"Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it's not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won't. it's whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere."
Shot at the Ace Hotel in New York City below is an interview with the kid about what it's like to be a director. You'll also get a short glimpse into the edit of my new music video for Drake & Trey Songz "Successful."
We're all incredibly excited about how the video came out and can't wait for the 360 premiere Monday, August 31st on MTV, MTV2, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, MTV U, and BET. There's been plenty of coverage and behind the scenes through out the process. The first 30 seconds leaked on MTV late last week while I was still in the coloring session putting the final touches on the video. Needless to say, there's amazing anticipation for this video and I hope we exceed everyone's expectations. It's been incredible to be a part of it. This feel right, right here... It's like it's supposed to happen...
Last Saturday we shot a time lapse video of the new Supreme mural on Grand & Wooster. A classic area in Soho, which features some favorite landmarks like Lucky Strike and Deitch Gallery. You may remember Banksy's rat previously occupied the spot. We shot for about seven hours and compressed that into thirty seconds. You can watch the result over at the Supreme website. Believe it or not the artist painted by hand. It's a pretty amazing process.
While you're over at the site be sure to check out the Fall preview. The guys did another amazing collection. I had seen bits and pieces but it's always cool to see it all in one place. Some really beautiful coats, shirts, and accessories that will definitely find their way into our wardrobe...
"You believe in the angels or the saints or there's such a thing as a state of grace. And you believe it, but it's got nothing to do with reality. It's just an idea. I mean you got your ideas and you got reality, and they're all... they're all fucked up."
- Terry Noonan
Almost twenty years later and State of Grace is as good as ever. Great style, gritty poetic dialogue, emotional characters, and a classic narrative. Gary Oldman's Jackie Flannery is my highlight as the wreckless livewire that can spark at any moment. Black leather jacket, white v-neck t-shirt, jeans, and permanent wet hair breathe life into the streets of New York's Hells Kitchen.
With an ending as powerful as any, take a look when you have a moment and study up on how to do all the wrong things right...
"Some people hear their own inner voices with great clearness. And they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy... or they become legend."
- James Harrison
Terry O'Neill photographs the latter and quite well. His book Legends is epic and I'm seeing it all over town right now. An amazing photographer known for capturing iconic beauty in the most candid and intimate of settings. A great inspiration for style and composition. It's definitely one for the permanent collection...
I got some heat for bringing light to the Urban Outfitter's chambray shirt a while back so I expect the same from this one. But for $44 I think this chambray is a great bargain. No it's not RRL, Engineered Garments, Supreme, Post Overalls, or J.Crew but it will get the job done for the kid still living with moms. Even though the Gap has been one of the most disappointing American brands as of late. This season they did a few pieces really right. Another highlight is their beautiful varsity jacket. Unfortunately, the price point is a bit high on that one. But it's the Gap and that shit always goes on sale.
"In your eyes I see the eyes of somebody I knew before, long long, long ago.
But I'm still trying to make my mind up, am I free or am I tied up?"
- Miike Snow
Sometimes you run out of words to express how something makes you feel. And then there are the times where you run out of feelings and all you have are the words. Music usually helps. Animal Collective, Passion Pit, Phoenix, and Body Language in heavy rotation in these parts. Now it's time to share Miike Snow with you. Three Swedish mates that make you feel, make you dance, and keep you running for those lost words...
And we're back ladies and gentlemen... I haven't left the edit in days... But the guys from U.S. Royalty were nice enough to pay me a visit last night at my campsite, the beautiful Ace Hotel. I have two pieces of information for you. The music video I directed for their amazing song "Every Summer" premieres today at A Continuous Lean. I'm really excited about this one so please check it out. I really hope you all love it.
We also decided to have a video premiere party in New York City, Wednesday August 19th at 11pm. Norwood is a fantastic club and me and the guys will be on hand tomorrow night. Come through to enjoy the good vibes, music, and watch the video on the big screen.
Back in NY for a couple days from a week of prepping and directing in Toronto with October's Very Own. Drake, Oliver and 40 are the truth. We just shot something epic! So ruff, so tuff. I'll be back in Toronto at the end of the week for a few weeks to edit, vibe with them, and make sure this is the video. Drake and Trey Songz were amazing. Nothing like hearing "Successful" blast through the city streets at 3am on a process trailer while fans run and scream in tow.
On the style side Oliver killed it with pieces from Barbour, Comme des Garçons, Red Wing, V::Room, Wings + Horns, Ransom, and (a brand he introduced me to that I love) Klaxon Howl. Oliver's vision was classic heritage done with a gritty, modern edge, which looked sick.
Check an excerpt from an interview with MTV's Sway and me. Consider it my excuse for lack of posts... I am fully cognitive of the moment and will do everything in my power to make this THE VIDEO... And I never use all caps... And it's true, I do seldom talk... Except when I have something to say...
I took a recent road trip courtesy of Ford out east to Montauk and stopped off in The Hamptons with my good friend, the incredibly talented Brendon Babenzien. Fashion designer of some of mine and your favorite clothing lines, Noah, Aprix, and Supreme, Brendon is one humble guy. I had to persuade him to get in front of the camera and venture into some of the incredible shops The Hamptons have to offer.
Like most people I respect in fashion, Brendon is much more interested in the culture, craftsmanship, and history of clothing than the fashion of clothing.
Please don't look at the video as a set of rules, handbook, or a style playbook for that matter... I hope you find some fun daily inspiration in it... By nature Mr. Babenzien is much more a hooligan than a gentleman but his style cannot be denied and his influence permeates these parts on the daily...
* Please hit the above HQ button for more clarity and quality.
Smooth and rough at the same time like a diverse MC, the "cookie" boot was a staple in any cocaine dealer's closet in the early nineties. It always surprises me how Ralph Lauren appeals to so many different types of people. In fact how a pair of boots can culturally symbolize something on opposite ends of the spectrum is quite amazing.
It's as beautiful a boot as ever. Available in three colorways: brandy oiled leather, black leather, and tan nubuck (my favorite pictured above). Tonight's da Night to cop 'em...
Studios and creative workplaces have always been a fascination of mine. The fantastic book Behind the Beat by Raph visits some of the most historic of these workstations in hip-hop from Premo's HeadQCourterz (pictured above) to Shadow's Reconstruction.
D&D (renamed HeadQCourterz) was actually one of the first studios I was invited to as a youth. I don't know why but seeing the iconic Phillies Blunt cigars in the vending machine when I was fifteen and knowing the history of the booth blew me away. Furthermore, when Premo was done with the track he was working on he brought it down to his car's system to test it out. Since then I always watch my videos in a couple different environments before I'm done with them.
Since space in New York City is so limited it's great to see how artists and producers utilize their location with equipment, records, and inspiration. It's also amazing to see what gear was used to create some of your favorite music of all time. N.Y. State of Mind...