In our ongoing series of profiles and focus on upcoming and established Toronto-based figures, I sat down with the baby-faced, sometimes outspoken, often-polite and always rebellious jazz trio, BadBadNotGood. I remember once having a lengthy chat with another Toronto-based music act, The Airplane Boys, at Dream House Studios in the heart of downtown Toronto. Member Mannie Serranilla, better known as Beck Motley, spoke in regards to working with Snoop Dogg and the advice they received from him, he said “in order to stay relevant, you have to still fuck with the young. You still have to understand what’s going on out there. Some people are preservers and old-timers, so they can’t change to what’s relevant. It’s hard for them to accept that fact”.
BBNG2. A week after its release, and we’re still bumping this thing hard. Nowadays new music is in one ear and out the other but the jazz-trio from Toronto continue to make instrumental albums that are as novel as they are enjoyable to listen to. This installment features original material plus their routine jazz re-interpolations this time covering James Blake, Kanye West and more Odd Future.
“No one above the age of 21 was involved in the making of this album. This album was recorded in one 10 hour session. Thanks to our friends, family, loved ones and anyone who fucks with us.”
Vintage. Militaria. Utilitarian. Naval. Workwear. Archival. These are all words that exist in the lexicon of present-day menswear designers far and wide. Some designers have a penchant for reproducing exact replicas of traditional garb. Some shopkeepers use those references and old techniques to modernize the heritage of such garments. What’s great is finding someone who does both. Matt Robinson is that double edged sword. He’s both a designer & retailer who merges the best of both worlds – he peddles a careful edit of old authentic pieces, while also carrying on those traditions with his own in-house label, Klaxon Howl. He’s an aficionado of the old school to say the least, he’s a self-declared collector, maybe even hoarder of finely constructed pieces from the past. Collecting took a turn to designing and Matt’s been avoiding “trends” ever since he started the line.
In today’s market, with the transparency of brands and all, we can all find well made shirts with a little bit of know-how and the swift click of a mouse. What happens when you’ve covered your basic button down oxfords, linens and such. The difficult part lies in finding a shirt well worth your money. With price points increasing for great quality shirts, something’s got to stand out a bit when I decide to whip out my wallet. As a start-up brand, Outclass keeps their items pretty sparse which in this case means that each product must be made with meticulous care. Have a look at their unique salmon striped long sleeve.
“Constructed in Canada using fabric from textile manufacturer Canclini, Como, Italy. Blend of 70% Cotton 30% Linen. The shirt has a tapered body and sleeves, mother of pearl buttons, hidden button down collar, welt pocket and French seams.”
More product looks in the cut.
Back when I visited Toronto I spotted a nondescript shop I had yet to hear about on any blog or forum and it turned out to be a shop named Bazaar. It’s situated right on Richmond Street West next to heavy hitters like Nomad, Stussy, Ransom what have you. I guarantee this spot will be turning tons of heads in a minute.
[VIEW] some snaps of the store in the Hop.
Whether we like it or not, in the state it’s in, Hip Hop as a whole is a genre chock-full of labels. I’m not talking about the mobs of artists trying to start up their own record labels, I mean the labels defining rappers as rappers. You can fall into a number of categories – Gangster Rap, Conscious Rap, Boom Bap Rap, West Coast Rap, East Coast Rap, Underground Rap, Pop Rap whatever, whatever, whatever. But with the thousands of aspiring rappers wrestling it out in the industry just trying to get noticed, let alone jack that number 1 spot, it seems that only GOOD rap is being permitted entrance into the ring.
So the 2nd night of my stay in Toronto was likely my favourite part of the trip. I got to make some new friends, new acquaintances and got to witness something so incredible, Bryan Espiritu’s 1st ever solo art exhibition Because The Kids Don’t Play. The premise of his artwork comes from his 2009 conjuring of these same pieces digitally as a graphic designer. Two years later, he resurrected those computerized images to life by hand painting every single piece on a collection of 56 canvases. My pictures obviously don’t do his collection any justice but you’ll at least be able to take in the atmosphere buzzing throughout the evening.
Click the photo to view Friday night of my trip to the city of Toronto.
It started as a bittersweet plane ride to the Eastcoast as I flew dolo on this trip without my team. The reason I’ve made it across the nation is because I won a flight to follow rap musician, Shad on his tour from YVR to YYZ . Another out of towner all expenses paid? Not too shabby. I am totally indebted to the good folks at Lotus Leaf and Beyond Marketing to thank for this impromptu edition of the Hop. With my trusty duffle bag packed for a 3 day long excursion to a place I’ve never ventured, I set off at 5 AM in the morning to catch my 7 AM flight out of YVR. I can really get used to this..