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.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

El Segundo Museum of Art hosts "Scratch"

El Segundo is where Q-Tip lost his wallet. It's also where the El Segundo Museum of Art (ESMoA) is exhibiting an innovative graffiti art exhibition, in conjunction with the Getty Research Institute.

So, how do some of LA's most recognized graffiti artists get down with ESMoA, the nonprofit, experimental art hub and the Getty? It's not just some hip, flash in the pan. There were two main players: the ideas man, Ed Sweeney, and the institutional supporter, David Branfman.

According to this great article from the Westsider Blog, sometime back in 2011-12 Sweeney, a prolific graffiti art collector, hatched a plan to donate a black book of LA graffiti writers' work to Getty's permanent collection. That resulted Ed and Brandy Sweeney donating the "LA Liber Amicorum" to the Getty Research Institute.

The Latin name means "book of friends" and was inspired by the a rare, 400-year-old manuscript in the Getty Research Institute's collections. The modern day version contains 143 works on paper from more than 150 of Los Angeles's leading graffiti and tattoo artists. (Scroll to the bottom to see a video of the works.)

"Sign of the Times" crew led by CRE8 (sixth from left)

Brafman saw a connection between the black books every self-respecting graffiti artist possesses to sketch ideas and get contributions from other artists and the ancient black books. Back in those days the leather-bound book would have been filled with sketches of coats of arms, watercolors, poetry, and calligraphy.

SCRATCH is at ESMoA until Sept. 21, 2014 and features 16th- and 17th-century rare books from the Getty Research Institute's special collections. The gallery is painted top to bottom by the six graffiti crews led by Axis, CRE8, Defer, Eyeone, Fishe and Miner.

SCRATCH graffiti walls

Axis crew

Tempt tribute, Eyeone crew (left;) 

"Sign of the Times," CRE8 crew


  • Here is a video of every page in the "LA Liber Amicorum"

  • Here is a video interview with Eyeone onsite at ESMoA

ESMoA is located in El Segundo, only 2 miles from LAX Airport at:
208 Main Street
El Segundo, California 90245
Phone: 424 277 1020.

Admission to ESMoA is FREE.

Friday 10am-5pm
Saturday 10am-5pm
Sunday 10am-5pm.

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Monday, June 09, 2014

RZA's new record label is....Dr. Pepper?!

Wait! Did I just read that right? "RZA drops exclusive EP through Dr. Pepper's 'One of a Kind' studio sessions." Yep, Complex has teamed RZA with Dr. Pepper to produce tunes for four up-and-coming artists (Rockie, RAC, Robert DeLong, and female singer songwriter, Tinashe.) 

"What makes me one of kind...each indivdiual is unique in themselves. I don't need to sound like him, be like him, look like him or act like him. I know that there's no other me and if you like me there's only one place to get it...from me! 
"First and foremost, I'm hop hop! That's my foundation, that's my roots. That's what moulded me into a musician. But, the thing about hip hop is it's a style of music that encompasses all styles and because I'm a hip hopper I'm actually a part of all music genres." RZA

Despite my cynicism about corporate's seeking street cool endorsements, without Dr. Pepper's support these tunes wouldn't be free to download. What do you think? Does this collaboration sound hot?  (Yes, I'm that easily swayed! ;) )

Check out the video of the project and stream or download the four tracks below.

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