Posts tagged with "Biggie Smalls"

Karl Kani Reinvents Himself... Again from Winnie StaCkz for use by 360 Magazine

KARL KANI REINVENTS HIMSELF… AGAIN

By: Clara Guthrie

At the junction of fashion and hip-hop lies the iconic and immortalized designs of Karl Kani. Coined the Godfather of Streetwear, the brand’s designer, born Carl Williams, first developed an interest in fashion when he watched his father, a Panamanian immigrant, have his clothing personally made by a tailor. In a conversation with Flaunt, Williams said, “Watching him make his own clothing inspired me to understand how easy it is to make clothing. […] so I decided I wanted to make my own outfits with my dad’s tailor.” This endeavor quickly became a small business of its own as friends would ask Williams to make them replicas of whatever styles he was wearing. But the real turning point moment was when an incredulous friend refused to believe that a certain jacket had actually been made by Williams, asking why his name was not emblazoned on the piece’s tag. The “street revolution”—as Williams calls it—then began, and every new design proudly had Williams’ name on it.

In 1989, at just 17 years old, Williams moved to Los Angeles to pursue fashion more seriously. He opened a store on Crenshaw Boulevard and continued to design, but this time under a new moniker, Karl Kani. According to the official Karl Kani website, the name came to being as the brand grew in recognition and demand, and consequently, Williams would always ask himself, “Can I do this?” It was with this incessant question in mind that he rose to his own challenge and legally changed his name to Karl Kani, an alternative spelling of both his birth name and “Can I?”

Since the brand’s electric inception, Karl Kani filled a void in the world of fashion and revolutionized the concept of streetwear. In the Flaunt interview mentioned above, Kani said, “Hip-hop needed a clothing brand; Karl Kani needed an industry, so we [could] combine together and [were] able to create success for everyone.” Karl Kani quickly became the “it” brand for the Golden Age of hip-hop that emerged in the late 1980s and commanded the music and pop culture scene through the 1990s.

The eternally cool streetwear brand became the paragon of and blueprint for a distinctive revolution in the world of fashion. In a white-dominated industry, Karl Kani clothing was unapologetically designed with black people, and specifically black creatives, in mind. “The only thing that really kept me striving was seeing black people being successful in the music industry,” Kani told The Los Angeles Times in 1994. “I wanted to be a part of that, but I knew I couldn’t sing or dance or rap. I couldn’t do all that, but I could provide clothing for the people who were out there, who could make me famous at the same time.”

Kani formed poignant and lucrative bonds with many of these black performers, most notably Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. In 1994, Kani approached Tupac about shooting a campaign for the fashion company since the rapper often sported his clothing and asked how much he would charge for the favor. As Kani remembers it, Tupac responded, “No, I’m not charging you for nothing. You’re my people, you’re black. I got you.” His only request was that Kani put his song, “Thug Life” in the background of some of his advertisements. The Karl Kani × Tupac collaboration became iconic: a moment in which two art forms came together and the world stood by to watch.

Kani’s relationship with Biggie was solidified when the artist shouted out the brand in his song, “One More Chance,” rapping: “I got the funk flow to make your drawers drop slow, so recognize the dick size in these Karl Kani jeans. I wear thirteens, know what I mean?” (And by the way, Biggie really did wear a size thirteen in Karl Kani jeans. Kani consciously made clothing for men of bigger sizes who fashion largely ignored at the time.)

You can check out Tupac, Biggie and a collection of other celebrities wearing Karl Kani HERE.

One of Kani’s most resonant, popular and withstanding designs was the wide-leg jeans. The design came to being as Kani noticed that people would size up when purchasing jeans to achieve a baggier aesthetic but the waists would then be far too large on them. He ingeniously bypassed this problem by increasing only the size of the pant legs and never altering the waist.

If there is anything that defines Kani, though, it is his adaptable, trendsetting and forward-thinking mind. When his signature wide-leg jeans were co-opted by other brands, and as the streetwear look evolved past its earlier days, Kani ensured that his designs pioneered stylistic change, never to be left behind. “A lot of people are doing a lot of the things we used to do, and we want to look different,” Kani said in 1994. “By staying real and staying focused and always changing your style, you’re always going to stay ahead of the marketplace.”

Recently, Karl Kani has made a striking resurgence in the world of streetwear due to its on-point designs—including an entire collection of unisex pieces—and the rise of nostalgia fashion, now making the brand a multi-generational and inclusive powerhouse. This new wave of Karl Kani designs has been accompanied with a new troupe of black artists advertising the brand. For example, the rap group, Migos, formed a relationship with Karl Kani starting in 2015. “They wore it in all their videos and press and they were able to reintroduce my brand to a whole new young generation which was really cool because they were on top of their game,” Kani said to INDIE Magazine in 2019. Kani also told Wonderland Magazine that he sees artists like “Rihanna, Travis Scott, A$AP Rocky [and] Keith Powers” as dream collaborations and models for the brand: artists that represent the eternal spirit and vibe of Karl Kani.

It is safe to say that no matter who takes over the hip-hop scene next, or however the world of street fashion reinvents itself, Karl Kani will be a part of it.

Karl Kani Reinvents Himself... Again from Winnie StaCkz for use by 360 Magazine

Photo Credit: Tony Photo

Karl Kani Reinvents Himself... Again from Winnie StaCkz for use by 360 Magazine

Photo Credit: Tony Photo

Karl Kani Reinvents Himself... Again from Winnie StaCkz for use by 360 Magazine

Photo Credit: Tony Photo

Karl Kani Reinvents Himself... Again from Winnie StaCkz for use by 360 Magazine

Photo Credit: Tony Photo

So So Def 25

Sony Music’s Certified Classics, Legacy Recording’s division for the celebration of Sony Music’s Hip Hop and R&B catalogue, releases Jermaine Dupri Presents So So Def 25 compilation in conjunction with the iconic Atlanta-based hip-hop label’s 25th anniversary. Artists set to appear on the compilation include Jermaine Dupri, Jay-Z, Kris Kross, Xscape, Bow Wow, Anthony Hamilton, Jagged Edge, Ghost Town DJ’s, Da Brat, Aaliyah and many more. The compilation also includes the tracks Jagged Edge’sLet’s Get Married (Kanye West Remix) featuring one of Kanye West’s first verses as well as the explicit version of Da Brat’s Da B Side featuring The Notorious B.I.G. & Jermaine Dupri which features a rare alternative verse by The Notorious B.I.G. Listen to the project Here.

Additionally, in honor of 25 years of So So Def, fans can customize their own So So Def 25 logo by uploading a photo and sharing it with their friends now at http://Certified.lnk.to/SoSoDef25_Logo.

In celebration of his recent induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the 25-year anniversary of So So Def, Jermaine Dupri sat down in front of a live studio audience to answer questions from fans and talk about his life and career in an exclusive SiriusXM Town Hall for The Heat (channel 46). Hosted by Dion Summers, Dupri was joined by Pimpin (Jamall Willingham) of Dem Franchize Boyz and Bow Wow (Shad Moss). Listen to the Town Hall today, Friday, June 29 at 5 pm ET on The Heat with encores Saturday, June 30 at 12 pm ET and Sunday, July 1 at 12 am ET. It will also be available On Demand after the 5 pm airing HERE.

In conjunction with the release, Dupri and his So So Def family will hit the road for the upcoming So So Def 25th Anniversary, Cultural Curren$y Tour. Additional details to be announced at a later date.

So So Def 25 includes essential smash hits, iconic remixes and deep cuts from the labelߣs quarter-century catalog and more.

Woody McClain to Reprise Role in “The Bobby Brown Story”

NAACP-nominated Lead Actor Woody McClain is reprising his role as Bobby Brown in BET’s The Bobby Brown Story, which follows Brown through highs and lows both personal and professional as he settles into new roles as a husband and father. The direct sequel to The New Edition Story is set to premiere in September as a two part television event.

Woody was recently nominated for Outstanding Actor at the NAACP Image Awards for his depiction of Bobby Brown in The New Edition Story, while the show took home the award for Outstanding Limited Series. The New Edition Story pulled record ratings, attracting 29 million total viewers during premiere week, making it the network’s highest-rated and most-watched telecasts since 2012.

Soon after the premiere of The Bobby Brown Story, he will be seen on the big screen in Canal Street playing “MayMay,” set to release in Fall 2018. His recent projects also include a role in USA’s series “Unsolved,” a scripted true crime series based on the murder investigations of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls.

Woody McClain was born in Charleston, South Carolina, and raised in Jacksonville, Florida before moving to Los Angeles in 2012 to pursue a career as a professional dancer. He has since performed with numerous artists including Chris Brown and Fifth Harmony.

After excelling in his career as a professional dancer, he began creating original social media content and noticed very quickly that he had a gift for making people laugh. In fact, Woody signed with Kevin Hart’s production company, ‘HartBeat Digital’, in December 2015 to produce content after his version of Hart’s “Permission to Cuss” skit went viral and caught Hart’s attention.

Alongside his acting, he has teamed up with Kevin Hart for a streaming series in which he plays Kevin, based on Hart’s most iconic stories and stand-up bits available via Hart’s streaming video service, “Laugh Out Loud”. McClain is the creator, Executive Producer and star of Stories With Kev, with Hart serving as Executive Producer.

EW’s first look at The Bobby Brown Story

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Photo credits to Mario Barberio

Michelle Cadreau x “Dominate”

Hip-hop lyricist Michelle Cadreau has developed a writing and rapping style with both subtlety and introspection to reflect her Native Canadian Indian and Polish ancestry. With four CDs to her credit, the Hamilton, Ontario melds hypnotic and soulful beats with her trademark urban poetry to create a performance style that is equally juxtaposed and complementary.

 

Given the native Indian name Blue Sky at birth by her grandmother (who was born on a reserve in northern Ontario), Cadreau has a tattoo on her back of blue zebra stripes in the shape of an eye with the inscription ‘Blue Sky.’ It is a physical reminder of her spiritual relationship to the earth and heavens and her family.

 

With musical influences that include Biggie Smalls, Eminem, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg, Cadreau proudly emulates their style. Her ideas often come from a word or phrase that sparks inspiration and builds from there.  She also credits her parents for her love of music. Both played in bands most of their lives – her mother (a nurse by profession) is a vocalist and drummer and her father a vocalist and bass guitarist.

 

Like her mother, Cadreau also plays drums, having begun lessons at age five. She is also an accomplished painter and jewelry designer and has a degree in interior design. Her connection to the visual arts has been a foundation for her lyrics, which paint pictures of the joy and pain of life.

 

Among her releases is the breakout number, “Precipitation,” an articulate and explicit song that boldly details a rapper giving a slam performance for fans; “Like a Killer,” uses boxing to symbolize violence; and “Hip Hop Clerk” is a commentary on making it in the music industry.

 

Also included is “Ineffable,” a look at fan adulation; “Give Me The Prize,” a nod to intelligence and the rewards it can provide; and “Tallest Mountain,” a heartfelt look at making your way up the hip hop ladder. Her strongest response by far from both fans and critics online has been for the song “Ghetto Survival,” which equates creating powerful rap music with persistence and success.

 

Cadreau is using her lyrical deftness and distinct vantage point to create music that is true to her while paying homage to the complex backstory of rap and hip hop.

 

For more information: 

www.michellecadreaulyricist.com

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