Monday, September 25, 2006

Concrete Magazine

Concrete magazine put out a new issue on Friday. This month's issue features Sleepy Brown, who according to the magazine, is "often featured on Outkast's projects, and he's on the Idelwild album and in the movie. We got with him to talk about his solo moves."

Over the summer, I interviewed Kevin Anderson, one of the magazine's founders, for my column for Footwear Intelligence magazine. The theme this for the summer issue was on urban footwear trends in the South. In the past, the Southern urban customer was viewed not only as a hopelessly behind on fashion trends, but also a follower of trends eminating out of the Northeast, specifically New York City.

Kevin, who lives in Memphis, pointed out to me that now that Southern rap is hot, fans of the music there are becoming faster when it comes to both following and creating trends. A couple of interesting difference he pointed out are that while New Yorker Jay-Z still has the power to set trends, Southerners never really embraced his Rocawear label and the Jordan label has been nowhere near the runaway hit in the South like it is in New York. Cars-of-choice are another difference. In the Northeast, rappers may boast about Bentleys, but in the South, you'll hear more about customized Caprices and Lincolns. The idea, says Kevin, "is to make something old look new and hot."

Southerners are also big into customizing products so that they reflect the flavor of their city or state. Kevin, who in addition to running the magazine, also provides photography and graphic arts servics, sent me this image of some customized Air Force Ones. (And to be honest, he sent me other as well, but I have a cold and lost patience when I ran into ever imagineable roadblock trying to resize them.)

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^^Customized Air Force One, photographed by Kevin Anderson

Kevin and I also talked about the ridiculously hostile manner in which many New York rappers have responded to the Southern rap scene. He noted that rap artists from California have been much more willing to collaborate and support the efforts of Southern artists. He added, "A lot of people who don’t like Southern rap don’t have a grip on the people and the experience. To everyone down here we’re right where we need to be."

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