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.