Fresh off their eight-city “Cross Faded Tour” with Two-9, Queens rap collective World’s Fair has craved a named for itself among the new era of lyricists, thanks to their melange of styles, both sonically and fashionably. Embodying everything that is New York City, from the grit to the glam, the six-member emcee ensemble consists of Lansky Jones, Remy Banks, Nasty Nigel, Prince SAMO, Cody B. Ware and Jeff Donna. So as they now look to build their international presence, whilst showcasing each individual’s strengths, the Fool’s Gold imprint teamed with Converse CONS to talk about music as a weapon, songwriting, New York, the bond between music and fashion, and much more. After reading through their interview below, download World’s Fair latest EP Bastards Of The Party here.
Can you introduce yourself and your creative medium?
Lansky Jones: We’re the physical embodiment of Queens; a group of individuals each with their own unique appearances, styles and personalities all showcasing their talents and creating a sonic collage in the process.
With the mantra that “sound is the weapon,” how important do you think the music and rhythm play into the impact and translation of your lyricism to listeners?
LJ: Lyrics must coincide with music and rhythm in order for great music to be made. Great music can incite great poetry, and when it happens it becomes a force that can penetrate the minds of people all around the world.
DJ Thoth: Music is the most powerful weapon as it can slip through any defense. Although lyricism is important, melodies penetrate where words and language cannot.
Prince SAMO: It has the power to change, strengthen, and understand emotion in us. We try to make everyone feel what we’re saying and how we feel with our lyrics. And the instrumentation plays just as big, if not a bigger role in that process.
How does your songwriting process go – do you typically pen lyrics first and then link it up with a track or vice versa?
LJ: Usually one of us will start with a verse, sometimes I’ll record some voice memos with melodies I’d like to include in the song, followed by a potential verse. Even still, there isn’t always a method to the madness.
Nasty Nigel: For the most part we pen our verses to the track and pitch it to the rest of the guys. If they’re digging it, they join in. Sometimes a verse could sound better on another song. Every puzzle piece has an infinite outcome.
What elements of NYC have played into your sound now as a crew?
PS: Every element of NYC has played into our sound. The way of life, the speed of life, the wit, the grit, the darkness, the humor, I can keep going. We’re born and raised in NYC and because of that, it’s impossible to not reference that in everyday life or in our art. It’s a part of the collage that makes us up.
NN: From indulging in the night life to getting by during a 9-5 day.
What other artists are out there on the come up with a unique sound that you respect?
All: Flatbush Zombies, Action Bronson and his camp, Bodega Bamz, RatKing, Vic Mensa, eXquire, Deniro Ferrar, Two-9, Grande Marshall, the list goes on and on. There’s so much talent out there right now, we can say we are proud to be a part of this era in music.
How do you see the worlds of fashion and music coinciding?
PS: Fashion and music have always had a bond. From David Bowie to Lee Scratch Perry to RUN DMC, there’s always been a collision of the two. Music is a form of expression. As is fashion. Fashion is how people will see you before they hear your voice or your music. Music is how people understand you, how they interpret who you are. Both show the world what you feel and express your attitude and lifestyle.
For more information on Converse CONS, head over to their Tumblr as well as CONS EP.
Artist endorsement deals, all-red sneaker collabs, Nicki Minaj twerk tutorials in club shaking music videos? Welcome to 2012 if you’re Big Sean. Though all the above may be #trending in today’s Twittersphere, the inventor of the hashtag flow has been a true influencer long before it was a self-appointed social media bio credential.
While the rest of rap’s rising talent has been buzzing, barking or even biting in 2014, Sean’s been relatively quiet. He’s been working. In Hawaii. The island of Oahu has been the source of inspiration, self discovery and the sounds that have blossomed from Sean and the rest of his G.O.O.D. Music team in recent years. We spoke with Big Sean about his love for Hawaii and his new adidas Metro Attitude collaboration that pays tribute to Oahu.
Nice Kicks: Back in 2012 you joined adidas. How has your relationship evolved with the brand over the last two years?
Big Sean: It’s just been great. Just the fact that adidas gets involved with anything cultural and they’re not afraid of taking any chances as a brand. They just go with what they believe in. I think that’s what gives them the advantage. Over the years, that’s made them not only one of the top brands in sport, but also in culture. It’s just great to be a part of that.
Nice Kicks: In that time, you’ve had a chance to welcome some of your peers, collaborators and even mentors to the adidas Originals team. What has that been like?
Big Sean: It’s been cool. I was telling Kanye way back about adidas– back obviously before he was with adidas. When I heard he was doing a deal with them I hit him up and said, “I told you!” We laughed about it. It’s just really cool. I feel like it was great for them to include me and I feel like I was a part of the resurgence of adidas in a new aspect. Obviously they’ve been popular this whole time, but it felt like a fresh new energy when I got with them and it’s just tight to be a part of that.
Nice Kicks: Last year on tour with Kid Cudi you wore the Attitude. When did the process of collaborating on that model begin and what was that like?
Big Sean: It really didn’t start until this year, I’d say a few months ago. It was easy really, it wasn’t too difficult. I’m sure as the relationship progresses, we’ll get deeper and deeper into designing. They’re down and I’m down. Doing things like this are just simple, easy and fun. I love the Metro Attitude. Like you said, I’ve been rocking it for a while. I love the Patrick Ewings (Editor’s Note: Patrick Ewing wore the Attitude during his early days with the Knicks) and it’s just tight to put my own flavor on it.
Nice Kicks: What sparked the idea of putting an island vibe on such a city-centric sneaker?
Big Sean: It was actually adidas’ idea. They came to me with it and it just made sense. Hawaii is just one of my favorite places of all time. Especially after working out there with Ye and the whole G.O.O.D. Music family, and working out there for my projects as well. It’s just something special. When you wake up in paradise you feel energized. I feel like the idea of working in paradise was just great, and that’s something Kanye introduced to me. It’s definitely part of my life and it’s cool to just see that represented in a shoe. Every shoe I do I want it to be completely different and have a theme to it.
Nice Kicks: The island of Oahu is known as “The Gathering Place.” Over the years of recording there, what have been some of your best memories in regard to getting together and working with the G.O.O.D. Music family?
Big Sean: There are so many good memories. One of the best times out there was when it was me, Rick Ross, Ye and Nicki Minaj. I remember me and Ross were there in a cypher and Ye was there and everybody was just rapping. It was before Ross really knew who I was and now we’re homies. I remember Ross going back to Def Jam [after that] and telling everybody, “Man, you heard of this dude Big Sean? He’s crazy! He’s about to do something major!” and Def Jam telling him they just signed me. It was just cool for him to be energized like that when we were really just having fun. That’s when I developed a cool relationship with Ross and Nicki and since then we’ve really just been tight.
Nice Kicks: Moving forward, are there any concepts or ideas you’re tossing around for your next collab with adidas?
Big Sean: There are definitely ideas, but you’ve got to just wait and see. But not just shoes. With these, we have apparel coming out with the shoes, too. Just something fresh and easy. Be on the lookout because the next one will be bigger and better.
Nice Kicks: Over the course of your career, you’ve been ahead of the curve when it comes to fashion trends. What are you currently on or calling next?
Big Sean: You’ve just got to wait and see. Stay posted on Instagram. We’ve got some new concepts and ideas that we’re going to start unveiling with this new music. You’ll see. I can’t wait for you guys to get it and hear what we’ve been working on. I’ve been in a cave working hard. I built a studio in my house and it’s been one of the best experiences ever.
Nice Kicks: Lastly, what can your fans expect in regard to footwear and fashion from Big Sean?
Big Sean: You can just expect something honest and whatever I feel like doing. Every shoe I do really just reflects what I’m doing then style wise. The first shoe I did was red, and bright with big gold accents on it. The next one I did was very subtle– still fresh, but more of an everyday shoe. These shoes are tight because they tell a story. They tell a story about me going to Hawaii and Hawaii is where I got the energy and confidence to be me. We were working out there and I literally went from not being known to being known and setting up my own spot in the rap game. It’s just tight that this shoe means more than just the actual shoe. I hope people can realize that and I hope people enjoy that.
The Big Sean x adidas Metro Attitude releases at select adidas Originals accounts on September 13th.
Photography by Kin Kwan
California’s PacSun has rounded together a formidable group of streetwear heavyweights for its upcoming capsule collection titled “White Out.” The capsule features white-colored goods from The Hundreds, Diamond Supply Co. and Been Trill to be released during next week’s Labor Day, ironically breaking the ‘no white after Labor Day’ rule. The 10-piece collection includes tees, athletic jerseys, joggers and shorts all ranging from $ 25-$ 90 USD. The “White Out” Capsule Collection will be available at PacSun stores and PacSun online starting Friday, August 29.
Skate shoe brand Supra gets icy with their latest pack of their sneaker silhouette, with the Owen “Tundra” pack. Inspired by desolate arctic environments, the Tundra pack consists of one version of the Owen in chilly Sterling Blue suede while the other receives a black reflective nylon upper with the same light blue hue for the midsole and accents. The Tundra pack will be an exclusive to UK retailer size?, and should be in stock in-store and online soon.
UNDERCOVER’s famed GILAPPLE animation from 2009 captured the relationships between fashion, interior and art with human society, and earlier this year the GILApple Light was realized from animation to functional product. Now the light ornament returns with Medicom Toys in a Silver colorway matching its headlight design. If you’re an avid UNDERCOVER fan, be sure to add this art piece to your collection available from select stockists beginning on August 30th.
Coming all the way from the far court is a surprising new player with unexpected credentials. The iconic White/Cement colorway of the Air Jordan 3 is fully integrated into Roger Federer’s unofficial signature sneaker to create the Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour “White Cement.” Since both the AJ 3 and Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour are designed by Tinker Hatfield, this mashup model fuses the gap between basketball and tennis. Federer’s silhouette takes on the white tumbled leather upper, elephant print mudguards, black midsole, red eyelets, Jumpman tongue tag, and even the ’88 “Nike Air” on the back heels. Finished off with its endorser’s “RF” initials on the lateral midsole, this surprising sneaker is set to drop on August 26th, exclusively at Footaction’s Flight 23 store. Tell us what you think of these in the feedback space below, and keep swinging through Nice Kicks for everything sneakers.