It’s pronounced “Versachay.”
Underappreciated legend Janet Jackson turned 51 today. Why isn’t she in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame yet? Why don’t I see more people wearing vintage Miss Jackson tees? How many of today’s alt-R&B singers are direct descendants of Janet’s quiet storm sleepers like Rhythm Nation’s “Lonely” or Janet‘s “Anytime, Anyplace” (Jhene Aiko, Tinashe…)? Ah, let’s talk about that another day.
Whipped up this fashion bit about Janet’s videos and the ‘fits she got off in them. Plenty of which wouldn’t look out of place on your favorite style blog.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
The special thing about working with a new artist is that you’ve got the chance to introduce them to an audience they didn’t have before. When I was shot an email about Rainsford with a few links to her music, I liked enough to try to do something on her. She’s got an indie pop feel with hints of R&B.
And because she’s big on fashion with a model and acting past, I knew she’d be a perfect fit for Billboard‘s New Face, Fresh Style section. We met up for a chat before her show at Hi Hat for a talk about everything—from growing up in North Carolina to getting a haircut she initially didn’t like two weeks ago. As shows from new acts usually are, her concert was a short 30-minute go with a solid Whitney Houston cover and a taste of her forthcoming EP. Rainsford’s got a ton of potential and I’m looking forward to seeing her progress.
Give it a look here. It’s Rainsford’s first proper music story. If she continues on her path, it probably won’t be the last.