Category Archives: Swag

Finding your own style and persona

Defining an Era or Error: Timbs

The Hip-Hop Utility Boot of our Times

Timbs, Timbos or Timbies

The utility boot that was originally designed for hiking and mountaineering, is probably more popular for its usage and wear in hip-hop culture. Since the mid 90’s, the Timberland boots have been a staple in hip-hop culture – from the young Mobb Deep due of Havoc & Prodigy walking Queens, NY in their Timbs in Shook Ones, to the current female video vixens that rock cute pink Timbs, Timberland boots help to define the hip-hop era. You can simply look at a Timb and know what year, or what trend was popping around that time. I always wanted a Timb in high school, but couldn’t afford the high price – I know have one, and I always revert back to it for snow/rainy weather. You can tell the success of a product when the good ‘ol bootleggers in China try to start selling knock-offs, and when there are many imitation brands (pointing at YOU ‘Lugz’, are they still around?).

The Custom Joints
With a popular brand, comes the demand for custom designs to your product – mostly by third-party sources. Here are some interestign ones:

The Dead Presidents Timb

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The Designer Timb

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The Louis Vuittion Timb

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The Scottish Timb

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The Full House Timb

Overall the Timberland line has flourished in the past 10 years or so opening many retail stores throughout North America and the U.K., and have grossed yearly revenue sales that have climbed into the billions.  Another brand that has benefited off of hip-hop culture – hope they give back.

.:: LiBM ::.

Nerban Holiday Gift Guide

Nerban Gift Guide

Some fresh fashions and tech gear for the Nerbans and Nerbanettes for this holiday season – from the highly techie stuff to the cool gear.  You can be a nerd with style!

    

    

Iomega 500gb USB powered external Hard Drive

$99 via TigerDirect

The Maraca headphones by WeSC

$64 via KarmaLoop

High Society Pullover by Crooks & Castles

$59 via Dr Jays

The McKenzie Coat by Spiewalk

$169 via KarmaLoop

The Solomon Fatsax by LRG

$26 via KarmaLoop

The Vaider Sneaker by Supra

$96 via KarmaLoop

.:: LiBM ::.

Hipsters: Then and Now

 

The Hipsters

Past and Present … Presently ….

Here is a bit of a History Lesson of where this ‘Hipster’ Fashion and culture has come from … and SHOCKINGLY, it comes from the Black Community … (that is sarcasm)

Birth of ….


1940s-1950s

“Hipster” derives from the slang “hip” or “hep,” which are derived from the earlier slang “hop” for opium. The first dictionary to list the word is the short glossary “For Characters Who Don’t Dig Jive Talk,” which was included with Harry Gibson’s 1944 album, Boogie Woogie In Blue. The entry for “hipsters” defined it as “characters who like hot jazz.” The 1959 book Jazz Scene by Eric Hobsbawm (using the pen name Francis Newton) describes hipsters using their own language, “jive-talk or hipster-talk,” he writes “is an argot or cant designed to set the group apart from outsiders.” Hipster was also used in a different context at about the same time by Jack Kerouac in describing his vision of the Beat Generation. Along with Allen Ginsberg, Kerouac described 1940s hipsters “rising and roaming America,… bumming and hitchhiking everywhere… [as] characters of a special spirituality.”

 

Mutation of …


1990s and 2000s
In the late 1990s, the term started to be used in new, sometimes mutually exclusive ways. In some circles it became a blanket description for middle class and upper class young people associated with alternative culture, particularly alternative music, independent rock, alternative hip-hop, independent film and a lifestyle revolving around thrift store shopping, eating organic, locally grown, vegetarian, and/or vegan food, drinking local beer (or even brewing their own), listening to public radio, and riding fixed-gear bicycles.

In 2003 Robert Lanham’s satirical book The Hipster Handbook described hipsters as young people with “… mop-top haircuts, swinging retro pocketbooks, talking on cell phones, smoking European cigarettes,… strutting in platform shoes with a biography of Che Guevara sticking out of their bags.” Hipsters are considered apathetic, pretentious, and self-entitled by other, often marginalized sectors of society they live amongst, including previous generations of bohemian and/or “counter-culture” artists and thinkers as well as poor neighborhoods of color.

Gavin Mueller’s article “Hipster or Not?” for Stylus Magazine (2004) wrote that “… hipster lifestyle is reduced to a pose, a pretense” which involves”…”a hipster costume, worn to appear “cool”, a liberal arts education, and so on. He claims that the term “‘Hipster’ is far too vague and broad to have any semblance of essential meaning”.

 

Current … Hipster Rap

In 2008, Utne Reader magazine writer Jake Mohan described “hipster rap,” “as loosely defined by the Chicago Reader, consists of the most recent crop of MCs and DJs who flout conventional hip-hop fashions, eschewing baggy clothes and gold chains for tight jeans, big sunglasses, the occasional keffiyeh, and other trappings of the hipster lifestyle.” He notes that the “old-school hip-hop website Unkut, and Jersey City rapper Mazzi” have criticized mainstream rappers who they deem to be poseurs or “… fags for copping the metrosexual appearances of hipster fashion.” Prefix Mag writer Ethan Stanislawski argues that there are racial elements to the rise of hipster rap. He claims that there “…have been a slew of angry retorts to the rise of hipster rap,” which he says can be summed up as “white kids want the funky otherness of hip-hop… without all the scary black people.”

 

Comment:

I don’t mind the Hipster fashions for the women, but when the Hipster fashions for the men look like the same fashions for the women; then there is a problem – loosen up the jeans fellas.

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hipster_(1940s_subculture)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hipster_(contemporary_subculture)

Back to School Fresh

Back to School Fresh

I must be having a mental writing block, or trying to fill the space between posts, or I must be busy – either or, that shouldn’t diminish the fly gear that is available out there for consumption. Here are some fresh looks from the site www.karmaloop.com – living up north, there customer service and shipping policy is on point, so I am sure state side it is even better (hopefully).


The Asher Roth College Tee
$20.00


The Lights Out Tee by DGK
$20.00


The Fallen Soldiers Tee by DGK
$20.00



The Camp Pack On My Back Tee by LRG
$28.00

.:: LiBM ::.

The mean gangsta leans

Gangsta Leanin’

Whatever happened to the fine art of the ‘lean’? That gangsta lean that let mofo’s know that you are here; it also let them know that you are not to be messed with. It seems like in the 80’s and towards the 90’s, rappers probably used to practice leaning for music videos and general interviews. Nowadays, general swag has replaced the gangsta lean, but I don’t think these artists have what EPMD, Das EFX, and others had, I don’t know, you be the judge.

80’s Mean Mugging – Defining the Lean


Eric B & Rakim – Paid in Full

Leaders of the New School

90’s – Taking the Lean into different contexts


Das EFX – catching wiggidy wreck with the Jeep in the Streets


West Coast Low Riding Leaning with Snoop

2000’s Leaning ???


Slim Thug

.:: LiBM ::.

Adidas Fly House Party

Adidas Ultimate House Party

The full-length video of the Adidas House Party featuring everyone from Run DMC, Russell Simmons, Missy, David Beckham, Method Man, Redman, Kevin Garnett, Estelle, Young Jeezy, and of course classic and fresh Adidas shoes. This is the full-length commercial, not the 30-second chop up that you see on your regular TV channels. Only one thing, has anyone ever been to a fly house party like this? I recall all my house parties been barely full, and not having that much style, but I still had fun in the ‘bashment jams’ … my West Indian Caribbean people will not what I mean!

.:: LiBM ::.

Joe Budden says “F**k’ NY”


Joe Budden says “F**k’ NY”

Hometown love, where has it gone?

Now, I get what Joe Budden is saying in this video – he has a qualm with cities not supporting homegrown talent.  Apparently after a show that he was performing at with other New York artists, Joey felt that the crowd didn’t show love for their artists.  Now the reason for that, could be varied (i.e. the artists did not perform well, etc.), but Joey concludes that the local fans does not support their artists; especially now, New York is in a transitional phase in hip-hop music where they are trying to reclaim that crown from the South.  And being up here in the T Dot (Toronto), we are known for having the most haters per capita – we never show our own talent love & support; we always support the American acts when they come to our city to perform, and buy their CD’s when they drop, but when it comes to supporting our own, we never do.  I see it all the time, as an event promoter putting on live music events, its very difficult to get people to come out to support their own; up here, we would rather go to a redundant club than go experience our peers performing. 

However, it seems like in the South, they got it.  From the mid 90’s, they have been supporting their own local acts – from Master P and his No Limit empire, to Baby and his Cash Money Records empire, for local shows in the South, hundreds of people would go and support their local acts; everything from clothing to CD’s.  And now, the South pretty much runs hip-hop, some of it is not wanted though, but regardless they still run it.  And I guess that Joey is looking for that Southern affection and behavior to seep up north – as it is logical to suggest that especially when New York is ‘down’, the city should rally around its promising talent to support it, nurture it, and aide in its growth (flower-like). 

However, I guess on this cold, winter night, Joey felt New York didn’t represent like the days in the Boogie Down when hundreds would come out to the park, after dark, for two turntables, a mic, and a dope MC. 

I feel ya pain bro.

.:: LiBM ::.

From Ashy to Classy

Ashy to Classy
Jay-Z makes it into Vogue magazine

The August issue of Vogue magazine will feature black models and entertainers as the popular Italian magazine has came under fire in recent years for not representing black models in their magazines. Jay-Z is one of the feature articles in the magazine and it is really big that Jay-Z from the Marcy projects in Brooklyn New York can rise from the gutter to the pages of the exquisite Italian vogue magazine. Looking at the pictures, Jay-Z can be the poster child for what ‘mature hip-hop’ looks like ….

The Vogue magazine should drop sometime in July 2008 and will not only featuring Jay-Z, but Naomi Campbell, Tyson Beckford, Toccara, and other black models. Vogue gets a ‘kudos’ for at least attempting to open its doors to black models in their magazines, but lets see if they can keep it up.

.:: d.b ::.

El ‘Nerbano’

El Nerbano
The Nerban (nerd + urban) … best of both worlds  

The Nerban is the hybrid guy that has carefully meshed the two worlds of hip-hop/urban culture and nerd/geek isms. The Nerban can run in the streets, hang on the block, be affiliated with ‘gangstas’, and at the same time be abreast with technology, have a diverse investment portfolio, and have B.A.’s and Masters.

The Nerban is respected by hip-hop culture because of his nerdy-knowledge of technology and such; in the same breath, the nerds respect the Nerban because of his knowledge of hip-hop culture. Each group lives vicariously through the Nerban to get a glimpse into ‘the other side'; the gangsta’s get to learn about what’s poppin’ with the nerds, and the nerds get to see some urban swag and style.

With the ladies, the Nerban is the prime choice for the lady that is not looking for a gangsta, not looking for ‘poindexter’, but is looking for someone with a little bit of edge & style mixed with knowledge & ambition. Most ladies will experience a Nerban at some point in their life, but will have a tendency to disregard the Nerban because he isn’t too ‘street’ enough, and usually these ladies end up where the Nerban was lacking (i.e. the Street – out on their own, lost).

The Nerban has always lived throughout history, from:

The Goofy Nerban


Will Smith a.k.a. ‘The Fresh Prince’
~ His goofy style of rap lauded him to a Grammy and a hit TV show, he then used that to develop a successful movie career – All this from “parents just don’t understand”.

The Conscious Nerban


Common
~ The type of brother to school you with spiritual thoughts, but isn’t scared to go into battle, remember the battle with Ice Cube anyone??

The Arrogant Nerban


Kanye West

~ Do I really need to explain this???????  

The Righteous Nerban


A Tribe Called Quest
~ These nerbans are about having a good time, dancing, chilling, but can get grimey when need be.

The “Odd, but can’t hate on him” Nerban


Pharell
~ Clothing and style has funky colors and patterns, social activities divert from the norm, but this Nerban can deliver in the streets or the boardroom.

.:: d.b ::.

VLot Case #120: "Leave my cologne alone, its a little too strong for you to be putting on"

“Leave my cologne alone, its a little too strong for you to be putting on”


From Lupe Fiasco ‘I Gotcha’ (2006)
a case study from
www.vacantlot.org

Relates to ‘swagger jacking’. Swagger jacking can be described in adoring and borrowing one’s style, charisma; but more importantly, claiming that style and charisma as your own. Back in the day it would one would be labelled a ‘biter’.

Furthermore, this quote goes a bit deeper and suggests that one can not hold one’s weight; which is a direct shot to ‘swagger jackers’. Because if you are going to emulate someone; one best do a damn good job at being similar or better than the original, because if one does not look similar or better, the public will easily be able to identify the ‘fakeness’ in the perpetraitor. In the entertainment industry, many try to copy style of another, but it rarely works:
– New York imitating the Dirty South (i.e. Chicken Noodle soup, very wack)
– Everybody trying to get shot 9 times like 50 Cent (Beanie, Fabolous, and others)
– Madonna trying to adopt children, just like Angelina
– In the early 2000’s everybody was trying to get the ‘Neptunes’ sound (wack notables; Angie Martinez, Ray J)

On a lower-profile scale, many people have to go through the process of deciding whether to step in the shoes of another, primarily when it comes to filling roles: for example, becoming a responsible father, taking over the family business, a new job position, whatever the case is, assuming a new role whether by choice or not, can be a challenge.

As Lupe suggests, if it is a little too strong for you to handle, then symptoms will follow, commonly known as ‘coping’. Coping may manifest itself into certain types of behavior; withdrawal from certain social settings, anxiety, depressants (drugs, alcohol), and other behavior that is usually damaging. Thus, if one can not cope with the ‘cologne’ then another quote comes to mind; ‘If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen’.

Summation:
For the ones that are being bitten, there is a quote that suggests that ‘imitation is the greatest form of flattery'; however, this flattery may be indirectly (meaning, the one who is imitating will not likely directly admit to admiring the source’s). So, instead of getting mad or irrate because someone is ‘biting your style’, think of it as an accomplishment that someone would try to emulate your behaviour.

.: More lyrics and quotes at http://www.vacantlot.org/