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  • The Silent Shooter

    Timothy Smith is a man of few words, but he has a sh*t load of captivating flicks to make up for it. Like most of my creative comrades, the Brooklyn bred lensman and I met at BAPE NYC - where we hardly spoke, yet had great mutual respect for each other.

    I haven’t seen Timothy in about five years, so it was a pleasant surprise when he followed me on Instagram last month.  What shocked me even further were the glorious editorial shots featured on his feed, which he photographed himself. I am not in any way, shape or form attempting to downplay Tim’s artistic prowess, but I was Stacey Dash clueless about his exceptional photography skills.  As I mentioned earlier, we never had a conversation that lasted more than one minute - let alone discussed his interest in the visual arts.

    This Original Stories series has provided me with the perfect opportunity to have a sitdown with the silent shooter to find out more about his background, passion for picture taking and path to success in the photography industry. Check out our dialogue below:

    FRENDY:  It’s a pleasure to finally have a thorough convo with you after all these years *Laughs*. Why didn’t you tell me about your love for photography back in my early BAPE days?

    TIM:  I was in my early stages, still insecure about my work. Not very confident in showing my work to others, and also still finding my voice. Like, all of my early work was of cats, street style, carts, landscapes *Laughs*. I was all over the place.

    FRENDY:  I respect that, you’re excused *Laughs*. Where were you raised in Brooklyn?

    TIM:  I grew up in the East Flatbush/Brownsville area. At the age of 11/12, my grandparents lost our house so I moved over to Queens to live with relatives for a while. When I first moved to Queens I stayed in Ozone park in my great uncle’s basement, then bounced around from Laurelton to South Ozone Park, then eventually landed back in Brooklyn.

    FRENDY:  Crazy.  I lived in East Flatbush for most of my life as well.  Which schools did you attend growing up in Brooklyn and Queens?

    TIM:  Yeah, it’s funny, you used to actually go to the gym with one of my best friends from childhood over in the BRC I think? I know you guys used to work out together, but I can’t remember where. Well, I will say this, I was fortunate enough to go to “good” schools. I attended Saint Catherine of Genoa in Brooklyn, then I finished my 8th grade year in Saint Teresa in Queens. For high school, I attended Christ the King over in Middle Village.

    FRENDY:  Damn, it’s really a small world. Ok nice, those are definitely great schools to attend.  Were you always into photography growing up?

    TIM:  *Laughs* Yeah, real small world. My grandparents made it a priority to send me to catholic schools because they believed it was much safer and a better education. I remember not having any lights or heat because my grandparents would have to pay 4 months of back owed tuition, because they truly believed I could do something when I got older.

    Funny thing is I always wanted to be a photographer because of Spider-Man! I used to think Peter Parker was f*cking amazing. I used to get all my Spider-Man toys and create “movies” with cereal boxes as video cameras *Laughs*. Cornflakes boxes to be exact!  It wasn’t until my grandmother passed that I really thought about taking photography seriously. I literally spent my student refund check in 2012/2013 to buy a canon 7D, to actually shoot short films, and record myself reviewing video games.

    One day I took a photo and all of the feels of being Spider-Man came back to me all at once. So I decided to sell my car to fund my photography addiction, I took an internship back home the summer before I graduated at Management Artist in Chelsea. It was legit the best experience of my life being around all that amazing photo work, it trained my eye very quickly to distinguish good photography from bad photography. It was an amazing summer, I slept on a living floor the entire time and enjoyed everyday of it!  

    FRENDY:  Which college did you attend after Christ The King?

    TIM:  I attended Saint John's University for one semester, then got kicked out because they didn’t believe my financial situation, regarding to financial aid. So pretty much even with a partial scholarship I couldn’t afford it. Then I took some time off and went to Nassau. After a while, I decided I had to leave because if not I would have gotten in so much trouble and other dumb shit.

    So then I went to a small HBCU in North Carolina: ECSU and got my Bachelors. After getting my degree, I came back to Canarsie because my mom ended up getting breast cancer and I wanted to help out the best way I can, and to build a relationship between us. After that, I finally got home and applied to grad school for photography and ended up attending School of Visual Arts in NYC.

    FRENDY:  Wow. First off, is your mom alright now?  Also, what kind of trouble would you have gotten yourself into at Nassau? I don’t see you as a troublemaker.

    TIM:  Oh yeah, she’s fine now! Thanks for asking. Not really me getting in trouble at Nassau, it was more so I was still hanging around all my friends that always did dumb sh*t. Like I’ve never been a tough guy or whatever, but I’m also a very loyal friend, plus my house was always the hub for all my friends. So I just remember one day playing call of duty and looking around at what my friends we’re doing and was like “bro, I gotta go.” It’s all good though, they always said I shouldn't be about that ‘life’ and they respected my decision.

    I would like to give a special thanks to one of my best friends/brother, Fred because when he saw I was serious about photography he gave me a f*cking brand new 5D mark II with flashes and lenses. Like, that's the type of bond me and my friends have - I'm still trying to figure out a good gift for him *Laughs*.

    FRENDY:  That’s the definition of true friendship right there. Were you studying photography when you were schooling in NC? Or you started taking photography classes while attending SVA in the city?

    TIM:  SVA.  I did a broadcasting class in NC and tried to get funding for a short film, but it never worked out *Laughs*. I did have three extremely amazing teachers; Professor Bright, Professor Washington, and Latoya Monique. They definitely helped me shape my creative vision by giving me the freedom to experiment as much as possible.

    FRENDY:  How’d you enjoy SVA?  What did you do after receiving your Master’s in Photography there?

    TIM:  SVA was cool, I made some really good friends there. If I had to be honest, you don't really need school in order to become a photographer. I learned so much in my first year of freelance, and assisting.  So right after getting my Master’s I assisted some amazing photographers like; Bon Duke & Yulia Gorbachenko. I still help Yulia out from time to time, but more the most part I’m completely freelance.

    FRENDY:  Yeah, one of my great friends, Erick Hercules, is doing his thing without any schooling. Hard work, of course, is the cause of his success in the photography field.  So you said you’re a freelancer, how did you get connected prestigious publications like Vogue Italia, WWD, Vulkan Magazine etc.?

    TIM:  Yeah, hard work and networking is the key to photography now - especially with social media being so important. Yeah completely freelance, so I pretty much do all of the leg work with getting jobs etc. Although I finally have an agent, and she has been awesome so far. She actually has been more of a therapist if anything so far *Laughs*.

    Let's tackle magazines first.  Every magazine I shot for, so far, I’ve been denied about 100 times when I first started.  I had to constantly practice and figure out my vision. Then finally after harassing everyone I finally got through, and now magazines would reach out to me for work. That’s how I’ve been able to shoot celebrities, etc. The best word a photographer can hear is “no,” because it drives you to get better and it lets you know that there is still room to grow.

    So yeah, once you get your vision and your skills up, people will gravitate towards you for your style which is very important.

    FRENDY:  Yes, an artist’s style, no matter what field they’re in, has to be unique to stand out. I’ve heard “nos” all my life, which is why I’m doing my own thing in the writing world. I’m blessed enough to have met some great people along the way who are helping me materialize my vision.  All we can do is be kind to ourselves and move forward with grace.

    TIM: Exactly and you’re doing fucking amazing right now, like legit you’re killing it!  I would also say one more thing: I encourage people to surround themselves with good energy and like-minded individualds. Like, for example, my queen Dominique Drakeford (melaninass.com) is hands down my best friend ever, she supports my visions, goals etc, and we can always just sit back and talk about dope sh*t.

    My friend from college and artist Malcolm Rolling (www.725studios.com) was the one who actually trained me to think like an artist, and encouraged me to be one. We would legit not go to parties and sit in the room and study light and catch up on art history - that sh*t was amazing and very pivotal to how I think now. My brother Jameel Murray who taught me how to endure the journey and to realize that no hard work goes unrewarded. (Fun Fact: before his mom passed away, we were months away from being legal brothers by adoption.)

    FRENDY:  Thanks my man, I really appreciate the kind words. Who’s your favorite celebrity to shoot?

    TIM:  Oh man, thats a funny question *Laughs*. So everyone offered a unique experience: YG took me by surprise because of how down to earth he was - still hella gangsta though. Omari Hardwick has become a mentor/big brother figure to me, we still talk to this day. Mack Wilds and I spoke about f*cking Street Fighter, he legit has an Akuma tattoo *Laughs*. Bobby Brackins was super chill, and Marianne Mirage was super fun with great energy. Oh Yeah, Ozuna was also cool, even though he had like an intense security squad.

    FRENDY:  Do you ever get starstruck?

    TIM: Beforehand sometimes, but never on set because my job is to connect with them and bring out the best emotion possible for the image. They are used to everyone treating them a certain way because they are famous - most of them actually just want to have a regular convo with regular human connection.

    FRENDY:  Makes sense, for sure.  How often are you shooting for publications?

    TIM:  Around three to four times a month.  Honestly, as a professional photographer you spend more time out reaching and securing clients than shooting. Compared to everything else I have to do, shooting only takes up 20%.

    FRENDY:  Are you particular about shooting on location? What do you look for in a setting?

    TIM: I do actually prefer shooting on location, only because it keeps budgets lower for certain clients. The studio gives you maximum control over everything. I think to be successful you do need to be well versed in both.

    FRENDY:  What are you currently working on Photography wise?

    TIM: I’m trying to secure a few campaign and lookbook jobs, also thinking about doing a photo project based on people in brooklyn.  I’m working out the details, but I'm looking for funding for that because I want to have an exhibition and have the kids in the neighborhood get involved, get them exposed to the arts.

    FRENDY:  You mentioned earlier that you aborted your short film due to funding. Are you willing to complete it at this stage of your career?

    TIM:  Ah man! Yea totally - I actually just got the most expensive piec. I brought a cinema camera recently, and now working on the rest. I’m starting to create the storyboard for it and hopefully can start producing by the top of 2018. 

    FRENDY:  Would it be a spoiler to tell us what the short is going to be about?

    TIM:  Yeah, all I can say is it will be a relatively short fashion film. Two to five minutes long and it's inspired by Nocturnal Animals.

    FRENDY:  Where do you ultimately see yourself in this ever expansive photography universe?

    TIM:  Living photo legend, decent cinematographer *Laughs*, director, and running a non-profit for underprivileged kids to get into the arts in an early age.

  • Sneaker Shopping With ASAP Ferg

    Watching the latest installment of Complex's Sneaker Shopping series with ASAP Ferg takes me back to my days at BAPE, when all of the ASAP members would roll through the shop to check out our latest bapestas.

    Ferg has now achieved massive success, so it's pretty dope to see him cop whatever he pleases.

    Check out the footage shot at NYC's Flight Club below:

  • Not Your Average Hypebeast

    Those who follow Aaron on Instagram are fully aware of his lavish lifestyle and ultimate group of close friends, which consists of Levi, Kai and the forever seemingly-annoyed Angelo Nitsopoulos. Although much is known of Aaron, whom I previously featured on the blog, and the Bent Lee bros, Nits is somewhat of the odd man out.

    With a quick scroll down his gram, one can instantly get a sense of Ang’s expensive taste but there has to be more to him right?  Other than the quick cameos on his clique’s hilarious insta stories and vlogs, not much is revealed about the sporty Toronto, Ontario native. Well, that’s why I’m here.

    Let’s take a look into the real world of Angelo and find out about his immense love for hockey, fledgling business, spending habits and why he looks so damn pissed all the time.   Peep my exclusive interview with him below:

    FRENDY:  I must say it’s quite incredible to witness how close you are with Aaron and the gang.  Nowadays, not many can proclaim they are tight with even a handful of people.  How did you meet them?

    ANG:  *Laughs* Yeah its pretty wild that three Asians and a Greek/Macedonian can hang out daily. So, I met the guys during the winter of 2014.  As I sat in my basement watching hockey while simultaneously creeping on Instagram, I saw a 5’3 140Lbs Aaron doing stick handling moves on the ice pretending he was Sidney Crosby. I thought to myself ok that's different, but then started to take in all the gear he had and wondered who he actually was. At the time, Levi and Aaron had a men's hockey team called The Trillers and a buddy of mine told me I should go play with them. So I hit up Levi and said if you ever need players let me know. A week later I was playing my first game with them. I walked into the dressing room, turned to my left and saw the “5’3” kid who said to me, “ Here sit here Angelo”. As if I had never been in a hockey dressing room in my life. Levi was sitting across from me, looking like a pro MMA fighter flooded with tats (I was a bit intimidated).

    My first game with them was amazing!  I scored three goals.  After that Aaron was like ok “you can play with us,” like it was some sort of accomplishment for me. As we were changing in the locker room I hear someone on the team say to Aaron, “YOU GOT BALMAINS IN THAT HOCKEY BAG BRO ” and that’s what got me thinking ok I need to learn about what the hell they are doing/ talking about because I had no idea what any of these brand names were back then.  I saw Aarons Instagram and figured to myself that “Balmains” must be what he wears.

    So throughout our hockey team that's how myself Aaron and Levi hung out. Kai never played hockey at all so he was never around the rink unless he was pretending to coach us. I would always hear stories about him though. I met Kai on our (Aaron, Levi, Kai) first trip to NYC and boy what a story/trip that was.  That's when my passion for fashion really began and I instantly switched my look. Happy I met them though, I never had any siblings so they taught me a lot about things. When I was 18-19 they took me on some crazy experiences that most kids don't get to do, so they are kind of like older brothers in a way for the most part.

    FRENDY:  That’s a pretty epic story. I assumed you knew them for way longer than 3 years.  What was your “look” before your fashion awakening?

    ANG:  Yeah, I mean friendship grows pretty quick when you hang out as often as we do. OMG, my look I don't even want to talk about *Laughs*. To be honest I didn't even have a look. I guess I could say it was the “hockey style.” Long hair, sperry boat shoes, golf shorts and a V-neck t-shirt, which makes me cringe thinking about it. I didn't even really take fashion seriously; I would wear sweatpants every day, whatever shirt I found in my room and just went about my day. I was too focused on my hockey career at the time and didn't care how I dressed outside the rink. I knew what Yeezys were and what not but never had a clue on how to get them or even knew they were so limited. But to say the least, my look was terrible *Laughs*.

    Looking back at what I wore then compared to now is like a two year old messing up all his toys when he is pissed off.  That's the best way to look at it. Its funny thinking back at it, I would get so excited to wear these pants that don’t even fit right or shoes that don’t even go with the fit and thinking “wow this is sick,” when it's really god awful.

    FRENDY:  Aw man, I needed that good laugh. Do you remember your very first fire fit?

    ANG:  I do remember it actually, but I wouldn't say it was fire. I would say my first favorite fire fit is my Supreme patchwork outfit with my Red Octobers *Laughs*. I was so happy when I got the sweat suit in the mail. Most will say it's ugly but half the world tried to buy it and failed miserably.  That Aside, it really is a crazy piece. The hoodie and pants are both hand-made with different patches. Most don't understand that, they just see a “grandma-like table cloth” because they don't understand it. The Red Octobers were worn just so I could be over the top.  Shout out to Mike at 'On The Arm' in Vegas who plugged me with it too. My favorite thing is wearing either full tracksuits or full sweatsuits as you can probably tell.  I don't really care what people think, I don't buy clothes for people I buy them for me.

    FRENDY:  Going back to what you stated earlier, the great impression you left on Aaron due to your hockey playing skills eventually paved the way to a solid brotherhood.  How long have you been playing Hockey? Was it your goal to turn pro growing up?

    ANG: *Laughs* Aaron was impressed to say the least, I guess most people on Instagram don't follow me for hockey, I never post anything related to it. I started skating at around three years old and started playing hockey at four, which is really young. I've played for 17 years and counting and won't ever stop playing for fun. It’s every kids dream and goal to play in the NHL.  I went to PEAC, which was a private hockey school. All we did was skate, train four hours a day and screw around in class. I kid you not, a teacher quit because we “stressed her out” too much.

    Our team was unstoppable, our first line was, Ho Sang, Mcdavid, Subbans and so many more it was hilarious.  We didn't lose all year and wasn't allowed in tournaments. I was talented but as I got older I slowly lost interest in the game and at 18 decided to stop playing competitively. I will say though I don't regret any of it, hockey taught me a lot about certain things in life.  Most of my best friends play in the NHL so it's cool to see them succeed and because of that I still get to be apart of the game somehow.

    Once you play hockey and are born into the hockey world you never really get away from it. Hockey gets my mind off things when I can't find a piece of clothing that I want *Laughs*. I never would have thought when I was 15 that at 19 I would be addicted to fashion. Thank the guys for that one.

    FRENDY:  Here comes the million-dollar question: when you’re not copping the finest threads or slithering on the ice, what is it that you do for a living to remain so fresh?

    ANG:  *Laughs* Yeah the million-dollar question that people are soooooo curious to know. Never really understood why people have to ask that nonstop. From now on I'm just going to say “yeah, I won the lottery in grade 6, kept it quiet though.” But yeah, myself, Aaron, Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavalier, Savas, and Simon (which are Tristan's close friends) own ProLocker together.

    FRENDY:  Can you tell me more about ProLocker? Aaron mentioned it during my sit down with him.

    ANG:  Of course, the easiest way I can map it out for you, without giving too many features away since we are launching very soon, is to say that it's a platform where we show what players use on and off the court/field/ice. Furthermore, we also provide info on where you can buy that exact equipment model around the world and different places to get it. That's the basis of it but there are loads of features besides that. I don't want to give too much away but we are excited for it. Check us out at Prolocker.com!

    FRENDY:  Sounds amazing, I'm sure you guys can’t wait to launch it. When will that happen?

    ANG:  Yeah we are really excited about it, in a perfect world we want to launch in the next month or so but we are all still fine-tuning the site. Plus we are gathering content prior to release but you can pre subscribe to the site now and follow us on Instagram ( @Prolocker ) to find out more.

    FRENDY:  I sincerely hope your followers will stop asking about what you do for a living now. Doubt it though. Since we got that out the way, let's explore your closet. What are some your favorite brands right now?

    ANG: Yeah, they probably won’t to be honest *laughs*. My favorite brands...well obviously you can tell I like Supreme. I also have other labels in my closet, people think I’m a hypebeast and just wear one particular brand.  I have a lot of Saint Laurent; their jackets I own are my favorite pieces. The detail on them and the way they look is crazy! I also have Haider Ackermann items that I like a lot, wouldn’t say its my favorite brand though. Bape obviously, I had a crazy Bape phase where I was just copping from them non stop but I kind of got sick of it. Stone Island is really comfy to wear; I got a bunch of that. I honestly have most brands you can think of. I just hate when people say “Nits you’re a hypebeast.”

    My take on that is at the end of the day most people in fashion, besides the people creating, are hypebeasts in their own special way. Just because I have a Supreme item that everyone wants I automatically get identified as a “hypebeast.”  It’s ok in my opinion if someone buys a piece of clothing that an artist or influencer may have worn first.  Unfortunately, most consider that as being “hype”.

    When you see someone wear a piece that you like, why not buy it for yourself? Nothing wrong with that at all but most people get mad and call it hype. I don't know, maybe they’re just jealous. Either they don't have access, have a plug to get an exclusive item or simply just can't afford it, which is totally understandable! I feel blessed that I am able to purchase things I like and have never been the type to bring someone else down because they can’t get something.  I'm not going to lie and pretend I don't like things that are hyped, there's a meaning behind it. Most of Supreme’s prized pieces have some sort of unique backstory, which is another reason why that brand is so strong.  At the end of the day, people call me a hypebeast but deep down inside they all wish they were able to cop what I got.

    FRENDY:  Which sneakers are in your constant rotation?

    ANG:  I wear APLs all the time. Shout out to Adam and Ryan! Jordans for sure, bred 1’s, royal 1’s, all the 1’s really.  I used to wear Yeezys a lot but its getting saturated in the market now. I try to stay away from wearing them all the time.  If I get a pair early, I’ll throw them on.  I really like my Nike Presto x Acronym kicks, they’re extremely comfy and their colorways.   Last but not least, my Air Max 98 ’s. I never really got in to the Adidas NMD wave.

    FRENDY:  Who do you feel has the best style in the entertainment industry right now?

    ANG:  A$AP Rocky.  I respect him because he barely wears what’s “in."  The guy literally flies to Japan to buy brands nobody knows about so you have to respect that.  He started so many trends it’s insane!  He is always ahead of the game and steps outside the box.

    FRENDY:  On one of your recent insta stories, I saw you were putting your followers on to alot of rising brands. How often are you researching for potential new gear?

    ANG: Yes I was, people don't understand that I’m young and got into this just a few years ago.  Most of them will say I am a “culture vulture” but I am the furthest thing from that. So for those reading just know I spend hours daily looking at what's up and coming in fashion. I will literally sit on my computer and log on to Japanese sites that aren’t even written in English and Google translate it to read articles on what's next. 

    If we want to talk about Supreme culture, I literally learned about each season, each piece and so on. Till this day I am researching meanings behind their pieces. So no, I did not just see Supreme and decided to hop on buying stuff for fun.  I put the effort into learning about it, which most do not do. That's what a culture vulture does, buys stuff to say they have it and not know anything about the brand’s ethos. I hate that. Daily, I am always looking for new stuff to get and new brands that people don’t know about. Aaron will always we call me and say, “let me guess researching?” I enjoy doing it.  It’s fun to learn about upcoming stuff and their origins.

    FRENDY:  Since your passion for fashion runs deep, did you ever think about fully diving into the industry with your own brand or investing in one that you really believe in?

    ANG:  No, probably not.  I am to busy with ProLocker and other stuff. I rather support brands by buying their clothes, never really thought about creating my own but who knows maybe I could do it.   I definitely put the time into researching about it.

    FRENDY:  You have the money, cars and clothes but is there a special lady out there you’re sharing it all with?

    ANG:  *Laughs* Well I definitely don't have it all.  There are way more important things in life than money, cars and clothes. In terms of special ladies, I am single but have a one on the radar. Once you get a girl, “you have to put her in designer,” as Future says. The guys always make fun of me though by always saying “Nits brings the tings to Fring’s”.

    FRENDY:  That’s hilarious.  Well I’m sure there are tons of tings who are willing kick it for a day...or couple of months.  Since you’re always in the latest gear, is it a requirement for them to have a sense of style or it doesn’t really matter?

    ANG:  * Laughs* Actually yes I if I were to date a girl I would want her to be into fashion like I am. She doesn't have to wear the latest stuff but definitely needs her own sense of style 100%. It’s always cool to have a girl that can relate to what you like. At the end of the day though it's not everything! But yes I would prefer it.

    FRENDY:  For sure, it’s all about being on the same frequency. Man, it was a pleasure having this conversation. Looking forward to see what you and the fellas will get into next.  One more thing I need to know before we end though, if you were stranded on a desert island what three things would you bring?

    ANG:  Likewise! If I were stranded on an island the three things I would bring is a boat to get off the island, food, and a laptop with 4G so I can stay up to date with gear.  Stay Woke!

  • Crew (Official Video)

    The homie Matthew Dillon Cohen, also known in the interwebs as Itsbongoboy, is back with a brand new video he directed for Goldlink's late 2016 released single, "Crew."

    The banging track features the D.C rapper's musically-inclined associates Brent Faiyaz and the Jefe himself, Shy Glizzy. Rightfully shot in Washington, the entertaining clip displays the talented trio turning up with their close friends and dimes on dirtbikes.

    Check it out below:

  • UNDFTD x adidas Consortium Busenitz

    My personal favorite BAPE shoes of all time are the ZX 5000 model, which were made in collaboration with UNDFTD and adidas. Not only are the kicks fly as hell, they have a comfort that is unmatched.

    This time around, the two sportswear giants produced a masterpiece on their own in the form of the UNDFTD x adidas Consortium Busenitz.  The skate shoe's tan color takes inspiration from the Mojave Desert.  Furthermore, this particular Busenitz aesthetic pays homage to the mecca of skateboarding with sandy styling and Cordura nylon construction.

    These bad boys release on September 9th at UNDFTD's online shop, followed by a Consortium account release on September 17th.  Good luck!

  • Ambush Design's First Store

    Back in the peak days of BAPE, my former boss Nigo created a Japanese Hip Hop supergroup named, Teriyaki Boyz.  The rap act consisted of Ilmari, Ryo-Z, Verbal, Wise, and even the former Ape General himself, who served as a DJ.

    The Teriyaki Boyz had an incredible run, collaborating with tons of legendary artists such as Jay Z, Kanye West and Pharrell.  I'm not totally sure if the group is still together, but what's definite is the ultimate rise of the lyrical clan's unofficial leader, Verbal.  The stylish spitter has transcended into a Japanese fashion icon!

    In 2008, Verbal teamed up with his longtime super hot girlfriend Yoon to conjure up a successful avant-garde jewelry line called, AMBUSH®.  The line's Pop Art designs embody a distinct Tokyo aesthetic.  Furthermore, it has progressed into creating unisex collections designed in AMBUSH®’s Tokyo Studio and made by renowned craftsmen in Japan. As some of you may remember, the duo's POW® chains and rings were worn by the coolest personas in the music world.

    After all those years dominating JP's fashion market, Tokyo's hottest power couple are now launching their very own AMBUSH® store designed by Wonderwall, the genius interior design firm who built the BAPE store in New york.  The shop, located between Shibuya and Harajuku, is celebrating it's September 2nd launch tonight, featuring London-based collective No Vacancy Inn and Korean DJ collective +82 and KINGMCK.  

    If you're in the area, head over to the celebration and turn up!

  • White Collar

    It is my absolute pleasure to deliver the debut single of my long time friend Shotta Spence, titled “White Collar.”

    Spence, better known to me as Spencer Lee, was just a preteen when I got acquainted with him at my old stomping ground of BAPE. Spencer would come to the shop almost every Saturday to check up on our new kicks, and as usual, I would help him with whatever he needed. I vividly remember seeing the now multi-talented spitter for the first time (he was as tall as my waist), bright eyed and amazed at all of our colorful sneakers that were on display.

    There was something about him that made me firmly believe he was going to bless the world with an artistic prowess. Maybe it was the fact that Spence was introduced to a lavish sportswear brand like Nigo's former brainchild at such an early age, or simply my gift of instantly knowing who has the "it" factor. In any case, I was right.

    The 20 year old lyricist's breakout single is produced by none other than Ducko McFli of Ear Drummers, and can be found on his debut project Upfall. Spence states,"the inspiration behind the song was just not wanting to live a regular life and not falling into the system."  Shotta is certainly not going to live a simple life due to the fact he has way more awesome sounds like this one in his stash.

    Look out for Upfall's release later this month.  For now, indulge in Spence's latest below:

  • Look Alive For Rae Sremmurd

    Hip Hop's most poppin' blood brothers, Rae Sremmurd, are gearing up to deliver the album of the summer!  

    Their latest single, "Look Alive", from the project is surely preparing us for the turn-upness that we're about to ensue (yeah, I made that word up but it felt right).

    Mike Will Made It's Ear Drummer duo's Sremmlife 2 drops on June 24th, but you all can enjoy the Directed By Max visual for their latest sonic offering below:

    P.S    Shout out to the dude in the clip wearing the OG Crazy Camo Bape short-sleeved button up.  The only other people that I knew had it was myself and Cudi.

  • BOYSLASHFRIEND Is Keeping It Low Key

    Before I became synonymous with BAPE NYC, Poo better known now as BOYSLASHFRIEND was doing his thang at NIGO's former shop w/ gold grillz and all.  Now you can catch him serenading your girl in the city's hottest nightspots.

    Earlier today, the rising Singer/Songwriter unleashed the video for his acoustic single "Low Key " produced by MNTN. The tune's visual counterpart stays true to it's title by remaining very minimal.  Nothing else is needed when the vibe is right!

    Check out the clip below:

  • The Ye x Adidas Shoe That Never Was

    I was fortunate enough to work at BAPE NYC when they released their much praised Bapestas with Kanye West back in 2007.  Kids and adults alike were in a frenzy to get their hands on a pair!  Now imagine if Ye dropped a collaboration with Adidas Originals a year before that?

    Well, that thought isn't far fetched because the man known as Yeezus was actually in talks with Adidas Creative Consultant Gary Aspden to conjure up a joint sneaker that unfortunately never hit the market. Hey, everything happens when the times right and look at their situation now!

    Gary's recollections of the "failed" sneaker project with Kanye can be read in it's entirety in the second issue of sneaker magazine Crepe City.  To purchase your copy, click HERE.

  • I'm The Man (Remix)

    Nothing in life happens by coincidence, which is why it's no surprise that the official remix of 50 Cent's "I'm The Man " banger featuring Chris Brown released on the 1st year anniversary of me leaving BAPE NYC.

    The boastful tune is found on Fity's Power influenced Kanan Tape.  Listen to the Sonny Digital produced jam below:

  • I Told You So

    To keep it clean, I hate repeating myself but I got to once more proclaim my gift for knowing who's got the "it" factor.  If you weren't aware, I was acquainted with the lil' bro Luka Sabbat about 4 years ago at BAPE and since then predicted his forthcoming success. It wasn't just the half-haitian creative's 'look' that gave it away, his knowledge of fashion is surprisingly immense!

    Recently, Complex Magazine sat down with the "17" year old internet king (I don't even know how old he is) to talk about his style and digital domination.  To read the full article, click HERE.

  • Forbes x Frendy Lemorin

    It is with intense pleasure to present my interview with FORBES.  Much love to Julian Mitchell for conducting the most detailed sit-down that I ever had. This truly is a dream come true and it fuels me to inspire the world even more.

    Click the picture below to read the full spread:

  • Cons' Countdown

    It’s been a hot minute since we’ve heard a track from Consequence so his latest release is most definitely a thirst quencher for fans.  The tune, titled “Countdown”, features Mr. Kick Push himself Lupe Fiasco and soul singer Chris Turner.

    Shout out to the homie Chris! When I worked at BAPE, he frequently visited the shop to rack up on items.  It’s amazing to witness his growth.

    Check out the black and white visual of Cons’ new single below:

  • Artist Submission: MeloD

    What’s good everyone! Allow me to present a new section on the blog specifically created for Artist Submissions. I took a huge break from acknowledging tons of up and coming artists I personally knew simply because the love shown to them was hardly reciprocated.  With the site’s rising popularity, I thought it was best to return to my charitable ways but in a more professional, business manner.  If you’re interested in being featured, simply shoot me an email to Frendy@FRNDYLMRN.com describing your body of work, providing pictures and any links pertaining to it. I’ll then dish the necessary information (fee) to continue our venture.  Looking forward to hear what y’all got cooking up!

    The very first artist to be showcased goes by the name of Darrell Branham better known as MeloD.  I was introduced to the rising Rapper by the homie James Stephens-Anderson who’s been supporting me heavily ever since our initial encounter at BAPE earlier this year. The West Atco, New Jersey raised lyricist began his craft at the age of 13.  He states, “my boy Chris Brown used to bang the pencils on the lunch tables and me and all my boys would rap. I then started putting the flip phones up to the computer speaker to record myself. I remember my boys had me on they ringtones off the Bubba Sparxx “Bojangles” Instrumental (haha)”.

    At the age of 11, MeloD moved from his hometown to Sicklerville, NJ. Four years later, he met Malik Holland who introduced him to the streets of Camden. “I fell in love with the city life and the vibrations of music.  Sitting in the studio on top of a barbershop on Haddon Avenue listening to my cousin Ace "Ace Groove" mixtape. I started off watching him and my bro Leek record and I sat back and learned the craft.  I just loved being amongst the people feeling the energy and from that point on I just knew if I could get good enough I can make a name for myself out here”.

    The time has come for MeloD to shine!  Check out his latest offering below:

     

  • It's Lit

    We’re less than half way into 2015 and KYLE is surely proving that he’s here to stay.  Not only selling out of his King Wavy tour dates, the bi-racial lyrical bomber is putting out a slew of playlist-worthy tunes back to back to back to back!

    KYLE’s latest sonic effort is rightfully titled “It’s Lit” and features his California comrade Iamsu.  This shit slaps!  Check out the M-Phazes produced banger for yourself below:

     

  • Frendy Lemorin x Mass Appeal

    It is my great honor to present the awesome interview that I had with Mass Appeal.  As mentioned afore, I almost declined the exclusive sitdown but after a much needed pep talk with Gyasi (who served as my interviewer) our regularly scheduled program remained.

    Indulge in the full interview by clicking on the link picture below.  Enjoy!

  • BAPE's 10th Anniversary Party

    Last night, I attended BAPE’s 10th Anniversary party held at one of NYC’s Premier nightspots Up & Down. As you can imagine, the event was a zoo filled with tons of BAPE enthusiasts celebrating the legacy that NIGO solemnly built.

     To keep it clean, I was a bit disappointed in the way business was handled when it came to allowing individuals inside the venue.  You would think myself and the current BAPE employees would be treated like royalty but instead we waited outside for an astounding 30 minutes before we were even acknowledged to partake in the festivities (haha).  In any case, all of us eventually got in and enjoyed the night as much as possible.

     Check out the pics from the Ape-tastic event photographed by the homie Christian Caicos below:

  • The King Wavy Tour

    The law of attraction is certainly real!  During my Mass Appeal interview yesterday a series of fortunate events went down so smoothly that even an atheist would believe that God meticulously strategized them. First of all, I almost declined my sit-down with the Nas invested media company due to personal conflicts but after much thought and reasoning the show went on (as they say). With my decision to move forward, amazing things occurred.  I bumped into the little bro Model Luka Sabbat in the cobble stoned streets of SoHo who shared the incredible tale of how our friendship came about.  Furthermore, I got acquainted with KYLE at my old stomping grounds aka BAPE.

    If Super Duper Kyle doesn’t ring a bell then you’re knowledge of music isn’t deep as you thought. I discovered the multi-talented California bred spitter about 2 years ago through a random Tumblr post. The song that made me a believer was his early hit titled “Keep It Real”.  Kyle reminds me a bit of Cudi (which isn’t a bad thing at all) but what makes him a standout artist is his potent take on music through personal life experiences and just pure poppin’ vibes.

     The energy amongst the Super Duper crew and I was so organic that they invited me to their first ever headlining show in NYC.  As a matter of fact, it was Kyle’s first ever performance in the Big Apple period! It’s been a long time coming but the new age crooner is definitely cannon balling his way to the top.

    Indulge in the flicks from the King Wavy tour photographed by the homie Interspectacula below:


  • Remy Banks is N1go

    The homie Remy Banks of the infamous Queens Rap collective World's Fair has just unleashed a celebratory club-banger titled "N1go".  The slick talking New York spitter actually played this joint to me during my last few weeks at BAPE NYC. Upon first hearing I automatically knew it was going to be a serious fan favorite!

    It's obvious that Remy's love for A Bathing Ape apparel cuts deeper than a shark bite so one could infer that the song's title was inspired by the General Nigo himself. Uhmm maybe?  Here's what he had to say about the tune's meaning to BillBoard, "To me, N1go is the one.  Like Neo was the one in the matrix, he's the one when it comes to the fashion I'm drawn to. He's that n---- and when I'm out functioning (which is rare), I feel like that n----!".

    With that said, Indulge in the Black Noi$e produced jam below:

     

  • Happy Siblings Day

    What's good everyone?  Alot of you may not know this but I have a younger brother named Bill who is doing his thing out here in these treacherous NYC streets!  Since today is National Siblings Day I thought it was the perfect moment to shed light on the little guy (not so much anymore!).

    Ladies, be sure to follow him on instagram: @BillyLemorin

  • Speedin' Bullet To Heaven

    Scott has just announced via his personal twitter account that he will be releasing a brand spanking new album titled Speedin' Bullet To Heaven.  Seems like every successful artist is going the "surprise" route when unveiling their project and it sure is working!  It truly keeps music lovers on their toes...plus album leaks are less likely to occur.

    Shit who knows, maybe Man On The Moon III might drop before this one (haha).  Exciting times for Cudder fans out there!

  • Last Days At Bape

    What a rollercoaster ride it has been working for Nigo's former braindchild all these years!  Much love and respect to each soul that has been supporting me since my braid days.  WIthout it, I would literally die.  

    For those not aware, yesterday was my last working shift at BAPE. The second floor virtually transformed into my own little office where I would conduct therapy sessions with "hypebeasts" from all over the globe (I meant that in the nicest way possible, haha). Thriving photographer Versus came by the shop to capture some of the last moments in my former domain. 

    Indulge below.....and try your best not to tear up:

  • Mike's New York Adventure

    The Norwegian broski Michael Ray Vera Cruz  visited NYC a couple of weeks ago and documented his trip with the help of The Hundreds.  For those not in the know, the multi-talented Photographer and I got aquainted about 3 years ago through social media.  After writing an article on our mutual friend, Rapper Phil Emilio (resides in Norway), we linked up sharing our ideas on everything entertainment.  Our bond solidified when he eventually flew to the big apple shortly after!

    Check out akam1k3's (Mike's nickname) captures from his latest New York expedition via The Hundreds Blog by clicking HERE.  You might just see me and the little bro Luka Sabbat.

  • Nigo x Uniqlo UT

    I truly miss Nigo's involvement in the legendary streetwear empire that he solemnly built but a mastermind's got to do what he must in order to expand his creativity and money (of course).  2 years ago, the former BAPE General was appointed as the Creative Director for Uniqlo UT (Uniqlo T-shirt).  It's approaching a full year that he's been performing his duties at the mega Japanese retailer and is now preparing to kick off the line's Spring/Summer 2015 season.  

    Hypebeast was fortunate enough to have a quick sitdown with the iconic designer to discuss the clutch business moves that Uniqlo has made and an inside perspective how this might direct the future of the brand.  Check out the transcript below:

    What are your sentiments on the hiring of longtime Wieden+Kennedy Creative Director John C. Jay?

    I think it’s great for Uniqlo. They’re already a global brand, but it’s only going to help them take it to the next level in terms of communication. He’s done it at that level already, so it’s a good move and I’m definitely excited.

    As far as this season with UT is concerned then, did you have any specific design objectives? Were you able to achieve them this time around?

    For the first season with UT, it was very Americana-focused. This time, I wanted it to be a bit more global – to have more inroads. Uniqlo has stores all over the world, so I wanted something that would communicate to the whole audience. It was important to keep a balance. Obviously, there has to be some Disney stuff in there, but I also wanted the chance to work with Brooklyn Machine Works – who I’ve known for a very long time. Also, Merchant Mills is part of a UK-based design company that I’m really into. The collection will be a balance of well-known characters and some new stuff that I can introduce to people.

    Can you explore the process of unearthing these rare, archival prints that you’ve used in the line?

    It varies tremendously depending on who we’re working with. With Disney there’s already a long, ongoing relationship and the objective is to find a new angle on it – something that people haven’t seen before. But for example, with Merchant Mills is a company that I knew about, and we approached them directly to see if they’d be interested. With Brooklyn Machine Works, I’ve had a 20-year relationship with Joe, who founded it. Each step of the process is different depending on who we’re working with.

    In the grand scheme of things, what are some lessons that you’ve learned from building brands, and how have you applied them to this new opportunity?

    The thing about working with a big organization like Uniqlo is that my job is quite well-defined in that it’s more about making the product. I don’t have to take on the responsibility of thinking about the brand – I can leave that; there’s actually a team there to help me. “Okay, my job is to focus on producing a line of products,” which is different because before I had to do everything.

    What opportunities for growth do you foresee in your current position?

    As far as this is concerned, I have to make about 1,000 designs a season. There’s a team there, but still a daunting task. I’m quite happy to focus on that. With UNIQLO as a whole, Tadashi Yanai-san (Uniqlo founder) has a clear vision of what he wants to do – so I’m quite happy to say “okay, I’m just focused on making stuff.”