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, 2012

Ice T's documentary "Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap"

Festival Insider: Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap Interview | 2012 Sundance Film Festival | Sundance Channel from Sundance Channel on Vimeo.

Earlier, this month I got to see Ice-T's "Something from Nothing..." Keep an eye out for it at your indie cinema or Netflix since Indomina bought the rights at Sundance and plans to distribute it this summer. I even hear there could be a TV series featuring cutting room floor interviews...could be sweet.

In this documentary Ice asks the somewhat cliched questions about rap as he wanders the streets of New York, Los Angeles and other cities, but he manages to pack 47 of your favorite rappers into 90 mins! Something no one else has achieved.

Watching this film you will be bombarded with lyrics and commentary about your favorite rapper's favorite rapper, if you get what I mean?! Bringing a conversation about rap's lyrical artform in video form means you lose some of the impact of the words compared to having them written on paper. But, some may argue that it brings another, more personal understanding about lyrics and why they are meaningful to those that write and perform their raps.

Ice-T: "Why do you think rappers aren't respected?"
Nas: "Threatening...why are you guys bringing street conversation to the mainstream world? Stay in your place, stay outta there. I don't like looking at you. Fix your pants, fix your hat!...I'm a grown man now, I've got no business wearing saggy jeans, no business at all, you know what I'm saying? But, I might let it sag just a little bit to annoy you few stiff muthas..."
My favorite rappers in this documentary? Grandmaster Caz, Rakim, Snoop Dogg, Mos Def, Nas, Eminem, KRS, Q-Tip, Kanye...Heavyweight!

My favorite quote from LA? In reply to Ice-T's question: "What's your style?" Snoop Dogg said: "it's Taekwondo!"

For a more indepth, objective review check out Indiewire.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Lost Tapes: Massive Attack on Kiss FM 1994

It's Friday night and I want to share something from my hometowns of Bristol and London. This Massive Attack session was broadcast on London's Kiss FM radio station in 1994. contains a wealth of music and knowledge, but the links to this nearly two decade old mix were dead, but after some work I managed to unearth these to share with you and keep the vibe alive! Enjoy folks! (I'll try to do the track index when I get a minute.)

This is the sound of Bristol, England!

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Thursday, March 08, 2012

RAMMELLZEE: THE EQUATION, The Letter Racers opens this week

The Equation,The Letter Racers exhibition by Rammellzee (credit: Susan Geiss Company)

For six weeks only, Suzanne Geiss, from RAMMELLZEE's estate, with the help of Mrs. Carmela Rammellzee, is presenting a posthumous exhibition of RAMMELLZEE’s artworks and installations.

This unique show includes some of RAMMELLZEE’s work first seen at Los Angeles's MoCA "Art in the Streets." The 52 Letter Racers represent RAMMELLZEE’s philosophies: “Iconoclast Panzerism” and “Gothic Futurism” whose meaning is best explained by Magical Secrets as "the battle between letters and their symbolic warfare against any standardizations enforced by the rules of the alphabet..." 

Letter Racers by Rammellzee (credit: Susan Geiss Company)

Spacetime  These spaceships from another civilization were made 15 years ago from street junk which Susan Geiss describes as, "Canal Street perfume caps, spray can triggers, and king’s crown air fresheners.." With these, RAMMELLZEE unknowingly created the first "green" hip hop art installation!

Opening night: RAMMELLZEE: THE EQUATION, The Letter Racers

Back to basics But before we get lost in the complex Gothic Futurism, let's take a step back to the 80s and remember what put us onto RAMMELLZEE in the first place.  
"Always ahead of his time, New York artist and performer Rammellzee is credited with being one of the inventors of graffiti art as we know it. Through writing, drawing and painting on subway cars in spray paint and felt-tip pen in the late ‘70s, he became interested in the symbolic value of letters, seeing for example the letter “A” as a pyramid or taking “W” to mean “double-you.”
He continued to explore these ideas through a variety of media, from the paintings that in 1988 Gerrit Henry described in Art In America as having “a Star-Wars-via-Jackson-Pollock look” to the legendary hip-hop single “Beat Bop” that was produced by the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and became not just one of the most collectible hip hop releases ever, but a model for generations of witty and experimental musicians after him." Magical Secrets

Letter Racers collages, 1989 (Credit: Susan Geiss/New York Times)

After the Susan Geiss show closes, RAMMELLZEE’s influence will continue uptown at the prestigious The Museum of Modern Art which is will exhibit a third set of RAMMELLZEE’s Letter Racers as part of the Print/Out exhibition on view from February 19th through May 14th, 2012.

Hoi! Here's a dope interview from Dutch TV...This is a real education.

Thanks to Patti Astor for the heads up on this show.

March 8 - April 21, 2012
Susan Geiss Company
76 Grand Street, New York, NY 10013

Feb 19 - May 14, 2012
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019

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Sunday, March 04, 2012

Nike Cortez - Happy 40th birthday!

Who would've guessed that GQ were such big fans of the LA gangbanger kicks-of-choice, the Nike Cortez?! Although, the magazine claims otherwise, I'm not sure I believe that GQ single-handedly rejuvenated the fortunes of the Cortez! ;)

For the 40th anniversary of the Cortez Nike did nothing except release a splash of new colorways but in 2009 there was a redesign - see the video below. For 2012, we have suede and nylon uppers to make you drool. I might dust off my Cortez in leather from back in the late 1980s (remember the black on black, red on red only available at Foot Locker?)

"We've been aggressively lobbying for Nike to properly revitalize one of our favorite OG sneakers, the Cortez, for years, and now—to pay homage to the shoe's fortieth anniversary—they've finally done it. (You're welcome, world.) The Cortez was once the most advanced running shoe on the market; now it's a perfectly nostalgic sneaker for the street. We think the freshest way to wear a pair is with a suit that can use a kick of color." GQ Magazine

The official Nike video

The unofficial street version

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Friday, March 02, 2012

Nice and Smooth reach London' Scratch club

This weekend London's respected hip hop promoter, Scratch, brings one of my most favored hip hop duos to town - Niiiice and Smooth!

Ok, the hit jam I was rocking most wasn't 100% theirs - it was the Gangstarr collaboration, DWYCK. But you can't separate the Premier's boomin' bassline and scratches from Nice and Smooth party lyrics. Like fish and chips!

If you're in London, go support the real hip hop as Nice and Smooth haven't been seen in the UK since 1991! And you know the Jazz Café is one of the best venues for live acts!  

Jazz Café
Sunday March 4th, 7pm.
Tickets £16 advance. Click here.

Here are some pics from Scratch's 15 year anniversary from Flickr. They start tame, but warm up.

Created with flickr slideshow.

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