Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I think it was a RollingStone magazine article in which it was mentioned that Kanye West was now referring to himself as a "designer" and not only as a Rapper and/or rap/hip-hop/pop music record producer. The idea that he was now considering himself a designer (fashion, interior, graphic, etc) struck me as a very interesting notion. And in thinking on it I've come to agree with the man. The Don (of Louie Vutton) is, in our opinion, the most compelling Rap artists in 360 degree sense than any other artist we can think of currently traveling through our rap/pop galaxy.

Music, film, animation, graphic design, fashion design, product design and interior design. Mr. West has been expressing himself artistically with a level of cool creativity, creative complexity and a sophistication rare within pop music (and especially rap in 2010).
So over the next few posts we'll dig on Yeezy's visual expressions, fashion style and design thinking.

And right off the bat we're curious about Kanye's fashion choice for his album 808's and Heartbreak. When looking at West in the his gray suit, one has gotta wonder if, consciously or sub-consciously, Ye's selection of the below dress suit was not somehow inspired by the great Paul Reubens' legendary Pee-Wee Herman. His character rocks a trademark, seemingly starched into cardboard hardness, gray suit. When looking at both images you can't help be see the uncanny resemblance in style and we could really be reaching on this but it brings the image to mind.

For anyone reading/viewing this blog Pee-Wee Herman (Paul Reubens) was a character who's show, Pee-Wee's Playhouse, was a big Saturday morning hit in the 1980s- watched by millions of kids, teenagers and some adults. If Kanye did indeed take his costume cues from Mr. Herman, we give him dap for going way back and adding that extra-special Hip-Hop flavor to an iconic American pop culture image of the 1980s. We think that's quite dope!

More on this topic to come...

"His work is remarkably complicated... He's a fantastic Producer and Arranger. And then his lyrics are-- he goes from a wide range of places, some of which are silly and some of which are quite smart, some of which are about being a middle class intelligent Black person raised by a middle class Black woman, and some of which are about embracing the stupider side of young Black culture. I think that's what makes him interesting... He's into Japanese painting. He's into art and design. There's a very refined artistic sensibility at work with him."

--Nelson George (Auhtor, Film Maker)
On The Michael Eric Dyson Show

June 2, 2009