If you know a little something about me, you know I’m an MC. If you don’t know much about Hip Hop, you may think that’s a Rapper. That would be the equivalent of comparing a Power Walker to an Olympic Runner. No disrespect to the power walkers. If you know me know me, you know I come from a group called Ahbseen Kwestions (which happens to be my IG username and Twitter handle, although I don’t deal with that bird directly anymore). My rap partner/comrade is Scoota Habibeaux aka Trife Selassie of Newark Fame.
Whereas I scaled back my musical productions to get deeper into the design/print field, Habibeaux went into a higher gear. Linking his Physical Brother, Elespee’s, New Orleans based Music Group, Guerilla Publishing with NY based Record Label, Bartleby Records, has produced a new brand in the form of GPNYC.
As not only an artist on the roster but also as an Executive within the company, Habibeaux has continued to carry the AK flag on into the future while upholding our standard of excellence and our propensity for conceptualization and creativity. On songs like On Entry (Ode To Dres) he effortlessly but methodically tears through his ode to Black Sheep MC, Dres, over the original guitar loop to their classic, Black With NV.
I am actually featured on Habibeaux’s recent release, Aftanoons, on a song aptly titled, Illustrator Music. Peep the verses. No flexing. We’re both true and living designers and Illustrators. It’s part of our culture.
After doing some design work for GPNYC, I was offered a slot to complete a full length music project through them. It will most likely be something for Stolen Outfitters. Stay tuned for that.
Habibeaux placed an order with me for a She-thiopian Warri-her, red on black. I sent him a JK and a Log Off on the strength. I know they will be well represented.
As a parent, you may find yourself spending a lot of time around moon bounces and inflatable castles filled with children working the sugar out of their systems flipping about and testing their healing factors by landing on each other. On a pleasant Saturday, I found myself in a 45% vacant mall (The Plaza on Reisterstown Rd) at their bouncing situation. We were 3 families deep. 6 kids and 6 adults. While manning my Daughter’s carriage and tracking my Sun through the chaos, I got into an interesting build with a good Brother and close friend of our family, Cleeford Vital. We spoke about Child Support, custody and how the courts ultimately separate families and create situations where the role of Fathers are severely limited. A couple of the other Brothers within earshot added on. After that conversation eased up, Brother Vital commented about my shirt. He recognized the Olmec head. I explained that it was from a line I was developing for Stolen called Old Headz and the particular design I was wearing was called a Soulmec. Months later, he ordered a hoody and a t-shirt with the Soulmec on both.
I am featuring Brother Vital not only for being a good Father, Friend and reference for stability and level headedness but also because he is one of the few clients who used Stolen’s Instagram feed to order an unreleased product. To date, he is the only person with a charcoal Soulmec Hoody. I don’t even have one.
Thank you for your support Brother Vital!
Since our humble stumble on to the scene we have garnered interest from people of all types. We can’t honestly say we expected any particular demographic to embrace our works more than another but we did forge the business with filling a void in mind. We wanted to design and print garments that family could be comfortable wearing around family. We wanted to produce wears that seam generations together instead of sequestering them. The Proud Unit Series was originally going to be outsourced but it ultimately led up to us purchasing the screen printing equipment and bringing the business completely in-house. That’s where the family is right?
Since the first shirts were printed from the shop one family has shown continuous support and extended supreme understanding in regards to our growing pains as a young business. A young Black Business. That family is The Bests.
They single handedly inspired the North Port color way for The Proud Mom Degree and encouraged the production of The Proud Grad Degree shirt (will be uploaded soon). The Husband and Wife give Stolen as gifts. They reach out to me regularly to see what’s new and – unbeknownst to them– that always happens at a time when I can use that encouragement.
There was an issue with a shirt they ordered and I agreed to replace it. I admittedly took way too long to rectify that situation. They didn’t hire an assassin to come take me out. They kept it mature and classy. For that I love them and was proud to send out their package yesterday. Needless to say, there were extra goodies in the box acting as my million apologies.
This post is a salute to them and the support they give us. You are appreciated.