Tag Archives: hip hop

FROM OUR BOOKSHELF: “RACKGAKI” DOCUMENTS AN ERA OF JAPANESE GRAFFITI ART

It’s time again to randomly browse our bookshelves at HQ and re-discover a forgotten coffee-table tome. Today we’ve pulled out a book on Japanese graffiti art. Its title is “RackGaki,” a modified phonetic spelling in the Roman alphabet of the Japanese word for graffiti usually written as rakugaki. Indeed this book from the 2000’s is a document of the works by dozens upon dozens of Japanese graffiti writers and artists throwing up spray-painted tags and images throughout Japan, though mostly in Tokyo and to lesser degree Osaka. The book reveals the heavy influence of early American hip-hop culture in Japan and is a testament to its global reach over the decades. One of the graffiti writers featured in the book goes by the moniker “VERY,” who we met and interviewed for a zine we were editing while living in Osaka way back in the year 2000.

SIDE HUSTLE: WE’RE IN A BAND CALLED “ALOHA DEATH”

The cat’s out of the bag! It’s true, some of the Global Graphica squad are musicians. In fact, they (we) are musicians who write songs and record those songs too! We’ve been loosely collaborating for a while now on music for various projects, but have now officially formed a band.

The name of this musical outfit is Aloha Death. The music and sound is mostly electronic with an artsy, indie vibe and some hip-hop beats and guitars thrown in here and there and some danceable tunes too. We’ve just released a single. It’s called “Sea of Fog” and you can find it now on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, etc.

We have another single coming out on February 15th, so check back or visit the band website for details. In the meantime, follow Aloha Death on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

What Would Kanye Think?

WWKT? What would Kanye think? We’ve recently been seeing a lot of these wheat-pasted WWKT posters around town. The one pictured here was on construction hoarding along Abbott Kinney Blvd. in Venice, in Los Angeles. The question is In the vein of “What would Jesus do?” In this case, it’s Yeezus.

So what If we actually take the question posed in this hilarious poster seriously and spend a few minutes ruminating on it, what might out answer(s) be?  What would Kanye think?

First, with regards to the poster and question itself, Kanye being Kanye, he’d probably have something to say about it for the sake of saying something about it and the chance to get some attention. Otherwise, he couldn’t care less. He wouldn’y think about it all. Maybe he’d feel flattered. A mild ego stroke.

WWKT about Donald Trump? He’d think Trump was great and, had he voted, would have voted for Trump. But Yeezus didn’t vote election day.

All the many things that one might want to know what Kanye is thinking about … Well, it’s endless.

WWKT about Greek yogurt? WWKT about the news Star Wars film, Rogue One? WWKT about getting for Kim Xmas present? WWKT the latest song by the Chainsmokers? WWKT about bicycle lanes? About who will win the Super Bowl? About climate change? About cilantro? Charter schools? Solange?  The Electoral College? Brexit? 

On the Scene … At the Painting of the Beastie Boys “Paul’s Boutique” Mural, New York

Pix here at the scene of artists putting the final spray-paint touches on a mural honoring punky New York hip-hop greats the Beastie Boys and one of its late members, MCA (Adam Yauch). The graffiti artwork is at the intersection of Rivington and Ludlow streets in the heart of New York’s Lower East Side, and at the site of what was once — long before the neighborhood was gentrified — a low-rent clothing shop called Paul’s Boutique. A photograph of the store appears on the album cover of the Beastie’s classic 1989 album titled “Paul’s Boutique.” The shop has long since closed, and a series of cafes and restaurants have occupied the premises over the years with the subsequent waves of gentrification.

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