Archive for the 'Fashion' Category

Carrot Clothing x Steve ESPO Powers

July 29, 2009

Carrot x ESPO

Carrot x ESPO

Steve ‘ESPO’ Powers “Street Art Is Gay” sweater of Carrot Fall ’09 line. When we ask Steve to explain meaning of this piece, he just said: “Street art is gay, and proud of it.”

http://www.carrotclothing.net

Rapper Uzoy…Houston’s Femme Fatale?

April 28, 2008

 

Uzoy

http://www.myspace.com/uzoy

DRENCH: Is Uzoy your govt. name? What does it mean?

UZOY:

 

Uzoy is actually a nickname I have gone by since middle school. It’s pronounced “uzi” like the gun. It’s not my government name, but it’s a variation to my real name. I’m waiting to reveal the government name when I’m more exposed.DRENCH: Ah, silent “O,” right? How’d you get uzoy as a nickname?

UZOY: I don’t really remember. I think I was just tired of people pronouncing my real name wrong. People tend to remember my name quicker when they hear Uzoy.

 

DRENCH: Why are you incorporating waiting until you get bigger to reveal your first name? Or is it a type of trade secret..

UZOY: Well, I figure people will find out eventually. It’s a bit of a pet peeve for people to mispronounce my name. Even with my nickname, people mispronounce it all the time.

 

DRENCH: How’d you get your start in music?

UZOY: I actually have always been trying to pursue music. I first wanted to be a singer and realized that wasn’t going to happen. Lol. After that, I just started writing r&b. That’s always been my first love. Then I started trying to ghostwrite for rappers and now I am where I am now.

 

DRENCH: So, did you approach anyone with a sample of your singing before deciding to move on to other things? Which r&b singers have you written for?

UZOY: It came to the point where I just realized. You can compare yourself to others and be honest with yourself. I didn’t want to be an artist that wasn’t one hundred percent sure that I was talented. I really wasn’t writing for anybody major. I was actually trying to get at people I went to school with.

 

DRENCH:

 

Did you gain any success with the ghostwriting for rappers thing? Not asking for names, but just if you’ve gotten any work with that..UZOY:

With that situation, there was someone I was trying to ghostwrite for and after hearing what I had written, they wanted me to rap for their group. At that time, I wasn’t trying to be a rapper or an artist. I wanted to be behind the scenes. I was just always big on the lyrical aspect.DRENCH: Would you say your style is more similar to fire, or ice? Why?

UZOY: I would probably have to say ice. I think my music and style is more cool and laid back. I’m a laid back kind of person.

 

DRENCH: Someone says, “You’re nice (on the mic)…for a female..” How do you react?

UZOY: I don’t take it into serious offense although it is annoying. I just know that I can’t blame them. There’s not many notable female rappers altogether. That kind of comment balances out when people say that I sound better than most of the males doing it right now.

 

DRENCH: They say its a man’s world…how do you appeal to it musically w/o compromising who you are?

UZOY: I actually don’t think people realize how hard it really is. I have no outline to look at. The male rappers have every other rapper there was to be inspired by and basically make themselves a cookie cutter image of a rapper that has already been out. In my case, if I’m not showing off my skin or doing the neo-soul thing, I’m on my own. I try not to concentrate on the gender thing. So basically, I just do what I feel is me. I take it as either they’ll love it or they’ll hate it. So far, they love it.

 

DRENCH: The rap industry is obviously disenfranchised concerning women. What do you think could be done to better this situation?

UZOY: I honestly don’t know. I think it’s based on the individual. If they decide to buy into the “female rapper” cliché, its on them. I refuse to.

 

DRENCH: Do you believe its more difficult to maneuver in the industry as a female rapper? How so?

UZOY: Definitely. I think the hardest part is getting someone to listen. But, in my experience, after they listen to me I hardly ever have a problem with people taking me seriously or wanting to work with me.

 

DRENCH: Some people say its tough being a female. Some people say its tough being black. How do you deal with being both?

UZOY: Well, neither is a big deal. I’ve been both all my life. Lol. It’s more that in the industry, its hard to get people to take me seriously. They automatically see me and think of the southern female rapper stereotype when that’s not the case.

 

DRENCH: I’m sure people already probably underestimate/overlook your music because you’re from the south. Do you believe people do that based on your gender as well?

UZOY: They both tie hand in hand. I think people actually sit and listen to see how bad I will suck. Lol. Then, to their amazement, I deliver. I like to have that surprising factor. It’s always fun to spit in front of a group of guys who have never heard me rap before. Most people are surprised when they find out I’m from the south.

 

DRENCH: What’s your most personal song (give a synopsis of the song as well)?

UZOY: I would have to say that track for me is “Fast Forward”. The track is basically talking about myself and how I see my future if I continue going in the direction I was going with the people I do music with. I actually put the future in the first verse and my past in the second verse. I just explain how I was treated as a kid without trying to give too much detail. It’s just my attempt at letting my audience in a little.

 

DRENCH: With more exposure/growth as an artist, it usually also becomes more time consuming. How do you think you’ll balance music with your personal life if things start to pick up in the area of music? How do you currently balance your music with other aspects of your life?

UZOY: The music doesn’t really interfere with my personal life at all. The only balance that I have to deal with is the school aspect of my life. I end up having to postpone a lot of collaboration opportunities due to school, but I know I need to get that straight first.

 

DRENCH: You have a new mixtape/ep coming soon, right? Could you shed on some light on what to expect from it?

UZOY: Yes. The definition is my upcoming mixtape or EP. Whatever you want to call it. I think this is going to be one of the most progressive projects to come out of Houston. It’s basically a mix with a majority of original tracks but I also throw a few unoriginal beats on there so people will already be familiar with some of the content. With the tracks it has, I thought I would be cheating myself to just call it a mixtape. But this is my first project and I’m very proud of the material on it. It releases this summer around June. I’ll have it for sale via myspace.

 

DRENCH: So, you’ve told me you go to school…what’s your major, and how would you say it relates to music?

UZOY: Yes, I am in school and my major is chemistry. I’m working towards pharmacology. My music is actually an escape from the school. This field of study is no joke. Serious classes with serious professors.

 

DRENCH: What are the perks of being a female rapper?

UZOY: I would have to say that if I continue on the path I’m taking, I could easily surpass most of the rappers that are in the industry right now. People make such a big deal not only because I make good music, but because I’m from Houston and I’m a female. I think both angles work for me.

 

DRENCH: What’s your opinon of the portrayal of the typical black woman in hip-hop media?

UZOY: Well, I don’t see much respect given. I’m big on respect. It’s kinda like, they are used to further push the industry in the direction it has been going for years with no change in sight.

 

DRENCH: Do you think rapping is a “tomboyish” thing for a female to do?

UZOY: I don’t think so. I think people expect me to be some super tomboyish figure, but I’m just me. I’m a girl that likes to chill, hang out, and rap.

I think it’s simple as that.

 

DRENCH: Have you checked out the show, “Miss Rap Supreme” on VH1? What’s do you think of it?

UZOY: I don’t know if you want my honest opinion. Lol. It’s

 

?interesting. A lot of egos that shouldn’t be present are there and I think it just further pushes that female stereotype in the bad direction it’s already in. The challenges and things they have to do are motivated so much on woman power and such. I don’t think that’s necessary. I think when you throw that aspect in the mix too much, it gets corny. For those girls to be the ones that showed up on the show, I think there are a lot of really talented female rappers that wouldn’t do a show like that.

What I Wore…Yesterday?

April 12, 2008

Me, Fat Tony, & Third Eye

(Right: Me, Middle: Third Eye, Left: Fat Tony)

What I wore…tonight?

April 9, 2008

What I Wore Today…

April 3, 2008

Me.

What I Wore Today…

March 27, 2008

Me.

I know, boring compared to my usual…lol

What I Wore Today…

March 25, 2008

Me.

What I Wore Today…

March 21, 2008

Me & Phunkii

What I Wore Today…

March 18, 2008

Me

Interview w/the owner of Hot-Block Clothing

March 18, 2008

Hot-Block Clothing

How did this all come about? When did you first know you wanted to do this? Is it just a side-hustle, or something you’d like to dive deeper into?
I was always into art. If you ask around in Long Beach, they’ll either say “Oh, the dude that be drawing?” or “Oh, the dude that makes shirts?” I used to make tees in high school for me and my crew. Just stuff we could rock instead of white tees all day. That turned into a little side hustle when people would just come up to me and beg for a shirt. It didn’t support me, I’ve had a couple 9 to 5s I’ve bitched about. I’m full time school, so the clothing stuff took a back seat up till a couple months ago. A lot of people have faith in what I’m doing right now, and that’s driving me to really concentrate on it.

There are alot of people out there with ambition, but have a lack of knowledge on how to get started with a business manuever such as this. How did you go about starting the line?
Luck has a lot to do with it sometimes. After high school I laid low on the design tip, and focused on work and college. Out the blue I got a call from one of my friends asking for logos and a website. At first I didn’t want to promise anything, but I told him I’ll try. It was for a streetwear boutique they were opening up. I just fell in real good with them, I even started working there. It sparked my interest again. I was looking at the product coming in, and told myself I could do that. I just started asking questions to all the people I was meeting at trade shows and what not. They really schooled me. I was only 21 at the time, and everybody I was talking to was around 30. They’ve been in the game for a good 10 years plus and had the insight I really needed. I picked up on everything they said. In the end, I was having doubts about the shop. Tension built up, egos were getting bigger, so I decided to part ways and start my own thing. I saved up a couple hundred, and got my first design out. Flipped that, and now we’re sitting on two.

You’re sitting on two what?
LoL, I meant two designs. Hopefully with every design, I can flip em and double the number of designs for the next shipment.

What boutique did it happen to be? Which trade shows did you attend?
I used to be Groundid’s (groundid.com) designer. Their whole thing was stay humble, stay grounded. We tried to treat everybody like friends. We even let the shoppers model the tees whenever the shipments came. I was probably there everyday. I did the website, the line of store brand tees, held down the store on the weekends, inventory. That whole situation, and how it ended cut me pretty deep. I went out to MAGIC in Vegas with them. That was probably the biggest trade show I’ve been to. It’s crazy. Everyone was geared up. 500 dollar kicks, 200 dollar jeans, 40 dollar tees, it was ridiculous. Models you see from videos running around everywhere. Man, I was like a kid in a candy store. Besides that, I’ve been to the smaller ones out in San Diego called Agenda. More laid back, more one to ones with the sellers.

How far do you think you’d like to go with the line?
You gotta aim for the top in everything you do. I’m shooting for the moon. I wanna be on some Diamond, or Hundreds type shit. If I could get a store on Fairfax, I’ll die happy.

What do you think was your biggest obstacle so far concerning your line’s creation?
My personal life has taken a crazy beating. Money is a major issue, especially when you don’t have a lot of it. Basically budgeting is crazy. I don’t spend a penny on myself. I go M.I.A. from time to time, and nobody sees me for a good week or two. I don’t stress it because I enjoy what I’m doing, and I have faith it’ll pay off.

I noticed some underlying themes within the designs of the clothing, which I thought was a neat feature. What do you think are some of the influences behind your designs?
I’m a hip-hop head. Music inspires me a lot. Sometimes I could just be listening and a line just hits me. Lately, I’ve been real political/social with the newer concepts. I was born in a country that was going through a civil war, and mindlessly slaughtering its own people at the time. Google the killing fields, that’s what I came from. When my family moved out here, we ended up in the hood. I’m still on MLK Jr. Ave, and I don’t know if there’s a decent one in any city. Some of my best friends are career criminals. Some of em work corners. I’ve made different decisions in my life. I’m trying to get on some corporate shit so I can feed some people.

Wow, I looked it up man…that’s amazing..when did you & your parents leave Cambodia?
Throughout the 80s my family moved from refugee camp to refugee camp. I was born in one, you see M16s in my baby pictures. My family, especially on my mother’s side, were heavily rooted with the previous government, so staying in Cambodia was never an option. Family out in the US finally sent for us in 91, that’s when we left for the states. I was 5 or 6, and didn’t know a word of English when I started school. I shock a lot of people when I tell them I wasn’t born here.

How long did it take you to learn English?
I was in ESL, or English as a second language, up to the 4th grade. So roughly four years. The rest of the learning came from TV and music mostly. There’s no accent or anything about my speech that would suggest I wasn’t born here. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones.

What’s your name?
My mother calls me Rortha, but I go by Ro. Makes things alot simpler.

I’ve noticed it’s basically just t-shirts at the moment. Will your line grow more dynamic with time, or will you stick to your guns (no pun intended)?
Sweaters withing a year. I’m gonna take this slow, and not rush anything. I’m not just gonna pump stuff out for the hell of it. I want every design to have a meaning. I’m focusing on the message mainly now, but when it’s time to really step into the realm of branding, then expect everything.

Do you think you’ll ever work on distributing artwork that isn’t fashion-oriented (paintings, drawings, etc)?
To be honest I haven’t looked into that, so I don’t know yet. I never really kept up with drawing or painting. I’m diving back into it, but all of that is to help progress the shirt designs. Like the MOB tee that’s probably going to be out in a month, that’s the first one I’ve actually drew by hand.

If your line was a rapper, who would it be?
My man NaS! We’re a reflection of the streets, we play off of it. But at the same time, we try to motivate people, tell em shoot for the moon. We try to make them think, cause you gotta question the conditions and state of mind we in from time to time. We’re the dude around the way that’s smart low key.

Where will people be able to purhcase and view your mechandise?
I’m selling most of this stuff from word of mouth, or right out the back of my car. Everybody in Long Beach that knows me is supporting right now. Some of em don’t even wear this type of stuff, so I gotta thank all of em for supporting. If you’re not in Long Beach, check out http://www.blockishot.com for details. You can actually order online. I met a couple boutique owners over the years, and when I’m ready, I’ll start moving into stores.

Anything else you’d like to add?
I think we covered just about everything. Definitely look out for us. I’m trying to take over my hometown first, but give me a couple years and I’ll have yall screaming “The block is hot!”

http://www.drenchonline.com