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The 5th Element’s Mission Emcee, Bboy, DJ, and Graffiti Arts. These are the four elements that compose Hip Hop culture. Many would argue that fashion is not a significant element of Hip Hop, but when placed in comparison with any other culture, you will see the appearance of its people is what distinguishes them. Fashion is the 5th Element. We, as a collective of Fashion Enthusiasts, are here to provide you with an online magazine that bridges the connection of Fashion in Hip Hop.

“Our Common Thread” Established 2010


THE CONTENTS MC // J. Pinder // 1 MC // A Kid Named Breezy // 7 DJ // Bella Fiasco // 15 DJ // Vice // 27 Graffiti // OG Slick // 39 B-Boy // VillN // 55 B-Boy // Bailrok // 61 Fashion // Bespoke Cut and Sew // 79


VOLUME 2 ISSUE 2 Editor-in-Chief Nino Llanera Marc Mangapit Art Director Phillip Cendana House Photography Alvin Dharmawan Freelance Photographers Don Cunanan Yewande Noah Managing Editor Richard “Reach� Guinto Editors Lindsey Linayao Contributors Alvin Dharmawan Daniel De Alday Karen Capalaran Brand Marketing Director Nino Llanera Social Media Director Marc Mangapit PR/Special Events Yewande Noah


A CLASS ALL HIS OWN J.PINDER


J.PINDER On a balmy Friday evening in the Little Tokyo district of Downtown Los Angeles, we assembled on the rooftop of a modestly dated office building. With the city lights as our backdrop and a slight buzzing of the pedestrians below as our soundtrack, we set up our cameras to capture a humble and honest emcee with super sonic talent. Seattle rapper J. Pinder is on an accelerated journey to the top. His style is introspective, creative and filled with purpose. With the release of his Careless album in Summer 2012 and his follow up mixtape Careless Redux that winter, he has garnered high acclaim by some of the most respected hip-hop music websites and publications. He is a versatile musician who established his love for music at an early age. In the third grade, he and a couple of friends formed an R&B group that sang and harmonized while walking to and from school. Before too long, Pinder started moving away from doing R&B, and began expressing himself through Hip-Hop. “As you grow up and you become more you, and you get influenced by people’s opinions, [singing is] not the most masculine thing in the world, so I ended up rapping.” Though Pinder decided to pursue rapping over singing since then, you can still hear his R&B vocals 3

on the hooks in many of his songs. Influenced very much by LA and Bay Area rappers, the emcee lists E-40, Mac Dre, Too $hort, Dr. Dre and Tupac as some of his favorite rappers growing up. J. Pinder also shared that the first song he ever memorized was “Regulators” by Warren G and Nate Dogg. The rapper admits that music wasn’t his first love; it was basketball. The sport was always a passion of his, but in ninth grade he decided to seriously pursue rapping as a career. “When I was on the court, I’d be thinking about music, trying to create songs while playing basketball, and that’s when I knew that it was over for sports.” The first thing you may notice when listening to J. Pinder is his ability to tell stories through his skillful and contemplative word play. Second, you will notice a listener-friendly vocabulary, i.e., no curse words. As he explained: “I have a 5 year old nephew and a 10 month old nephew. Both of them definitely play a big role in my creation these days. The 5 year old is my biggest fan. He listens to all my songs, knows all my lyrics, and he asks all kinds of questions to his mom. So when I write I’m like, ‘Can I say this? He’s gonna hear this, so how is he gonna take it?’ So it definitely plays a big part in what I do.” You undoubtedly come away with something when you listen to a J. Pinder song. His music is relatable and has the potential to touch a lot of listeners. “That was my goal... If this is my only opportunity to make music and say the things that I wanna say, what would I say and how would I say it? So, Careless was really my ‘If I had one shot’ and this is what it is.” In March, XXL Magazine revealed their 2013 Freshman Class issue. The Freshman Class is comprised

of the top 10 new rappers of the year determined by votes from Hip-Hop fans. J. Pinder was listed among the different emcees that were revealed on XXL’s list of viable candidates in January. Before the votes were calculated, we had the opportunity to ask him how it would feel to make the grade. “You know, it is definitely a huge deal to get that respect from XXL.” He states, “XXL is a great magazine and you get that exposure.” We then inquire a little deeper and ask what achieving a spot in The Freshman Class will do for an artist’s career. His response was honest and rather atypical. Pinder candidly reveals, “I think people put a lot behind a lot of these types of accolades, and as an artist, it doesn’t mean a whole lot. ” He goes on to say, “It’s a huge popularity contest that doesn’t really reflect on the music.” Making the cut definitely required an incredible amount of votes. If only an artist’s “popularity” could match the artist’s substance. Maybe one day. One thing you can count on is that J. Pinder will continue to push out amazing music on a consistent basis. He is slated to work with Malik Yousef, RJD2, Rapper Big Pooh, and the magnificent DJ Jazzy Jeff. With a lot on the table for this young man, Pinder makes sure to take every new project head-on. “I’m very pro ‘Let’s move on to the next project and continue to put out good music.’” For updates on his upcoming projects and shows, be sure to follow him on your favorite social media sites, and don’t forget to cop his album Careless, and Careless Redux mixtape. www.jpinder.com www.finrecords.com www.twitter.com/JPinder www.facebook.com/JpinderMusic Instagram @JPinderMusic


“When I was on the court, I’d be thinking about music, trying to create songs while playing basketball, and that’s when I knew that it was over for sports.”


HIS VINTAGE PERSPECTIVE A KID NAMED BREEZY


The 5th Element Magazine crew stepped into the world famous Roxy theater as The Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ride show was set to take place. We are welcomed by a groovy boom bap beat that loudly resonated through the speakers. On stage, an emcee who stood almost 7 feet tall consumed the venue with his larger than life presence and charismatic lyrical flow. This undeniable emcee immediately captured us...and it was only sound check. A Kid Named Breezy is a young emcee hailing from Alexandria, VA. This young man is hitting the music world hard with his latest musical effort titled ‘93. The blatant nostalgia is portrayed so well in ’93 that it is difficult to believe Breezy is only 20 years young. The rapper attests his ability to identify so well with the 90’s to his father. With a dad who “never let go” of his favorite era, Breezy grew up to the music and entertainment of the 90’s as if they were happening in real time. The emcee recalled, “I see things in a vintage perspective because he did.” When the rapper began writing and recording this mixtape, he didn’t have a concept for it. It wasn’t until he recorded the title track “’93” that it all came together. “Basically, I did my research and put a whole bunch of names and different samples in this one song which took me a whole month to make. So when we finished it, I was like ‘Yo, let’s just make a whole tape like this’ and that’s how it kind of all started.” Breezy revealed that this mixtape is dedicated to his late mother. He was 1 year old when she passed away in 1993. He added that the ’93 Maxima on the cover of his mixtape is the car he inherited from his mother. Most of us can agree that A Kid Named Breezy is an unorthodox 9

emcee name. The rapper breaks it down for us: “Breezy” is a nickname a few of his friends called him when he was younger. “Kid” was a nickname inspired by Kid from 90’s Hip-Hop/acting duo Kid N Play. “I was the high yellow kid of my crew and my neighborhood.” And legendary rap group A Tribe Called Quest is one of Breezy’s greatest musical inspirations and who he emulates his stage name after. Among his list of artistic influences is Will Smith. For Breezy, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air encapsulates the essence of the 90’s. As a bit of a “style guide,” the rapper takes different ideas from the sitcom and incorporates them into his newest venture: a clothing line. The ambitious young man is developing a clothing line called L!fers, which he often hashtags in his tweets and Instagram posts. Donning a pair of red sweats with the L!fers logo printed on one leg definitely exudes that 90’s feel. Wasting no time, we are promised a clothing launch very soon.

When we asked the budding entrepreneur if he’d take a similar path as The Fresh Prince and undertake acting in the future, he replied “Hell yeah. I wanna go to USC Performing Arts or Howard. I love performing arts. Everything artistic, I can get down with. Even if I have no background in it, I’m down for it.” It is clear that A Kid Named Breezy puts no boundaries on what he can accomplish. When we question why he has such a take-charge attitude, he replies, “Because everything is capable of being done.” ...And there it is. Check out A Kid Named Breezy and his mixtape ’93. Also, make sure you follow this phenom on all social media sites to keep tabs on his latest efforts, appearances and mini tour to come soon! www.liferhouse.com www.twitter.com/KidNamedBreezy Instagram: @KidNamedBreezy


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“Everything artistic, I can get down with. Even if I have no background in it, I’m down for it.”


30 affordable live/work lofts, 99-seat theater, 1,400 sq ft gallery, 3 multi-purpose rehearsal rooms, painting studio, ceramics room and ofďŹ ces


GET TO KNOW YOUR LOCAL DJ

DJ BELLA FIASCO


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The 5th Element crew recently met up with a local DJ that’s been receiving a lot of buzz in the Los Angeles nightlife scene. She goes by DJ Bella Fiasco and please do try to remember the name, you’ll be hearing it a lot more as she is set to take over all your favorite dance floors. When not working the LA club circuit, you can find her spinning at local hotspots in downtown Long Beach, Orange County and Vegas. But we’re pretty sure that with her rising fame she will soon be covering more cities to feed the music hungry masses. After high school, this beauty found a beat through some turntables that were given by her father. She immediately loved the instrument and became immersed in the DJ scene. From online tutorials, going to gigs with DJ friends, and even a few lessons from her uncle DJ

Nasty Nes, a Seattle DJ legend, she gained turntable skills that made her stand out from the rest. In a male dominated DJ circle, there are a lot of pre-judgment for female DJ’s, but for DJ Bella Fiasco this does not hinder her performance. She knows people will always judge her before hearing her play. This motivates her to work harder and prove to those haters just how good she is at what she does. “The most satisfying thing for me is after a set and I get that handshake, that ‘good job’, or a dap from them telling me ‘hey that was a great set’.” As one of a few female DJ’s in LA, we had to ask her some of her fashion must haves. It was a chilly day in LA and her outfit was both trendy and functional. Wearing a studded camouflage jacket and black beanie, she knew just how to

rock it right, as you can tell from her photo shoot. “I never go to my gigs without lipstick on, my cat eyes, and some crazy heels.” She’s a fan of heels and boots, admitting that those are the two things she loves to collect. Other things we found she loves was bright colors and Tokyo! We reminisced about the short Harajuku trend that was seen here in the US, but she swears she is not about it anymore. Unless you were one of Gwen Stefani’s backup dancers we strongly agree that trend shouldn’t resurface. “I do want to go to Tokyo! The fashion, music, and everything that involves Tokyo is amazing.” With her steady rise in the DJ circuit that dream will come to fruition sooner than she thinks. And as she continues to perfect her skills and become a bigger demand in other cities, her future only looks brighter. DJ Bella Fiasco, remember the name. 18


“The most satisfying thing for me is after a set and I get that handshake, that ‘good job’, or a dap telling me ‘hey that was a great set’.”


You can get with THIS or you can get with THAT with Bella Fiasco

5th: Snapbacks or Beanies? Bella Fiasco: Beanies!!! Duh! 5th: Hollywood or Vegas? Bella Fiasco: Vegas. 5th: Tattoos or Piercings? Bella Fiasco: Tattoos. 5th: Streetwear or Designer Threads? Bella Fiasco: Designer Threads. 5th: Beer or Whiskey? Bella Fiasco: Beer. 5th: Serato or Vinyl? Bella Fiasco: Serato. I mean, always respect to vinyl of course. It will always be the heart of DJing, but Serato, it’s 2013.


Go download the Date Night mixtape at www.the5thelementmag.com Get more info on DJ Bella Fiasco facebook.com/BellaFiasco twitter.com/DJBellaFiasco 19


QUEST STUDIO

JAZZ C O N T E M P O R A R Y

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POPPING BREAKING

FOUNDATION. MONDAY

Primary Jazz (beg) 330-430pm A first-time introduction to Jazz techniques & fundamentals.

Hip-Hop I (beg/int) 5-6pm

The fundamentals of Hip-Hop/urban dance style.

Breaking I (beg/int) 6-7pm

Foundational toprocks, footwork, freezes & more.

Poreotics & Friends (int/adv) 7-8pm

Choreography from America’s Best Dance Crew season 5 champions POREOTICS & special guests

HOME OF ABDC SEASON 3 CHAMPIONS QUEST CREW

TUESDAY

Jazz I (beg/int) 430-530pm

Basic Jazz steps, leaps & other techniques while working on strength & flexility.

Jazz II (int/adv) 6-7pm

Intermediate-Advance Jazz steps, leaps & other techniques while working on strength & flexibility.

The Popping Experience with Butter 7-8pm

Learn the history & fundamentals of this urban dance style.

FEATURED CLASSES BY POREOTICS (ABDC SEASON 5 CHAMPIONS)

WEDNESDAY

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Open sessions (all-styles welcome!) 900pm-12am

THURSDAY

Jazz I (beg/int) 430-530pm

Basic Jazz steps, leaps & other techniques while working on strength & flexility.

Jazz II (int/adv) 6-7pm

Intermediate-Advance Jazz steps, leaps & other techniques while working on strength & flexibility.

Street Jazz 7-8pm

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Learn a combination of urban dance styles with Jazz influenced movements.

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Hip-Hop II (int/adv) 7-8pm

Learn Intermediate - advance Hip-Hop choreography.

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CONTACT US PRIVATE LESSONS SPECIAL EVENTS (WEDDING, DEBUT, ETC.)


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HIRE


Nightlife party maestro, evolving music producer, retail store owner, and full time family guy, Vice balances the idea of working hard and playing hard. In an undisclosed part of Downtown Los Angeles, there is a studio that houses a variety of talented individuals. We were invited into Vice’s studio to get to know the man behind the turntables. You already know him for spinning at some of the craziest parties and as the owner of the successful sneaker retail store CRSVR, but now he’s set to take over your radio. Vice is conquering the world, one beat at a time. On his early DJ beginnings… Vice had known he wanted to be a DJ from the young age of 12. Many of us at that age had big career dreams too, like being an astronaut and going to the moon. But Vice saw a DJ spin when he was 12 and that set the tone; he just knew he wanted to be a great DJ in the future. He recalls many of his inspirations growing up, from Jam Master Jay, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and many of the radio DJ’s from KDAY. DJ E-man, Baker Boys, and Richard Vission were all over Power 106, and listening to these radio DJs definitely helped influence Vice in his early days. At 19, he had fulfilled his first dream job working as an on-air DJ at Power 106. He soon met the late DJ AM who gave Vice a lifetime of techniques and knowledge. “All those influences in my life have molded my style and I’ve added a little flavor from everyone kinda mixed into my own style.” On his jet-setting lifestyle… The life of an in-demand DJ requires traveling across the globe. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. At his first DJ battle he traveled to New York and after the event he 29

was asked what was next for him. He answered “I just wanna travel; that’s it.” And he definitely got that wish. His jet set life takes him everywhere: Miami, Hong Kong, London, and wherever his skills are needed. “I love it. I’m definitely a big fan of learning new cultures and styles. Everywhere that I go I pick up more inspiration for me to become a better DJ.” We wondered what part of the world he might want to settle in if and when he retires. He keeps his love for LA, but outside of LA he would like to settle in either Miami, Barcelona, or Hong Kong. On his CRSVR story… CRSVR is a sneaker boutique that started in Santa Barbara and now has a second store inside the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. Vice told us how he met his business partner in a plane going to Santa Barbara. They both commented on their kicks, joked about how they should open a sneaker store in Santa Barbara, and soon it became a reality. “It is first and foremost a sneakerhead’s destination. It’s somewhere where you want exclusive kicks and also throw together the whole outfit around that.” They carry all your favorite streetwear brands and every accessory you can think of. “We like to say it’s the most dressed up person at lunch but the most dressed down person at dinner.” Although the store might not be worldwide yet, its Las Vegas location has garnered attention from all over the world. On his style and sneaker game… As a sneakerhead, Vice has a collection of rare and unique kicks. He began collecting since he saw the cover of a NWA record with Eazy-E wearing a pair of Jordan 3 True Blues. His top three sneakers

are the Jordan 3 Black Cement, the Nike Air Tech Challenge by Andre Agassi, and the Air Mag “McFlys”. As a man who loves comfort he’ll rock a Nike Roshe all day. “Always Nike’s on my feet. It’s very rare that you’ll see me without a pair of Nike’s.” He describes his everyday style as very casual: mostly button ups, jeans and khakis. “I wear something that I know can get me through my day. I never know if I’ll go from the studio at 11 a.m. to a nightclub at midnight, so I gotta make sure I’m set for the day.” While on the turntables, you’ll see him sporting a Nike Fuel Band, some AiAiAi TMA-1 headphones, and some kind of hat or fedora. But his style changes depending on the city where he’s DJing. On his future agenda… Vice has been DJing for close to 20 years and he’s evolved in many ways with his side projects. He’s currently preparing his next move in the entertainment industry as a music producer. You can hear his first single “Breathe” in the club and online right now (Google it!). He did some production earlier in his career but being a successful DJ took most of his time. Now he’s able to put countless hours in the studio to release hit after hit. “I’m going everywhere from electro house to glitch hop and hip-hop. I wouldn’t say I’m a mash-up DJ, I would just say I’m a genre bender. I bend a little bit of everything together. So definitely expect a little bit of everything from me. I’m a DJ that is not defined by a musical genre, I’m just defined by my sound.” facebook.com/djvice twitter.com/djvice Instagram: @djvice


“Expect a little bit of everything from me. I’m a DJ that is not defined by a musical genre, I’m just defined by my sound.”


BACKSPIN: DJ SPINDERELLA A hip-hop icon in her own right, DJ Spinderella showed the world that a female DJ can hold her own in a male dominated industry. During the vibrant times of the 90’s, hip-hop music was loud and a little promiscuous. Salt, Pepa, and DJ Spinderella formed the female trio group Salt-N-Pepa, producing hits that the masses could not resist. Here, we take a look at 3 of their styles, corresponding with the album they released that year.

Blacks’ Magic (1990) One of the most recognizable 90’s fashion piece: gold hoop earrings. Paired with oversized shirts/jackets and shorts that went past the knee. The brighter, the better. Add some gold chains and there you go, welcome to the 90’s!

Very Necessary (1993) To overcome the in-your-face bling from past years, DJ Spinderella and the girls of Salt-N-Pepa opted for more neutral styles. Denim was a popular look and all the different varieties emerged. Patterns, especially plaid, were in demand. Finish it off with some dark sunglasses and you have the typical mid-90’s daily look.

Brand New (1997) The title says it all; they reinvented their look once again. The brand new style this time around consisted of darker tones and overall mature look. Leather was introduced, completing the smooth and sexy vibe that was popular with the R&B singers and rappers of the late 90’s.

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SPRING MMXIII

The Seven SeaS


The Difference in Sound

www. LSTNHEADPHONES .COM


YO DISSIZIT!


If you’ve been to Los Angeles, then you’ve probably seen or heard of DISSIZIT in one way or another - whether it be cartoon “LA” hands wheat-pasted on a wall downtown, or the crossbones under the “D” on some kid’s shirt. We got the chance to chat with the mastermind behind the brand, OG Slick, at the DISSIZIT headquarters in Compton, California. 5TH: Who are you and what’s the story behind the brand name DISSIZIT? OG SLICK: My name is Slick, OG Slick, or Senior Slick, but for the most part just Slick. I’ve been in and out of the graff game for a minute. Currently kind of out and doing the clothing thing,DISSIZIT, with my wife. The whole DISSIZIT thing came from a quote from Style Wars. There was a scene where a train was going by and the guys were going amped saying ‘This is it! This is it!!’ and it kind of just stuck in my mind. I had a few other clothing brands before that were unsuccessful in one way or another. So, this is it. This is the one that brings us here 10 years later at the Compton Compound doin’ it. How did you get the name Slick? There are a few rumors about how I got it, but the closest one I can recall is probably from this nun in junior high. She used to tell me that I thought I was really slick because I was getting away with shit. As far as graff is concerned, it wasn’t until I was watching Style Wars and I guess it was Case 2 walking through the tracks and he was like “Slick Rick! Slick Rick! Gigolo!” To me it was like a sign 41

because my name is Rick; so I’d like to say Case 2 named me. When people think of DISSIZIT the first thing that usually pops is the LA hands. Those LA hands have become quite an icon. Let me tell you about those LA hands! It’s probably the most bootlegged icon in Los Angeles right now. When I made it I never thought about it to be so iconic. Everyone thinks it’s Mickey Mouse hands but it was never a Mickey thing. He’s the most famous cartoon character so people automatically associated it with him. They’re really just clown or mime hands. It was actually from a painting I did with the crew back in the day and it kind of stuck. We kind of adopted it as our icon because we are from Los Angeles, so it worked out kind of perfect. What kind of music do you listen to when you do your stuff? I used to listen to a lot of hiphop, mostly late 80s and early 90s, and I used to b-boy so I love that era of hip-hop. That was the golden era. Now it’s all kinds of shit. I’m open to a lot of good shit. Whether it would be break beats or psychedelic rock. I even had a little phase of dubstep. It’s always changing. If you listen to my iTunes it’s just a bugged out selection of everything.

do with the streets, which is ironic. I see it as an extension of graff like getting up on shirts. Whenever I approach designing it’s always with that b-boy mentality where we would burn the other side with style. We wanted to fucking hurt them with style. When we left the battle we want be like ‘We got them, we served them’ you know? I feel that way through whatever I do whether it’s in my clothing or art. I gotta do it justice for the fans more so than myself. You can’t do shit just to do shit; you gotta keep evolving. How do you keep it fresh when you’ve been in the game for so long? Well I’ve had a few other brands starting with my first brand, Third Rail, was like in 1990. Well I’ve been ripped off, I’ve ripped off, seen brands come and go. I try not to follow trends too much. I like to put out what I like. If it bumps then I’m down to put it on, but I’m not gonna put on something hot just because it’s hot or in season. Could be a bad thing for us because I was never about that shit. There are people who always follow the trend forecasts and see what’s hot and what’s not. For me that’s just too much. All I can do is just what I think is dope and trust my instincts. That’s all I can rely on. It may not hit all the time but I know it’s true to what I do. People either like my shit or they don’t.

What inspires your art for the brand?

How do you choose who you want to work with on collaborations?

It all goes back to the streets. A lot of people say who is streetwear and who is not but if you think about it, it’s about as street as you can get. It’s for me and my people. I went to the school of the streets. It’s funny because a lot of the people who are big in the industry have nothing to

Sometimes it ends up choosing me, but I like to work with people who I respect in our community or in our circles. Sometimes we would go out of that circle to collaborate with people we normally wouldn’t, which is cool. The not so predictable collabs are always the kind of cool


ones. Musically we’ve worked with some cool ass people like Four Eyes, Krook, and various other dope musical artist and producers. Working with people like Money-B, DMC, and Dilated Peoples, to me gives me chicken skin. Preferably I love to work with people who come from the same roots as I have. But really though, all this shit we do is just so we can go paint. Paint is fucking expensive. It adds up even with the hookup. It’s an expensive hobby. How else am I going to support my habit? I’m an aerosol junkie. Buy DISSIZIT so I can paint! How did you conceptualize this creative workspace? I’ve always loved the converted shipping containers. My past crossed with someone who built these things and got it done. We placed it smack in the middle of this space to split the creative and the business side, which to me is similar to how the left and right brain work. 43

If DISSIZIT never happened, what would you be doing? I’ve always thought my career would be a special effects makeup artist. I used to watch a lot of the monster movies growing up. That’s why I moved to Los Angeles from Hawaii, I was going to pursue my art and maybe get into film. The downside to it was that before you can start tearing heads off and shit you need to learn the basics. The straight makeup stuff turned me off. I was always about the special effects stuff though. But who knows, after this is all said and done, maybe I’ll design some creatures or something. How’d you get involved with the lowrider scene? That’s just an influence of living in Los Angeles and being surrounded by them. Out of all the lowriders I pulled towards the ‘59 Impala because, being that I’m Chinese, I’m like ‘Okay I want the chinky eyes on that shit’. I try to make any

excuse I can to go drive it around the neighborhood. Some people are kinda bugged and say ‘Damn, you shouldn’t drive it every day’ but if I could I would. It kind of transports you to a different era. This was actually a birthday gift from my wife. She hooked me up with the Pineapple Express, my dream car; match made in heaven. Do you have any shout outs? I want to thank everybody who has ever supported the brand over the past 10 years, our family, fans and peoples. Without our supporters we wouldn’t be here. This year is our 10 year anniversary. I’ve never thought I’d own a brand for 10 years. All of my previous shit came and went, so to me this is a big achievement. We appreciate everyone who respects the real and sees through all the bullshit through the years. We want to do it big this year. disssizit.com


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“Let me tell you about those LA hands! It’s probably the most bootlegged icon in Los Angeles right now. When I made it I never thought about it to be so iconic.”


PITA POPIX: A FULL CIRCLE Deep in the heart of Gardena, CA, a group of young creative locals gather at a small restaurant to unleash their talents. On the first Friday of every month, Pita Popix Grill throws down the Full Circle show. The spot comes to life with MCs rocking the mic, multiple DJs spinning, b-boy battles, local vendors, and Hip-Hop enthusiasts enjoying the good vibes. You can say it’s the uprising of the HipHop youth in the South Bay. Diego Mendoza and Omowale “Wale” Oniyide, co-producers of the Full Circle show, tell us what it’s all about and how they connected with restaurant owner David Popik.

How did you hook up with Pita Popix?

5th: What is Full Circle?

What is the overall inspiration and drive for making Full Circle?

Wale: Full Circle is an event about art, music, and passion. We recognize that passion exists in many forms whether it’s food, graffiti-inspired art, or dance. We bring all of these forms of passion together to one place, one night a month. 49

Diego: Well, I go to El Camino College and a friend of mine brought me over to eat here since he knows David the owner. I saw that the place was empty and at the time I was looking for a location to have something like this. So I met David Popik and asked him, “What if I told you I can turn this place into something you wouldn’t imagine, every month?.” After some negotiation, we threw our first event and since then the community just kept growing and growing.

Wale: We saw that there was something lacking in our community and that something like Full Circle should have already existed. So we felt that it was our duty to bring something like this here. There is so much talent

around us that it didn’t make sense for our core demographic to be traveling out [to] Los Angeles... when they can just celebrate themselves here. Diego: I like how we manage to get everyone together and emphasize on the art and culture we have around our community. Just like Wale said, there isn’t a place around here where the younger people can do this. Since we were given the chance to have this, we try to work as hard as we can on the show so we can all benefit from it. We get to inspire others just as we get inspired having this show. Wale: One thing I’d like to add: Full Circle is a creative platform. Whether you’re an established artist or you’re new, you can come here and celebrate your passion. What kind of experience do you want the people who come here to leave with?


Diego: It’s a matter of letting the community itself come together as one in a full circle. That’s the reason why we named it Full Circle. We want them to interact with each other and leave this place knowing they can feel comfortable to express themselves completely. It’s about being able to interact with everyone around here with positive and good vibes. Wale: Sometimes the people who come here are artists themselves but they are too shy to debut. Then they come here and see other people doing it. That gives them the courage to take that first step and work on their art more seriously. We want them to come check it out, participate, get inspired, and inspire other people while they’re here. David: Everybody’s got their own art in various outlets. Some are through dance, and some are through canvases. My art is food. We try to give an experience of all the art forms here. I want them to leave with a great experience from good vibes and a satisfied stomach from good food. Full Circle Show: http://on.fb.me/ZuGpUA http://pitapopixgrill.com/ 15703 Crenshaw Blvd. Gardena, CA 90249

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CONCRETE CANVAS A compilation of photos selected from the social sphere which we call Instagram. We reached out to our followers to use #concretecanvas to help us discover the beauty of art around their cities. Keep it going and mention @the5thelmntmag. Don’t forget to tag #concretecanvas on your next stroll around the block.

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SCHEMIN’ WITH B-BOY VillN


A local B-boy who has been part of the CSULB Breakers crew, we caught up with B-boy VillN who has been making strides all over the globe. We discuss his early beginnings, Red Bull BC One, and being on Battle B-Boy. 5TH: What inspired you to begin? VillN: As a kid, I was always very active, whether it was playing kung fu fighting with my brothers or outside running around playing somewhere. I remember the very first time I was introduced to Breaking. My older brother Vang Lor used to break with his friends in my parents garage and I remember that was the first time I saw breaking. There was something about breaking that really picked my brain when I first saw it. It was nothing like anything I’ve ever seen before. I thought it was very cool that somebody can shape and control their body to move a certain way. I remember flash backs of me trying to imitate them but I was really just rolling around on the floor. A big reason [why] I started breaking was because I was fortunate enough that my middle school, James Rutter, had a Breaking Club supervised by a campus officer John Goldy. I also had a twin brother Longka Michael Lor AKA M-pact that was interested in breaking as well. We were motivated to start learning and joined the club. I was always intrigued by breaking and thought it was really cool to defy gravity and be upside down spinning and turning. I started just for fun, then the more I learned about bboying and the culture, the more I fell in love with Hip-Hop. In addition, I always had my twin brother, M-pact to practice and train with, so it was good that he was also interested in the same thing. We both push and inspire each other to grow. I am

blessed to have him. Where do you find inspiration now to continue to be creative with your combos, commandos, new moves etc? My inspiration comes from concepts that I have learned to apply to my style. When I first started, I didn’t really know what I was doing. People just told me I had a very unique style and flow. Once I realized how to control my movements and had a better understanding of my body, I started applying different methods and concepts to help me create things outside the box. I like things that are unexpected and flow very well together; things that will make you scratch your head, even if it’s the easiest move. I get inspired from other dance styles as well. I love to create, sometimes an idea can just pop up in my head, and I’ll write it down to try it later. Sometimes, it could be an event, a thought, or feeling that can get me to [create] something new. However, a lot of the time, the moves I create land on mistakes or accidents. I just end up turning them into great ideas. Describe the process of preparation you have when entering a battle you’ve planned on competing in. The process usually depends on the event. If it’s a crew battle or a 3vs3, I may spend time working with my crew as a whole, cleaning up commandos or routines, getting it on point. If it were a solo battle, I would spend more time making sure I have the endurance to go 6 plus rounds. I have learned a lot from all my battles in the past, so I know how I should train and what works best for me. I also would incorporate some running for conditioning and endurance. I find that running really helps for

me. Depending on the event and how busy I am, I usually would like to start training at least a month earlier but sometimes it doesn’t happen that way. I take my sessions and practices very seriously, if I’m not there to work there’s really no point of me being there. For prepping for a battle, I would do what most people do, make sure I’m clean, swift, and I’m not falling out of my moves. [Staying] hydrated is also important for yourself and your muscles. When I’m throwing new moves, I would make sure I have them ready and as close to perfection as possible. I’ll go rounds with my brother M-pact or other dancers to test myself. I always make sure to have fun and that when I’m dancing I’m truly expressing myself honestly (RIP Bruce Lee). But in the end, we will always be hard on ourselves no matter what because we are our greatest critics. How has experiencing the Red Bull BC One affected your b-boy career internationally? I went into Red Bull BC One not really expecting anything. I was really excited and honored that I was invited to participate in one of the biggest 1vs1 Bboy Competition in the world. I’ve always wanted to be a part of it and for some reason it happened at a right time. I finished graduating from California State University of Long Beach the previous year, and I told myself that I would dedicate a few years to pursue my dance career. [This] was something I’ve always wanted to do, but finishing school was my priority at the time. After competing in Chicago for the North America Qualifier for Red Bull BC One, it gave me some exposure. After being a bit underground from school, I jumped right into this prestigious event. Later on, I went to judge a competition in 56


“I went into Red Bull BC One not really expecting anything. I was really excited and honored that I was invited to participate in one of the biggest 1vs1 Bboy Competition in the world.�


Puerto Rico and then in Mexico City. I quickly realized I should’ve taken those Spanish classes more seriously in high school. A lot of great things have happened since RBBCO, and I feel it’s only the beginning for me. What advice can you give to new b-boys & b-girls on how to keep with bboying? Remember that b-boying is a Dance, so listen to the music and dance. Be open-minded and learn everything in the book. The more moves or ideas you learn, the more you will have to play with when you are creating your own stuff. An analogy I’ll give is, imagine having a handgun. You are shooting your enemy and you’re running out of bullets. Would you rather stop to reload your gun knowing that your enemy can get you anytime, or would you rather pull out an AK47 and go right back to attacking your enemy without reloading? You want to never have to reload. You want an endless supply of weapons and arsenal, so learn as much as you can. This generation lives in a resourceful era where they can take classes from amazing b-boys and b-girls. If you feel that you can get something out of that b-boy or b-girl, take their workshop. Absorb what they have to share and take in what works for you. Remember that we are all born an original, apply what you have learned to your uniqueness. Know what you are capable of, don’t worry about what you can’t do, be excited about what you can do. Do not limit yourself, and remember to not take B-boying/B-girling too personal. Have some FUN, inspire, and give back to Hip-Hop. What has been the most difficult thing for you during your b-boy lifetime?

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The most difficult thing was getting my parents to understand what B-boying was to my brother and I. My parents are very traditional Hmong parents, so B-boying and Hip-Hop was very different for them. They didn’t quite understand what it was until we invited them to our shows and came home with trophies from the battles we won to show them. Our older siblings would also help explain to them what we were doing and the positivity of Bboying and HipHop in our lives. Once we started traveling a lot for dance and going to different places, they realized that we loved dancing and they were very proud of us. Apart from that, another very difficult time for me during my B-boying career was juggling school and Breaking at the same time. Being a college student took a lot of my time and I had to do a lot of sacrificing. But in the end, it was worth it and I wouldn’t change it for a thing. It taught me a lot and I met amazing people in the process. What are your favorite go to b-boy shoes? My favorite B-boy shoes right now are called Benny Breaker Shoes from Puma. I’ve worn Adidas Gazelle before as well. But, Benny Breaker are my favorites so far. How was it working with the clothing brand Kallusive? It was amazing working with Kallusive. We built a great relationship and made unforgettable memories. The owners from Kallusive came out with a brand new line called Doranato. My brother and I are currently sponsored by them. Definitely check them out, they have some really cool stuff. You can check out their website at

www.Doranato.com In Battle B-boy, how was your experience being in front of the camera and truly becoming a villain in the movie? Oh man, it was so fun. I’ve always wanted to play an actual Villain, so it was a dream come true. My obsession with cool, evil, and wicked villains definitely helped me bring out the meanest VillN to the screen. A lot of the casts were my friends and I’ve worked with them before on other projects, so it was really fun being on set with everyone. Those that watched the movie told me I was so mean in the movie, but such a nice guy in real life. Haha, I had a lot fun playing the villain in Battle-B-boy, I would play a villain over a hero any day. If you have not seen the film yet, go check it out on Netflix after reading this. Do you see a future in the entertainment industry with your b-boying, competing only, or a mix of both? Yes, definitely both. I have come to a point where I would like to see how far I could take my dance career. I am still active in the B-boy community judging, battling, and consistently training. In addition, I am also pursuing my dance career in the entertainment industry as well. The end of last year I had the opportunity to work with the amazing director Bruno Aveillan on a beer commercial. The beer is called Desperados, it’s a tequilaflavored beer. I am very excited to see the commercial because Bruno’s work is amazing. It should be airing sometime at the end of April 2013 so keep an eye out for it. Recently, I got to work with Chris Brown on his new music video “Fine China”. It was really cool to work hand to hand with him. The


guy is really talented, so be sure to look out for that one too. I will be releasing more videos of my ideas and some of the projects I am currently working on. This year, I look forward to what it has to offer me, whether it’s from the entertainment industry or for B-boying. BREAKLIFE! How would you describe your sense of style on and off the floor? I like to be comfortable when I dance, so my clothes have to be comfortable. I usually like to incorporate some color in my outfit, it can be any color I’m feeling that day. I don’t like to dance in shorts or baggy bottoms. If you feel good about your outfit, you’ll feel good when you dance. Fashion has always been a very important part to Breaking, you gotta look FRESH. My sense of style off the floor can be very different, but sometimes it also is very similar. It really depends on my mood, and how I feel. Some days my fit would be more chill, other times I would be on that clean type look. One phrase to describe my sense of style on and off the floor, “You just mad cuz I’m styling on you…” Haaa!

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Spreading the heat from Vegas all over the world, the youngest member of Rock Steady Crew, B-boy Bailrok gives us a little insight into his busy schedule, sense of style and future goals. 5TH: When did you begin training as a B-boy? Bailrok: I began training as a b-boy at the age of 8 years old. B-boying is my passion but I do other styles of dance like locking, popping and choreography. How does it feel to be the youngest member of the Rock Steady Crew? It is truly an honor to be part of Rock Steady Crew. Being the youngest member comes with great responsibility and expectations. First and foremost, Crazy Legs, president of RSC, expects all of the younger generation to have good grades in school. Second, searching and learning for the different elements of Hip-Hop. Third, is to inspire and teach others. I am blessed to be part of the RSC family that mentors 63

and shares their knowledge with me. I am still a student that wants to learn as much as I can. Being a part of RSC is truly a blessing because the crew has positively impacted my life not just in dance but in everything that I do. With such a busy schedule how do you manage to keep up with school and friends/family? My parents make sure that education is first priority. I am fortunate to be accepted in a charter school in Las Vegas that allows me to travel and still have a face-to-face interaction with a teacher and other students my age. I am proud to say that I have been a straight A student in the Honor Roll. Who has been your favorite artist to work with and why? It has been a blessing to work with numerous artists in the industry. They all have been so nice to me but I must say that Chris Brown is my favorite because he makes it very fun and he makes sure that I am always okay. He also makes

sure that I am comfortable in every move I do and asks for my opinion. He makes me feel like I am working along side with him. It has been a pleasure to work on 3 of his projects: “Yeah 3x” music video, Dancing With The Stars and his Fortune Album commercial. Juste Debout is such an amazing battle to be in. How did you feel when you represented the USA and to top it off winning the Top Rock battle? Juste Debout is one my favorite events to go and I try to support every year. I trained hard and prepared for this battle. Being able to dance against so many talented dancers and being chosen to represent the USA was so special to me. Then winning the World Championship for Top Rock in Paris, France was just an unforgettable moment and a dream come true. I can’t begin to express the feeling of achieving such a high goal for me. I can’t thank my crew enough (Crazy Legs, Mr. Wiggles and YNOT) for helping me prepare for this battle. The support and prayers I received from my parents,


sister, family and friends have also helped me get through each battle. I had such a FUN time. What goes through your mind while your in the battle zone? Before I go into the battle zone, I pray. I pray that God will give me the strength and courage to finish each battle with the best that I can do. Win, lose or draw I just thank God that he gave me the opportunity to showcase my love and passion for dance. Once I am in the battle zone, I feel ageless and feel the music. I let the music move me and I really do go out there to have FUN in my battles. We noticed you have such a dope sense of style, can you describe your personal style to us? LOL. My dad taught me how to look and feel fresh from head to toe. Being comfortable with what I am wearing makes a difference too. Always keep your brands in the same family. Never mix and match your brands. LOL. I am releasing my own line of jeans/pants, shirts and backpacks soon. I am really excited about that! With so many accomplishments under your belt what other dreams and aspirations do you want to accomplish? I want to continue to do great in school and go to college. I am still young and I know that I might change my mind in the future but I pray that I can pursue my dreams in becoming an all around dancer, entertainer and actor. I would also love to learn how to cook and be a chef one day. When I travel I keep a journal of all the places I visit and eat at. I actually critique and try to figure out what is in the recipe. It has always been interesting to me on how food can taste so good. I love to try all different cultures of food.

Do you have a favorite brand or designer that you rock? I love my J’s. My dad and I are Michael Jordan fanatics. I have a collection of adidas, Pumas and Nikes also. Who have been your mentors and inspirations within the B-boy community? My crew Rock Steady, are not just mentors or crew to me, they are also my family. Artson was my first mentor and he took me under his wing and taught me the foundations of b-boying. I will be forever grateful for having him

be a part of my life. There are so many b-boys /b-girls that have and continue to inspire me. To name a few are Crazy Legs, Mr. Wiggles, Mr. Freeze, Ynot, Bonita, Kmel, Cloud, Casper, El Nino, Kid David, Lil Demon and crews such as Skill Methodz, Dynamic Rockers, Style Elements, Massive Monkeys, Knuckle Heads Cali, KHZ, Zulu and so many more. I can’t really even begin to list all of them. I do have to give a shout out to CrosOne and Paulskee for having such a positive impact in the B-boy community. I am very blessed to be surrounded by so many inspirations in the B-boy community.

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“My dad taught me how to look and feel fresh from head to toe. Being comfortable with what I am wearing makes a difference.�


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#PROJECTMVMNT AUGUST 19-21, 2013 LAS VEGAS MANDALAY BAY CONVENTION CENTER |


SWAGSENTIALS How’s your wrist steez been lately? Now, we can’t all be like Ben Baller and rock the diamond look on the daily, but that doesn’t mean you can’t steez up on a budget. Rastaclat has been making waves within the Street Wear industry this past year, and with multiple colors and designs you are bound to find one to go with your fit. Peep some of our favorite designs below and check out their website to purchase your own. www.Rastaclat.com

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PHARAO

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PROJECT MVMNT 2013

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PEEP THIS: VENUE TRADE SHOW Who: Venue Trade Show What: Street Wear Trade Show Where: LA Convention Center 1201 S Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90015 When: June 28th, 2013 The Rundown: With the influx of entrepreneurs on the rise, a surge of new street wear brands have emerged. With the lack of platforms for these new brands to showcase their work to buyers and the masses in comes Venue Trade Show to fill the void. “We cater to the startups and the believers” a quote straight from the crew at Venue that encompasses the whole reason behind why President, Miles Canares developed this new trade show. He saw the void in the industry and felt the urge to fill it. With months of conceptualizing and business development Canares has developed a platform catered to these new and young business owners to professionally showcase their work to the industry. Venue’s debut show will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on June 28th, 2013. There will be 40 hand selected brands exhibiting as well as an Industry Panel featuring several movers and shakers from the fashion industry. 75

Buyers, distributors, and patrons can expect to see new and soon to be sought after brands showcasing their latest and greatest. The 5th Element Magazine would also like to proudly announce that we are partnering with Venue as their principal media sponsor. We will also be developing their show guide, designed and conceptualized by our very own talented Art Director, Phillip Cendana. Venue has also partnered with our friends at Bespoke Cut and Sew

and Gearbottle.com to bring you an amazing show. Bespoke will be curating the “Bespoke Center” which will be showcasing some of their work, which also doubles as a lounge for in-house business to business meetings. If you are a new brand and or are thinking of starting your own brand we highly suggest you check out Venue. For more information check out their website www.VenueTradeShow.com.


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Entrepreneurs have dated back to as early as the 17th century. As such, the habit of the hustle and the grind of getting it done have been passed on for generations as the foundation to true entrepreneurial savvy. More recently, though, with the roller coaster feel of the current economy, the surge of young go-getters that have entered the market with fresh and innovative ideas have increased. In particular, the street wear industry has been saturated with an immense amount of up and coming designers and brands. Naturally, with all this competition, only the best of the best are currently surviving and remaining as viable businesses. However, what is that secret to keeping afloat amidst the flotsam of mediocrity and ho-hum? How does one looking to take a dip in the street wear game navigate through its uncharted and often rough waters? Well for starters, the key is to finding a niche and tapping into a part of the market that isn’t as well worn and explored as the rest. This sound and simple advice is a testament, in specific, to the ever-growing popularity of Bespoke Cut and Sew. Bespoke Cut and Sew is the current leader in hat customization. Without even a year under their belt, this company has grown tremendously. From word-ofmouth to the viral reach of social media, Bespoke has increased their business ten fold, and has impressively done so without the deep pockets of a major investor. 81

Highlighted by collaborations with Crooks and Castles, World of Dance, and IMKING, there seems to be no slowing down for them. As with any success story, the beginnings were humble, with a group of friends starting their business in a garage and taking orders from Big Cartel. After a few successful months, they moved into their own warehouse, created an online store and are now prepping for the opening of their first flagship store located in the culturally burgeoning downtown Santa Ana Arts District. The personalities behind the brand are as humble as their beginnings, as the rapid growth of the company has not fazed this hard-working team. Consisting of only a four man crew, it amazes me how they run such a busy company with such efficiency. So let’s introduce you to the team. First off we have Brandon Williams, who takes care of most of the marketing and is the face behind the company. You can catch him out there networking and making moves that lend to the growth of Bespoke. Next, we have the lone tailor of the group, Tommy Lam. This man right here has had years of experience in sewing and from what can easily be seen by his quality offerings, is a master of his craft. Can you imagine Tommy single-handedly sewing all products that run through Bespoke? Next up we have Thi Le, who is responsible for all their photography, order processing and assists Tommy by prepping the hats for customization. Lastly, we

have Nga Lam, who handles the company’s daily operations and business management needs. Bespoke’s product displays a high level of craftsmanship that results in amazing work, thus leading them to acquire an international clientele. The outstanding dexterity and top notch customer service is what separates Bespoke from other similar brands who have recently entered the market. Simply put, their product speaks for itself. For those wanting more specifics, the brand’s online customization process is simple, effective and fairly priced. However, if you’re the type that wants something ready to wear and one of a kind, then I would suggest checking out their flagship store to see what goods they have in stock. Bespoke Cut and Sew grasps the true meaning of the entrepreneurial spirit. It’s truly been a pleasure watching the company grow. Since we began this feature, we’ve seen their progressive success take them to new heights. The future paved for Bespoke is a bright road that will lead to even more accomplishments and we at The 5th are eager to keep an eye out for it. For more information on Bespoke Cut and Sew, check out their website Shopbspk.com and follow them on Twitter and Instagram at @bespokecutandsew.


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SOURCES Ebay.com Hiphopsecrets.com Instagram Last.fm The Flagship Agency Rastaclat.com SPECIAL THANKS MC // J. Pinder, A Kid Named Breezy DJ // DJ Vice, DJ Bella Fiasco B-boy // B-boy Bailrok, B-boy VillN Graffiti // OG Slick, Pita Popix Grill, Diego Mendoza, Omowale Oniyide, David Popik Fashion // Bespoke Cut and Sew, Venue Trade Show, Project Trade Show Photos // DC Visions, Alvin Dharmawan, Yewande Noah SOCIAL NETWORKS Website // the5thelementmag.com Facebook // facebook.com/The5thElementMagazine Instagram // @the5thelmntmag Twitter // @the5thelmntmag Tumblr // the5thelementmag.tumblr.com


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The 5th Element Magazine Volume 2 Issue 2  

Featuring world famous DJ Vice from Los Angeles.

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