A Cynic Stands Corrected: Witnessing Fan Love at Katy Perry’s YouTube Crib

 

I went to the spot where Katy Perry recently hosted her four-day live-streamed existence to promote her latest album, Witness. Now an empty makeshift “home” and temporary pop-up shop, super fans were allowed to visit and poke around. You could lay in the bed Katy jumped on, sit on the couches that several comforted several of her celeb friends and things of the sort.

Why Katy Perry’s ‘Witness’ Pop-Up Embodies What Being a Fan Is All About

WILL YOU BE MY #WITNESS? 👁

A post shared by KATY PERRY (@katyperry) on

Covering it for Billboard, I have to admit that I essentially came into it with a “Who would want to go to this?” attitude. But after hanging around a bit, seeing how dedicated some of Katy’s fans are and reading bits of the notes they wrote her, I left with a lot more respect for not only Katy (who I’ve always appreciated as an artist), but her followers—many who have used her music to power themselves through breakups and sickness. Give it a read.

In Jerseys or Versace Suits, Tupac was a ‘Fashion Killer’

 

Tupac-Red Wing

Tupac Shakur

 

Any Tupac Shakur fan will tell you that the rapper, actor, and activist was a layered individual—sweet, brash, thoughtful, aggressive, intelligent and witty are just a few attributes that could be accurately lobbed his way. But one that I think has been a bit forgotten is how stylish he was. This week marks the marks the 25-year anniversary of 2Pac’s first album, 2Pacalypse Now, making its Billboard chart debut (April 25, 1992).

The Enduring Legacy of Tupac’s Style 25 Years Later

To mark the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s impact on the fashion game, I connected with several stylists (my guy Memsor Kamarake, Brea Stinson, Wouri Vice, and Ty Hunter) and asked them about ‘Pac’s impact on the style world. Whether it was his iconic shoot with David LaChapelle, his role as Lucky in Poetic Justice, or his street style, Tupac still influences a lot of our favorite artists’ sense of fashion today.

“Tupac was one of the original fashion killers, pioneering the melding of street style—bandanas, gold chains, exposed boxers—with high fashion, which is now commonplace in mags and on runways worldwide.” – Memsor Kamarake, former VIBE Magazine Fashion Editor, current Stylist for Wendy Williams and The Wendy Williams Show.

Give it a read.

Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. Album, Religion, and Finding Himself

damn-jpg

Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. album cover | c/o Interscope Records

 

Kendrick Lamar may be the best rapper out right now at hiding the proverbial medicine in the candy. His latest album, DAMN. has songs that are focused on totally unattractive topics when it comes to their assumed commercial potential: Humility. Loyalty. Integrity. And they’re all touched on as part of his exploration of religion, another touchy subject. Making club-ready, popular Hip-Hop that bangs as hard as DAMN. does while quoting Bible verses in the lyrics is no easy feat. Still, as Kendrick says on “ELEMENT.,” he makes it all sound sexy.

As I marveled at DAMN. over several listens, I wrote about how Kendrick is learning more about himself and the world he lives in with the guidance of Bible scripture for Billboard.

Kendrick Lamar: Making Sense of His World, One Bible Verse at a Time 

Here’s a taste: “The Bible’s influence is immense. For many it functions as their life’s compass, by which going in the right direction means to walk in God’s footsteps and all other paths — at best — lead nowhere. That perspective is what Kendrick Lamar cautiously navigates on his third proper studio LP, DAMN.

Check it out, y’all.

also: Kendrick Lamar, Exposing The Fakes

Luka Sabbat Needs Festival Fashion Boys & Girls to Chill

Luka Sabbat Insta.png

Luka Sabbat | photo c/o LS’ Instagram

 

With festival season upon us, young gun model Luka Sabbat has some words to heed in regards to trying too damn hard to look good while you’re dancing in the dirt:

“But really, just wear a white tee, some jeans and a pair of sneakers that you can fuck up. You’re at a festival, not fashion week. Some people do too much and get mad when their clothes get fucked up. Nobody came out to see your outfit. We came to see the artists.”

Luka Sabbat on Walking in Yeezy Shows, John Mayer’s ‘Ill Swag’ & Coachella Style Tips

So true. There are dozens of Best Looks at Coachella lists that include both musicians and fans out there. But more times than not, when I see the fan ‘fits, some variant of what Luka says up there comes to mind. Why not just throw on some old Chucks, Levi’s, a tee, scarf, and hat (props to those who know to bring hoodie for the night chill)?

I talked to Sabbat about that and some other fun topics—walking in Kanye West’s Yeezy shows, John Mayer’s low-key style and more. Check it out.

Tuxedo: Funk and Formal Wear

 

Tuxedo, Kimmel.png

Tuxedo’s Mayer Hawthorne & Jake One performing on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

 

Last week I talked to funk duo Tuxedo about their music and how it impacts their style. A group with that name obviously has to come through looking clean when it’s showtime. And they do just that.

Tuxedo’s Mayer Hawthorne & Jake One Play ‘Elegant Funk’ and Dress the Part No Matter What

Singer Mayer Hawthorne and producer Jake One called me while they were riding to their NYC hotel in a cab. Convo topics:

  • Jake running into Mobb Deep’s Prodigy—who’s never seen Jake dressed up—and his reaction.
  • Whether they’ve even wanted to drop wearing tuxes when the show is outdoors and super hot.
  • Those sexy-talk intro Mayer does on several Tuxedo II cuts.

Give it a read, y’all.

Kendrick Lamar, Exposing The Fakes

giphy

Kendrick Lamar dropped his new track, “Humble” yesterday. Fans and pundits alike went gaga over it. The verdicts vary but are overall joyous. They’re cheerful hearing Kung Fu Kenny kick bars over simpler Hip-Hop production (it’s an ominous Mike WiLL Made It doing, less intricate than To Pimp a Butterfly’s jazzy musicianship) and, frankly, delighted that the rapper is still talking his shit—clowning junky stars and also those who aren’t honest in their representations of themselves. The messaging in its Dave Meyers-directed video is noteworthy, too. So much so that I wrote about it for Billboard.

Kendrick Lamar Exposes the Fake to Encourage the Real in ‘Humble’ Video

I’m not going to ruin it for you, but I will tease it with the opening paragraph:

As the opportunity to exaggerate our best features and highlight only portions of our lives grows thanks to the magic of Instagram filters and Twitter posts, Kendrick Lamar has noticed what apparently many have yet to: The world — his generation, at least — is shifting away from practicing humility and authenticity. Blowhard fakes are flourishing faster than a showoff can say “Clarendon” or “Send tweet.”

Give it a read. April 7, the release date for Kendrick’s third LP, can’t come soon enough.

A$AP Rocky x Guess Club and Partying at The Standard’s Mmhmmm Room

rockyGuess.jpg

A$AP Rocky at Guess Club pop-up | shot by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for GUESS

 

If A$AP Rocky could smoke weed with anyone—dead or alive, he’d pick the King of Pop. He told of room full of media heads this a couple of Fridays ago at the launch of his Guess Club pop-up shop in Los Angeles:

“I would love to smoke a blunt with Michael Jackson. I wonder what his weed-smoking voice would have been. Would it have been high-pitched? I’m upset that he passed before I became famous because I really wanted to be in his presence. I wanted to be in the presence of greatness.”

A$AP Rocky’s Clubhouse Opens With Frank Ocean, Kendall Jenner & More As Guests

That’s really just a fun aside from what was a super fun night out in L.A. I covered the event for Billboard while nabbing a denim jacket and tee from the ‘90s nostalgia collection (which he’s wearing in the shot above). The venue, designed to be a three-story treehouse, had arcade games, tents, booze and stylish partygoers enjoying the function.

After that, my girl and I went to The Standard Hotel West Hollywood for their monthly THIS NEVER HAPPENS party in the Mmhmmm room. It was easily the most fun and best party we’ve been to during our two years in Los Angeles. Great new and old music from DJ Earry Hall.

Oh, and people actually danced, which is an extremely rare sight out here. When we go out, the two of us are usually the only people doing more than a two-step. But we finally stumbled upon a room of folk who like to boogie. It was our first TNH party, but definitely won’t be our last.