The 5th Elementâ€™s Mission Emcee, Bboy, DJ, and Graffiti Arts. These are the four elements that compose Hip Hop culture. Many would argue that fashion is not a significant element of Hip Hop, but when placed in comparison with any other culture, you will see the appearance of its people is what distinguishes them. Fashion IS the 5th Element. We, as a collective of Fashion Enthusiasts, are here to provide you with an online magazine that bridges the connection of Fashion in Hip Hop.
Our Common Thread Established 2010
THE CONTENTS MC // Furis // 1 DJ // SoSuperSam // 7 Graffiti // Sno // 21 B-Boy // Dynamike // 37 Fashion // Hellz Bellz // 59
FURIS U I In issue I, The 5th Element crew interviewed Timeless Brand, a community-wise clothing company based in Koreatown, Los Angeles, CA. During our pow wow with the guys, they put us up on a local emcee named Furis. Shortly after we wrapped up, I found Furis’ Facebook page and followed the links to his music page. After downloading and listening to Float On Volume 1, his mixtape, it’s hard not to want to spread the word about this young talent.
and turn them into art. Music is where I can express myself over boombap drums and some nice chords.
The rapper, who hails from Van Nuys, CA and Koreatown, is a humble and introspective artist. Take a look at a brief Q & A between The 5th and Furis, as we get to know more about this rising star.
Your mixtape, Float On, is on heavy rotation in my car, as so it should be in everyone else’s. The whole feel of the album has that head-bobbing, feel-good, chill type sound with a smooth flow and lyrics that are clever, insightful and relatable. What was the source of inspiration for your musical direction? Thank you! I’m glad you feel that way. I wanted to tribute a project to the hiphop community with songs that have meaning, songs that were honest, music at its purest form. A lot of my inspiration came from “Hope”. I wrote most of the lyrics on my Float On project while I was incarcerated and all I can do is sit and hope for something bet-
Please introduce yourself to our lovely readers. Hey! Whats good!? My name is Furis and I love making music in the studio. To those of us who don’t know about Furis, give us a few words that would best describe your style as a rapper. Hmm…my style as a rapper..is more on the conscious tip. I like speaking about life experiences
How long have you been rapping, and who are your biggest musical influences? I’ve been rapping for about 10 years now. Wow, time really flew by. Some of my biggest influences are of course 2pac, J. Dilla, Nas, and Kanye West.
ter. At the time I was learning a lot about myself and the project was a reflection of who I am .
Your first track off of Float On, “I AM”, is an interesting docu-song that opens the listener’s ears and eyes to your early musical experiences. As an Asian American rapper, how do you feel you are perceived by non-Asian peers and the hip-hop community overall? Have you come across a lot of diversity thru your journey as a hip hop artist? Hmm..non-asian peers nowadays are growing more used to seeing Asians in the hiphop scene and I think it’s being more accepted in the culture. I’ve run into a lot of times where people didn’t take me seriously until they heard my music. I think real talent is always respected and is beyond skin color. I’ve experienced a lot of diversity in my early stages of hiphop when I used to go to open mics, shows, and school cyphers all the time. I love the fact how hiphop brings people together and I think hiphop should always have diversity. One thing I can say about your music that also applies to your fashion sense, is that you are fly! 2
Would you say that the way you dress is a reflection of you as a rapper? How would you describe your sense of style (fashion sense) HAHA goodlooks! haha Yeah, I can say that the way I dress is a reflection of me as an artist. My music is mostly laid back and chill so is the way I dress, nothing too flashy, not trying too hard, more like kickback swag. lol. Hmm..fashion sense..I basically try to mix street style with a cleaner look to it. Paint me a picture. You are performing at a day-time outdoor music festival at the tail end of summer in Southern California, i.e. Rock The Bells, Jazz Reggae Festival. What are you wearing? (you can be as specific as you want; naming brands, etc) I’ll probably rock like a DC skater snap-back, some long sleeve flannel rolled up with a pack of swishers in the shirt pocket, 501 Levis jeans, & those infrareds air max 90s. What’s next for Furis, and where can people check you out at? Well, im currently working on my album that im trying to release by next year. I really feel like I’m going to get somewhere with my next album cuts. I’m stepping into the more mainstream field but mixing it with my style so it’ll be very appealing to the audience. I’m pretty sure i will pick up a buzz sometime next year, I learned a lot from my last project and I made a promise to myself to get it right this time around. Next year should be a very exciting journey. Check my music at www.furismusic.com or www.youtube.com/furistunes. Follow me @ furismusic! Thank you Lindsey and 5th element for this Q&A! You guys rock and help keep the dream alive!
COMMON’S G.O.O.D. LOOK
Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., better known as Common, is a world renowned emcee, activist, actor and author. A nearly two decade-long career produced quite an impressive body of work for the Chi-City native, which has made a household name out of the once undergound rapper. With nearly a dozen movies under his belt, a 9th studio album on the way, and now a book in your local Barnes & Nobles, Common stays kinetic as an artist, always working, evolving and growing. Not only has the emcee explored different fields of entertainment, he’s also experimented with his personal 5
sense of style. Looking over the past 20 years, let’s focus on 3 of his most distinguishable fashion identities.
THE STREET KID As a conscious rapper would be, Common was in tuned with his surroundings and stayed sound with his peers. He possessed a style that, rather than make him stand out from the crowd, maintained a relatability amongst the world around him. Hoodies, snap-backs and baggy jeans were staples in the emcee’s wardrobe early in his career. Now, of course, the salary for your average underground
rapper isn’t what designer wardrobes are made of, but, the beauty is in the modesty.
THE HIPPIE At the beginning of the new millennium, the rapper’s style in music and fashion began to take an eccentric turn. This brought much criticism to the emcee. Common’s affinity for knit kufis, mismatched tracksuits, and crochet sweater vests was not shared amongst very many (if any) emcees at that time. Many critics pin the rapper’s change in appearance and even lifestyle to then girlfriend and fellow Soulquarian, Erykah Badu. The
unconventional soul-singer could have influenced Common’s sense of style…he did, after all, adopt a vegan lifestyle just like that of Ms. Badu.
THE GENTLEMAN In 2005, things started to change for Common in music, fame and fashion. Getting together with super producer, upcoming emcee, and fledgling fashionista, Kanye West, seemed to have catapulted Common’s success and popularity. The GOOD Music label emcee came out shining with a new clean-cut, refined look. Now in his mid thirties, Common was making some very bold moves. Ditching the plaid slacks and floppy locker hats for tailored suits and sophisticated cuts transformed the emcee from hippie chic to an international sex symbol. In entertainment, he started booking movie roles, fashion endorsements and modeling gigs, including The Gap’s holiday ads in 2006. Regardless of the numerous fashion statements made by Common, one thing is undeniable…The emcee is a bona fide veteran and hip-hop icon. The upcoming The Dreamer, The Believer lp will be Common’s 9th studio album and is entirely produced by long-time friend and hip hop royal, No ID. Set for release by November’s end, the tracks that have leaked certainly possess a familiar, yet fresh sound from the rapper. Definitely anticipating this GOOD look.
SET ADRIFT ON TURNTABLE’S BLISS
I play a lot of different music, but I always feel the happiest when I play 90’s R&B and Hip Hop. There was a lot of soul and emotion. Everyone just wanted to have a good time.
The 5th Element Magazine caught up with one frequent traveler, Miss Samantha Duenas. From coast to coast and overseas, this woman is in hot demand for both her musical talents and great sense of style. Someone who bridges the gap between fashion and hip hop, she is a prime example of what our magazine stands for. The crew converged at places around beautiful Marina Del Rey where we shot Samantha with items from her personal wardrobe. We also got to sit down and have a one on one chat, finding out some interesting facts about DJ SoSuperSam. This DJ got a taste of the scene when she was just fourteen, following her older cousin who managed the world famous Beat Junkies. At that time there was not enough money or equipment for her to start on her own. In 2008 she was able to buy her first setup and the rest is history. Vinyl vs Serato? She admits she started with vinyls but prefers serato nowadays. One of her influences in the industry, besides the Beat Junkies, is DJ ATrak, a well known individual who has roots in turntablism. “He’s able to evolve with music over the years and bridge the dance/global music with his roots in hip hop.” You can find Samantha at various events spinning for local brands or for friends in the music and fashion industry.
Representing the fashion showroom, 722 Figueroa, Samantha knows her brands and can speak the language of fashion. She describes a perfect summer outfit to include a billowy maxi skirt, some form of bustier, and chunky platforms. But being a busy woman, her everyday outfit is more the comfort seeking side and not planned out. You can often find her in jeans, boots, an army jacket and carrying a big work bag. One item she displays on the daily is her name necklace, like the one Carrie had from Sex and the City. Her personal favorite fashion must haves include pieces from Hellz Bellz, items from Urban Outfitters, various findings from vintage stores, dresses and clogs from a Brooklyn store called No. 6, and many more from different fashion labels. “I love fashion and style, but I don’t like being in debt. The most I’ll spend is maybe 3 to 4 hundred on a piece of clothing, but it has to be supper classic.”
When she is working behind the turntables, she will focus on what she wears on her top half because that is what the audience mainly sees. Rings, accessories, and the right nails compliment her DJ look. She tries not to wear heels during shows because she is standing most of the time, but she recalls how heels do save her when the tables are too high. Her Technics headphone is her weapon of choice due to its great flexibility and quality. Samantha has come a long way in just a few short years. She’s proven that you can follow your passion even when the resources are not available to you right away, to stand out as a female in a maledominated DJ world, and to blend work with what you love to do. So whether she’s spinning at the club or doing business in the fashion world, she will keep it fun, stylish and oh so super.
One friend in particular is Donald Glover, or “Childish Gambino” in the music world. Their similar taste in music caught the rappers attention and later brought her along to DJ at his shows. Another friend on her side is the female clothing brand, Hellz Bellz. Focusing on strong women, they chose Samantha for their mixtape series which features female DJ’s. With a great funky mix of songs, you can tell she had a lot of fun putting the mixtape together. 10
love fashion and style, but I don’t like “Ibeing in debt. The most I’ll spend is maybe 3 to 4 hundred on a piece of clothing, but it has to be super classic.
"You can get with THIS or you can get with THAT" We asked our featured DJ to pick between two options. Lightning round style. Vinyl or Serato Throwbacks or New School Shows or Clubs Liquor or Beer Beer...PBR or Stella West Coast or East Coast H&M or Forever 21 Pizza or Chicken Wings Sneakers or Heels
Paris or Tokyo
Weâ€™re back with another audio treat for all our readers and fans out there. Available for download at the5thelementmag.com . This time around we got the infamous party starter, DJ eTunes, mixing a variety of classics and current jams to keep your party on point, whether your guests are indoors or just chillinâ€™ poolside. So fire up that bbq pit, pour some sangria, and let them know where you got this mixtape. Sharing is caring. Go to Soundcloud and download it! http://soundcloud.com/the5thelementmag/the-5th-element-summertime 14
LOST IN THE BEAT Shirts and Tanks by West Coast Aloha clothing facebook.com/WestCoastAloha westcoastaloha.bigcartel.com Headphones by WESC Modeled By Kyle Silver and Sami Jayne Photography by Mirror Images Entertainment facebook.com/mirrorimagesent
SNO FROM THE BAY TO LA
On a sunny Friday afternoon, I was at my local Starbucks working on my Concrete Canvas article from the last issue of our magazine, when this random guy saw some of Shepard Fairey’s work on my computer screen. He came up to me and started asking questions about my pictures. Little did I know, this random guy I met was actually deeply connected to the roots of hip hop culture in the Bay Area and was actually making a stop from LAX before heading to the Art in the Streets exhibition at MOCA. Weeks later, I was given the chance to sit down and learn more about him. We met up with him at a piece he recently finished at a car shop in Downtown Los Angeles. Born and raised in San Jose, California, Patrick Mermel aka Sno found art as an outlet to express himself through difficult times at a young age. He wasn’t always surrounded by spray cans and b-boys. It all began when he was in the 5th 23
grade; simply with hand-me-down rolls of butcher paper and colored markers accompanied by the lights from his bedroom windows. Prior to being exposed to the hip hop culture, at a very young age, these poster sized papers were Sno’s first approach to publicly distributing his art which was just enough for lunch money. It wasn’t until the late 70’s and early 80’s when Sno saw the local cholos breaking, popping, and locking. Though, what really captivated him took place on the east coast. It was the footage of trains being bombed in New York that mesmerized him the most; something about being able to express yourself in art for the public to see reeled him in. In 1983 Sno threw up his first piece underneath a bridge in San Jose aka ‘The City of the Bridges’ in broad daylight. His work took off from there. How was hip hop prevalent to the culture up in the Bay when you were growing up?
The Bay is a giant melting pot of all cultures coming together and I believe that hip hop built itself upon this and found a way to unite everyone. Hip hop was able to take all the cultures from middle class White kids, wealthy Black kids, to Asians, the ghetto and everyone else and bring them together through graffiti and breaking without any problems. Even when gang banging and tag banging came about, hip hop still helped overcome some barriers and tied the cultures together and I believe that this all started back in the Zulu days around the 50’s and 60’s. They took Zulu’s tribal fighting techniques back in Africa and created breaking and also created graffiti which I think has grown as large in the hip hop movement as the other three elements have. Graffiti has definitely contributed just the same. I recall you mentioned you used to break with Poe One, how did you
tap into that element as well? My homie Eddie Loyza aka Poe One, that’s my brother. Poe One is from Puerto Rico and moved to New Jersey; and his father then migrated to Northern California with no money, literally with the shirt on his back. Poe, coming from New Jersey brought graffiti to the Bay Area. In our teenage years, he would bring sketches from New Jersey and we would hit them up here in the Bay. During this time, I was already breaking from the cholo days. Back in the 80’s I had a crew called TCA which turned into TRA which stood for The Rocking Artist; Poe was a part of our crew and we were breaking everywhere. Poe actually was the one who was teaching me how to draw and bomb and I was teaching him how to break and do windmills. Poe ended up getting really good and went crazy with it. He got with Furious Rockers, Style Elements and all these other crews and launched his career. I ended up embracing graffiti and started working with the city and with LA Museum of Art. Poe and I started mural classes; we took illegal graffiti into the general public and into the next level all while keeping the integrity of the streets. Also later on, Poe and I started this graffiti crew called LORDS (Leg-
ends of Rare Designs) with Biz168 and 5 other guys which is now one of the largest crews out there. As of now, Poe is world renowned in breaking. He has worked with the City of Los Angeles and also took it world wide by founding Battle of the Year which is an international b-boy competition where he is also a judge. The competition involves over 3,000 people per show, and I’ve heard it has even united countries that have never gotten along before. I hate to use the cliché of bridging the gap but there is a huge gap in culture and racism and the politics of the world. Hip hop has bridged those gaps and more directly, this wall right behind has done the same. This wall, more specifically piece that I did, has significance between us and Pakistan. We just killed Bin Laden so some parts of Pakistan are kind of mad at us right now; however I got to know this young kid named Sanki from Pakistan that idolizes the hip hop and Western culture. This kid Sanki started the first b-boy crew there, he is into writing too and he’s all about the roots of hip hop culture. For his birthday I had added his name to this mural and we got put on the local news in Pakistan for this mural. In a sense we bridged the gap between Pakistan and the United States through hip hop and graffiti. What other movement in the world
can do that? Sadly it won’t hit local news here in the states despite that it has been all over the news there. So last issue we covered a little bit upon denim and we talked briefly about it before. What was your experience with graffiti and denim, or just the fashion scene in general? The denim scene was everywhere and identifying yourself in the 70s and 80s was hard. Because the hippy movement was ending and the computer industry was starting, there was difficulty separating between different movements. You had the skaters, and goths, and rockers all wearing denim; they all were meshing and everything was starting to melt together. The denim movement was difficult because everybody embraced it. So where did denim fit in hip hop? Graffiti was the answer. Graffiti was the number one way to identify who you were with your clothes and still be in fashion with everyone else and New York started that. Putting graffiti on denim is a very difficult process and it is an art within itself. The paint is so thick the material would absorb so much; you can’t just paint on it because the paint would just suck right into the denim. In order for the color to show up, it had to be on white base coat. So what we used to do was bleach all of the areas on the denim before painting them. For sure the way it all started was bleach. But how do you bleach something without it deteriorating? We had to bleach it and wash it for about twelve times and then wash it twelve more times with water and soap. Also we discovered that if you bleach it one time and paint it, over months the bleach would eat away the material because it wasn’t completely cleaned out. The 24
washing process was the secret of the whole art. All of the artwork that people did without the washing process are all deteriorating but for those who discovered the secret would still have their artwork today. I still have the same denim jackets at home that were from 1985-1989 and are still brilliant and fresh to death. We didn’t learn this from New York. In New York their denim was so cracked and thick, they liked that grungy look but we wanted to have that clean and neat look. New York started the graffiti denim jackets but the west coast took it to where we could have it in the industry and into all of these stores. I have got to also add that air brushing also was a big part in hip hop fashion next to denim jackets. I’ve done air brushing since day one. Myself, Picasso, Alladin, and Shen were actually one of the first ones to start air brushing on shirts at the Great American Parkway. I believe that air brushing is also a major part of hip hop fashion, it was definitely part of the beginning but people discount it or forget about it. Can you elaborate on what the obsession is of writing on trains?
Writing on trains is where it all started. Back in 1983 and 1985 it was all about the work that was going through the subways in New York. If you’re a true graffiti artist your aspiration is to still do trains, it’s in your system because that’s where it started. But if you’re in it for the fine art and to keep it for years to come, trains are the last place that you want to have it on. The art of unveiling something around the world is gone. Everyone wants to watch it being done and see it happen live, to me that killed a lot of art, not just graffiti. The thing about trains is that it brings back the art form of unveiling. You don’t see it until it goes by and then it’s gone and you’re probably not going to see it ever again. You also don’t have a choice in seeing it. Do you believe that there is a misconception of the graffiti culture by the general public? Have you had any experiences? Yes definitely, I’ve been arrested for doing graffiti one time on a legal wall. When confronted, I can’t tell them that I’m a graffiti artist because graffiti means illegal to the rest of the world. Not too long ago I just came back from Naples Florida for the art district; they in-
terviewed like 40 of the best graffiti artist from the east coast and hired not one of them because they said that they do graffiti art. The people in Florida actually wanted graffiti art but they don’t understand the differences between urban art and fine art and graffiti art. The City was saying they wanted to hire a graffiti artist but didn’t want graffiti. They called me up and they asked me if I did graffiti, having working with the city before I told them that I don’t do graffiti but I did urban art and they hired me on the spot. Graffiti art is a misnomer; it doesn’t mean it’s illegal although it did come from an art that was illegal at one time or can be done illegally. Urban art has that flavor like graffiti but doesn’t have to be done by spray paint. It just means it came from the inner city. Lots of fine artist use spray paint and call it graffiti and call themselves graffiti artist, but really it’s still fine art. If you’re a graffiti artist and you paint a picture of a girl on a wall with spray paint it doesn’t mean its graffiti, it still would be considered as fine art. If you want it to be distinguished with graffiti, it’s all about that lettering style. Once you put some lettering into it then its graffiti art. The fine art world and graffiti art world is getting meshed and confused and it really needs to be defined. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, do you have any shout outs that you want to give? PoeOne, he’s the one that started all of this not only for me but for so many other people. I gotta give a shout out to my friend Nate1 in mission district San Francisco. He teaches graffiti classes at 1am Gallery in S.F. He has a clothing line called NewSkool which is for kids but with OG hip hop taste. I really thank the 5th Element Magazine
because it’s a new magazine that’s tapping into some really really old hip hop philosophy and I think PoeOne is also very much part of that. Also Style Elements, Picasso, CrayOne, Vogue Dream, Raven, Bam Estria, are killing it in Hawaii right now as well as MSK and Sever and all the cats out here. There was a point in the 90s when we really thought hip hop was going to die. There were t-shirts and songs made about it claiming that hip hop was gone but really 5th Element Magazine is one of the reason why hip hop is going to continue. A lot of us old school cats got it started and rolling but you new school cats are the ones that are going to keep this movement going for a long time. It’s all about staying true to the movement.
Venice Pit On a sunny Saturday afternoon the crew went down to Venice Beach to check out the walls. As on a usual weekend, the spot was lively with artists and tourists roaming the area. Since the beginning, the Venice “Graffiti Pit” has always been a place for rebels of society to showcase their form of artwork whether it was skateboarding or graffiti art. The pavilion was an infamous skate spot among skaters to grind on graffed out walls and benches during the 90s. In 1999, the pavilion was torn down but a portion of the walls were saved in memorial to the artwork. In 2000, I Creative Unity (ICU ART) helped make this become a legal wall for local artist to still do their thing. The walls are still up to this day and are now open for artists during national holidays and weekends to paint via permit. To obtain a permit you can visit the Venice Wall’s website at www.veniceartwalls.com 27
Slauson Walls Back in our spring issue, we got to meet Cre8 who co-started the Slauson Graffiti walls with Choise from RTN during the 1992 Rodney King riots. At the time, South LA was being destroyed from the chaos. The wall was a place for much needed positivity and creativity during the hard times. Since then, this spot has done the trick of beautifying the community. Similar to the Venice walls, this spot is also a legal wall where you can obtain a permit and unleash your skills. 29
ART IN THE STREETS MOCA
Street art began back in the 1970s deriving from New York with its popularity of Wild Style and stretching all the way to Los Angeles to play a role in the gangster, skate, and surf cultures. This past summer, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angelesâ€™ Little Tokyo made history by creating the first ever historical exhibition for graffiti and street art in a museum here in the United States. MOCA took the time to create a vast collection of graffiti and street art showcasing everything from the various world renowned artists of today to the roots of its culture. It was definitely a sight to see Keith Haringâ€™s street artwork next to Revok and Shepard Fairey. There was no doubt that Art in the Streets created an imprint for MOCA. It set one of the highest numbers of visitors the museum has ever experienced, including an average of 4,083 on its free Mondays 31
that was sponsored by Banksy. The last day included 8,424 attendees, setting an all time daily high for the museum. Although Art in the Streets has now ended its impact and buzz made in the community will live on. The exhibition was tentatively scheduled to be showcased in the Brooklyn Museum next year, however, a statement released by the curator explained this would not be so due to funding. If you missed your chance to check out the exhibit, take time to check out some highlights. One of the first things I noticed from the exhibit was the amount of instructiveness that it held. Starting from the entrance, moveable walls held a mural of rats, created by graffiti artist ROA, allowing visitors move them revealing different murals of its bones and muscles under it. Throughout the rest of the exhibit, visitors were able to experience Os Gemoes exhibit through broken instruments and watch several graffiti documentaries.
The whole exhibit was organized through sections of various artists including Futura, Haze, Krink, Saber, Retna, Mr. Cartoon, Banksy, Revok, Kaws, Risk from MSK, French artist JR and much more. Each featured new, famous, and some never before seen works including Shepard Faireyâ€™s first sketch of Andre the Giant from 1989.
A vast array of train sketches, models, and pictures were scattered throughout the exhibit. Originating on the subway stations of New York, train cars play a huge role in the graffiti culture. Unlike walls, train cars can travel therefore the works of artist would go wherever the trains would go. It adds to the art of unveiling; you donâ€™t know when you will see it, and when you do you will probably never see it again.
Overall the exhibition was rich in street art and graffiti history. It showcased and acknowledged its significance in hip hop, every day life and even politics. Included were works from Haze for Beastie Boys and LL Cool J to Shepard Faireyâ€™s Hope poster for the Obama campaign. The bottom line is that there is no doubt graffiti and street art plays a big part in our history and culture. With the opening and end of Art in the Streets, it is finally safe to officially say that graffiti is indeed art.
CULTURE SHOCKED WITH B-BOY DYNAMIKE
Mike “Dynamike” Chau From: Northern Virginia, Springfield area Representing crews: Battle Bandits Culture Shock DC FLOCK
Living on the West Coast all my life I was so accustomed to how we do things here, whether it would be what music we listen to, our style of dance, and or our fashion sense. One thing that I have recently realized was that no matter where you are around the world, hip hop culture is everywhere.
that everyone was having fun while learning from each other. I got an opportunity to meet the instructor of the breaking class Mike Chau AKA B-boy Dynamike.
Recently, some of the 5th staff members and I went on an East Coast trip to Virginia, Philly, New York and DC. While we were in DC we all decided to partake in a Culture Shock DC dance class. While waiting for the instructor to arrive I couldn’t help but notice a breaking class in progress. I noticed a lot of fundamentals of breaking were being taught, from the basic top rocks to how to get down to a 6-step. But what really caught my eye was
I started breakin in 98’ I was about 11 years old. The moment I knew that breakin was part of my life was my senior year. I had quit for about 4 and a half years because I was playing sports. I basically got back into it because I met the crew I’m a part of now which is Battle Bandits, that is the first real crew I was part of. The crew really got me back into breaking. They pushed [me] to the point where I actually love this dance, and made me learn
When did you decide that b-boying was something you liked to do and what age did you start?
about the culture, learn about myself, and what breaking really means to me. Before, I thought breaking was all about the tricks, and now I can dance on beat. I learned a lot of/about footwork tech before I learned straight up power, and that was the main moment when I realized that b-boying is the thing in my life I want to do no matter how old I am. What is it about b-boying that you love the most and motivates you to get better? The thing I love most about bboying is the essence of it, the presence it brings to cyphers when people break. Many people have that mind set when they think of breaking they think of hip hop, or the majority of them do main-
stream kind of feel t way, but more underground when they think of hip hop they are like “yeah he is a b-boy.” I love the competitiveness about it; I love the idea that when you learn something new you feel accomplished. I still the remember when I learned my first air flare I felt accomplished like I was on top of the world even though it took me 2 years to get one but it was the best feeling in the world. And also the other thing that I love the most is since now a days like I stated before mainstream hip hop is a lot different to what it is now so people that are doing it true to heart they have to be the ambassadors of hip hop they have to teach it the correct way. With the classes that I teach I teach them correctly, I teach the history of where it came from. I basically teach them that hip hop is about peace, love and unity. The thing that motivates me to get better is for me to be the best that I can. A lot of people want to be the best in the world; they want to be the number 1b-boy in the nation. For me I want to be able to reach a point where I know that I’m happy and reach my standards. People say you are the hardest critic so if that’s the way for me to keep myself motivated I’ll never get to keep myself satisfied Describe your fashion and how has it changed? I remember when I used to break back in the day, I used to always wear those Adidas swishy pants that made all kinds of noises all the time. At one point I wore UFO pants even though it had nothing to do with breaking they were cool to have with a bunch of strings hanging off your pants. Now my fashion sense when I’m b-boying is that I try to keep it simple and comfortable at the same time, because
I want to look fresh but I’m not trying to get to the point where I can’t do a move because I’m wearing certain clothes. The big thing I wear are Dickies pants. They are the best breaking pants I have ever worn. I can do so many moves and still be comfortable. Clothing wise spin jackets were always the best thing for me; I do a lot of ground power and at jams you never know if the floor will be sticky or slippery so you have to justify it with a spin jacket. When I break, I never wear a hat. If I’m doing all footwork I will wear a hat but if I’m doing any power I usually don’t use a hat. To some people, it may seem awkward because a lot of people that do power seem to always wear head gear. I just can’t because it really ruins my whole momentum. Other than that, outside of breaking I’m still pretty simple. I’ll wear a simple pair of jeans, and the biggest things for me are the shoes and hats; they always seem to go real well together. I would rather wear a pretty bright shirt, nice shoes and a nice hat, but if I wear a really dope t-shirt, then I’ll wear a plain black hat and plain shoes just to keep it simple. I’m very simplistic. How did you get involved with Culture Shock DC? It’s a funny story why I joined. The reason I did Culture Shock was surprisingly for a girl. [Laughs] I mean we are really good friends it was never like that, I have another girlfriend now who I truly love! Culture Shock DC has a freestyle and a choreography team. Obviously choreography wise being a b-boy for years, I did no choreography, no popping, no house or anything like that. I actually auditioned for the choreography team and I definitely
did horribly bad the first time. But the freestyle it was second nature to me so I made it through that. Being on Culture Shock has really taught me a lot of other styles. Choreography has taught me more about how my body moves. They have taught me a lot about funk styles. Before that I thought popping and locking was generally hip hop, but I then learned that they are a funk style they are just under the umbrella of it. Being a freestyle dancer how was the transition to choreography? Oh man getting use to choreography I mean till this day I can’t say that I’m decent, I mean I’m getting better and I’m improving, it’s just cause I don’t like sucking at anything but its totally different the biggest thing is learning the groove. A b-boys grove is a totally different than a social groove. The running man was the hardest thing I learned in Culture Shock [laughs] but now I mean I can do it but I couldn’t do it naturally. Choreography is fun I mean a lot of b-boys tend to hate on it, I can honestly say back in the day I was one of those b boys. After I experienced choreography and met the people, it was totally different. They were all friendly and helping each other get better. Breaking nowadays people are really egotistical. They are just out there to be better than everyone and when they go to jams they just want to be the best one there. I’m still out there to smoke who ever I can but I would rather do it on a friendly basis.
I realized that b-boying was the thing in my life that I want to do no matter how old I am.
BATTLE FOR THE STRIPES • Puma’s trademark formstripe was introduced.
• Puma’s signature cat logo was launched.
• Rudolf Dassler started PUMA. • First Logo of Puma
•Adi Dassler makes his first training shoe, which was made of canvas. •Adi develops the first special soccer shoe, track and field. • He also introduces the first shoe with spikes and studs. • Dassler shoes are worn at the Olympic Games.
• He creates the first tennis shoes.
• New model “Puma Clyde” was launched for the first time:
• Puma shoes introduced it’s most popular model “Roma”. • They launched several successful models of shoes such as the “King” football cleats.
• Puma introduced the “Trinomic” sport shoe system.
2000s • The “trefoil” logo was introduced
• The Dassler brothers split and Rudolf Dassler creates “PUMA” and Adolf creates adidas with the Three Stripes as a logo. • The Three Stripes is registered as a trademark.
• The Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto is selected as creative director of the “Adidas Sports Style” division. • “Impossible is nothing” becomes the central message of a global campaign that Adidas launches.
• Adi’s special boxing boots are worn at “the fight of the century”, between Muhammad Ali &Joe Frazier
1) Define your style in 3 words Young, free, & classic. 2) Has Hip Hop Influenced your style and if so how? Definitely. I’ve always been a tomboy, and being that hip hop consisted of mainly boys, I always felt the image of hip hop was identical to my attitude and the way I feel. 3) Who are your fashion influences? I would have to say TLC and Aaliyah. Not too prissy not overly boyish. 4) Do you have a favorite accessory that you like to rock? Hats! My hair is a lot to work with most of the time, if I need to get dressed and just get out the door, my hat is a must! 5) What style or clothing brand do you think will be next to blow up? I cant really say, I don’t follow up on the “hottest clothing” i just wear what I want no matter the most popular brands. LINK UP WITH DESI MO! www.youtube.com/desimothedogg www.twitter.com/desimothedogg www.facebook.com/desimothdogg www.desimothedogg.tumblr.com
Who: Black Market What: Lifestyle Boutique Where: 2023 Sawtelle Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90025 When: Mon.-Thurs.: 11-8:30 Friday: 11-9 Saturday: 12-8 Why: Wide Variety of Brand Selection and Friendly and Knowledgeable Staff Quick Tip: “..a progressive blend of art, culture, design and of course, fashion.” Quotes taken straight from the“About” section of their website would be the perfect way to describe Black Market. Visualized and created by Jisook Lee in 2000, Black Market began as a venture 51
into the world of Vintage Fashion but has now transformed itself into a Lifestyle Boutique. As I walked into the store, my senses went into visual overload. I saw product after product that I wanted to make mine; I can’t imagine working sales at this store I’d be broke before my payday. Not only does Black Market carry a wide variety of brands but they come fully equipped with a Staff who’s most definitely up to par with their product knowledge and fashion sense. With what seems to be an endless list of brands that are offered, there is something for everyone’s taste. While talking to Sonia from Black Market she gave me insight on their buying technique and pointed out that they always keep in mind the different types of customers/clients that
shop at their store and try not to go just for the popular brands or style but to try to offer a unique selection of pieces you won’t find at your malls. Sidenote: One dope item for Fall would be wooden framed Wayfarers and guess who has them in stock… that’s right Black Market! Black Market offers Men’s and Women’s Fashions and even a gift shop. Directly beside Black Market and connected to the store is “Blue 82” where you can find gift items and a mirrored wall of fitted and snapback hats and shoes to match. Check out the pictures in the following pages and get a feel of the store and it’s rich culture in Fashion, art and design.
Mirror Images Entertainment -Portraits -Head Shots -Events -Commercial Shoots -Modeling Portfolios Contact: www.mirrorimagesent.com facebook.com/mirrorimagesent (626) 487-7639 firstname.lastname@example.org
TECHNOLOGIC From LA to New York and even up in Vancouver I see the young and old walking around with Ipads and tablets in hand. This new toy is getting a lot of play, so how will yours stand out from the rest? Check out the the case and the bag below and you can find both of these items at www.karmaloop.com
Brand: N4E1 / Name: The Mulliner Ipad Case / Price: $70
Brand: Molla Space / Name: The Envelope Bag / Price: $60
DOPE OR NOPE Fellahs:
Do you rock the Huck Finn look? Derived from the tales of â€œAdventures of Huckleberry Finnâ€? by Mark Twain, this slim denim cut off or rolled up to the knee look has recently been treading the waters these past summer and spring seasons. Rocked by Skaters, Hipsters, and even hitting the Hip Hop scene this trend can go from High Fashion to Street depending how they are rocked. Ladies: From School Supplies, to car accessories, and even tattoos Hello Kitty has been branded all over the world. This company has set forth in numerous markets but in the past years has had continued success within the fashion realm. Shirts, jewelry, and even a recent collaboration with brands such as Vans have carried the infamous face of Hello Kitty. **So what do you think? DOPE or NOPE? You know the drill head over to our Website www. The5thElementMag.com and look out for the Dope or Nope Voting Poll and share your thoughts on these current trends. Last Issue Results: Varsity Jacket: 95% Dope 5% Nope Feather Hair Extensions: 75% Dope and 25% Nope
Add some steez to your style with these swagsentials. Notice the browns, gold, and earth tones in most of the pieces, it gives off a relaxed feel and allows for a nice transition from fall to winter.
Herschel Supply / The Little American Bag / $85
Laurakranitz / The Slave Bracelet / $66
Flud Watches / The Big Ben Watch in Oak / $95
Serefina / The Mod Parrot Earring / $34
Publish / The Standwood Key / $15
The Extras / The Leather Tassel / $48
HELLZ BELLZ The 5th Element: That’s a pretty dope dress you have on
Hellz’s Edgy style has gained brand loyal fans and followers.
Lanie: Oh, thanks it used to be my robe
Hellz is also known for their collaborations, more recently their connection with Vans and Mata-hari Bags. The recent collaboration at Vans brought two shoe designs and two purses to add to the mix. This wasn’t the first collaboration with Vans in Spring 2010 Hellz and Vans came together and created two other designs which swept off the shelves and left consumers wanting more so the anticipation for these latest drops kept fans on their toes.
Mrs. Lanie Alabanza-Barcena the Founder and Creative Director for Hellz Bellz is a true Designer and Creative. Lanie was kind enough to give up some of her time to sit and chop it up with us in between getting ready for a trade show in Las Vegas and launching new projects. Hellz Bellz, “a female street contemporary brand” repping for the ladies who weren’t just into the “flowers, hearts, and unicorns shooting out sparkles” Lanie created the brand straight out of love and passion for design. She realized there had to be more women out there who were more “bold and straight forward” with their choice of clothing and fashion sense and she was most definitely right. As a former Art Director for Jay-Z’s clothing line at Rocawear in New York City, Lanie was able to work with people who have been in the industry for years and she picked up on the East Coast mentality and hustle which she now grooms her own employees and brand to be back here in LA. Hellz began in 2005 while Lanie was still working for Rocawear. In need of an outlet for more creativity and after accumulating a good number of designs and sketches the idea of creating a brand came to mind. With inspirations ranging from the “gritty streets of New York to sexploitation flicks of the 1960’s and 1970’s” 61
The Collaboration with Matahari Bags brought together a selection of three pieces The Speedy Satchel, Duffle Bucket , and So Clutch purse. They came in three different color ways. The choices make it great to rock with various outfits and styles. As the brand and its audience grows so does Lanie as a Designer and individual. She gave us an exclusive about a new line she is working on that basically embodies the evolution of the Hellz Bellz girl. Its design for the woman that was always into streetwear but is transitioning into adding more “feminine and sexy” pieces to her wardrobe but still rocking that “underlying Hellz Attitude.” The brand is called B.O.T.B. Lanie mentioned that the acronym can mean anything but one
meaning she shot out was Belle of the Brawl. A sneak peek of the line was shown at Project in Las Vegas. Some of the pictures from the show that I caught on heartymagazine.com’s news feed was of some denim pieces and a grey leather motorcycle jacket displayed in a silver birdcage (makes me wish I was there to see the whole set-up). From the photo shoot to the interview one thing I realized about Lanie was her eye for a good look. weather it was transforming her old robe into a dress then later on making it into a shirt and adding some bondage gear to keep it together or setting a up a good shot for the interview she seemed to always have her creative hat on. No wonder everything she produces never fails to deliver. Towards the end of the interview I noticed she had some designs up on her wall and realized they were for Rocawear. Lanie once again gave us another exclusive and told us that she was collaborating with Jay and the design team back at Rocawear to contribute and produce some pieces for the company. Lanie mentioned that working with Rocawear is like coming back full circle and going home to what molded her to become the designer she is today. With all that talent, drive and support behind Lanie and her brands and projects I am sure we can only except great things coming in the near future. For more information on Hellz Bellz visit www.WhattheHellz.com
...repping for the ladies who werenâ€™t just into the flowers, hearts, and unicorns shooting out sparkles
The 5th Element: Thatâ€™s a pretty dope dress you have on... Lanie: Oh, thanks it use to be my robe.
CREDIT MC // Lindsey Linayao DJ // Marc Mangapit BGirl // Karen Capalaran Graffiti // Alvin Dharmawan Fashion // Nino Llanera Design // Phillip Cendana SOURCES Hotelfashionland.com Karmaloop.com Lifefiles.com Liftedresearchgroup.com Levis.com Wesc.com Youtube.com SPECIAL THANKS MC // Furis DJ // SoSuperSam BBoy // Dynamike Graffiti // Sno Fashion // Westcoast Aloha Fashion // Hellz Bellz Photos & Videos // DC Visions // Don Cunanan & Ryan Domigpe Photos // Erick Tran Photos // Alvin Dharmawan Photos // Eyekon Fotography SOCIAL NETWORKS Website // the5thelementmag.com Facebook // facebook.com/the5thelementmagazine Twitter // @the5thelmntmag Tumblr // http://the5thelementmag.tumblr.com Youtube // youtube.com/the5thelementmag
MEET THE CREW With an aesthetic sense of direction for creative media and culture, Nino has worked with Media Groups BakitWhy.com and WorldofDance.com and Fashion companies H&M and Gap Inc. On an off day you can catch Nino at your local dance studio or on the net perusing the web for up and coming trends surfacing from the underground. Style: Sophisticated, Clean, Street By day, Marc’s just your ordinary medical biller. By night, you can ﬁnd him at your local bar or lounge, researching of course. Hip hop music and culture have inﬂuenced him since the fresh prince of bel air days.
Style: Independent, Street, Uninhibited, Hip Karen has a taste for a wide variety of music and will dance to anything with a good beat. She uses music and dance as a creative outlet to inspire and motivate others. She has been a huge fan of the break dancing community and is willing to learn all of what the creative world has to offer. Style: Simple, Comfortable, and just plain me Alvin is a full time student majoring in Business and communications. He is a long time streetwear and sneaker enthusiast and has been in the game before the hype. He has a strong passion for dance and cars and has found a new creative outlet for photography. Style: Fresh Kicks, Streetwear, Layers Lindsey is a California girl with a universal interest in the arts, Lindsey has been drawing, dancing and loving hip hop since elementary school. Over years of cultural inﬂuence, she has developed a discerning ear and a sharp eye for what’s good in music and fashion. Journalism is the medium she chooses to express her artistic observations. Style: Feminine, Casual, Fun Phillip has been drawing and designing since he was a kid. In the near future he plans on opening his own business. When he’s not designing, he loves to travel, cook and learn photography. Phillip’s favorite brands right now include Nike, Crooks, 10 Deep, Creative Recreation, and Acrylick. He is a huge fan of basketball, arts and sneakers. Style: Bold, Graphic, Clean
Fashion, Hip-hop magazine