause.

Earth Hour This year’s Earth Hour takes place on Saturday March 29 at 8 p.m. local time. "Millions of people around the globe, in cities large and small, will be turning off the lights for one hour. The net effect of this individual act has the potential to be extraordinary. And you can help make it so. With the flick of a switch, you can help reduce greenhouse emissions and send a powerful message about global warming. Mark your calendar."

'The Power of One' This weekend I was surrounded by eco-action articles. On my way back from Cincinnati I read this article in Delta Airlines' 'Sky' magazine and want to share how we, as individuals, can make a difference. Check out this blog too: TheUrbaneEnvironmentalist.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Erykah says: "Support your local record store..."

Love this video and the references to old skool music and bands. I wonder which store this video was shot in...and where did she get those 'Paid in Full' Gucci tracksuits?? ;)

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Britain's Got Talent

I sometimes miss the UK. The Royal Variety Performance is like a memory from your childhood when everything was simple and the world less complex. Since growing up I haven't seen this vaudeville-style theatre show for ages, but someone sent me this video which made me laugh! Hope it gives you the giggles too.

"A man and a monkey got a standing ovation...only in Britain!" This (puppet) act was chasing one of six spots chosen by judges Simon Cowell (you know who he is), Piers Morgan (ex-Editor of The Mirror tabloid) and Amanda Holden (...I'm still looking for that pic of me and Amanda for my Hall of Fame! Seriously). The prize was a £100,000 cash prize and the chance to appear at the Royal Variety Performance on ITV. Of course, TV viewers get the chance to vote for their favorite act and propel them into the final. Not sure how this fella did, but it looks like he had the right stuff to win.

Hmmm, after the national TV search, newspaper coverage and YouTube hype there won't be much of a surprise for the Queen and the Royal Family when the show actually happens, though?!

Labels: , ,

Monday, March 17, 2008

The news is out...Portishead new music

Machine Gun, the first single from 'Third' gets its first play on Zane Lowe's Radio One show in the UK and will be simultaneously available for download through

And you can pre-order the box set, limited to ten thousand copies world-wide.

Available only through and including USB memory stick, films, double vinyl, single etched vinyl and limited addition artwork."

Portishead will be headlining California's Coachella music festival held in the desert just outside Palm Springs. I don't have tix...looks like I'll have to pay through the nose...whatever that means!

Labels: ,

Friday, March 14, 2008

B-Boys worldwide...Europe rules again

Last year at Tribeca Film Festival Planet B-Boy premiered in New York City.

Finally, the film reaches wider audiences on a limited independent cinema release this month at LA's art deco Nuart cinema from next Friday, 21st March. It's gonna be epic. Go represent!

This film follows four b-boys from different cities around the world (Las Vegas, Paris, Osaka and Seoul) as they struggle through personal challenges to compete in the world championships held each year in Germany.

World's #1 Like heavyweight boxing (WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO and IBO) there are several championships that claim to seek the world's #1 crew, but Battle of the Year is the one to reach. Founded in 1990 (what were you doing then?) I first heard about it after the B-Boy Summit, San Diego in 1997. All the lads were planning a trip. It's just another reason I say in the words of Grandmaster D.St, "Europe is the home of hip-hop".

Ok, those weren't quite the lyrics...Still, respec' to Europe, man!

Other US screenings
3/21 New York, NY
3/28 San Francisco, CA
3/28 Berkeley, CA
3/28 San Diego, CA
3/28 Washington, DC
4/04 Boston, MA
4/04 Chicago, IL
4/04 Austin, TX
4/04 Phoenix, AZ
4/11 Denver, CO
4/11 Minneapolis, MN
4/18 Philadelphia, PA
4/25 Atlanta, GA
4/25 Seattle, WA
5/02 St. Louis, MO

Labels: , ,

Monday, March 10, 2008

Beautiful Losers

My print by Henry Chalfont arrived last week. It's a photograph of three 'whole cars' painted in the 80s by seminal New York graffiti artists Lee (Quinones aka Zoro), Futura and Dondi White (RIP). If these imagines look familiar you may've seen them in Henry Chalfont and Martha Cooper's book called 'Subway Art'. But, Chalfont is also featured as part of a film project called 'Beautiful Losers' (not to be confused with a similarly named art magazine called 'Beautiful Decay').

Beautiful Losers "...In the 1990s, a loose-knit group of American artists and creators, many just out of their teens, began their careers in just such a way. Influenced by the popular underground youth subcultures of the day, such as skateboarding, graffiti, street fashion and independent music, artists like Shepard Fairey, Mark Gonzales, Spike Jonze, Margaret Kilgallen, Mike Mills, Barry McGee, Phil Frost, Chris Johanson, Harmony Korine, and Ed Templeton began to create art that reflected the lifestyles they led...The story of the Beautiful Losers will be a retrospective celebration of this spirit". By Anonymous.

Thanks to Britt for hitting me up on the film!

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Colorado snow can't be beat!

I had a meeting planned for Monday in Denver. Hmmm. Lightbulb moment! Go for a long weekend, and see some snow. Yep, yep! So, I dropped Denise a line and plans were made to go to the popular, but oddly morbid festival called Frozen Dead Guy Day and to go snowshoeing! Wicked, mate!

Photo project I took a picture every 10 mins to get a sense of the changing landscape below us. Check out the Grand Canyon!
Hope you like the idea. Priceless pics!

Time travel: LA to Denver in 1 min 45 secs!

Frozen Dead Guy Day, Nederland, CO

Snowshoeing in Roosevelt National Forest

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Here's £3, piss off!

This is some lateral thinking which might cost a minister their job, surely?! What's the idea - give (foreign) criminals money to leave the UK!

The reason is that Lin Homer, chief executive of the Border and Immigration Agency, says: "Every day that we can get these individuals out of the country early saves our taxpayers over £100 a night."

The Evening Standard said that John Reid, the Home Secretary, introduced pay-offs back in 2006 as a means of easing the prison overcrowding crisis and that the "standard financial reintegration package is £800", but the top-up offer worth nearly 4x the basic package has been introduced as the UK's jails reach over-capacity.

Red tape To get the full pay-out some rules do the £3,000 offer is only available until the end of April. Home Office stats say that more than 4,200 foreign prisoners were deported in 2007 which is 80% more than in 2006. The 'popularity' is claimed to be down to the cash incentives.

To me, it seems weird for the government to pay criminals and reinforces the idea that the UK is a welfare state ready for exploitation!

Hey, wait a minute Can't Britain just expel foreign criminals after they've done their 'porridge'?! After all some laws have been broken which must void something!?

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

LA's Seventh Letter: Retna mural, Hollywood

Ever heard of musician Manu Chao before? If you can read Retna's alphabet you will see verses of Chao's lyrics for 'Por El Suelo' in the backdrop. A little bit of Spanish would help ;) See below for a great Manu Chao tribute music video.

Interview with Retna and the other artists "Dame , Werc, and Myself (Marquis) did a mural...I had recently been listening to Manu's songs and had felt the deep passion in them and found them inspiring and wanted to write the lyric on the wall. Due to the nature of the style only the first verse was written across the wall and with other motifs along with it. In the end we listened to his song and enjoyed having the inspiration that it gave and i think it was a small way to say thank you".

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, March 03, 2008

HSBC US sucks balls

HSBC US and I are having a trial separation!

Yes, it's true. We've tried to make it work over the four years I've been here, but I've started to see other banks. It's not my fault...I've tried to be faithful, but enough is enough!

I've banked with HSBC UK for umteenth years and I've stuck with it, but HSBC US is another animal. On the east coast HSBC is bearable as there are branches on every other corner, but here on the west coast there are probably one branch for every 2 million dwellers. Seriously. I think there are only five branches I can name and all 5-10 miles away from home or work and I never pass one during my normal routine.

But that's not a problem - I treat HSBC US like a virtual, online bank and mail stuff to my branch, go online and visit an ATM within the network. Do I care that HSBC charges $20 for checks when others don't? Yep, but that's what love is...sacrifice for one anther ;). But the last straw was when the ATM network evaporated overnight and customer service sucked (balls). No more Wells Fargo ATMs...just $3.00 charges for using the ATM. Bollocks to you!

I'm with Washington Mutual now, affectionately known as WaMu. And I think I'm in love. I'm sorry HSBC US, I know you're struggling with a $17.2bn (£8.7bn) loss after the decline in the US housing market, but you're on your own now.

Labels: ,

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Kurtis Blow leads the old skool to Europe!

Remember that I think that the center of the hip hop universe might actually be in Nottingham, UK?! Well, here's something showing Europe is keeping old skool hip hop alive (once again).

I got a message from Kurtis Blow informing his fans that he, The Original Sugar Hill Gang, Grandmaster Mele Mel and Grandwizard Theodore are all together (probably never before seen) on a concert tour that takes them across Italy, Germany and the other hip hop capitals in Europe, including France. Gotta love French hip hop!

Starting this Wednesday in Rome, Italy and ending at the end of the month in Cologne, Germany! That's gonna be special. The highlight for me has to be The Sugar Hill Gang and Melle Mel. I've never seen The Sugar Hill Gang, but the last time I saw Melle Mel was in New York at the New Music Seminar (1988). He was a judge for the MC battle and was pissed after battling (and losing to) the new MC champ, Mikey D (of the LA Posse). That didn't stop him taking the NMS title belt and storming out of the venue. He's kinda hyper!

For more info on the gig go check this website.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Asian hip hop weekend...?

I have Tigarah in my MySpace friends list, but she never told me she moved to LA?! Hmmm.

As G4's The Feed says: "Japanese rapper Tigarah is truly one of a kind. She’s among the only female MCs on the planet with a major label deal. She’s part of an even smaller group of Japanese rappers on the scene. And she’s realy, really cute! Seriously."

I wrote up her story for our music blog, SEEN, and the boys even got some tunes from her producer, Mr. D, for *free* download. Check it out here.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Holy Grail - new sneaker store in downtown LA

Labels: ,