CHERYL D UNN E VE RYBODY STRE ET
A $A P R OC K Y PR ETTY FLACKO
TODD JAMES W O R LD D O M I N AT I O N
O SLO S M ALL CI T Y B I G AT T I T UD E
SUPERLATIVE CONSPIRACY KAN YE WEST SHOT BY ANDRE AS KO CK
WORDS FROM ABOVE
There’s not always a read thread to the things we/you do - things can sometimes get random. That can be explained as creativity and different opinions, perhaps, but it can also possibly be traced to will - wanting to do it all at once. That’s a good thing - wanting things, wanting to share them and telling people about it. It’s also somehow the theme for this publication - will to do things your own way and in the way you see it. The Superlative Conspiracy Magazine No.8 - The Fall Issue - is a random selection of great stories, photos, people and ideas all packaged into one thing. Our cover star Kanye West shares his innovations with us; the 7-screen project, his philosophy and how he helps people dream. We speak to A$AP Rocky about his good looks, religion and his undying love for Erykah Badu and we sit down with Swedish hip hop sensation Lilla Namo and hear how she makes thing connect in her own way, plus a feature with Illuminati AMS. Sue Kwon shares her incredible photos in the story “Street Level”, Cheryl Dunn shows us how the street belongs to everybody in the story “Every B Street”, Todd ‘Reas’ James’ art is stunning in the art section. Apart from that we feature WeActivist SuperBlast, a skate story with French Fred by Arto Saari, Weird Woods, the WeSC x Happy Socks Collaboration, Roof On Fire shot by Etoall and a lot more!
CONT RIBUT ORS
C OV ER K A NY E WES T
S K AT E FR E D M O RTA G N E
M USI C A $ AP RO CKY
MUSIC I LL UMINATI AMS
MU S IC L IL L A NA MO
A RT TODD JAMES
FA S H I O N WEIRD WOODS
FASHI O N R OO F O N FI RE
FASHIO N HAPPY CAMPER
We A C TIV IS T S U PER B L A S T
LI FE S T YLE A RT O F N O I S E
LI FE S T YLE C H E RYL D U N N
LI FE ST YLE VI N TAGE S UE KW O N
PHO TO S
V OIC E No . 1 PETER L U NDG R EN
VO I C E N o. 2 CHRISTINA KARR
VO I C E N o. 3 CHRISTOPHER B LO M Q U I S T
I NSP I RAT I O N A RT B O O K | D . A. P.
CIT Y GUIDE OSLO
L OC ATIONS L ES PA R K NY C
LO C AT I O N S WeSC JAKOBSBERGSGATAN
R E LE A S E HAPPY SOCKS
I N STAGRAM S
PETER LUNDGREN - grew up in a small northern Swedish town with a population of a medium sized grocery store. His mom’s urge for experimental hair styling during his time in junior high did not go well with the northern conservative way of living under the law of Jante. He’s still trying to recover from being sent to school not only with dyed hair, but with a perm fucked up beyond all recognition to go with it. After a short lived career in advertising he founded the clothing brand T-post, the world’s first wearable magazine and has never looked back since. tpostmag.com Instagram- t_post Read Peter’s VOICE on page 110.
CHRISTINA KARR - Christina Marie Karr lived in Chicago, Mexico, Colorado, France, Italy, and Turkey before coming to Brooklyn in 2008. She plays autoharp, ukulele, flute, and air piano. Things she cannot live without include: books, music, baths, cheese, and her bicycle. If she could reside anywhere other than New York, it would be near a lake. christinamariekarr.bandcamp.com thenaturalblush.bandcamp.com centrestreetam.tumblr.com facebook.com/christina.m.karr Read Christina’s VOICE on page 112.
CHRISTOPHER BLOMQUIST - Christopher is a native New Yorker who lives and works in Manhattan. He is the longtime North American Senior Features Editor for Sportswear International Magazine, the glossy fashion trade publication for denim and fashion trends. He has also written for publications that include Nylon, Surface and a book about the history of graphic Tshirts and authored several one-act plays and comedy sketches over the years. He is currently attempting to learn Swedish but thus far hasn’t had much success with that. email@example.com. Read Christopher’s VOICE on page 114.
TODD JAMES - Todd James is an American painter and an important member of the generation of self-taught artists who have influenced popular culture on every level. James is the co-creator of Street Market, a major work of the post-graffiti movement that was selected for the 2001 Venice Biennale. In 2011, a re-creation of this work was the central installation of the LA MOCA’s sold out Art in the Street exhibition. Solo shows include Gering/Lopez in New York, colette in Paris, Lazarides in London, Nanzuka in Tokyo, and V1 in Copenhagen. James has exhibited his work at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and the Tate Museum in Liverpool. Several monographs of his work have been published. James lives in downtown Manhattan. toddjames.com Instagram- toddjamesreas Twitter- @toddjamesreas Check out Todd’s art on page 030.
SUE KWON - Sue Kwon began her career at NYC’s The Village Voice & Paper Magazine, shooting subjects that ranged from JFK Jr. to underground Jamaican nightclubs in Queens. Since then her clients have included L’Uomo Vogue, Fortune, Burton Snowboards and ESPN. While working for both The Source & Rap Pages magazines she became well-known for her candid portraits of artists such as Wu-Tang Clan and the Beastie Boys. Her work has been featured in group shows in New York, Paris and Copenhagen, as well as the subject of solo shows at A Bathing Ape Gallery in Tokyo and Clic Gallery in New York. Her first monograph, “Street Level: New York Photographs 1987-2007” features twenty years of her black and white street photography and was published by Testify Books in 2009. suekwon.com Check out Sue’s photos on page 092.
CHERYL DUNN - Cheryl Dunn is a documentary filmmaker and photographer based in New York City. Her films have played at numerous film festivals including Tribeca, Edinburgh, Rotterdam, Los Angeles, Havana, Hotdocs and on PBS. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums including Deitch Projects in New York, The Tate Modern in London, and the Geffen Contemporary MOCA in los angeles. Cheryl was one of the subjects of the documentary, book & traveling museum exhibition “Beautiful Losers”. She has had two books of her photographs published - Bicycle Gangs of New York ,and Some Kinda Vocation, and has just completed a feature documentary about street photography entitled “Everybody Street”. cheryldunn.net everybodystreet.com Check out Cheryl’s photos on page 082.
ANDREAS KOCK - Andreas Kock is one of the most sought-after fashion photographers, and has successfully managed to combine commercial work with personal projects and fine art. His art images are in high demand in Sweden as well as internationally and have been sold, among other things, through the major auction houses. Andreas Kock started his career as an art director but gave up his work with advertising and let the love for the photography take over. In his work one can trace parallels to photographic role models such as Richard Avedon and Philip-Lorca di Corcia. cameralink.se/andreaskock Check out Andreas’ cover with Kanye West.
ANTON RENBORG - I grew up in Örebro, a small town on the flatland of Sweden. My parents were both hard-working people, but very different. My mother was all about ballet and horses, talking about movement and grace, while my dad reached for his guitar, good times and a drink, whenever the chance was there. I guess I became a mix of all that. My life has been a rollercoaster but with necessary stops for reflection and personal work: recordings and touring with bands, traveling with my boards, walking down runways to pay my bills, writing stories from various scenes of the world, being behind the camera, being in front of the camera, studies - always a little bit of “everything”. For the past ten years, I’ve been able to title myself as a photographer. And in the recent years I’ve had the opportunity to work with some really interesting characters and brands. Working with the WeActivists and their wide range of knowledge, understanding and each individual’s distinctive sense of the moment, has been a pleasure, one of a kind... antonrenborg.se / bloodandco.com Check out Anton’s photos on page 040.
FREDRIK ETOALL - Fredrik Etoall is the man behind the mask. The camera is ‘Fredrik’s Penis Extension.’ Not only does every photo he take reflect who he is, it reminds him of the fortunate life he has created for himself. For the past 16 years, Fredrik has dedicated his life to taking photos, which have appeared in Harpers Bazaar, Interview Magazine, Playboy and a variety of album covers. This year, directing videos has also become his passion. At the moment he´s just flying around with his camera meeting dope people worldwide - follow his journey here... etoall.freshnet.com etoall.se Instagram- etoall Facebook- etoall.se Twitter- @etoall Check out Fredrik’s photos on pages 050 through 071.
ERIK BY ERIK - Stockholm based photographer, 10 years deep in the Urban game shooting mostly urban artists, fashion & sports. Got more rappers on his resume than you have in your playlists, but the passion really lays in lifestyle photography no matter the genre.. erikbyerik.com Instagram- erikbyerik Twitter- @erikbyerik Facebook- erikbyerik Check out Erik By Erik’s photo on page 014.
VISUAL COOKS - Visual Cooks is the housing for collaboration between Videographer Joacim Svedlund and Photographer Robin Åhlgren. Exploring the realm of everything visual, inspired by the dark but capturing light. Riding the waves of matter that have come together at this point in space and time to define our lives, enjoying the ride. visualcooks.com vimeo.com/visualcooks flickr.com/photos/visualcooks Twitter- @visualcooks Facebook- visualcooks Check out Visual Cooks’ photos on page 078.
RICKY POWELL - Ricky Powell...The:: Lazy Hustler.. Funky Uncle.. KooL Substitute Teacher / Profesor Pumpernickle.... Bummy Sophisticate.. Illy Funkster.. 4th Beastie..native New Yorker... is an ‘Individualist ‘. who takes professional pictures on a hang-out tip / his errands / escapades...has been commemorating ‘Ricky @ 50 ‘ (years young) with exhibits and his live slide show around the world thru out 2012..(Tokyo..Melbourne..Europe..China(town, NYC )..To Ricky, ‘Street Photography is like my transistor radio, the playlist is infinite..’ and he loves working with his ‘Faye Dunaway of hip*hop’ ..Kimmy Matalova..! They are kinda like WeSC’s ‘Dynamic Duo’ for creating DoLo images.....you can google rickypowell.com .. check the links below to peep wussup with the Oscar Madison of hip*hop ...Peace!. rickypowell.com nycstreetphotography.com wearethegoodlife.com [Ricky Powell mixtapes] Facebook- rickypowell Check out Ricky’s photo on page 024.
KANYE WEST SHARES INNOVATIONS
WORDS BY DANIELLE KRASSE PHOTOS BY NABIL
Kanye West is a creator and innovator in music, arts, culture and visual communications and design language. Here Kanye tells us about his work...
DANIELLE: You have released a number of excellent and critically acclaimed albums. Which one are you most proud of? KANYE WEST: 808’s is my favorite album… It’s the first time I made music with out feeling I had anything to prove … Music, design, fashion, film - you’re active in all of it. How do you see these elements merging together and how do you utilize your talent in all these fields creatively? I am building a DONDA factory that will focus on MUSIC, FILM, PRODUCT & GAMING… It will be a product, content and tech company… we will innovate in all of these areas. I got into producing music when I was in 7th grade and was attempting to create my own video games… The gaming programs at that time were too difficult for me to learn as a 7th grader but the music programs were simpler… they allowed me to place a note, then another note, then another… the next thing you know, I’m on stage next to Jay Z… of course the story is not that short but I want to stress that my music career started because there was a program that allowed me to easily structure a beat… I can create anything with a proper structure and amazing talent surrounding me. When I was working on fashion collections people would tell me that fashion was not the same as music but I disagreed with them and I still do… everything is the same… so what Nicolas Ghesquière is to fashion is what Kanye West is to Music is what Paul Thomas Anderson is to Movies is what Chris Bangles is to automotive design is what Johnny Ives is to tech design… Everything is the same… But there is no genius with out resource… genius with out resource is just craziness … So if people ever thought I was crazy to try to do clothing on my own they were completely right because I did not have the same type of resources that I did when I worked with Louis Vuitton or when I work with Nike. Your 7 screen project that premiered in Cannes last year - could you tell us a bit about that? The 7 screen experience was my prototype for an experience technology that I’ve created called SurroundVision. I came up with this one
night while on the Watch The Throne tour. I am very into the idea of the audience being surrounded by visuals. The 7 screen experience placed the audience in bleacher seating and surrounded them with screens. One screen above and one below. One screen to the left and one to the right and 3 in front. We debuted a short film in this format and received standing ovations. This was an early Donda exercise in innovation. You are one of the few artists/people who seem to fully understand how things work across all platforms: from creating music and art to communicating it and showing/sharing it in creative ways. It’s a big question but: how do you do it? As your understanding for arts as well as technology is slightly unparalleled to be honest, not many people can do what you do. I have synesthesia. I can see music in front of my eyes as I program it so when I design stage shows I am trying to emulate what I hear visually. A song can sound the way a drawing looks. And at risk of coming off like a complete asshole, which we all know I’m not afraid to do… There is no one living that is willing to do what I do… I put my so called reputation on the line chasing the dream of designing in front of the toughest critics in the world… I am the first of a new generation of tough creatives… I am the first of a new species… Before me, creatives would be scared to speak up for themselves… we were taught to be quiet and reserved as that was more chic… but in all that reservation we have allowed corporations and critics to run every visionary idea into the ground while the most mediocre ascended to the nasty top… We, the visionaries, will rise over suits… Every one is chasing money and sacrificing dreams… I’m just clearing a path for us to dream properly… Can you tell us something about your new album? I feel like Yeezus is the true follow up to 808s… it’s time to start truly innovating again … it’s time to not be afraid. --kanyewest.com
“THE 7 SCREEN EXPERIENCE WAS MY PROTOTYPE FOR AN EXPERIENCE TECHNOLOGY THAT I’VE CREATED CALLED SURROUNDVISION. I CAME UP WITH THIS ONE NIGHT WHILE ON THE ‘WATCH THE THRONE’ TOUR.”
“EVERY ONE IS CHASING MONEY AND SACRIFICING DREAMS… I’M JUST CLEARING A PATH FOR US TO DREAM PROPERLY…”
MMA: HYPE, PSYCHE, UFC AND HISTORY WITH JÖRGEN KRUTH & OMAR BOUICHE
WORDS BY DANIELLE KRASSE PHOTOS BY VISUAL COOKS [JÖRGEN KRUTH] & ERIK BY ERIK [OMAR BOUICHE]
The MMA scene has exploded the past couple of years. Even though the sport actually stems all the way back from the old Greek Olympics, the visibility of it in the recent five, ten years - and also the involvement with UFC - has made it into an accessible sport - something it definitely didn’t use to be. The controversy around MMA still exists and as the scene grows the conditions are changing too: the style, the arenas, the format of the competitions and also the attitude amongst the fighters. WeSC met up with legends Omar Bouiche and Jörgen Kruth to talk about all this - UFC, training, problems, solutions and the benefits when the hype calms down a little bit. Jörgen Kruth: World Champ Super Heavy Weight, WMC Thai Boxing Amateur and Pro. Omar Bouiche: Mixed Martial Arts legend, owner of Pancreas Gym.
DANIELLE: How much fighting can the body take? JÖRGEN KRUTH: That’s a good question... but I have no good answer to that. OMAR BOUICHE: That’s very individual - not just physical but it’s also down to a lot of other things, like luck for example. I think everyone has about eight to ten years in which they can compete, then if it’s between 20-28 or 30-38 doesn’t really make a difference. But it’s that little window that everyone has in which it’s possible to compete. J: The body has to manage but then it’s also a lot about the psyche. O: I don’t think you can manage more than eight to ten years mentally, the psyche can’t take it. The problem is that as you age your ego goes down, it sort of decreases in importance to people. And as the ego gets smaller it’s difficult to find motivation to go out running at 6 every morning with the ambition to become the best in the world. So this really is much of a “young man’s game” in that sense. J: And then also to add to that, if you compete in UFC you only do two to three games per year and the gap between these games gets longer, so that makes a difference too. It really comes down to how much and how often you train and compete. What can be said to be included in Martial Arts? O: If you want to narrow it down and simplify, you can say it’s a mix between thaiboxing, physical wrestling, greek-roman, just and jiu jutsu. That would include most of it. To that you can add things that haven’t really existed before - like “ground and pound” which means you hit on the ground (when your opponent is laying on the ground). That’s never been a part of martial arts before as it is today, not in competitions anyways. When did that begin? O: It started when the MMA included hitting/beating on the ground which is new within martial arts in general. Apart from that it’s a mixture of other species and sports you know. If you want to trace things way back in history you can go as far back as the Greek pankration: This was actually the first component of the Olympics - hence the name pacers which is traced straight back to the Greek language. How does the MMA scene today compare with when it was first introduced in Sweden? O: When I first came to Sweden it wasn’t that big - we opened the first club in -95/-96, something like that. Then August Wahlen opened up a club a couple of years later in Gothenburg - then that was basically the scene for four, five years - only these two clubs that slowly started the evolution of the scene in Sweden. The opposition from the government and Riksidrottsförbundet (the National Athlete Union) was absolutely ridiculous from the beginning. We and our businesses met a huge opposition and negativity from them - and even the IRS were after us for years,
making up claims that were untrue and not validated at all. Is that even legal? O: No, not really. Since then it’s gotten more popular and common and the opposition towards the MMA and fighting scene has gone down slightly, and the UFC has done a good job improving that. They’ve made it into a business venture which has also led to the sport exploding, being broadcast on prime time tv and all that. For me, who’s been involved in it since day one, that’s strange to see.
“I DON’T THINK YOU CAN MANAGE MORE THAN EIGHT TO TEN YEARS MENTALLY, THE PSYCHE CAN’T TAKE IT. ” What do you think will happen to the sport in the next ten years? O: That’s really difficult to say. J: I agree, it’s difficult to say. Especially UFC put enormous efforts into marketing this, but their marketing is also sometimes not completely accurate; they can state that tickets are sold out ten minutes after the desks open, whilst in fact it’s not sold out at all. The whole “damn it sold out after ten minutes” creates a hype in itself, even though there are still seats available. There’s an exaggerated hype, and even though that’s good, some fighters think that just because they’re competing in the UFC they’re huge stars - even though they might not really be there yet. O: The problem is also that the UFC has taken close to a patent on the market. They buy other competitors on the market, then shut those businesses down; which is not good for the sport or the athletes. So from that point of view it’s pointless: competition is definitely needed as the fighters only have one place to go [UFC] and UFC dictates everything. There is currently an imbalance in the fighting world, or especially in the MMA world. How does UFC work, in general? O: UFC is a business, they’re protecting their interests. As soon as there’s a new competitor or company on the market they’ll buy it and then shut it down. They have a lot of money behind them - it’s two brothers running it who also own casinos and are multi-millionaires. Aren’t there any regulations for this kind of monopoly? O: There never seems to be when it comes down to it… J: This is more business than anything else. Sine there isn’t really any specific ranking system, sometimes things that attract interest go before talent or skill in the competitions, it’s things like that that’s happening. O: People often tend to forget this, that fighting on this level is a lot about
OMAR BOUICHE FREDRIK HJELMQVIST, CEO AND FOUNDER OF PAUSE ONE OF SCANDINAVIA’S PREMIUM AUDIO STORES - AS THE HUMAN JUKEBOX IN THE AD FOR THE GUT POD
business, just like boxing. A question I had is how fighters support themselves, financially. Pro’s as well as up and coming talents. O: The past years the money has started to get really good! The top earners are making millions. Making it from sponsorships or something else? O: No, they make their money from UFC - like Tito Ortiz and Chuck Lidell, they’re multi-millionaires. But then you have hundreds of fighters who’re signed up with UFC who compete once a year - they’re not as lucky financially. If you are a 20-something talent in training, what are the odds to be a successful fighter? O: The odds aren’t that good at all. I mean, there’s so much that weighs into success that it’s even difficult to explain. You have to be an absolute martial arts-nerd like myself and Jörgen to even have a chance: if you’re only in it to make money I think you’re set out to fail, miserably. You need to be super talented and be in it for life - not just be interested in for financial reasons. Motivation is what matters? O: Motivation is the one essential thing, which goes for most things in life, but especially for professional athletes. Something I’ve heard from a lot of guys within martial arts or fighting is that it’s “saved” them - from doing stupid things, getting them off the streets and preventing bad things from happening. O: It does, definitely. Martial arts has a tendency to catch young people who’re perhaps going in the wrong direction: if or when they get interested in this they are taught about some of the fundamentals within the sport, one big one being respect. They’re immediately included in a crew and get other values and a look on life that they perhaps wouldn’t have otherwise, they meet people they wouldn’t otherwise meet - and they learn how to behave. It has it’s benefits as well as negatives, for sure! J: I work with the Swedish National Thaiboxing Team and I also train companies and youths. This is definitely a way to teach them what respect and good values mean, something which is essential in martial arts. They also have to learn to be on time, how to treat each other and all that, in an environment that stimulates. O: For the majority of people it’s common sense to say hi, greet each other and that whole thing - for some of these kids it’s never been that way. So for them to learn and to get accustomed to this discipline that we all have is really important! They listen to the instructors and hear what they have to say - which these kids don’t always do when teachers, social workers or police tell them. Alright, so moving on to the international scene: which country is currently the most influential/important country for MMA? O: Right now it’s the US - for a while it was Japan, then Brazil, but it’s back to being the US - mostly because of UFC: all the money and the media is there. What would you like MMA to become in the next 10 years? O: First of all, I would like for some other organizations or companies besides UFC to become active and influential. And then I think and hope the hype for the sport will die down a little which is good for it - when it’s not as much about being seen, but more about the old stuff, the training, the history and fundamentals which is overlooked a bit today. The end result
will be about winning, but focusing on the training more as it used to be. Now, personally, I think the focus is a lot about competition, visibility, twittering and publicity - and that’s not what martial arts is about. J: I definitely agree with all of that. And also the whole hype thing needs to calm down a bit which it will with time and also if other companies besides UFC are active: now, some people can be amazing and talented but people have no idea who they are purely because they’re not competing in the UFC. In thaiboxing the hype has died down a little bit which is a positive - there people now who the good ones are no matter what, like Christer Berglund - and tradition is valued more. In UFC the fans only know that, nothing else. O: It’s pretty interesting that the Japanese fans know a lot of history and technique - which the American audience lacks. But I guess it’s about cultural aspects there as well.
“RIGHT NOW IT’S THE U.S. - FOR A WHILE IT WAS JAPAN, THEN BRAZIL, BUT IT’S BACK TO BEING THE US - MOSTLY BECAUSE OF UFC: ALL THE MONEY AND THE MEDIA IS THERE. ” So how come the Japanese fans know more? O: It’s a different culture in Japan overall - the appreciation for the people, technique and history behind it all is greater, they understand the work put into it. Whilst in the US, and here I’m generalizing, it’s more about “blood”. A celebrity culture? O: Yeah, more of a Big Brother vibe to it. The winner is the only one that matters there. In Japanese culture it’s a greater respect for the sport, and sometimes even the runner up becomes more famous than the winner. Culture, basically. I would love to get more of that back into the sport: to get rid of this whole show business aspect to it. J: I’ve competed in Japan as well as the US and there’s a big difference. In Japan you get to try more sports, like Judo, Karate and things in school and they get this respect for the sport already as kids. Perhaps that’s why they stick to that mentality even as adults. O: Some more balance would be needed on the martial arts scene at this point. What do you see needs to change in order for balance to happen? O: I think that will happen automatically - when the biggest hype calms down and people understand the amount of work and effort that needs to be invested in order to be good at it, more athletes will get involved and the balance will come back. People have already started to understand that there are many aspects needed for a fighter to be good at what he or she does: the physical as well as the mental parts. If you get all that to work and put in hard work: then you’ll be successful. --There is much more interesting talk and words from this interview - that unfortunately didn’t fit in this interview due to page count. Jörgen Kruth and Omar Bouiche are two legends who have seen MMA and everything around it grow from its earliest foundations - in Sweden as well as internationally - and their thoughts, opinions and practice are nothing less than impressive. Read more from and with them on the below links - and if you get a chance: train with them or watch them put in the work. --jorgenkruth.com
CITIZEN OF THE WORLD: FRED MORTAGNE
WORDS BY ARTO SAARI PHOTOS BY NIKWEN
Skateboarding is a rich scene and it’s all thanks to the skaters, filmers, photographers and people who are in it. IN it, people are linked to each other more than you could imagine, so we asked our newest recruit to the WeActivist family: Arto Saari to interview longtime friend/colleague and fellow WeActivist Fred Mortagne, aka French Fred - to let us and you find out more about the background, being French, the transition into filming, highlighting the European skate scene and more!
ARTO SAARI: Where were you born? FRENCH FRED: I was born in Lyon some 38 years ago. Do you have the Lyon pride? Well, don’t go and think that because you can call me French Fred that I have the biggest French pride! The more I’ve been travelling, the less I have felt French... It might sound very clichéd but I consider myself to be a citizen of the world. I take what’s good in any culture and mix it to create my own identity and lifestyle. I don’t live very much as a French man in France. Lyon illustrates this pretty well. The gastronomic culture is pretty strong there, based on all sorts of heavy meats, and yet I’m vegetarian, completely staying away from that local food culture. But I always liked bringing pro skateboarders into town because there are tons of amazing skate spots and it’s always good to see people using their full potential. Just recently we had the Element guys in Town, and I didn’t think it was still possible to ruin some spots the way they did, spots that have been around for 20 years and already witnessed so many great skaters, like yourself of course. We filmed a good amount of tricks in Lyon together, you loved that long red metal hubba didn’t you?! Where are you currently residing? In Lyon! Not touching any of the bloody classic dishes though. I can’t go to 80% of the restaurants! If you come to Lyon, don’t expect me to give you an accurate tour of the city. Ask Jérémie Daclin instead! Because Arto
you aren’t vegetarian any more, so you can now get the full experience, with the famous blood sausage, the tripes, le saucisson, the frog legs…..
“...I CONSIDER MYSELF TO BE A CITIZEN OF THE WORLD. I TAKE WHAT’S GOOD IN ANY CULTURE AND MIX IT TO CREATE MY OWN IDENTITY AND LIFESTYLE.” Being a vegetarian is not very European of you: I don’t know if I can call you French Fred anymore - maybe just Fred for now. Before I went vegetarian, you could hear people calling me Fat Fred! I like it better the way it is now! It’s not necessarily an easy thing to do in France. What made you decide to go down that route? Basically people like you! That’s when it all makes sense. I started traveling to the US, eating even worse than back home where I used to eat in typical teenager manners. Then I started traveling, with people who had much more advance already, like Ed Templeton, Rick McCrank and Geoff Rowley - who all know so much about healthy foods and take you to the best places, where as opposed to what everybody thinks, the vegetarian food is super tasty. I had the best coaches! Then I went on a new trip to the US for couple months and I decided to give being a vegetarian full time a chance to try to see how it was and became convinced it was the best thing to do for my body. It’s been 14 years now. What year did you start skating? In 1990 with a real board, but around 1983 doing downhills sitting on the board. So that’s well over 30 years. I’ve been completely hooked from the very first day, a total addict. When did you first see skateboarding? I’m not really sure. I had seen some kids around, then on TV probably, but not much at all. I didn’t know anything, didn’t know there were magazines or videos. I remember seeing some footage of some guys in Lyon and I loved the fact that I could see some tricks on local spots, that you don’t get to witness if you don’t hang out with those guys… I think this was an important factor for me to start making my own videos and share it with people. How did it all start? A friend at school had a plastic board when we were about eight. For
FRED ON THE PLAZA WHERE HE STARTED FILMING 20 YEARS AGO [OPPOSITE PAGE] GUEST BOARD BY CLICHÉ 10 YEARS AGO, FEATURING AN ARTO PHOTO
some reason he came up with some stupid bet that he lost, and gave me the board. I was totally hooked from that very first day. Then years after, far away on my street, I saw a skateboarder, standing on the board, pushing, crossing the street, and......... OLLIEING THE CURB! “whhhhhhaaaaaaaaattttttttt”, I couldn’t believe it - it was magic. Then just like the monkeys, I started standing up on my own board, because I wanted to perform this magic as well! Who are some of your favorite skateboarders? Who inspired you? When I discovered skateboard videos it was insane: you could see a level of skateboarding you couldn’t see much in real life, even demos were not as good. I was so fanatic that I basically loved all pro skaters, I was super hyped on good skating. There were a few outstanding guys. I remember seeing a guy who had a sick style at a contest in 1990, I really like the way he skated. Nobody knew who he was in Europe yet, it was Rick Howard. I was really into Ed Templeton as well, Danny Way… I mean, I never had a real favorite, I was just so hyped on everyone who was killing it! Was it making movies or photography that sparked your interest? Photography came much later on, around 2001. It was really my love for skateboard videos that made me want to do it. As a kid, watching videos moved me so much and made me want to go out and skate. So I wanted to bring the same to the scene but doing it in Europe, when no one else was doing it. I loved the American scene, but it was time to bring light to the Euro skaters who I truly believed in. For example this helped JB Gillet get into the spotlight and get on New Deal. Making your first ever video part for És “Menikmati” was so great, helping a young gun from Finland reaching the top (your skateboard skills did the biggest part of the job!). Who are some of your favorite film-makers/photographers these days? I like people who try to push it all the time, who keep creative and try to bring something fresh and different and who contribute to breaking out the formats, because it unfortunately gets easily formatted. Also those who try to bring an extra dimension to just strictly skateboard action (which is also good sometimes). So people like Greg Hunt, Mike Manzoori, Ty Evans, Federico (the Italian one!), the French youngster Pacôme Gabrillagues… Most of the big guys are doing it the right way and it’s very pleasant. You and I pretty much started photography around the same time, I remember you, Arto, started playing around with an FM2 camera on that Miami trip we did. You have a good eye, Arto! I like when pro skaters get involved in the filming or photography that’s focusing on them… It was good to have your input, or Geoff Rowley’s, who also has a really good and sharp eye for images. You’ve done quite a few classic skate videos that stand the test of time. How do you approach a project like Menikmati or the Flip “Sorry”? The starting point is basic: you’ve got the best skaters in the world, which is a key ingredient, but not to be considered the only one. So if you film the best tricks the best way possible, then to add to that you try to bring some fresh editing, with some great music, then things should go well. I watch a lot of stuff these days on internet, so much that at some point I feel like I’m wasting my time because out of all of it, not that much is of really high quality but in the end it is important to see it. It helps you knowing where to go, and most important, what not to do… But if you try to always push it and keep it creative and original, then yes, it’s outstanding. It should always be like that.
You’ve been directing/filming on music videos too? What bands you been working with? I’ve just done a little bit for the same band: my friends of Coming Soon. I met them while they were still starting out. I was into doing things outside of skateboarding at the same time to get some fresh air and different perspective. I created all of their photos, videos and promo videos. I love their music. They also have many side projects going on, the band is so productive. I just shot them recording their 3rd album coming out at the end of the year, and whoa - it’s purely amazing, I’m proud of them, it’s going to be smashing.
“I LIKE PEOPLE WHO TRY TO PUSH IT ALL THE TIME, WHO KEEP CREATIVE AND TRY TO BRING SOMETHING FRESH AND DIFFERENT AND WHO CONTRIBUTE TO BREAKING OUT THE FORMATS, BECAUSE IT UNFORTUNATELY GETS EASILY FORMATTED.” Give us some insight on that video project you presented in Paris couple years ago. Back in 2009 I started filming in a different way... It wasn’t fully clear in my head where I was trying to go, but a strong force was attracting me. In fact unconsciously it was really clear, I had the desire to come up with some footage that would be a mix of video and photography. I always loved both mediums. I think independently they are not perfect, even though with so much potential. But to explain things in an easy way, for example in a picture you don’t really get to see the speed and the style of a skateboarder for example, and in footage, particularly in skate videos, edits are very fast, shot with a fisheye to focus on the trick... so you don’t get to see so much of the environment or have time to enjoy it... So the whole idea was to get some sort of pictures in motion. The shots are very photographic and motionless (or limited), but the video shows you what you can’t see in a picture. Most of the footage was used for diverse Cliché projects, all in color, but my intentional idea was to use it in b&w. I wanted to bring something that was close to the look of my skateboard photography. I presented it in some exhibition, like in Paris where we built a suspended screen made out of 63 white skateboard decks to project the video on it. The effect was stunning and people loved it. You can now watch the video online on Redbull.com/skateboarding. I know you primarly work on video projects, but have you been doing any photography lately? I’m shooting a lot of pictures right now, but something that might surprise people is that I’m taking a little break from filming. Leica have a partnership with the Red Bull Illume Competition that I won in 2007, and I received a digital Leica M Monochrom that they lent me for three months. I get to keep it if one of the pictures I shoot with it makes it to the finals of this year’s edition. So wish me good luck! But no matter what, I’ve been shooting loads with it and the quality is really impressive. But don’t worry, I’m not gonna trash my precious Nikon FM2!!!! --Follow French_Fred on Instagram: instagram.com/french_fred
A$AP ROCKY- LOVING ERYKAH BADU, GOD AND GOOD LOOKS
WORDS BY DANIEL KRASSE PHOTO BY ANTON ÖSTLUND
Ask any woman you know about A$AP Rocky and she’ll tell you he is beautiful and discuss his good looks. And no matter what guys might think, girls don’t talk like that very often. As one of hip-hop and music’s youngest but also most prominent stars, this guy know’s what he’s doing, how to do it and who to do it with. We met up with Rocky and talked about his mob, his looks, what religion means to him, the people he hangs out with and how he is in love with Erykah Badu, for real. Enjoy the show.
DANIELLE KRASSE: A$AP Rocky, how’re you doing? I don’t know if you remember us, we met through Harry Bee at Coachella last year. A$AP ROCKY: Oh shit!! Fuck yeah, any friend of Harry’s is a friend of mine. Ever since I came into this shit Harry has made sure I’m a playboy he got me talking to all the dope Swedish girls in the world, I’m telling you. Harry’s great, he hooks everyone up. Yeah babe, he hooks me up with the Swedish girls, so I love my boy right there. Harry, who seems so calm and organized and professional. Harry’s the man. You want me to tell him anything? Fuck you Harry [laughs]. I don’t know if you’ve been told what this interview is for? It’s for WeSC, we’ve got a magazine named The Superlative Conspiracy Magazine and have talked to RZA, Skrillex, Pusha T and now you. And know you’ve come to talk to Pretty Flacko. You can ask me anything.
“I’VE HEARD IT, BUT I THOUGHT IT WAS BECAUSE I PROCLAIMED TO BE THE PRETTY MOTHER FUCKER AND PEOPLE JUST WENT WITH THAT? SELF PROCLAIMED PROPHECY.” Alright, so let’s start with the basic stuff. Don’t ask me anything boring, don’t ask me shit people already know. People know… People know everything man, so make it interesting [laughs]. Enough with the boring shit. The first thing I wrote down was that you are really beautiful. Everybody talks about that. All girls, all boys. Really? Oh man, thank you. I really appreciate that. I guess you’ve heard that before though. I’ve heard it but I thought it was because I proclaimed to be the pretty mother fucker and people just went with that? Self proclaimed prophecy. No, you’re the first guy who women actually discuss the level of pret-
tiness about. And I don’t mean that in a cheesy kind of way. Oh man, that’s amazing - I really appreciate that because I really pride myself on being handsome, you know [laughs]. I really think I’m handsome. It’s not too many guys who can make nappy hair look good like me, you know what I’m saying? I do my best, what can I say. I saw a picture of you in straightened hair though. That was years ago. I look like a girl, right? You did. Well, it really was years ago. I don’t mean to be rude but you really did look like a girl. That’s all good - I looked like a little bitch in that shit but man, I got the braids now, you feel me? So tell me, what’s it like being on tour - by yourself and with Rihanna? That shit is fun, I love touring. I just you know, I like for my touring to be comfortable: being in comfortable buses, comfortable venues, that’s the only thing that keeps me satisfied. But for the most part - I’ve been on tour for about a year straight, knocking places down and any where we go, people say “those guys did an amazing job”. When was the first year that you could start working with music full-time? 2009 or 2010, something like that. And before that what were you up to? I was just selling weed and trying to pay for studio time and shit, me and Yams. So the whole crew the ASAP Mob has been hanging out for a long time? Yeah, for a long time - since before the fame. Has there been any additions to the crew since then or is it still the same group of people? Yeah it’s been small additions but nothing too crazy, nothing worth talking about. You still have Harry Bee. Haha, yeah - you feel me [laughs]. We mobbing out here. What’s the plan this summer? I’m hitting Australia, I’m going to festivals in Europe: Wireless, Splash, Leeds and some more. Then France, UK and all that. Like next week I’m
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going to Australia and stuff, doing like a mini Australia tour so I’m excited about that! When we met you at Coachella in 2012, hanging out with you and the mob before the gig in your trailer and before you went on stage, you all gathered around in a circle and prayed. Do you always do that and is it important to you to pray? Yeah of course, we have to! You’re supposed to pray! You don’t pray? No I don’t - and you just made me feel a bit guilty for not doing it. You shouldn’t and I’m not trying to guilt you. It’s different strokes for different folks. For me, I’ve got a relationship with God. God got me there to where I’m at so I’m blessed - I like to thank him and ask him for you know, help on stage and stuff like that. So you actively believe in God? Yeah but I’m not really religious - I’m a Christian but I’m not strong on religion because I’m busy and I don’t have time to be in church like I need to. I’ve got my own relationship with God, how I feel. I talk to him on my own.
“CAN YOU PLEASE MAKE IT KNOWN THAT I’M IN LOVE WITH ERYKAH BADU, AND I’M SERIOUS ABOUT THAT.” That’s good, I suppose you have to find your own way how to handle things. I feel like I should start doing something now. You should! Not to be religious - just to bridge a gap with God, talk to him! How do you get what you want in life, without working hard for it? That’s a good question - I work for it but then I also write it down, what I want in the next 1, 10 and 50 years, which a friend taught me to do. I write it, lock the papers in and always have it in mind. If that works for you then continue to do it. Praying to God works for me. Okay. Here’s what we’re going to do now. I mention some names and you tell me what they are or mean to you: Swizz Beats Big brother. Drake Brozay! Florence Welch Cool chick. Danny Brown My nigggggaaaaa... [PR people start gesturing we’re running out of time.] We thought we’d have a lot more time. Fuck ‘em this is good, let’s keep talking. If you could pick a couple of people to work with, who’d it be? It doesn’t have to be music, feel free to say whomever. Andre3000. I want to work with Mano, I fucks with him. I want to work on film with Leonardo DiCaprio but that seems like some weird shit request but it’s possible, anything is possible! I was on the cover of Vogue which just shows that anything is possible, that was too jiggy you know? And then who else. I want to work with Jay-Z, but I want to work with him in a
more entrepreneurial type way - like I want to do things that are good for me financially, for my future you know what I’m saying? It doesn’t have to necessarily be music. I want to work with Missy Elliott. Yes, what’s she up to now? We miss her. She rich as fuck somewhere right now, just chilling, bagging bitches. You know she loves to hustle big booty bitches. What about Erykah Badu, would that be something? I have a feeling you’d be a sick duo. Alright, look... Everybody loves Erykah Badu. I do love her but I don’t think I could focus. Because, seriously, I have a deep deep deep deep passion and crush for Erykah Badu. I respect her as a woman and I know her and I got the privilege of meeting her and I fell in love with her. I’m being for real now, I’m being honest. I think it’s dangerous for me to be around her because something might happen. I’m in love with Erykah Badu and if I didn’t have a girlfriend I’d definitely pursue Erykah Badu. I can’t blame you for it, she’s amazing. And she has gold teeth, she wears high end designers; the day that I met her she had a Lanvin hat and Comme des Garcons pants on, but they didn’t have any monograms on so you couldn’t tell what brand it was. I love that. I don’t like for people to know what you wear you know? Unless it’s street wear. But it was her presence, man. She had a weird haircut, that turns me on. She has a fat ass, that turns me on. Her music, her voice is sexy - uuurgh, [makes frustrated sound] it’s like that. You know what, I’m becoming a weirdo right now. You’re not, you’re just getting passionate about Erykah Badu. Can you please make it known that I’m in love with Erykah Badu and I’m serious about that. Even though she look at me like a little brother I have a crush on her. She can get it. For real. I think that might be the last question for me to ask because you just gave me the best answer, it’s the best love talk I’ve heard in a while. Straight up! She can get it and I ain’t playing. Is there any guys out there actors, athletes, musicians, anything - that you ever felt that way about? Maybe not as passionately as you - as for me, unless I’ve met them, they’re someone on the radio, screen or whatever. A bit untouchable. That’s true though. I got to meet her though so that’s what made me all like this. Before I met her she was a fantasy but when I met her - she thought I was handsome also, I think, I think all girls think I’m handsome [laughs] - I just want to let her know I’m in love with her. And I don’t think my girlfriend would mind. It’s two bad bitches in this world besides my girl: one is Erykah Badu, and the other one... I can’t tell you that. Just a hint? She’s also a pretty motherfucker and she’s a bad girl, so… Swag. Bad girls, bad bitches you know how it goes. Alright I’m saying too much, I’m outta here. And with that we left A$AP Rocky - happy and impressed with his openness, good mood, good look but most of all his talent. Catch him on one of his tours, go to his shows, look him up online, because it’s most definitely worth it. God bless him. asapmob.com
THE YEAR OF THE ILLUMINATI
WORDS BY SEAN BLACK PHOTO BY RICKY POWELL
Originating in Amsterdam and currently located in NYC, Illuminati AMS is an eclectic commune of DJs and Producers on the come-up in the electronic music scene. Their suggestive sound and style create a provocative listening experience that will keep you looping their SoundCloud for hours. You might even end up on their youtube channel where their music videos range from weird-as-shit to borderline pornography. No matter how you digest the Illuminati AMS, the experience will make you want to party and fuck. The 4-member clique emerged on the scene with three new tracks in 2012; elevating them to a level of high acclaim within the industry. Momentum behind the group continues to mount and it looks like 2013 just might end up being the year of the Illuminati. Naturally, we couldn’t allow this organization to rise to power without first asking them a few questions. After all… We are the Superlative Conspiracy.
SEAN: Who are the Illuminati AMS? ILLUMINATI AMS: Nianga Niang, Naleye junior, Demikey and Jaziah. Where does the name Illuminati AMS come from and more specifically, what does the “AMS” imply? Illuminati is Latin for “the enlightened ones” and AMS is short for Amsterdam, where it all started.
What kind of impact did moving to New York City have on your musical careers? First off, New York is a great and inspirational city. A lot of creativity comes together here. Amsterdam was a beautiful place to start but New York takes us to the next level. Lots of the culture that has influenced us either started or developed in New York. All of us have travelled a lot but somehow we feel very inspired every time we come here.
How long were you all working together before you moved to NYC? We’ve known each other for a very long time but we started to combine our creative talents a few years ago.
Who would you cite as your largest musical influences? We have always collected records so it could be the ensemble of everything we’ve ever heard or it could just be a specific B-side. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what creates influence. Some of the artists that still influence us are: Andre 3k, Prince, Bad Brains, Fela Kuti, Schooly D, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin… to name a few.
“LOTS OF THE CULTURE THAT HAS INFLUENCED US STARTED OR DEVELOPED IN NEW YORK. ALL OF US HAVE TRAVELLED A LOT BUT SOMEHOW WE FEEL VERY INSPIRED EVERY TIME WE COME HERE.” What is it that each of you individually brings to the partnership that is the Illuminati AMS? We are a team, so we only operate as a team. That’s our strength. When did you realize that you wanted a career in producing music? We never really decided we wanted a career in producing music but when we realized that it was an option, it seemed like the natural route. It’s great to actually get paid to do something that we love. It was a logical step since we have always been busy with music in one way or another. How would you describe the type of music you’re producing? Obviously we are making electronic music but we take inspiration from many genres, which we combine to create our own unique sound. We just try to make ‘good’ music or at least the kind we would like to play. Sometimes, it seems like the music we create is out of necessity… we just need to create it. Since we all come from different backgrounds, we take inspiration from many genres that we combine to create our own unique sound. What is your most memorable performance? The first time we played “Amsterdam Dance Event”. All our friends came out so the pressure was on. It turned out to be a great performance and an epic night!
Ricky Powell is known for photographing some of the most prolific musicians of the past decade. Throughout his career, he has shot with the likes of Run DMC, Eazy-E, and Steven Tyler. How was your experience shooting with Powell and what did that experience mean for you? It was quite a day! The weather was beautiful and we worked really fast with him. Ricky knows all secret spots in the city. Also, heard the dude’s camera died 5 minutes into the shoot? He was really bummed about it actually, but it all turned out well. Pros know how to deal with problems like that. To wrap things up, what is it inspires you to create music? It’s some sort of drive and addiction, which is a blessing and a curse at the same time. We get cold turkey style withdrawals if we stay away from the studio for more then a few days. It’s the need to express... --illuminatiams.com
NALEYE: CONWAY MEN’S 5-POCKET SHORTS, STELLO L/S SHIRT NIANGA: STEVE MEN’S S/S POLO SHIRT, ISELIN LADIES’ SHORTS
COLLECTED INTELLIGENCE: LILLA NAMO
WORDS BY DANIELLE KRASSE PHOTOS BY SAGA BERLIN
Sometimes you encounter people who are naturally confident; strong. Not in a humble brag kind of way but people who know what the hell they’re doing and are doing it with a humble spirit and attitude without compromising on their creativity, skills or opinions. It’s nothing but liberating when you meet someone like this. Lilla Namo is that person. Her name says she’s small but as far as we’ve seen she’s one of the bigger people we’ve met so far. Musician and artist Lilla Namo entered the scene big time about a year ago and her music was a fresh addition to the scene. The lyrics, beats and tracks, in Swedish, are smart, cocky, sometimes touch on politics and current sociopolitical situations, as well as communicate a lot about strength and identity. We got to sit down with Namo Marouf and talk to her about her music, politics, the upcoming EP, about being creative in all aspects of what she does - and that feeling when you know it’s all going to work out.
DANIELLE KRASSE: You released a single named Tuggare Utan Gränser this summer. LILLA NAMO: Tuggare Utan Gränser is a pretty political track - and it’s part of the EP I’m releasing now after the summer - I was meant to finalize it this week [June] but I’m waiting for a verse from Timbuktu and he got sick, but apart from that it’s done. That’s what’s happening now! And I’m shooting a video myself - I like doing everything myself, if I have the time for it. That’s great! Yeah, I like doing things myself - having control over everything. I’m not a control freak but.. When people want to help me I sometimes have to take things back when I feel other people are doing too much on it, I need to do it myself instead.
“BOTH ME AND MY SISTER ARE RAISED TO BE PEOPLE. IT’S NOT LIKE OUR PARENTS RAISED US A SPECIFIC WAY BECAUSE WE’RE WOMEN. IT’S ALWAYS OTHER PEOPLE THAT POINT IT OUT AND HIGHLIGHT IT, AND TRY TO GET YOU TO PAY ATTENTION TO IT.” How involved have you been in everything that has been released the videos, singles and all that? Everything, basically. I always need to have the last word on all the projects I do and the ideas as well, the original creative work. The first video a couple of friends shot - we talked about the concept and idea together and then they shot it, so that really was the definition of a low budget production. The second video was also that a guy that I know - and it turned out great but I always feel like things can get better though. When it gets near the end of the process and project I just sometimes have to let go, I just want it to be released. Sometimes you have to stop going over every little detail and release it. It’s impossible not to. I have definitely learnt how to let go a little bit, to release things. Otherwise things’ll never get done. But I just finished the cover artwork for the EP and single! Yes, you draw a lot too right? I do when I have time for it!
Alright, so back to Tuggare Utan Gränser. What is it about? Oh shit, that track is about so many different things. I wrote it a couple of years ago - at least the first verse. The whole EP has ended up about being about identity. It’s about being considered to be one way just because you are from a place, and then you start acting accordingly - even though you’re not that person in the first place. What I want to communicate with the song - one line goes “representing all area codes, you don’t know the difference between them” - meaning that people in suburbs or areas have certain specific cultures and there’s a feeling of ‘us’ as well as rivalry: it’s so complex, yet everyone externally simplifies and gentrifies it all as “the suburbs” even though they’re all different, and that’s very negative. You never talk about suburbs geographically and this is something that has become a political problem, a political reference and not accurate descriptions. You don’t shy away from being political? The thing is - I’m not afraid of being political but if you listen to the tracks and music it’s not like I’m dissing anyone. And if you get asked about it, the songs should be enough for people to understand and comprehend. But that’s one thing though: when in interviews for example I’m asked to explain slang - like I made the word up or I’m the ambassador for it. It’s difficult if one person is quoted as the source for a slang or term that comes from somewhere else. Exactly. And then it’s always the thing where “how does it feel to be a women amongst all these men” gets asked, as hip-hop is considered to be a male dominated industry? And every time I’m just wondering how I suddenly became a representative or ambassador for that - I just happen to be a woman. The whole society is male dominated, not just hip-hop, and it’s such a difficult question. If I would have had a good answer to it I would’ve solved the problem, right? That’s funny. I wrote down a note before this interview which says “this isn’t going to be an interview about what it’s like being a woman in an industry dominated by men, that doesn’t matter as we’re all people and we’re all alike”. Because every article about successful women has this as a focus point. That’s the thing - I’ve never even considered or had to pay attention to that fact. Both me and my sister are raised to be people. It’s not like our parents raised us a specific way because we’re women. It’s always other people that point it out and highlight it and try to get you to pay attention to it. It’s everyone around you that points out to you that you’re a woman and try to single you out for it, positive or negative. Exactly. A week ago I got request to DJ for something with the motiva-
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tion “we’re looking for cool women” [laughs]. And forget to mention that they’re looking for talent. So, the thing about your EP being about identity. Tell me. Well, it’s about different kinds of identity, not just my own but how to create identity. I have another track, with Jaqe, which is about self proclaimed prophecies: when media writes about you and label you, they pigeonhole you, and then they tell you you are someone and then blame you for that. It’s a big negative circle.
“IT’S JUST A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO THAT I BECAME STRUCTURED - I HAD SO MANY HOBBIES AND HAD A HARD TIME FOCUSING AND FINISHING THINGS UP. I WAS DRAWING, MAKING MUSIC, PLAYING THE PIANO - AND PEOPLE DIDN’T UNDERSTAND THAT WHOLE THING. I HAD TOO MANY LOOSE ENDS AND COULDN’T FINISH ANYTHING. BUT THEN I STARTED TO UNDERSTAND THAT I HAD TO FOCUS ON ONE THING, AND THE MUSIC BECAME THAT THING.” All your tracks and verses are very strong, or strengthening if you want to put it that way, and you don’t talk either feminine or masculine about things but it’s more a vibe and feeling about ‘being’ which is dope. Like Pyromantiker with Looptroop Rockers, as an example. I sometimes understand afterwards how much lyrics mean. I write pretty quickly even though the thought process behind it is long. When Promoe [of Looptroop Rockers] asked me about being on that track it was crazy: he explained the idea with it to me and how it was a song about thinking about the future - how to think or resonate - and I was just in that mindset at the time. I’ve read a lot of books about that lately: how kids without an idea of what their future is lack a consequence way of thinking, they don’t care what happens. And why you don’t care about your future - it’s such an interesting topic. It’s a lot about education and having a teacher or role model that believes in you - you’ll then achieve better results, which there are countless studies that shows. Even if teachers don’t tell their students, they know and they feel it. It’s never the kids faults, it’s about that vibe and enthusiasm that helps kids decide on their future and change their mindsets, even in their current behavior. Alright, how about this question: explain your way of thinking about life? Your lyrics and your persona seems to communicate how you think about life and it’s a way that’s inspiring, how cheesy it might sound. I always have bright prospects and thoughts about life. Last time I was all teenage depressed I was around fourteen, I really was a teen. It’s not like I never get sad or upset, but I get excited when I think about now and the future. You need to be excited about your own prospects. And - I’m not sure exactly how to explain this - but I have this feeling that everything will work out, things will be fine, even if shitty things happen.
That you feel comfortable being you? That’s it. Everything will work out in the end and that’s the feeling I have. I’ve learnt from my parents that no matter what you decide to do you’ll get good at it and do it well in the end, it’s just about working towards that thing. If it feels good it’ll be good. And even if you fail it’s positive because then you tried and that’s worth a lot. A lot of people are afraid of failing, of standing out and being outside of the norm - especially within Swedish hip-hop. There is a norm for what’ll be successful. But I’ve realized that I don’t have to let anything stand in my way. I feel safe being me. It definitely seems like you are - and all seems like you’ve managed to create a setup where you actually get to do everything you like but focused around one thing: your music. It’s just a couple of years ago that I became structured - I had so many hobbies and had a hard time focusing and finishing things up. I was drawing, making music, playing the piano - and people didn’t understand that whole thing. I had too many loose ends and couldn’t finish anything. But then I started to understand that I had to focus on one thing, and the music became that thing. That’s perfect though, as with the music you can do everything although have the music as the core and focal point for it: make the music, design the artwork for it, make the videos, perform. You’re now doing everything you want to do - but for one thing. That’s true, I’ve never thought of it that way. I like that: I do everything I want to do, but I do everything for one thing. --twitter.com/lillanamo facebook.com/lillanamo instagram.com/lillanamo
WORDS BY CHRIS CAPUOZZO PHOTOS BY CHRIS MOSIER [OPENING SPREAD] & RONALD AMSTUTZ [ART]
What’s Todd James’ take on America here in mid 2013---any different than 2001? It’s more like a Philip K Dick novel come to life every day. All the hope of the new millenium and the new internet is beginning to get a bit dark. What are the final steps that happen just before a Todd James painting is considered finished? I’m not sure, sometimes it’s as simple as including a well placed cat’s asshole. How many sketchbooks do you keep at a given moment? How important are your sketchbooks? I usually have 3 going. They are great and a super imortant thing for me. You can have a tiny thing that gets jotted down become something that gets developed further into a painting or whatever. In a lot of the “Blood and Treasure” paintings I like how gorgeous women are intertwined into the machinery of war and finance… cavorting around these murderous machines bathed in blood… those elements in paintings seemed like a perfect equation to show us aspects of the human history… how do those pictures hold up in your mind in terms of depicting “Blood and Treasure”… would you add anything to them at this point in time? Those women are sort of cheerleaders of the apocalypse, a cartoon version of the industrial military complex combined with US magazine, a black ops pop explosion. I kind of want to make some new ones soon. Showing us different “modes” of “self-entitlement” always seems to be on your mind… we see you showing us personal versions of self entitlement – as well as institutionalized versions… how vital is self entitlement to one’s own place in the world? Fairness is tough but I think most people can feel it when they are crossing the line into unfair territory or taking advantage. There’s a difference between self preservation and greed. For a young artist, what does the experience of representing oneself as giant word mean? It was a great way to reinvent yourself and create a whole visual identity based on images that you draw and put out there.
TODD JAMES PAINTING THE WINDOW OF THE STANDARD HOTEL RIGHT BEFORE THE LAUNCH OF HIS LATEST BOOK ‘YIELD TO TEMPTATION’
EARL GREY ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 48 X 72 INCHES 2012
BEACH BLANKET BINGO ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 6 X 7 FEET 2012
WELCOME TO FANTASY ISLAND ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 48 X 36 INCHES 2012
THE BEAST MASTER ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 48 X 36 INCHES 2012
DETAIL OF CHAOS GOUACHE AND GRAPHITE ON PAPER 52 X 70 INCHES 2008
MOMMY I WANT TO BE GOOD NOW GOUACHE AND GRAPHITE ON PAPER 52 X 70 INCHES 2008
FRESH MILK GOUACHE AND GRAPHITE ON PAPER 52 X 70 INCHES 2009
WEIRD WOODS WeSC IS A SWEDISH BRAND AND OUR COUNTRY IS JAM PACKED WITH WOODS, WEIRD ONES. WOODS WHERE STRANGE THINGS HAPPEN, WHERE NOTHING REALLY IS WHAT IT SEEMS TO BE AND WHERE YOU CAN GET LOST AND NEVER COME BACK IF THAT’S YOUR CUP OF TEA OR IDEA OF A GOOD TIME. WE LIKE OUR WOODS STRANGE AND WE LIKE THEM DARK - AND WE LIKE THE IDEA OF NOT KNOWING EVERYTHING THAT SURROUNDS US - LIVING LIFE AS IF NO ONE IS WATCHING.
PHOTOS BY ANTON RENBORG
EMMANUELLE WOOL COAT, SUPERBLAST 3RD EYE VISION KNITTED SKI MASK, MANDY 5-POCKET JEAN, BANJAR GOLDEN HEADPHONE, EDMOND UNISEX LOWTOP
NOI LADIES TOP, HENNY LONG SKIRT. [OPPOSITE] MOOSE HAVANA-UNISEX WESC SUNGLASSES BY SUPER, FLORA L/S SHIRT.
BABY MAKER LEATHER WOOL JACKET, ABDON L/S SHIRT REGULAR FIT
BABY MAKER CAPE - LEATHER WOOL CAPE, CHRISETTE L/S HENLEY TOP, MANDY 5-POCKET JEAN, BO BROGUE UNISEX LOW TOP [OPPOSITE] CORDIANO SUIT JACKET, NITER L/S SHIRT REGULAR FIT, EDDY 5-POCKET CORDUROY PANTS
SIXTINA PADDED JACKET, SAUNA SHORT SKIRT, AMERIE SINGLET, LAWRENCE UNISEX MID TOP
[ FOR MORE GO TO
[OPPOSITE] RUNAR UNISEX LOW TOP, EIIKE WOOL PEA COAT, CALLE L/S KNITTED SWEATER, EDDY 5-POCKET DENIM] WeSC.COM OR DOWNLOAD OUR APP
EMMANUELLE WOOL COAT, MANDY RAW CLEAN LADIES’ 5-POCKET JEAN, PISTON HEADPHONE WESC SCRIPT LOGO LADIES’ S/S T-SHIRT [OPPOSITE] THYRA LADIES’ JACKET, CANDICE LADIES’ TANK TOP, MANDY HF BLACK LADIES’ 5-POCKET JEAN, CLOPTON LOW TOP SHOE
[ FOR MORE GO TO WeSC.COM OR DOWNLOAD OUR APP ]
ROOF ON FIRE THERE’S NO BETTER PLACE TO BE THAN ON ROOFTOPS - ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU’VE GOT COMPANY. IF IT GETS HOT, ENJOY THE HEAT, AND LET IT BURN.
PHOTOS BY FREDRIK ETOALL
HER: YOPPEHINE SHORT JACKET, MANDY 5-POCKET JEAN HF BLACK HIM: EDDY 5-POCKET JEAN BLUE OVERDYED
HER: MANDY 5-POCKET JEAN HF BLACK HIM: ALESSANDRO 5-POCKET JEAN HF RINSE
HER: YOPPEHINE SHORT JACKET, MANDY 5-POCKET JEAN HF BLACK HIM: EDDY 5-POCKET JEAN RAW, CLIVE MID TOP
YOPPEHINE SHORT JACKET, MANDY 5-POCKET JEAN HF BLACK
HIM: ERIC COMFORT FIT DENIM SHIRT 1930’S BLACK, BOB 5-POCKET JEAN HF BLACK, ETNIKO POCKET S/S T-SHIRT, LAMONTE MID TOP HER: MANDY 5-POCKET JEAN HF RINSE, LOUI L/S SHIRT
[ FOR MORE GO TO WeSC.COM OR DOWNLOAD OUR APP ]
HAPPY CAMPER PEOPLE LIKE TO BE A PART OF SOMETHING, TO FEEL A SENSE OF BELONGING AND TO BE INCLUDED IN A CONTEXT. WITH REFERENCE TO THAT, WeSC AND HAPPY SOCKS INVITE YOU TO THE LEAGUE OF HAPPY CAMPERS. IT IS WHAT IT READS. THE LEADER OF THE PACK IS NONE OTHER THAN PETER STORMARE - WeACTIVIST, ACTOR, MUSICIAN, WRITER AND MORE THAN ANYTHING: A HAPPY CAMPER. IT’S A LEAGUE WHERE EVERYTHING IS ALLOWED, AND WE COLLECTIVELY REMAIN UNTRAINABLE AND IN EXCELLENT SPIRITS. IT’S A LEAGUE YOU WANT TO BE A PART OF SO TAKE A MOMENT AND JOIN IT NOW. NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED AND NO SPECIAL SKILLS NEEDED - JUST COME AS YOU ARE AND REFUSE TO ADAPT AND YOU’LL FIT RIGHT IN.
THE FOLLOWING PAGES PRESENTS PETER STORMARE IN THE HAPPY SOCKS X WeSC COLLABORATION, A SPECIAL FOR FALL 2013. READ MORE ABOUT THE HAPPY SOCKS X WeSC COLLABORATION IN THE RELEASE SECTION ON PAGE 126.
PHOTOS BY FREDRIK ETOALL
[OPENING SPREAD] HAPPY SOCKS SWEATER HAPPY SOCKS SWEATER, HAPPY SOCKS NECKERCHIEF
HAPPY SOCKS JACKET, HAPPY SOCKS T-SHIRT
WESC ZIP HOODED SWEATSHIRT, MOOSE HAVANAUNISEX WESC SUNGLASSES BY SUPER, CHAMBERS BY RZA STREET HEADPHONES SUPER, OVERLAY MEN’S S/S T-SHIRT, ALESSANDRO DENIM. [OPPOSITE] CAITLIN SLEEVELESS DRESS
SUPERBLAST SUPERBLAST IS AN ARTIST, FRIEND AND CREATIVE. APART FROM HIS RECENT U.S. TOUR NAMED ‘SPEAKING THROUGH THE WALLS’ - INCLUDING STOPS IN LA AND NEW YORK - SUPERBLAST HAS ALSO CREATED A SPECIAL CAPSULE COLLECTION AND COLLABORATION WITH WeSC FOR THE FALL. HIS STYLE IS CLEARLY RECOGNIZABLE, AS WELL AS HIS SIGNATURE COLOR WHICH IS VISIBLE THROUGHOUT THE STREETS AND NOW ALSO THE WEARABLE PIECES. READ MORE ABOUT/FROM SUPERBLAST ON WeSC.COM AND/OR KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN ON THE STREETS AND SEE IF YOU CAN SPOT HIS WORKS.
PHOTOS BY SCORE
[OPENING SPREAD] SUPERBLAST FUTURE / MEMORY II ZIP HOODED SWEATSHIRT SUPERBLAST UNIVERSAL LAW S/S T-SHIRT
ART OF NOISE SOUND SOUNDS GOOD BUT SOUND CAN LOOK GOOD TOO. COMING FROM A WORLD WHERE ALL CREATIVE PARTS BLEND - CULTURE, ARTS, MUSIC, WRITING, SKATING AND MORE - WE THOUGHT IT’D MAKE SENSE TO MAKE CAPS THAT WERE SPEAKERS, OR SPEAKERS THAT ARE CAPS. WE’RE HAPPY TO INTRODUCE TO YOU THE WESC CAP SPEAKERS SMALL CAP AND BIG CAP - THAT ARE TO BE RELEASED WORLDWIDE IN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013.
PHOTOS BY VISUAL COOKS CAPS PROVIDED BY SLOTH
MORE INFORMATION TO BE RELEASED ON WESC.COM
EVERY B STREET THE ART OF STREET PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOS & WORDS BY CHERYL DUNN
I have just completed a documentary about the art of street photography and the masters that have created our collective visual history. Bruce Davidson said to me, “A street can be like a nerve ending. It’s not the street, it’s the life on the street or where the street takes you that’s important.” These streets have taken me far and wide, into untold worlds with a multitude of adventures. The streets can lead you to a very inside place, they can expose a culture, or a closed society. The streets of NY are like no other, they are classless, we all walk together on them. I have studied these streets for years. I have studied the characters that navigate them, leaving their marks or cruising elegantly on the surface. I have documented people who go there to communicate their political beliefs, to fight or to love, to laugh and to cry. It is all fascinating and the resulting pictures are all street photography. If you are open to chance, if you believe the world will present itself to you, if you really look, you will find it. The streets belong to everybody.
STREET LEVEL ‘RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME’ IS EASY WHEN YOU LIVE IN NEW YORK CITY PHOTOS & WORDS BY SUE KWON
[OPENING SPREAD] NOONIE, CIRCA 1991. NOONIE SITTING SHARP AND PRETTY IN POOKY’S APARTMENT. [THIS PAGE] 59 BAYARD STREET, CHINESE NEW YEAR, 1991. FIRECRACKERS WERE BANNED AROUND 1997 SO, NOW THE NEW YEAR’S REVELER GETS TO ENJOY THE RECORDED SOUNDS OF FIREWORKS INSTEAD.
BAYARD & BOWERY, CHINESE NEW YEAR, 1992. UNSUPERVISED KIDS LIGHTING FIRECRACKERS. YES, THEY HAD MATCHES...
CHRISTOPHER WALKEN, CIRCA 1991. I ANSWERED THE PHONE AND THE VOICE SAID, “WOULD YOU POSSIBLY BE INTERESTED IN SHOOTING CHRISTOPHER WALKEN?”
JAY Z, 1997 JAY Z, THANK YOU FOR NEVER ARRIVING LATE FOR A PHOTO SHOOT. [LAST SPREAD] ORCHARD BEACH, 1990 THIS WAS SHOT IN “SECTION 5” AT ORCHARD BEACH; WHITE PUMPS AND REPTILES OPTIONAL.
KNOTAN I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW MY BRA SIZE UNTIL I MADE A MOVIE. ~ ANGELINA JOLIE.
BRIAN MERRIAM THIS WAS TAKEN ON RTE 50 IN NEVADA, “THE LONLIEST ROAD IN AMERICA.” MY GIRLFRIEND AND I WERE ON ROAD TRIP, AND FIGURED WE’D PULL OVER AND SEE IF THE ROAD LIVES UP TO ITS SUPERLATIVE. IT MOST CERTAINLY DOES.
KATHY LO TO CUSTOMS (TURKS & CAICOS), 2012
PORTS BISHOP BETWEEN TAKES ON HIS “GO GO WINE” VIDEO SHOOT, I GOT FIVE MINUTES WITH VYBZ KARTEL TO SHOOT THIS COVER FOR ALBUM KINGSTON STORY ON MIXPAK RECORDS. WE’RE IN THE BACK OF THE “COWBOY RANCH,” A BROTHEL-CUM-RESTAURANT-CUM-AUTO REPAIR SHOP IN KINGSTON, JAMAICA.
ELIJAH BRUMFIELD CLEAN OLD DIRTY - LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK - 1995 ON THE VIDEO SET... THE WU- TANG CLAN HATED DOWN TIME... ESPECIALLY O.D.B! TO CALM HIS ASS DOWN, I USE TO SET UP MINI GHETTO PHOTO SHOOTS WITH HIM TO PASS TIME. HE LOVED THE CAMERA... WORKED EVERY TIME.
TONY ARCABASCIO THE SPIRE OF THE NEW TOWER WAS JUST DROPPED INTO PLACE. 1 WORLD TRADE CENTER IS BACK IN EFFECT. FUCK ANYONE THAT THINKS THEY CAN FUCK WITH NEW YORK CITY. [SHOT TAKEN FROM THE BROOKLYN SIDE]
ALEXANDER RICHTER VIVIENNE. 2012
IAN STRANGE AVON, OH - MARCH 2013. THIS WAS A GREAT DAY AND THESE ARE SOME OF MY FAVORITE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD. WE HAD JUST WRAPPED ‘SUBURBAN’, A NEW BODY OF WORK AND SHORT FILM WHICH TOOK OVER 2 YEARS TO MAKE... WE’D ALSO JUST BURNT THAT HOUSE TO THE GROUND.
ERIK OHLSSON MATHIAS FÄRM, THE OTHER GUITAR PLAYER IN MY BAND MILLENCOLIN, IS ALSO A SERIOUS SUPER STOCK RACER. APART FROM BEING ON TOUR, HE LOVES TO HANG OUT IN HIS GARAGE WITH HIS RACE CARS IN ÖREBRO, SWEDEN.
PAUL LABONTÉ PICTURE OF A PICTURE I TOOK IN CALIFORNIA. IT WAS RIGHT AROUND THE TIME DRAKE RELEASED HIS FIRST ALBUM. HE’S FROM TORONTO BUT I FEEL LIKE I HAD A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE RECORD BECAUSE OF CALIFORNIA AND MY TIME THERE.
EVOLUTION, A COLLECTORS NIGHTMARE PHOTO BY KNOTAN
m a collector. Always been. Throughout my life I’ve gone through successful and unsuccessful stints of collecting. Collecting to be cool in the eyes of others. Collecting in secrecy. I even collected stuff in junior high to hang with girls. They collected bookmarks, so I did. They collected erasers, so I did. I even collected special stickers, which unleashed a special fragrance when you scratched them (scratch ‘n sniff). I didn’t have any clue to what you would use all these things for, or why, for example, anybody would need so many bookmarks, but man, did it work. Sadly everything fell apart when the word about my brilliant plan began to spread and my friends started to do the same, which pretty much sent me back to square one again with the girls. Looking back, the first thing I remember treasuring as my Holy Grail was a vinyl record featuring the Swedish children’s program ‘Trazan & Banarne.’ I started begging my parents for more, and soon my collection began. It came to a tragic end though when I decided to use them as skis around the house. I don’t remember mourning them at all afterwards, but what I do recall is the yell-down I got from my parents, since I apparently hadn’t just skied on my own records... there where some Beatles and Stones records in there too. Shortly after, I discovered the wonderful world of stickers (without fragrance this time). I went door to door and store to store asking for them. Once they started to pile up I remember thinking, what’s the point of collecting all these stickers if I can’t use them for something? Soon I had covered the door to my room, my bike and the entire backside of our car. It didn’t matter how much I tried to explain the concept of bumper stickers to my dad, I got yelled at all the same. Looking at the front
“CONSIDERING WHAT I DO FOR A LIVING I SHOULDN’T BASH THE INTERNET TOO MUCH, BUT IT SURE HAS CHANGED THE LAWS OF LIMITATION AND THE AVAILABILITY OF MOST PRODUCTS OUT THERE...”
door of my office today, this is a habit I’ve had a hard time kicking. I need to find purpose to why I’m doing stuff. This has always been a hang-up of mine and that’s probably why I failed miserably at school. During my three years in college I couldn’t come up with one area where I could put what I learned to good use. So, I nurtured my love for music instead. Not that I could play any instruments or anything, I just loved listening to it. Every penny I had went to local record stores. And I was all over the place. If there were a genre I didn’t like or understand, I just bought more of that. I spent over six months trying to learn to appreciate Jazz. And what I learned was that Jazz is exactly like coffee. Disgusting the first time you try it, but after a while it really grows on you. Today I can’t get enough of it, coffee that is. Through my music collecting, Hip-Hop culture became another obsession. I just loved the history of it and how people managed to make something out of nothing. But at this time my music collecting had gotten an adversary; my interest in movies. The DVD had entered the market and my early efforts to create a movie library connecting two VHS players - copying everything I could get my hands on - were over. All the hard work of finding, buying and often copying these VHS tapes, were now for nothing. Believe me, I tried to stick with it, but watching a copy made from a copy made from a copy of Bad Taste wasn’t the same anymore. Now you could not only buy any given film and watch it in high definition, you could get the behind the scenes footage to go with it as well. I was amazed. And the movie industry went nuts on all the re-releases. From the 9th version of the editor’s cut of Blade Runner, to an added behind-the-scenes interview with a guy that knew a guy that was related to a guy that visited the set of Casablanca.
I started to collect what was to become the ultimate movie library. I wanted to learn everything there was to know about movies. I tried just collecting the essentials, films that in my mind had a vital influence on movie history. But the more I collected, the more I discovered... and the essentials grew from Citizen Kane and Metropolis, to murky Czechoslovakian cinematography. By early 2008, when streaming and media centers made their entrance and pretty much rendered all digital discs useless, I found myself with over 1,000 obscure DVD’s I never ever wanted to watch again. Everything blew up in my face. I had thousands of CD’s and DVD’s that you could now all fit on a 3 x 3 inch hard drive. These discs were suddenly just a waste of space. It was a collector’s nightmare. It’s the nature of collectors to put time and effort into something that will take years to complete. Pride springs from the knowledge that you’ve got your hands on something personal and special. Now you could easily create any collection with just a push of a button. It took all the fun out of collecting. Considering what I do for a living I shouldn’t bash the Internet too much, but it sure has changed the laws of limitation and the availability of most products out there, making everything sought-after quickly become mainstream instead of keeping them Holy Grails for the hardcore fans to find. Today, I’ve discovered my passion for skiing isn’t nearly as big as my passion for vinyl. It’s a fantastic piece of engraved history far away from the ones and zeros of “copy-paste”. I’ve started a journey down the backbone of HipHop... Soul. It’s exciting to start something new, and for the first time in years I’ve found joy and value in something real again. With the hope that evolution will keep its dirty hands away. At least for a little while longer.
STORAGE... WHERE ALL GOOD STUFF GOES TO DIE
HOME - FREE PHOTO BY CHRISTINA KARR
hese are my songs.
I have been writing poetry since I was eight, which is also when I started to read music while studying the flute. I really began to make my own music when I ended my relationship of seven years in February 2012. We broke up, and a month later formed a band together called The Natural Blush. Fucked up, I know. But grand nonetheless. Throughout the lyrics you can trace a narrative - a girl who has experienced a sea change of sorts. If you pay attention to the various addresses, you’ll notice it was a wild year, shelter wise - I moved seven times in nine months. I also went from a poet writing cuckoo fragments expressing a desire to be free from her old lover and traditional relationships, to becoming a simple song writer expressing a desire to make babies and a home with her new lover.
DATE: FEBRUARY 2012 ADDRESS: 504 CLINTON AVE // BROOKLYN TITLE: BLAME ROLAND I. SHE SANG TO HER LOVER OF EIGHTY MONTHS ON A NEW YEAR’S CORNER II. CLINTON AVENUE & FULTON TAKE THE C TRAIN, YEP THE BLUE ONE ASK : HOW WOULD THIS BE DIFFERENT IF THE WINTER HAD COME? III. FOR WHAT IS NOW NEUTRAL WHAT OTHER CALLS DEAD IN MY BED WHAT OTHERS CALL SICK IN MY HEAD WHAT ANOTHER ONCE WHISPERED UNDER BLUE LIGHT IN BED :
“WE BROKE UP, AND A MONTH LATER FORMED A BAND TOGETHER CALLED THE NATURAL BLUSH. FUCKED UP, I KNOW. BUT GRAND NONETHELESS.”
IV. SILENCE IS TERRORISM AFFECT IS FLUXED OCEANIC / HEAT / HAIKU / REVOLUTION DATE: OCTOBER 2012 LOCATION: 383 STERLING // BROOKLYN TITLE: CH98 // PARADOX I. A WOMAN IN THE SHAPE OF A MONSTER A WOMAN IN THE SHAPE OF A MONSTER A MONSTER IN THE SHAPE OF A WOMAN THE SKIES ARE FULL OF THEM* II. AND I EAT STANDING UP AND I SLEEP SITTING DOWN AND I BIKE IN MY HEELS AND I SMILE WHEN I FROWN WHEN I TOLD YOU I WOULD LOVE YOU FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE I LIED TO YOU THEN I WILL LIE AS YOUR WIFE DATE: NOVEMBER 2012 LOCATION: ST JOHN’S PLACE // 122 GATES AVENUE // BROOKLYN TITLE: PRAISE, 1933 ELEGANCE IS FRIGID THE JAPANESE THEY SAY IN SHADOWS WE STEW IN THE SPELL OF THE DAY MY HAIKU ARE WRITTEN FROM TOILETS IN BROOKLYN I’M CHANGING MY TOOLS AND MY MODE OF PRODUCTION PATINA, PATINA I LONG FOR YOUR GLOW PALIMPSEST OF TOUCH IN THE STYLE OF THE NOH
PATINA, PATINA I’M FOND OF YOUR SHIMMER LET’S WATCH AS THE WORLD GROWS DIMMER AND DIMMER LET’S PAINT OUR TEETH BLACK IN THE STYLE OF A PUPPET OR DO I MEAN WOMAN AND IS THERE A DIFFERENCE YOU DISRUPTED MY MOON WITH FIVE COLORS OF LIGHT I PREFER TO VIEW DARKNESS IN THE STYLE OF THE NIGHT PATINA, PATINA MORE BEAUTY WITH TIME DISPLAYING DISTORTION IN THE STYLE OF THE MIND PATINA, PATINA I’M FOND OF YOUR SHIMMER LET’S WATCH AS THE WORLD GROWS DIMMER AND DIMMER DATE: FEBRUARY 2013 LOCATION: 109 8TH AVENUE // BROOKLYN TITLE: SNOW SONG I’VE TRAVELED THE WORLD SINCE TWENTY ONE I’M STARTING TO FEEL THAT MY TRAVELING IS DONE IT TOOK ME SOME TIME O MY! BUT NOW IT’S QUITE CLEAR SO VAST SWEET AND SIMPLE I’LL MAKE YOU MY DEAR I WANT TO GO HOME WITH YOU I WANT TO GROW A HOME WITH YOU I WANT TO COME HOME TO YOU
[ *first four lines are sampled from an Adrienne Rich poem ]
I TOOK THIS PHOTO A FEW DAYS BEFORE THANKSGIVING IN 2011. IT PLANTED THE SEEDS OF FLIGHT AND COURAGE IN MY BLOOD.
PANIC BUTTON PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER BLOMQUIST
ve been thinking a lot about fear of late–probably because I find myself increasingly fearful of certain things. I’ve had a longstanding fear of heights ever since some asshole older kid rode in a swing-like Ferris wheel seat with me when I was probably five years old and proceeded to rock it back and forth when we had the misfortune of being stopped at the top of the ride. I remember him taunting me with: “Don’t fall out!” and mockingly laughing as I looked down at the foggily gray beach and ocean below and thought for the first time in my very young life: Shit, this is the end. Today that particular dread has somehow morphed into a paranoid quirk/phobia where I check to make sure that the elevator car is actually there when the doors open. Who wants to die plummeting down an elevator shaft with your guts smacking the roof of the car that just happened to stay on the ground floor? Not me. Of course when that fear arises it is not assuaged once I do step into the elevator compartment as I expect the cable to snap at any minute, thus also resulting in a less-thanpleasant descent. (My brains smashed onto the inner ceiling versus the outer one). This is an irrational terror, I know. (Well, relatively irrational… there HAVE been unfortunate deaths in defective elevators as the news and the still-scarring demise of Jennifer Jones’ character in 1974’s The Towering Inferno effectively prove. Note to that era’s parents: It probably wasn’t the best idea to let your rather impressionable, sensitive child see the Irwin Allen disaster flicks that were so en vogue back then). That said, given my mood on any one day and if I really put my mind to it, I can press the elevator button and be a shaky, sweaty, petrified
“AS AWFUL AS THESE EXPERIENCES CAN BE, THERE IS SOMETHING THAT FEELS VERY NATURAL AND STRANGELY LIFE-AFFIRMING ABOUT GETTING THROUGH THE FEAR, PANIC AND THE ASSOCIATED DESIRE TO FLEE A POTENTIALLY TERRIFYING SITUATION.”
mess by the time the car arrives. Or I can take a deep breath and pull my shit together. Depending on my state of mind on that particular day it can go either way…. Not knowing if it is going to be utter panic or “I can do this”? That’s the always-fun perk of having a phobia!
personal terror–especially about sharks that can survive in both fresh and salt water and can swim 30 miles upstream–sets in.) Fear doesn’t seem to be a part of their vocabulary…. Why is that? We share DNA. Why did they get the brave gene and I got the wuss one?
While I have my elevator issues, especially at my office building (it was built in 1893 so perhaps I’m not so wrong to be a tad mistrustful), I will take an elevator over an escalator ANY day now. I visited London in March and realized on The Tube’s steep ones that I get panicked only when I cannot see the end of the moving walkway. If I am stuck behind someone with no end in sight aside from his or her ass, my legs can start to get gelatinous and I hold on to the moving handrail with BOTH hands to prevent from falling backwards. It’s a really good, confident look that doesn’t scream: “I’m crazy” or “I’m about to faint/die” or “I’m in my forties yet acting like a 90-year-old” in the least.
My dentist recently prescribed me Valium for my next couple of visits because “you are SO much more nervous and tightly wound than any other patient I have.” I clearly am and “the little yellow pill” did its job very, very, VERY well. The absolutely intense anxiety that I was going to accidentally swallow the crown he was installing was delightfully numbed in my pillinduced haze.
I have purposely avoided the very steep escalators of the 53rd Street and Madison Avenue subway stop of late despite its convenience to midtown Manhattan. It’s just easier to get off five blocks earlier at Rockefeller Center and walk on streets that are flat and comfortingly horizontal. One deals the best way one can…. My maternal grandmother was notoriously nervous and I have apparently been blessed with said “gift.” My maternal grandfather, on the other hand, was a surgeon and coroner who clearly wasn’t skeeved by much at all, especially corpses and death. As volunteer firemen, my brother and two nephews rush into burning buildings or scuba-dive into the pitch-black Hudson River to find the remains of suicide jumpers off the bridge that leads to their Rockland County community. (Imagine hunting for a body underwater in 1-inch visibility? Again,
The drug clearly alleviated my anxious nature but unlike The Ramones, I don’t want to be sedated, especially daily, even if it means I can deal with elevators, escalators and amusementpark rides better than I do now. As awful as these experiences can be, there is something that feels very natural and strangely lifeaffirming about getting through the fear, panic and the associated desire to flee a potentially terrifying situation. When it’s over and I catch my breath and realize that I did NOT fall down the escalator, elevator shaft and was not fate’s prey (this time), there’s a strange sense of animalistic accomplishment. And, at that moment, even if I am still a shaking blob of a mess who is sweating from his pits to his balls, I am reminded once again to count my blessings. Because I survived yet again.
ELEVATORS: LIFTING PASSENGERS AND THE AUTHOR’S ANXIETY LEVELS FOR DECADES
ARTBOOK | D.A.P. WORDS BY ALEXANDER GALAN [VICE PRESIDENT / DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS] PHOTO BY NASA / MRO [MARS RECONNAISSANCE ORBITER]
This image is from a book releasing in Fall 2013 called THIS IS MARS (Aperture). The photographs are credited to NASA / MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter). Its the most sophisticated camera mankind has ever built and these photos are some of the highest resolution images ever taken. These images are not intended to be art - they are scientific documents, yet they are as great as any art I have seen. For us in the creative world obsessed with photography and art these images are a strong tonic reminding us of how big and still unknown the universe is.
OSLO [NORWAY] WORDS BY CHRISTIAN BELGAUX PHOTO BY WeACTIVIST STEPHEN BUTKUS
OSLO [NORWAY] - Oslo is... to paraphrase the artist Cher... a small city with a big city attitude. Currently, downtown Oslo is in a rapid change towards dressing the part as well, with massive construction towards the waterfront, turning once industrial areas into a center for business and culture. It all centers around Oslo’s new Opera building, where some of Oslo’s more than 5000 annual concerts are held. This means
Oslo has more concerts than neighbouring capitals Stockholm and Copenhagen, and more concerts every year per capita than London. Before Norway discovered oil and became one of the world’s richest countries, Oslo was a poor city, fostering great native artists Edvard Munch and Henrik Ibsen as well as inspiring great works of art like Knut Hamsuns Nobel prize winning Sult.
Today, Oslo’s former factory workers neighbourhood of Grünerløkka along the Akerselva river is the epitome of Scandinavian hip; a neighbourhood littered with bars, restaurants, concert halls and parks. And speaking of parks - if you are the outdoors type, Oslo is surrounded by nature. Endless forested walking paths and one of Norway’s largest ski resorts is a few minutes away with Oslo metro.
Fauna Restaurant Solligata 2 +47 41 67 45 43 restaurantfauna.no
No.19 Møllergata 23 +47 48020625 / no-19.no
WeSC Concept Store Nedre Slottsgate 15 +47 21 54 75 70 wesc.com
Lokk Torggata 18b +47 22 11 22 88 lokkoslo.no Illegal Burger Møllergata 23 +47 22 20 33 02 6438-0410 Mathallen Maridalsveien 17 +47 40 00 12 09 mathallenoslo.no Alex sushi Cort Adelers gate 02 +47 22 43 99 99 alexsushi.no Delicatessen Søndregate 8 +47 22 71 45 46 delicatessen.no Villa Paradiso Olaf Ryes Plass 8 +47 22 35 40 60 villaparadiso.no
Alfreds Hage Brynjulf Bulls plass 1 +47 40 00 66 11 alfredrestaurant.no Jæger Grensen 9 firstname.lastname@example.org jaegeroslo.no The Villa Møllergata 23 – 25 +47 93 25 57 45 / thevilla.no Dattera til Hagen Grønland 10 +47 22 17 18 61 / dattera.no Blå Brenneriveien 9c email@example.com blaaoslo.noo
Urban – Karl Johan Karl Johans gate 23 +47 22 42 17 92 urbanshop.no Carlings – Nedre Slottsgate Nedre Slottsgate 12 +47 22 41 08 38 carlings.com Stress Grensen Grensen 19 +47 22 33 12 60 stress.no Session Oslo City Stenersgate 1 +47 47 20 20 56 www.session.no CULTURE [+ EVENTS]
Turkish Delight Torggata 35 +47 95001406 turkish.no
Rådhuset – Skatespot justme.ws/db_browse.asp?id=22391
AkuAku Thorvald Meyers gate 32 +47 41 17 69 66 / akuaku.no
Operahuset Kirsten Flagstads pl.1 +47 21 42 21 21 operaen.no
Le Benjamin Bar & Bistro Søndre gate 6 +47 22 35 79 44 lebenjamin.no
Tilt Badstugata firstname.lastname@example.org tiltoslo.no
Gamlebyen – Skatepark St.Halvards gate 4 +47 41 40 91 98 gamlebyen.no
WESC CONCEPT STORE
TOP TO BOTTOM: URBAN, MATHALLEN, GAMLEBYEN
TOP TO BOTTOM: JÆGER, DATTERA TIL HAGEN
TOP TO BOTTOM: BLÅ, FAUNA
Throughout the spring WeSC presented the TRANSWORLD SKATEBOARDING TOUR that saw young skateboard talents gather and do what they do best: skate. With stops in San Diego, Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, Phoenix and New York the tour was a big success for everyone involved - the kids, the WeActivists participating, the cities’ local skate scenes and the people visiting. Here is what WeActivist Chris Pastras has to say about the last stop in NEW YORK CITY, where these photos are from: “New York City has been a big part of WeSC and its legacy, so to support a contest right in the heart of the City as the title sponsor was something myself and the brand are really and truly proud of. Big thanks to the LES PARK, our Activists, and all the locals who came out to participate in the event, next year will be even bigger and better.” [photos: CHRIS MARTIN]
LOCATIONS FOLLOW US: facebook.com/superlativeconspiracy twitter.com/WeSC1999 instagramâ€“ WeSC1999
Sweden is a country with a rich diversity - something that is amazing and to be celebrated. WeSC and Respect My Hustle are two companies that both represent diversity, openness and frankness - no matter your origin, financial or cultural background or your interests, but with the intention of good people doing great things together. The ‘We Are Sweden’ Hoodie challenges the traditional image of Sweden and opens up for dialogue: and sometimes that’s all that’s needed. The We Are Sweden Hoodie was released on June 6th - the Swedish National Day - at the WeSC JAKOBSBERGSGATAN Concept Store in Stockholm, that had been transformed into a WeSC x RESPECT MY HUSTLE Pop Up store for the day with the windows covered with
the campaign images showcasing the diversity that Sweden has and which was celebrated. With a live performance by Eboi, DJ sets by Marcus Price and Femtastic it was the best way possible to celebrate the Swedish National Day. We want to thank everyone who purchased one of the limited edition ‘We Are Sweden’ hoodies and in turn also chose which charity was to receive the money generated from the purchase: Musikhjälpen, Plan or Ge Tillbaka. So a huge thanks to everyone who came out, everyone who got a hoodie and donated the cash to a good cause and everyone who’s supporting the project! To read more about the project visit wesc.com or rmhsweden.com. [photos: THOMAS KARL JOHAN GUNNARSSON / RMH SWEDEN]
HAPPY SOCKS WeSC X
People like to be a part of something, to feel a sense of belonging and to be included in a context. With reference to that, WeSC and Happy Socks invite you to The League Of Happy Campers. It is what it reads: A league where everything is allowed and collectively remain untrainable and in excellent spirits. It’s a league you want to be a part of so take a moment and join it now. No experience required and no special skills needed - just come as you are and refuse to adapt and you’ll fit right in. With Happy Socks motto being “All Play. No Work.” combined with WeSC’s “Intellectual Slackers”, The League of Happy Campers, for Fall 2013, gives plenty of room for free interpretations, inventions and festivi-
ties, included in the kit. The capsule collection features the design elements and patterns that are a signature for Happy Socks, combined with the styles, mentality and elements from the Superlative Conspiracy presenting a jacket, a knitted jacquard sweater and a pocket t-shirt, along with a selection of socks! The graphic and happy items are available in selected accounts from 15/9, 2013. The leader of The League of Happy Campers is none other than Peter Stormare - WeActivist, actor, musician, writer and more than anything: an untrainable happy camper. What else do you need in life. Come join our band of happiness and don’t fit in... You’ll fit in perfectly.
When summer approaches - or even spring to be honest - the colors and objects on Instagram all seem to get lighter, a bit more fun and easy if we say so. The skateboarding pics are more frequent, our WeActivist musicians tour more festivals, clothes are off, people are happier. All things we like. Hence, this selection of WeActivist Instagram flicks are as varied as always but perhaps a bit more dreamy than you’re used to.
@KIMKA_ISIS [KIM MATULOVA]
@ARTOFOTO [ARTO SAARI]
@STEEDLORD [STEED LORD]
@SMEURLE [SARAH MEURLE]
@OSCARMEZZZA [OSCAR MEZA]
@PETTERALEXIS [PETTER ALEXIS]
@IMILK [SIGNE SIEMSEN]
@VANESSAPRAGER [VANESSA PRAGER]
@FAIRFAX [BENNY FAIRFAX]
@GUNTHERAMY [AMY GUNTHER]
The name We Are The Superlative Conspiracy [WeSC] comes from the sense of unity that has always been exceptional in the skateboarding community - the creativity, the attitude and the people is what laid the foundation of WeSC. Founded by five guys with a background in skate- and snowboarding, WeSC set out to be a brand that would be a mix of streetwear and fashion; where elements of cultures such as skateboarding, art and music would be combined with fashionable design to create products that caters to the streetfashion consumer. The cornerstones of WeSC are punk mentality, creativity, community and having fun - it’s about going your own way, being proud of that and be creative. This is something that has been WeSC’s mission since day one and which is applied to all parts of the brand: the staff, the people, the stores, the design and the way we are. With activities in arts, skateboarding, snowboarding, music, acting, producing and more on a daily basis, we are proud to say that we live our brand - the WeSC way: it’s not a brand that makes clothing, it’s a lifestyle that we all enjoy and with/for causes that we support. Creativity at its’ finest.
© 2013 We International AB All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner in any media, or transmitted by any means whatsoever, electronic or mechanical (including photocopy, film or video recording, internet posting or any other information storage and retrieval system) without the prior written permission of the publisher.
Made in Sweden by WeSC Karlavägen 108, Stockholm, Sweden tel. +46 8 46 50 50 00 www.wesc.com facebook.com/superlativeconspiracy twitter.com/WeSC1999 instagram: WeSC1999
CEO: GREGER HAGELIN GLOBAL BRAND DIRECTOR: THOMAS FLINN GLOBAL MARKETING MANAGER: HANNA LUNDGREN GLOBAL PR & WEB MANAGER: DANIELLE KRASSE MAG CREATIVE DIRECTOR: TONY ARCABASCIO DOWNLOADABLE APP BY
WeSC, www.wesc.com, WeAretheSuperlativeConspiracy AND ‘THE ICON’ ARE REGISTRATED TRADEMARKS OF WE INTERNATIONAL AB®
WE A R E T HE S U PE R L AT I V E C O N S PI R A C Y www. we s c. co m
Published on Oct 31, 2013
Published on Oct 31, 2013
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