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, April 30, 2010

David Choe has "Dirty Hands"

To overlap with Choe's solo art show, "Nothing to Declare" (23 April-23 May,) in Beverly Hills, hosted by Lazarides, an indy film about Choe's vandalism and other exploits is released in Los Angeles.

"Dirty Hands" opens in L.A. today for one week only. The trailer shows us some pretty mindless vandalism which is the ugly side of graffiti depending on your point of view, but there's no denying Choe's talent when you look at his studio and gallery painting.

Get your tickets at Laemmle Sunset 5 cinema and decide if you love or hate his art. There isn't any middle ground.

"David Choe, a young artist with a large appetite for vandalism and crime, eventually gets caught and pays for it in solitary confinement. Upon his release he reenters the world with a new faith full of overzealous hopes to find redemption by resisting his demons and devoting himself to a higher cause. When he fails at religious devotion, he rediscovers instead his newfound success – an upgraded grander version of his former lifestyle that keeps his man-boy adventure alive."

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Obey...May Day, May Day

Obey has a new show in New York this May at Deitch Projects. To coincide he has a pop-up store opening this Friday 30th April that will have a wide range of his affordable, but well-made apparel for boys and girls.

Go check it out the show and the store if you live in the five boroughs!

"Deitch Projects is pleased to present May Day, an exhibition of new work by Shepard Fairey, as its final project. Titled not only in reference to the day of the exhibition’s opening, the multiple meanings of May Day resonate throughout the artist's new body of work. Originally a celebration of spring and the rebirth it represents, May Day is also observed in many countries as International Worker's Day or Labor Day, a day of political demonstrations and celebrations coordinated by unions and socialist groups. “Mayday” is also the distress signal used by pilots, police and firefighters in times of emergency.
With energy and urgency befitting the title May Day, Fairey captures the radical spirit of each of his subjects, using portraiture to celebrate some of the artists, musicians and political activists he most admires. Says Fairey, 'These people I'm portraying were all revolutionary, in one sense or another. They started out on the margins of culture and ended up changing the mainstream. When we celebrate big steps that were made in the past, it reminds us that big steps can be made in the future.'"

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

California Bomb Squad...26 years of being up!

California Bomb Squad had a rare group show in Los Angeles a month ago. Sorry for being late on this...I was busy!

Thanks to Mid-City Arts for putting on another amazing show. To see the crew's work on the street there's a piece behind the Jiffy Lube on Melrose Ave. near Pink's and all over the Melrose alleys.
 Thanks to for the images.

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

DJ Premier tribute to Guru - It's what the fans wanted!

It's arrived...DJ Premo's tribute to Guru and Gang Starr. Sadly Guru passed away last week after struggling with cancer. He was only 48 years old (not 43 as many reports state?!) Too talented and too soon!

I know this mix will help fans mourn Guru's passing (although the description of seeing Guru in the hospital was too much reality for me,) even though Guru's last words in his final letter to fans seem harsh and baffling:
"I do not wish my ex-DJ to have anything to do with my name likeness, events tributes etc. connected in anyway to my situation including any use of my name or circumstance for any reason and I have instructed my lawyers to enforce this. I had nothing to do with him in life for over 7 years and want nothing to do with him in death. Solar has my life story and is well informed on my family situation, as well as the real reason for separating from my ex-DJ." 
Although, this report from Birthplace Magazine seems to challenge the authenticity of the letter in this post. I hope we see the truth emerge so that Guru's name isn't used for politicking! Until then, let's party in Guru's memory. R.I.P. Keith "Guru" Elam (July 17, 1961 – April 19, 2010)

Words I Manifest

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Complex reps old skool graffiti

Complex magazine used to be a must-read, until I got doomed out by the relentless marketing of yet another re-issue, special collaboration between Brand X and Designer Y, or limited edition! But what else do you expect from a magazine that boasts "Buy. Collect. Obsess" on its spine!

However, Complex sometimes goes old skool, back to the time when style wasn't just about the money and the marketing. I stumbled upon this fashion shoot in the...Girls Gallery section ;) Snigger!

Check out the TC-5 graffiti. I'm not sure all the artists are part of that infamous crew, but it takes me back to the 80s! Those guys came through Los Angeles recently at the Crewest Gallery. If you missed that read more in this posting.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Beautiful Losers comes to downtown L.A.

Aaron Rose's 2008 film captures the formation of "one of the most influential cultural moments of a generation." And if you want to see it in all its glory on a big screen the Downtown Independent cinema is bringing to you starting tomorrow...but only for a few days!

Barry McGee, Geoff McFetridge and Mike Mills are some of the artists featured in the film. Shepard Fairey is probably the biggest household name artist captured in this film about doing your own thing.

Update After watching Beautiful Losers I realized how little I knew of this downtown New York scene. I'd never heard of the Alleged Gallery and only heard of Espo and Geoff McFetridge from their Nike collabs. Yea, sad I know!

And I wondered why? It's because these artists came from the punk and skate scene when I was following the hip hop and these two subcultures didn't come together. Although, truth-be-told Beastie Boys were punk before they were hip hop. And of course there was Malcolm McLaren, R.I.P., and his role in punk and hip hop.

Beautiful Losers film trailer from beautifullosersfilm on Vimeo.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lee Quinones, Aloe Blacc and Kid Cudi: "How to make it in America"

I love it when a story comes together. I heard that Lee Quinones had something to do with HBO's new series "How To Make it in America," but it wasn't until Stones Throw sent out a free sampler of Aloe Blacc's new album entitled "I Need a Dollar" that everything clicked.

You see, Blacc's tune is the title theme music to the show. So now I can share the video above of the talented Aloe Blacc tune and big up Lee's "Rasta Monster" graffiti mural on the van that Luis Guzman's character (Rene) uses to move his energy drink around town.

I don't have HBO, but coming from the producers of Entourage it should be top of your viewing list. It's on tomorrow. More hip hop trivia? Kid Cudi plays the character, Domingo.

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

HVW8 crew on Walrus TV

This new video shows you the HVW8 collective from Canada and how they work together, but it doesn't show you the other fruits of their labor. The HVW8 store, off of Melrose Ave., is a small space, but hosts some of the best low-key and consistently dope hip hop-related art and music shows.

Where else can you go to see art from Dutch graphic superstar, Parra; well-respected Kevin Lyons, the man behind Natural Born clothing (and numerous projects for Nike, Jordan Brand, adidas, Stussy Beams Japan, HUF, and Stones Throw Records;) and undercover photographer Cognito with his never-seen-before Mos Def tour photos?

And since the HVW8 guys love music they're constantly pushing the boat out on getting in-store performances. Where else can you see and hear Computer Jay, Hawthorne Headhunters and other jammers put on a neighborhood show? HVW8 captures a bunch of these on their dope podcasts - here's a video on one of the joints I've been listening....the "Live At The BBQ" series.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Record Store Day in Los Angeles

Tomorrow is another Record Store Day when all things vinyl get celebrated. So of course it's a great day to pay a visit to your local vinyl emporium, whether it's Fat Beats, Vacation or Amoeba. Go to this list to find the local stores who are participating in keeping the turntables turnin'!

If you're in L.A. Salt n Pepa DJ Spinderella will be on the Wheels of Steel at 5pm. Up the coast, the original Berkeley Amoeba has nearby local DJ Platurn of the Oakland Faders (and Amoeba alumnae) spin hip hop in-store from 3-6pm tomorrow.  Both of these are FREE!

Here's a Platurn mixtape for your listening pleasure.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Banksy in LA...twice

Los Angeles is a big place, so if you were to release your underground graffiti art film which cinema would you choose? Well, Banksy didn't stress too much and was able to give both West LA and Hollywood some love.

And he didn't have one kick off, he had two! On Monday L.A. VIPs got a preview screening at an old skool cinema in gritty downtown L.A. (San Fran heads got theirs last night) complete with a masked piano player, kids serving behind the bar and a graffitied red carpet and truck for vandalizing!

For us mere mortals, Banksy's film, "Exit Through the Giftshop," will premiere to the public in L.A. tomorrow at the Landmark (no connection to the self-improvement cult organization) and the Arclight.

If you want to hear the back story about this film (Banksy and Mr. Crapwash) then read all about it in this week's LA Weekly or check out The Times of London.

"In the late '90s, at a family reunion in France, Guetta realized that he is a cousin of mosaic artist Space Invader, and began documenting the burgeoning street-art scene worldwide for his own film. Over the past decade, Guetta and his camera had unrestricted access to street art's most prolific talents, including the scene's anonymous cult figure, Banksy.
After being the subject of Guetta's lens for nearly 10 years, Banksy realized the potential of Guetta's footage. He then suggested that Guetta hand over his tapes and instead occupy himself with making his own art, perhaps even staging a show in L.A. Guetta's subsequent hiring of some 20 assistants to produce a major exhibition culminated in the now-infamous June 2008 show in Hollywood that catapulted him to celebrity status.

Meanwhile, Banksy and friends began work on "Exit" using Guetta's footage. And in "Exit," we glimpse what Guetta's documentary might have looked like: an unwatchable, crosscut, random, self-promotional mishmash called Life Remote Control, part '80s-style music video, part schizophrenic nightmare. After first seeing Guetta's rough cut, Banksy recalls in "Exit," 'I didn't know if I believed he was a filmmaker or a mental patient with a camera.'
Guetta may have spent years stalking Banksy with his camera, but by the end of the film, it's difficult to decide who's more obsessed with whom.
'I continue to find the rise of Mr. Brainwash absolutely fascinating,' Banksy quips. 'His art sells for roughly double what mine does these days. Gore Vidal once wrote that "Every time a friend of mine succeeds, a little bit of me dies." I'd amend that to 'Every time one of my friends borrows my ideas, mounts a huge art show and becomes a millionaire celebrity,' a little bit of me wants him dead.'
Whatever the case, there's something undeniably L.A. about the success of Mr. Brainwash. 'Thierry is the living embodiment of the American dream,' Banksy says. 'America's capacity to be infuriating is matched only by its capacity to reinvent itself into something brilliant...In Los Angeles, you can rise without a trace. There's a moment in the film where you see a dude joining the back of the line at an art show. He says he doesn't know why he's there, but he joins it anyway. The first time I saw that, I laughed — it was the emperor's new clothes, the triumph of hype and hot air.'" LA Weekly

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Make One: Old skool L.A. graffiti 1.01

Make One is an icon of the Los Angeles graffiti scene who, like many, has had several "nom de plumes." This week Senses Lost, a Canadian graffiti blog, asked Make about his background, thoughts on the L.A. graffiti scene, ladies artists who can hold their own and even the immigration political debate that rages on in California and other parts of the U.S.

Read the full article here and be sure to drop some comments to show love.

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Friday, April 09, 2010

New York Times says "Ask a Hip Hop Veteran"

This week the prestigous New York Times opened its blog to Jorge "Fabel" Pabon, hip hop historian and adjunct professor at NYU.

photo credit: Joe Conzo
"Born and raised in Spanish Harlem, Mr. Pabon Mr. Pabon has appeared in several documentaries and films, including the hip-hop cult classic movie “Beat Street,” “From Mambo to Hip-Hop” and VH1’s “The White Rapper Show,” as well as Rennie Harris’s theatrical production “Legends of Hip-Hop.” He also choreographed the hip-hop theater piece “Dreamscape” by the playwright Rickerby Hinds." New York Times.
Q&A Today was the last day that Fabel took questions from the public-at-large about hip hop. The New York Times City Room's "Ask a Hip Hop Veteran" had no room for "which rap artist is dissing whom?," or "Did Russell Simmons really sell hip hop out?" Nope! Only intellectual questions on the culture were blogged. To see the answers go to the New York Times:
"Q: Is it true that black youths in the U.S have abandoned hip-hop culture?" Posted by Chris Cager.
"Q: Why is it the culture of hip-hop continues to grow, expand, study itself, and drive new styles overseas, but in the United States, it seems like the pioneers are disgruntled, the mainstream does not care, and the underground is so weak in terms of resources and impact that they are nonexistent? Can you explain to those unaware what the 5th element of hip-hop is?" Posted by Mr Ask A Question. Posted by Tahirah Abdullah.
"Q: My department, the Educational Opportunity Centers, at Penn State University is having its first Study of Hip-Hop conference this weekend. Most of the 100 registered attendees are college students, some are still in high school, some are parents, faculty or staff members. We are emphasizing the four basic elements in sessions that focus on hot topic issues like women in hip-hop, violence and the economics of the music. As we convene the conference, what should we say to the youth on your behalf? If you had one message to give them about hip-hop and your role in it, what would it be? We’ll read them your thoughts at the conference."
The four hip hop artforms Representing graffiti art, Lee Quinones, of Wild Style fame, was featured in the same blog section this past March in "Ask a Graffiti Artist." Read Lee's three-part responses here!

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Nike and SoleHeaven: graffiti art collaboration

Tomorrow is the opening
of "Kicks N Canvas" in London's trendy Eastend. If you are into sneakers and graffiti art then you're in for a treat, if a slightly commercial one. (My email invite says adidas Stan Smiths, but the website says Nike...confusing.)
"The idea for the event is to bring together two of SoleHeaven's most loved pursuits - Kicks & Art. We've locked down a scorching line-up of 21 artists primed and ready to paint. The concept of the show is to confront traditional graffiti writers and artists with a new canvas, and thats a pair of pristine all-white Nike kicks.
We are throwing down the sneaker gauntlet to see them transfer their styles from the metal shutters, concrete bridges and underpasses on to a pair of trainers. Every artist will be hand painting and customizing a pair of kicks and teaming it up with a 50x50cm piece."

A Goldie stenciled painting will be available on the night. Hopefully, there will be some nice paintings up for grabs. My Inkie and INSA canvases sit nicely with my U.S. art collection.

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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Business leaders learn from the street

Can you combine world leaders and street culture? It sounds like a cliched advert or corporate marketing project bastard child. But, I saw John Chu's LXD (Legion of Extraordinary Dancers) at one of the most inspiring websites out there, TED (Technology, Education and Design.)


Check out LXD and their performances out at for high resolution versions of the videos. The LXD will also be featured in Chu’s newest release, Step Up 3D, coming to theaters soon.
"And from these bedrooms, living rooms and garages with cheap webcams lies the world's great dancers of tomorrow. Our Fred Astaire, our Gene Kellys, our Michael Jackson are right at our we created the LXD, a sort of 'Legion of Extraordinary Dancers,' a 'Justice League of Dancers,' that believe that dance can have a transformative effect on the world..."

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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Dr. Revolt at DirtyPilot

If you know old skool, you know that Dr. Revolt and Zephyr created the legendary "Wild Style" graffiti piece that features on the DVD and soundtrack cover of Charlie Ahearn's film of the same name. Yes, Lee Quinones, Lady Pink, Fab 5 Freddy, Crazy Legs, Ramellezee, Fantastic 5, Cold Crush and many, many others.

Dr. Revolt's solo "gallery" show is on until April 12th at DirtyPilot which is a fabulous website for old skool graffiti art collectors. These aren't prints, these are originals. Cop yourself one for $700.
"Born and raised in New York City, with graffiti roots in the early 70’s, REVOLT is an original member of the historic NYC subway graffiti crew, The Rolling Thunder Writers (RTW). Known for his ultra-colorful tags and elaborate pieces on the Broadway #1 line, with heavily influenced psychedelic and comic art stylings, and later, taking it “all-city”. With contributions to the seminal classic hip-hop films, “Wild Style and “Style Wars”, his participation in the 80’s East Village art gallery scene, various music videos and, album covers, animation, comics, vinyl toy design, and creating the classic “YO! MTV Raps’ logo. His early 80’s tour of duty in the city of Baltimore is legendary, where he, like a “Messenger of Style”, single-handedly kick-started a graffiti scene there that still feels his influence today. His place in the history of “graff-dom” is set.
His work has been seen in various publications and art galleries globally. Recent collaborations and conspiracies include: Roger Waters’ Live Earth show, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, VH-1, Scion Installation, Swindle Magazine, Illmatic, ChocolateBar, Kid Robot, Dickies, The Stussy World Tour, E.S.P. The Tri-CoastalGraffiti Show, Juxtapoz, Sony Music, Graffiti: Spirit of an Age @ 40 × 10, Bethel Center For New Media Arts, Le TAG au Grand Palais, The Draw Show, Definition: The Art and Design of Hip-Hop, Nimbus Vapor, Back to the Fun Gallery @ Meltdown, NYC Black Book Masters, and Zune Arts"

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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Flashmob B-Boy Style!

This week, Black Eyed Peas played Staples Center in downtown LA. I guess it was like a homecoming gig, so something special was organized by San Diego's Cros1 (Freestyle Sessions) on behalf of Dipdive (will-i-am's website.) The big idea was to create a flashmob to congregate outside the gig and bust-a-move, b-boy style.

I heard Dipdive streamed the stunt live, but suprisingly no footage is hosted on the Black Eyed Peas-affiliated website. I did, however, find this shakey video clip from the night. You get the vibe.

The idea is to have 20 groups of 8-10 BBoys and BGirls blend into the crowd of people at our secret location. We will all be dressed in plain clothes, and at the exact same moment, we will all rip off our outer shirts to reveal the Dipdive Freestyle Session shirts that will be provided. Each group will then break off into their own 8-10 person ciphers, and do the choreographed routine for 5 or so minutes as the hundreds of people surrounding us have no clue what is going on.
This will be filmed from within the crowd, a bird’s eye view, and from an angle.
It will be broadcasted live to the entire world, and people have been told to check it out on
Let’s reach out to all of our networks around the world to tune in, and pass along the info to make it the biggest we possibly can.
Download the Supernatural tune that was used for the dance routine here.
This flashmob pales in comparison to another Black Eyed Peas crowd participation event which was aired on national TV. I only just saw this and it's an amazing effort of planning, creativity and hard work from fans. Again, was the instigator, may be with some T-Mobile help?! How many more of these will he try?

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