Saturday, July 31, 2010

I ain't dead. I've been mad overloaded.
Catch a couple interviews within the month. Promise.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


My friend was having trouble parting with his Yeezy's he is attempting to sell. As a memoir, I took a couple photos for him. I'm not a sneakerhead whatsoever, but I must say the Yeezy's have such a classy look to them. Enjoy!
Michael's Yeezys <3

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I finally got to explain myself.

My good friend got to sit down and ask me a buncha questions for his project. I feel like this is something people hafta understand before they assume things about me.

1. Introduce yourself..

Just an average individual trying to do average things that please my interests, nothing special.

2. What are some of your hobbies?

I’ve been heavily into hip-hop and clothing for as long as I can remember through high school. Lately I’ve really been exploring aspects of photography. On the side, I like to write as well.

3. What is your blog about?

Hip-Hop , journalism, photo, lifestyle, events.

4. When and Why did you start it?

My blog really started as a joke. I was sitting down in Singapore over summer bored out of my mind. I called my good friend, Kyle and we decided to build something. I got a few interviews from some music artists and we decided to make a more professional redesign. Ever since then it’s just been going.

5. What are your plans with it for the future?

I’d like to make a magazine, well I’m in the process of it right now. I’d also like to expand my photography skill and hopefully get enough equipment for a low-key, trashy garage studio.

6. Tell me about your magazine…

I got sick of the blog after a while and really wanted to take things to the next level. I still blog but I think it’s time to raise the standards. Even if I can only supply enough effort for one issue, it’s something I’d definitely want to do.

7. Will it be for sale? If so, where at?

My goal is to hopefully get 100 in print. It’ll be online as well to order as a hard copy. Most likely 50-60 will go away to the friends, and I hope to sell 40 at a more professional level.

8. What notable names have you interviewed in the past?

Honestly speaking, high names were not in my agenda. The people at the top of the music industry right now are not the most talented and impossible to reach, so why bother? Some of the bigger underground people are probably rappers Blu, Donny Goines. The clothing brand Adapt Advancers.

9. Tell me about your photography…

To be honest with you, I consider myself terrible! It’s just a fun way to express myself.

10. Do you plan to be a photographer someday?

As cool as that’d be, I don’t think it’s possible. I wouldn’t work well under pressure and don't have talent in the subject.

11. What kind of style of clothing do you prefer?

If I’m wearing a graphic tee it has to have a concept of some sort to hip-hop culture. Lately, I prefer more of a mature style like Banana Republic and such stores.

12. Who are some of your favorite music artists/genre(s)?

I really don’t listen to anything out of hip-hop much. Favorite underground artists are Blu, Cyne. In the mainstream, I like Mos Def and Talib Kweli.

13. What hot trends do you see happening now and for the future?

I see the hype constantly shifting. Recently was on hip-hop culture, which was irritating because it was impossible to differentiate who actually likes and knows the culture from who thinks its just cool to be on the current hype.

14. Do you plan on attending college? If so, which one?

I do plan on attending college. I’m not quite sure in where yet. In general I feel the whole high school system is messed up beyond the point of description. I’d like to do extensive research to make sure the college I go to is in fact a good college and in no way like the current high school education system.

15. What will be your major?

If I find what I’m good at by that time I’ll pursue it.

16. Do you have a partner(s) in your ventures?

My good friend Kyle Casipit has been down since day one. Everyone that’s ever given me the slightest bit of support I appreciate as well.

17. If people want to learn about your ventures, how can they do so?

You can always check the blog, or talk to me in person.

18. If you had to pick one, which would it be?

Probably a magazine, it’s been a dream of mine for a while.

19. Where will you be in 10 years?

My guess is as good as yours. Although, it would be nice to have a simple place in New York or San Francisco. I’m not out to try to chase extravagance, I’d rather be enjoying whatever I do.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spring break recap.

So my Spring break was last week. Overall, the first couple days were cool. I got to spend some time with a good friend I never really get to see much in SF for Saturday. Sunday, kicked it with the Daly City people. Then, literally everyone left for vacation as I was stranded in boredom. From a relaxation standpoint, it was coo. From a satisfaction standpoint, it failed haha. A short photo recap, no special photos, sorry. I suck haha.
I've always wanted a nice car.
Rainy Days
Stanford on a gloomy day
Messing With Arin's 50mm.
Walnut creek sun.
Just messing around with film grain.

Friday, April 2, 2010

"From The Westside, With Love.

"From The Westside, With Love."
Been bumpin that new Dom Kennedy tape all day.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fool, ain't nothin changed but the address.

I can't explain how crazy this is. Very impressive.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Emotion Starters.

Sometimes I wonder, do people do this kinda thing for attention or do they truly believe what they are saying? Some questions have no answer.

Emotions Leaving.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Donnis Sucks.

So I tweeted, "Donnis Sucks." Because he does.
And Donnis seems to search himself quite often because I never gave the @donnisxdonnis. Haha.. So it turns out I have reached my first beef in this industry, Donnis. I feel like I'm finally a part of hip-hop. Haha, kidding. But in all seriousness, it was funny as hell. sightRIZE Vs. Donnis beef?! Ahhh yeah I'm down! Haha.
"Me: Donnis sucks."
"DonnisXDonnis: donnis sucks? TITTIES!!!!"
"Izzakizza: Ha..boy yous a fool..LOL"
Donnis you still suck. This hasn't changed my opinion of you whatsoever. I don't see why you deserve any hype.
I declare beef. Damn, this feels cool. Haha.
&If Donnis happens to search himself on google too.. :D
Dear Donnis,
I have more West Coast back than you :) Take my word for it.&Stop searching yourself, you're only gonna get disappointed, more people check my blog than your music. You may be working with Chip Tha Ripper&Kidz In The Hall but I don't see why. You're the weakest link. They are probably just using your hype, cause they don't need your talent.
EDIT: Donnis has said he did not put me on blast and it's all love.
But make no mistake, he still sucks. I'm not letting go. Haha.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I've Been Upto.

Absolutely nothing. I spend everyday besides Friday through Sunday the same way, in front of some sort of speaker attentively listening to attractive sounds that penetrate my mental. Or in front of the books attempting to learn things that don't matter to me *trig.
Happy Birthday Sarah.
I made cupcakes with my baking buddy for a friends birthday. Don't judge, you know you're feenin for some.

I shoulda stopped down. Shoulda, Shoulda, Shoulda.
Bored with Kyle. We climb hills for no reason in particular.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

sightRIZE Questions Adapt Clothing.

Among the elite of Bay Area brands is Adapt. Their shirts are just an icon to anybody that resides in the Bay. I met the founder this summer and got to talk to the dude about what the brand is about. Just a fun fact, about a minute ago I bought my moms the 93til tee for a small portion of her birthday gift! Haha. Sorry ma, I can't stand Ann Taylor. You can buy anything and everything Adapt here
sightRIZE: How was Adapt founded?
Adapt: Adapt was always a project I had wanted to do since doing clothing sketches during High School. When I had the resources I started printing some stuff in college, and then really got it going as soon as I graduated.
sightRIZE: What are the inspirations behind the designs?
Adapt: The Adapt line pulls inspiration from many areas, but particularly through Music, Art, Design as a practice, Literature, the Bay Area, and general street, youth, and pop culture.
sightRIZE: Complete the sentence, Adapt can best be described as..
Adapt: Adapt can be best described as a brand that tries to speak to a lot of different people, but without being too overbearing or preachy in any one direction. As our name would imply, we try and work with the various aspects of life that make us who we are, while continuing to advance and improve on the people we are becoming.
sightRIZE: What music is currently circulating in your system?
Adapt: Recent listens: A bunch of mid to late 90's hip hop and RnB, Hopie Spitshard, Sade, Hieroglyphics, Pinback, the SXSW compilations, Shawn Chrystopher, Adele....
sightRIZE: How did the '93til collab occur?
Adapt: The 93 'til project was something that can about real naturally. 93 'til infinity is one of my personal favorite joints of all time, any genre, period. It just makes you feel good to be alive. The 93 'til concept, of just going on into the future, just really works with the whole advancement concept that Adapt tries to impress. So a lot of reasons why it needed to happen. My good homie Space made the connection with those guys and the rest is history...stay tuned for some more stuff as well that we think people are really going to like.
sightRIZE: What is your personal favorite Adapt tee&why?
Adapt: My personal favorite tee is an old one from one of the first seasons that pays homage to the old comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. I really liked the execution and that comic was highly inspirational to many aspects of my life today, from design to vocabulary to thoughts on life.
sightRIZE: What can we expect from the future of Adapt?
Adapt: Expect a lot in 2010 from Adapt. We are extremely excited about the Spring lineup, and winter will see some cut and sew items.
sightRIZE: Anything you'd like to end with?
Adapt: Thanks to the homie for holding us down with this interview, and thanks to all those that support what we do. Follow us on twitter :: @AdaptAdvancers and visit us at

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sneak Preview: Magazine.

First article for the magazine I'm currently working on. Feel free to email me at to provide criticism.
Here's the logo the dude KZA made. Apologize for the bad quality picture, after all this is a sneak preview right?
Not so sure if "Full Circle" will be the final title, I mean Hieroglyphics did have their full circle album.. I didn't want to make it seem as if we are trying to emulate their title.

"Hip-Hop Is Dead."
"Lil Wayne Is The Greatest Rapper Alive."
"If underground artists are so good, then why are they underground?"
-The Misinformed.

As I walk through an average day of school, multiple times in the day I find myself chuckling at these idiots who are making outrageous comments about the current state of hip-hop, and the number of poorly informed people within the community makes me wonder. Is this the current state of hip-hop? It can't be.
I searched and searched through the vast depths of my head till I found an answer.
Hip-Hop is far from dead, what's dead is the community.
I asked some people, why is hip-hop dead to you?
"Nas said it's dead!" -Misinformed #1
My response: Guru of Gang Starr implied it was going downhill back in '98.
"If heads only knew how I felt about the rap game they'd relocate, and change their fuckin name." And you're clearly misinterpreting Nas's quote.
"Because the songs on the radio don't change!" Misinformed #2
My response: The songs on the radio are falling in quality, but whose fault is that? The listeners for encouraging this music.
The bottom line is, most of the community has become underexposed to the true hip-hop and this is why the definition has changed. Those accustomed to listening to the radio in it's golden age are complaining that hip-hop is dead when really they need to evolve and expand their horizons. The underground is shining more than ever.
Which brings me to another interesting point the misinformed say, "If underground artists are so good, then why are they underground?"
First and foremost, like it or not, music is a game of luck. No matter how talented a rapper is, there are chances they may stay underground forever. They could have the most impressive lyrics, the best beats, but they may still be stuck in the underground. It's a game of luck and connections. My response, if mainstream artists are so good, then why aren't they lyrically better than the underground? Believe it or not, there are underground artists that can contest to a Hov verse.
The most ridiculous argument I've heard is the greatest rapper alive topic.
In newspaper a kid told me Lil Wayne is the greatest rapper alive. I usually don't participate in these dumb debates, but I told him I could name off 10 rappers of the top that were better than him. He tells me, "You haven't heard Lil Wayne's mixtapes! Nas hardly releases shit!"
I felt retarded for even trying to argue. These people are narrow minded. According to these kind of people, since legendary groups such as Pharcyde are over with, that makes them not among the greats. To make things clear, there is no such thing as the greatest rapper alive. If there was, it certainly isn't Lil Wayne. But if people refuse to see this, that's the real problem with the hip-hop community, the inability to recognize talent.
True hip-hop isn't dead, it's just been hit hard with unfamiliar substance that have changed it's makeup. It's a complex hole the community has been dug into. In my opinion, the golden age is gone. But it lives through the underground. As for the mainstream? It'll just keep getting redefined till the community can change itself.
Hip-Hop isn't dead, Lil Wayne isn't the greatest rapper alive, underground rappers are talented, &anybody who can't see this is clearly misinformed.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

sightRIZE Questions Fongstarr.

Mr.Fongstarr, is one of the top tier blogs out there. I got the chance to ask Fongstarr a few questions, damn is he witty.

sightRIZE: Your blog, has become quite popular within the culture. How did it come about?
Fongstarr: The story is nothing you haven't heard. Blogs are pretty much old fashion diaries in the digital form since humans don't write freehand no more. To this day, my blogging is like a therapy session on just things I like to keep a tally on in my life. I honestly don't try to advertise it or promote it any more then what it is. I look at it like if you found my blog by accident and happened to enjoy the content, then that's cool beans with me.
sightRIZE: Photography seems to be something you've instilled into your daily life, was there something that made you want to do photography?
Fongstarr: I grew up in a great era where I was exposed to a lot of different genres and fads. You kind of just gradually pick things up if you stick to a general audience like say hip-hop culture. In the 90's you had an era of great West-Coast gangsta beats and cruddy ass East Coast lyrics. In the early millennium, it was all about disco candy shit with raves and scratch DJing techno buffoonary. There's so much more in between but you gradually get into things like skating, turntablism, graffiti, designing, collecting shoes and fixing up bucket ass civics. I think photography is kind of a mature natural progression from all that. I am going to be 29 this year and I am the laziest I have ever been. Photos give me instant gratification in almost 1 second flat. It just makes me feel like I am still being creative in a shitty ass way.
sightRIZE: Your current view on sneakers?
Fongstarr: I am glad to say I am out of the pop scene with shoes. Bobby put up a post on The Hundreds that spoke of my generation of shoe nerds. I was that kid that used to wake up early on release dates but now it's all just silly for me. 80% of the time, I rock $30 Payless kicks at my job, so there is no real reason to buy hyped up sneakers anymore. I have 30 pairs at the moment and at least 20 of them make me look like a tool if I wear them. I do still love my J-Rods though just cause it encompasses such a nice collective of people in the collaboration (Jordan/Tinker and SB/P-Rod). Close second has to be my Vans 3 Feet And Rising pack and 3rd is my tie-dyed HUF hi's SB.
sightRIZE: Complete the sentence. A daily life in the shoes of Fongstarr is...
Fongstarr: ...pretty simple actually. Obviously I don't document my down days so there is a whole lot of nothing going on as well. I am just like anyone else that eats, drinks and shits. I just like to carry a camera when I do it. I do have to give credit to the city of San Francisco though. There are no excuses not to do anything out here.
sightRIZE: What music are you currently listening to?
Fongstarr: I've been out of the loop on new music especially on all those freshman artists like Cudi, Drake and Wale. I have a consistent amount of +6000 mp3s that hasn't really moved in years. I am also heavily influenced by skate videos and music that I definitely would not have been exposed to otherwise. I probably listened to Siouxsie And The Banshees' "Spellbound" 50 times since I saw it on the Transworld vdeo. I did like Q-Tip's Renaissance album that came out last year. Knew it wouldn't make a splash with what people like these days but good to me nonetheless. I just got the new Soldier Of Love album by Sade but can't really put my opinion on it as of yet. Hard to surpass Lover Rock but I am just glad she is making music again. And right now, my iPod is laced with Jeezy, Killa Cam and Howard Stern podcasts.
sightRIZE: When you started the site, did you plan to stick with it for this long?
Fongstarr: It's hard to say. I'll keep updating it as long as this photography craze is still in me but sometimes that even takes a toll. If you think about it, blogs are only interesting if you display it in a fine fashion. Doesn't matter if you document yourself sitting on a toilet or traveling to pick up hookers in Asia. As long as you give some proper information whether with words or photos, people will want to read it. It's February and I have seen The Roots, Pharcyde, Dave Chappelle, a musical, a Warriors game, been to art parties and shows and covered my arm with a huge tattoo. When I am older, will it be "My son isn't my child" or "3 pills of Viagra and still no lift!"? I just don't see myself wanting to put that out on a website.
sightRIZE: Is there anything you'd like to add to the site in the future?
Fongstarr: This is the first time I am mentioning it but the past week, I finally put in some work on the CSS coding on my site. It's hard to get away from the blog look but I minimized it as much as I could. I just like it simple with no banner ads or unnecessary Twitter or Facebook links. It's a photo blog so I don't want to defer from that. So now it is just all the flashy stuff like logos and other digital images to make it more complete. I haven't really designed in a while so hopefully it will put a fire in my ass to do some work. Aside from the site, I also hope to expand on my photography equipment with a new camera and maybe mess with external flashes and triggers. I think it is time to take it to a new level and produce some studio style photos.
sightRIZE: Anything you'd like to end with?
Fongstarr: I'll end it like Wu and say peace to man, woman, child and the small audience that I have that actually enjoy viewing what I post. Respects for the interview and a special thanks goes out to Howard Stern for helping me graduate college 5 years ago when I had an hour commute driving at 6 o'clock in the morning to get to my morning classes. If it wasn't for you, I'd be dead at the wheel instead of taking stupid ass photos of my food. I salute you.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

sightRIZE Questions Kil Ripken

As I checked my email expecting the usual spam junk, the newsletters and forum talk something sparked my eye. A message from Kil Ripken saying he's viewed the site and talking about building with us. I was in my webpage design class, and I literally jumped out of my seat in shock. Thanks a lot Kil, people in my webpage design class now think I'm crazy. Haha. For those of you that don't know, Kil's a lyrical monster that tears up every beat he gets on in an intelligen fashion. Rappers can't get on his level. I got a chance to get a glimpse into the mind of the New York based rapper.

sightRIZE: Familiarize yourself for those that may not know.
Kil Ripken: For those who don’t know, I’m Kil Ripkin, straight out of Coney Island, a lot of people know me from The Coalescence with Torae. Before then a lot of people knew me from my EP Black Power, Black Love.

sightRIZE: How was the experience working with Skyzoo and Chaundon?
Kil Ripken: Dope, they are my extended family, some real cats that I really hope to work with again in the future.
sightRIZE: What is a day in the life of Kil Ripkin?
Kil Ripken: Wake up early in the morning and work, music, lovemaking, and taking care of the family. Music of course is a large part of my day.
sightRIZE: Info on your album?
Kil Ripken: The album is the Balancing Act, predominately produced by Eric G, a potent producer out of Seattle. My album includes Kam Moye aka Supastition out of North Carolina, Torae out of Coney Island, and Charles Herron putting it down for the Bronx. Some of the best music to date for myself. I can’t wait for the people to hear the album in its entirety.
sightRIZE: Aftermath was fire, what inspired that?
Kil Ripken: Eric G laced me with some heat, I heard it and got busy. The beat is enough said.
sightRIZE: Some of your favorite artists?
Kil Ripken: It’s difficult to pinpoint each because I’m inspired by many at different moments. Notorious B.I.G. and Rakim are some of my favorites.
sightRIZE: What's the song you're most proud of? Why?
Kil Ripken: There is a jam on the album called, Homesick, I wrote it on the highway, just out of my head; it’s my whole journey from the urban longevity of New York to another place. The song illustrates importance. I am also proud of another joint called, what love is. I constructed and spit every song with huge intentions to really let the people know who I am. No fake things.
sightRIZE: Any upcoming projects we should be looking out for?
Kil Ripken: I have another project coming soon with a young producer out of Chicago, the Exceptionalist, and another project with a dignified beat maker from Atlanta, Raticus.
sightRIZE: Anything you'd like to end with?
Kil Ripken: Go out and check out The Balancing Act, I can say with honesty the album is a real identity of music for the soul. Also what up to the rest of my family from coast to coast and borough to borough. Appreciate the interview too.

Be on the update for Kil Ripken, I will be continually following his projects through this site for my hip-hop heads.
The song aftermath is below, it's a storm of lyrics.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chased literacy, only to find it illegible.

So this headline is the official motto for the magazine, "Chased literacy, only to find it illegible."
In the meantime I finally invested in a DSLR of my own. My auntie let me use hers for quite a few months, but as I became a bit more serious about it I wanted to invest in lenses. I couldn't do that without a camera of mine, so I picked up a Rebel XSi last weekend. Although it burnt a hole in my pocket, bank account&everything. I still feel it's the best investment I've ever made. I never thought I'd say this, but I have to completely stop my love of buying clothes&music for six months to make room for lenses and accessories. Goddamnit.
First picture with the XSi.
&I will be leaking the first article of the magazine later this week.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


So I had to do a art portion for my Black Boy project in English. I can't draw or take photos for my life. But I attempted photos anyway, it's just English right? Then all I had to do was write a two page essay about how these photos are symbolic to the book. Which quite honestly was simple, considering I BS'd the whole damn thing. Symbolism is so vague that even my BS sounded intelligent. Ending rant now. This was the art part to my project.
Update though?
This week in general has been mad hectic. Maybe I'm just getting in touch with my inner Indian or whatever, pshh. Haha. I need my old life back, y'know the one that was carefree? I used to dream about going to this concert/event, but now I have nightmares of trig. Well there's good news, at least I've finally got my stuff together. Thinking of going to Ithaca after JC and just stacking up on student loans. 33,000 a year for tuition is no joke though. Sacrifice I may have to make for myself to do journalism.
By the way, I'm thinking of leaking the first article of the magazine on here... Should I? Hmm. It is tempting.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hopie SpitsHard Yummy Video.

"Dudeee I wanna have an acid trip to this video." Hahaahh. I didn't say it, but a friend did.
Much awaited. The creativity on this is off the charts.
Now all I need is a Jay Electronica video. Haha.

Hopie Spitshard "Yummy" Official Music Video (Directed by Patricio Ginelsa) from Kid Heroes on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

sightRIZE Questions DJ ShamZ

Happy Valentines Day! I got to interview the homey, DJ Shamz who dropped his mixtape today. You can download it here. Happy reading. FYI, he isn't kicking the habit. Haha.
Peep shamzs myspace to learn more about the dude and listen to a few tracks.

sightRIZE: Familiarize yourself, what's a quick bio of DJ Shamz?
ShamZ: I was born Africa and moved to Atlanta at 4.
Been here ever since and started making music in 9th grade.
My friend Sumanth came to my crib an FORCED me to write lol.
After that day I just couldn't stop, simply put. My plan is to make music something that can advise an help others when in a state of peril. They chase the money and i chase the fame.
sightRIZE: Let's talk about your mixtape, how are you feeling about it?
ShamZ: Damn Good! It's my first official mixtape an I only plan on gettin bigger an better from here.
sightRIZE: Who are some of your favorite artists?
ShamZ: Tupac, Michael Jackson, Kid Cudi
sightRIZE: What are 3 things DJ Shamz can't live without?
ShamZ: Easy... Family, Friends, an my herbs :)
sightRIZE: Complete the sentence, the current state of hip-hop is..
ShamZ: Experimental! I say that because every big artists recent album has been them doing something different!
sightRIZE: What's one song you'd like to make a video for?
ShamZ: Delhi To Bombay since it was my first track made for the mixtape.
sightRIZE: Any reasons for why you dropped the mixtape on Valentines day?
ShamZ: Its the day you give the one you love the most your gift of love... an this is my gift to music.
sightRIZE: What inspires DJ Shamz?
ShamZ: Happiness.
sightRIZE: Any upcoming projects we should know about?
ShamZ: There are always up an coming tracks ;)
sightRIZE: Anything you'd like to end with?
ShamZ: They say WE crazy bout music... I say music is crazy about US ;)

Once again download the mixtape here

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Chicago Hates You.

Here's a little hint on what interview is coming up soon...
Interview coming atchu sooner than you think.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sun clears up the rain, leaving puddles of thought.

Loungin with goooodpeople in Hayward.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Magazine? I think so!

I'd like to finally announce something to the public, I will be making a magazine coming atchu soon! The trial and error leading up to the making of this project was tremulous. So tremulous that sometimes the challenges were overwhelming making it difficult for ideas to be feasible. I am pleased to announce that now we're at the stage where making a magazine is more than possible, more than a hope, it's reality. First issue will be a 100 copies in print, 70-80 will be given away to the goood people. 20-30 will be for sale.
I thank you for all the support. This is looking to be a rewarding season.
I'll keep you on the update, till then be easy!
Oh&This means a LOT of late night coffee&tea sessions to complement my lovely junior year! Haha.

Monday, January 18, 2010

sightRIZE Questions Derek Glass Of Manifest Clothing.

I got the chance to get to understand Manifest clothing with the founder Derek, in perhaps one of the most detailed interviews I've ever received. It's to know how dedicated some people are to the culture. Manifest clothing is more than just a brand, it's one hell of a story itself.
Here are my favorite Manifest designs.

You can buy everything Manifest here

sightRIZE: How did Manifest originate?
Manifest: I started the Manifest brand 9 years ago out of my house. no investors, no partners, nobody bu myself. it was and still is a labor of love. i created all the art and tought myself how to screen print with the most ghetto setup ever. homemade one station screen print press, wood frame screens, grow light, bathroom with no windows and cookie sheets in the oven for curing the ink. that is ghetto but it worked and helped me realize what goes into screen printing and that i don't want to do it in large amounts anymore! having a dedicated printer working for you is a great great thing! as for the reason for starting Manifest, i have always been an artist and a music lover, especially the hip hop i grew up on and listened to in high school in the early 90's. i saw a few people trying to do what i had in mind but nobody was doing it good enough so i created a few shirts for a few friends and myself and then it grew into stores being interested and 9 years later we're still running!

Out of the all the Manifest designs, which one is your favorite(s)? What is the inspiration behind this design?
Manifest: I would say my favorite Manifest designs would be the simple Manifest logo t's but the fans always come running for the c.r.e.a.m., wu members and a few others that we've kept bringing back for years. off the top of my head my personal favorites would be the biz markie shirt, the tribe (ramones shirt), the we got the jazz, the boyz in the hyundai and the ripper tee. but the one t-shirt that is my personal favorite hands down would be the "listen to paul's boutique" shirt. that shirt sums up the Manifest brand. representing a classic album and trying to spread the word that you need that album in your collection as well and very clean and minimal design. and i guess the inspiration for that shirt comes from the shirts years ago that said listen to black sabbath or listen to bob marley. always loved those so i decided to bring that into the hip hop world.
sightRIZE: Complete the sentence. The current state of hip-hop & the culture is...
Manifest: Well i have to say i am so not in the new "cool" music group. i mostly listen the the classics: tribe, de la, etc or some of the mixtapes on the Manifest website. i'm a sucker for classic hip hop mixtapes. do yourself a favor and check the site and click on the mixtapes link and sit back and enjoy for a few hours. all the classics represented there! i am really missing the sampling and actual dj's in the new hip hop. i know that costs money but come on, that's what helped build hip hop to what it is and now people just drop it?? most of the new hip hop all sounds the same and i can't get down with it at all. the only new hip hop i actually can listen to would be little brother, the roots and other cats like that. i do not own any lil or young anything. no thanks.
sightRIZE: Hip-Hop & Manifest seem to relate. What are some of the albums/mixtapes you're currently bumpin?
Manifest: Actually right this second i'm playing a teddy pendergrass mixtape that's pretty decent. it is sad to see teddy p pass on but he left alot of great music that will live on. other than that, i've got my stable of must have mixtapes: the rub-1992 & 1993, dj jazzy jeff-hip hop forever, pretty much anything from dj neil armstrong (espcially original), pipomix-we got the jazz, vinroc-reconstruction, dj excel- juice mixtape. there are so many but those jump out everytime and are must haves!
sightRIZE: The 11 questions section on your site. How did that come about?
Manifest: Well that section is all about giving some shine to people doing good things and or have inspired me. there are so many other people i'm trying to reach out to, just gotta get more time! it's so amazing to have some of the guys on there that have had a bug influence on me take the time to answer my questions. i got to hang out with cey adams and bill adler in new york last year and that was 100% amazing. those dudes are living legends in the fields and have so many great stories from way back in the early days of def jam. would love to spend more time with them and just listen!
sightRIZE: What influences manifest?
Manifest: I take all my inspiration from classic music, pop culture, graphic design, movies, websites, pretty much anything that inspires me. also seeing some of the other brands i dig cranking out new designs inspires me to keep working and try and get better every season.
sightRIZE: What can we expect from Manifest in the near future?
Manifest: Well i just finished up the Spring/ Summer 2010 catalog and have started sending it out to the stores and be on the lookout for that season to hitting the shelves in mid march. the hats and wallets are a must have as well as lot's of new graphics that i know will be instant hits and some classics brought back one more time.
sightRIZE: Anything you'd like to end with?
Manifest: I would like to say thank you for reaching out to me and letting me talk about the Manifest brand. it's all about the old school and the culture of that time and hopefully we are inspiring people to pick up a copy of paul's boutique or low end theory or raising hell and see where the classics came from. there is to many good albums the young kids need to hear!