As director of the AeroSoul organization I've been afforded the opportunity to serve in a leadership capacity that has international influence amongst spray can Artists of African descent. It is an honor paired with great responsibility meant to inspire creativity that transforms community visual landscapes. Here is a short documentary highlighting some of the work AeroSoul Artists do in struggling neighborhoods where we promote LOVE through Art.
Yes Yes Y'all it's November,HipHop history month and it's also the 40th anniversary of the Universal Zulu Nation. This week Hard Knock Radio host Davey D explores the history of HipHop's eldest element, Style Writing (also known as HipHop Hieroglyphics). On hand to discuss the topic were seasoned veterans in the field, Refa One & Toons One of the TCB crew and the North Star Zulus. Both of them go in on this interview discussing the cultural youth phenomena that exploded onto the inner city streets of the Bay and LA in the early 80's. Such legendary artist and crews as Dream TDK, Soon1, PJ WCA, Charlie DTK, Paser KTD, Stare BSK, Bam TWS and ladies like ShenShen were the topic of discussion. Both artist also build on the cultural and political ins and outs of the movement. Toons speaks to the diversity of styles that came out of LA before the impact of the NYC flavor and how the two coastal styles blended together to form a unique look that would later become reputable around the globe. Refa One kicks the science of how the Bay Area carved it's own brand of style through various style masters who would also impose their raw creativity onto the mass transit lines of BART and Muni. So much history in so little time, but it is a great snap shot at a Golden Age in HipHop on the West Side. Expect more from the Bay Area Aerosol Heritage Society and AeroSoul on this subject.
Tune into Hard Knock Radio week days on KPFA 94.1 FM.
Click link below for the full interview.
Tuesday Morning gearing up for the 2nd Opening of "Electric Kingdom", Shirt King Phade and Refa1 join Davey D on Hard Knock Radio. The two Style Veterans Speak on Phade's new book "Shirt Kings, Pioneers of HipHop Fashion", the Gallery Exhibit,community murals and the Universal Zulu Nation. Be sure to listen and give us some feedback.
click link for Radio Archive
A trip down memory lane to when customization and art reigned supreme in New York City. Jamaica, Queens, New York in the mid 1980s. Rappers and hip hop fans came from all over the city to get their own customized T-shirt by The Mighty Shirt Kings. The style traveled all over the world through record covers, magazines and music videos and the Shirt Kings designs soon became synonymous with Hip Hop and the culture of making something out of nothing. Shirt Kings - Pioneers Of Hip Hop Fashion looks at the early days of urban fashion through the lens of the pioneering group of artists known as the Shirt Kings. By adapting the graffiti skills from the trains and spray cans to shirts and airbrush they created a new look for a new generation. Edwin PHADE Sacasa is a founding artist of the group and it is through his archives that we are transported to the 1980s in New York City where the fashion of the day was loud, colorful, and filled with cartoon imagery on clothes; but not just any cartoon imagery for the cartoons were urbanized. Mickey Mouse with a Fila suit, Casper the Friendly Ghost with gold teeth, Roger Rabbit with a flat top hair do and Pink Panther with gold chains and guns - it was the reinterpretation of American classics but with an urban and gangster lean. The Shirt Kings were the inventors of this style and everyone across the city was well aware and made there way to Jamaica, Queens, to a small shopping mall known as the Coliseum where you could easily bump into the biggest names in Hip Hop of the day placing orders. HipHop Artist like DJ Red Alert, LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane and Mike Tyson - they all had to have their Shirt Kings designs. Shirt Kings - Pioneers of Hip Hop Fashion chronicles the art, the styles, and the people who were loyal supporters of the Shirt Kings style and takes us on a trip down memory lane to when customization and art reigned supreme in New York City.
"Shirt Kings brought the Hip Hop element into the clothes for real and integrated it, and it was the first time I saw Hip Hop culture completely merged with clothing."
- LL Cool J
"The Shirt Kings network was fashion TV of the times, and advertising and promotion way before it became trendy."
- Chuck D, Public Enemy
"The first shirt I ever threw on that had anything on it that represented my heart was Shirt Kings."
- KRS One
About the Author
Born in East New York, Brooklyn, Edwin PHADE Sacasa studied photography at the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan and graduated from Savannah Collage of Art and Design with major in video production. PHADE has been airbrushing for the entertainment industry for more than two decades and founded the Shirt Kings store in the mid 1980s, where he serviced many of todays Hip Hop stars and pioneers, such as Jay Z and Run DMC. PHADE is working with youth in the inner city and have developed a program that teaches urban fashion through airbrushing, art therapy and entrepreneur skills.
Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Dokument Press (April 15, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 11 inches
Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
AeroSoul is a community institution and Cultural resource developed to promote the legacy and rich history of the African Diaspora's contribution to Writing Culture. AeroSoul is also a Movement built to seed struggling communities of color with public Art created through the HipHop medium. This site is designed to promote youth advocacy through HipHop's first element. Passing on Writing's rich traditions to youth insures that our Cultural Rituals have the Power to Free our collective Minds & Spirits.