I remember the first time I thought Enik was a cool dude, was when he came up to me while I was wearing my Stussy x J-Dilla shirt and he actually knew what it was. A lot of you know I’m a die hard Dilla fan, so finding another person that had the similar taste for music was all love. Later I got to know him on a personal level and learned that he’s actually one of the most known street artist in Los Angeles. Ever since high school I was infatuated with the whole “elements of Hip Hop” Culture. For those who aren’t young enough to remember, they are DJ’ing, MC’ing, B-Boy’ing and Art. We even had our own break dancing crew called “The 5” which had 6 members. Don’t ask! So it came to no surprise when I came up with the “Stakes is High” vest that I would incorporate those elements into the vest.
I came up on the Nudie vest from my very good friend Najee Mitchell. He actually lend it to me and I never gave it back. Honestly he’s probably reading this right now with no idea what happened to his vest. Sorry brother! You have a bunch of my shirts anyway. The inspiration came from a mixture of things. One was from the Comme Des Garcons “Live Free Die Hard” Leather jacket that was released a coupe of years ago. I really liked the hand writing on the back jacket and how it gave it that DIY feel to it. The other one was from one of my favorite songs of all time, “Stakes Is High” By De La Soul of the Stakes Is High album. I chose the quote not because of the actual song, but the message that it projected. The song was a manifesto on how the current state of the world back in the mid 90’s. Produced by none other than J-Dilla.
I came to Enik One with the idea. Asked him to bless the vest with his art and the rest is history. True organic collaboration between two things that don’t cross a lot of lanes; Fashion and Street Art. Please enjoy the video.
It was the start of a week of foggy cloudy nights in December, when my homie Vyal posted a video of what he was about to paint with 2 other artist (Leba & Daniel Lahoda). It was a massive 148 feet x 126 feet on the side of this insane building. He didn’t mention what it was for, but news broke out later that it was for a band called Foster The People. It ended taking them 11 days with 16 hours each day, which was nearly half an acre of a mural space. Those are some dedicated soldiers.
So my daughter being a fan of the band found out about a secret show they were having Thursday night, Jan. 23. Even though, she had a futbol soccer game that day in Santa Monica and we happen to live in the Eastside of LA, she made it home in time. So some cool guy, well we’ll just name him “Pops” managed score to 2 free passes to the event which happen to be in downtown LA. So off we went just my daughter and I. 15 minutes later, we walk up to the mural and spot of the show 539 S. Los Angeles Street.
The crowd was mellow and all these pumped up kids casually rocking out that night with the downtown view in the background of the stage and the mural to the left. It was good times indeed. Later on that night, Mark Foster of Foster the People dedicated the massive work of art after a free concert in an adjoining parking lot. In the middle of his set, he referred to the mural as “a splash of color in the middle of Skid Row.” After the show, he gave a dedication speech, in which he highlighted his band’s motivations for creating the mural.
“For the last three years I’ve lived a block away from where we are right now, and it’s been amazing to be able to witness the cultural renaissance that’s happening downtown right now,” he said. “We wanted to make something outside of music that made this city more beautiful.”
“The creation of the mural, designed by the LA-based graphic artist Young & Sick, is the subject of the music video for Foster the People’s latest single “Coming of Age.” “The mural depicts what would appear to be a female model, bent over, and vomiting lines of multicolored, psychedelic stream of consciousness. To her left are a number of cartoonish, disembodied arms holding cameras and snapping photos.”
After the concert Mark Foster had some words and even got a little emotional as he wanted to have everyone who was there be part of the mural who was there for the event that night as well. So he asked everyone to hand stamp the mural with paint. It was a good show, my daughter was happy and we walked back to the car down skid row with paint on our hands and memories which I hope she never forgets. And, if she does, I can send her this link of what went down that night. Ha!
Bigups to the homie Vyal.