How Kim Jones Made Louis Vuitton Cool

On Thursday, Kim Jones, one of the most important designers in menswear right now, took his final bow. It was announced earlier this week that he was leaving his post as artistic men’s director at Louis Vuitton.

Since 2011, Jones has designed the French fashion house’s menswear collections and solidified the label’s place as a leader in the conversation on what’s cool. Forging collaborations with brands like Supreme and Fragment Design, he opened up Louis Vuitton to a new loyal following of streetwear fans and, most notably, gave the label an identity that holds influence and relevance.

Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2018 show
Image via Complex Original/Andi Elloway

His final show, which took place at the Grand Palais, was the perfect display of his streetwear sensibility and knack for turning his exotic travels into beautiful garments. Models walked down the runway in cashmere Flankman-shorts typically worn by American rodeo pro-athletes, which he saw during a trip to Wyoming, several garments with textured prints from aerial shots he took while flying over Kenya, where he grew up, and a knit sweater with the Louis Vuitton logo reconfigured to read “Peace and Love”—perhaps his way of saying goodbye. Of course, he also paid homage to the legacy of Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs, who appointed Jones as style director in 2011 and artistic director of menswear after his departure, through Louis Vuitton-monogram trench coats modeled by Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss. “This was really a thank you and reference to @themarcjacobs early 2000s Vuitton and the fact that he was the one that gave me the opportunity to be @louisvuitton love you all xxx,” he wrote on Instagram.

In 1997, Jacobs became the artistic director for Louis Vuitton and introduced the luxury brand’s first ready-to-wear men’s and women’s collection. It would be the first time that Louis Vuitton, a 141-year-old fashion house that mostly catered to consumers who could afford $10,000 trunks, became synonymous with the words “innovative” and “cool.” In 2011, Jacobs famously collaborated with artist and designer Stephen Sprouse on a collection of traditional monogram handbags covered in neon graffiti spelling out the brand’s name. In a 2009 interview with The Guardian, Jacobs told reporter Sarah Mower his mindset behind rebelling: “I had been trying to follow the rules and do what everybody told me until it got to the point where I realized that’s not why I was brought here. I’m here to do something to make this young and cool and contemporary and of the moment…. It had the credibility of the street, but also this sort of style of somebody who was a fashion designer.”

Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2018 show
Image via Complex Original/Andi Elloway

During his 16-year tenure at Louis Vuitton, Jacobs went on to work with artists Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami, and Yayoi Kusama. Through these collaborations, he authentically was able to tap into a younger customer base.

But if Jacobs paved the way for legacy brands to put art on the runways and in stores, Jones was responsible for bringing streetwear to the storied fashion house and, arguably, high-fashion. He sent models down the runway in denim designed in collaboration with Japanese label Kapital for Spring 2013. His Spring 2015 collection, which included a bright pink bomber jacket inspired by his travels to India. His Fall 2015 line was dedicated to his favorite designer, Christopher Nemeth, who also had a knack for mixing high-fashion with street. He also designed two insanely successful collaborations with Hiroshi Fujiwara’s Fragment Design and Supreme.

The high-fashion industry might be accepting streetwear now and, in some cases, even borrowing from the culture but Louis Vuitton, under Jones, was a trailblazer in this. A genuine fan of streetwear himself, he has spoken about admiring not labels like just Helmut Lang and Alexander McQueen but also A Bathing Ape, Supreme, and Good Enough. While in college at Central Saint Martins, he worked at Gimme5, a company that introduced him to Japanese designers Jun Takahashi, Fujiwara, and Nigo. A decade before his stint at Vuitton, he mixed his love for streetwear with high-fashion fabrics on the runway for his own eponymous label from 2003 until 2008. At one point, he was even involved in Kanye’s defunct clothing label Pastelle, which helped foster his friendships with West and Off-White’s Virgil Abloh. “Some critics say that I’m just jumping on the bandwagon, but actually I’m not,” he said about his connection to streetwear, specifically Supreme, in an interview with South China Morning Post. “It’s always been part of my DNA.”

Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2018 show
Image via Complex Original/Andi Elloway

Jones’ strength, in addition to his obvious talent and skill in design, has been being able to captivate young consumers—without alienating Louis Vuitton’s older shoppers. According to Fashionista, LVMH’s profit increased by 23% in the first half of 2017 largely due to Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with Supreme. “We get lots of fashion kids, lots of classic men and some sort of older, cooler guys and some really traditional men, and I have to cover everybody,” he told Esquire. “There are three or four collections in the store at the same time. I’m aware that I have to dress someone who’s either 16 or 60.”

It’s unclear where Jones will go next, though there are rumors he may potentially head to Burberry, which announced last October that its designer, Christopher Bailey, was exiting the brand. But it’s undeniable that he re-invigorated Louis Vuitton’s men’s line for a younger generation. Louis Vuitton, under Jones’ direction, disrupted what luxury menswear could look like.

Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2018 show
Image via Complex Original/Andi Elloway
Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2018 show
Image via Complex Original/Andi Elloway
Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2018 show
Image via Complex Original/Andi Elloway
Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2018 show
Image via Complex Original/Andi Elloway
Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2018 show
Image via Complex Original/Andi Elloway
Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2018 show
Image via Complex Original/Andi Elloway
Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2018 show
Image via Complex Original/Andi Elloway
Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2018 show
Image via Complex Original/Andi Elloway

 

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Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma Spring 2018 Fashion Show Was the Thrilling Moment NYFW Needed

Last night, Rihanna brought her Fenty Puma by Rihanna Spring 2018 collection back to New York (she showed her last two collections in Paris). The grand fashion show took place at the Park Avenue Armory, a historic building that fills an entire city block on Manhattan’s Upper East Side neighborhood. Rihanna, who also launched her Fenty Beauty line last week, and her team completely transformed the venue. There were pink sand dunes. There were also two ramps at the center of the sandy set. The show opened with a trio of motocross stuntmen, who did backflips over the mountains of pink sand below. This was no ordinary runway show.

The collection itself was inspired by a cross between motocross and surf. Models like Adriana Lima, Joan Smalls, and Slick Woods sauntered in pieces inspired by a cross between motocross and surf. There were tracksuits with neon bungee cords, loose trousers, lace-up bathing suits, driving pants rendered with checkered flag graphics and sporty decals, oversized sweatshirts, and basketball and booty shorts in neon colors. Rihanna and her team also designed footwear and accessories, including a Creeper shoe made with neoprene materials, translucent stacked soles, and bungee cord laces, as well as thong-heeled sandals, ankle strap heels, new Fenty slides, chokers, a metallic puffy bag, visors, baseball caps, a giant fanny pack, and more. “It was a challenge to bring them together but it ended up being the perfect combination,” Rihanna said about the collection’s inspiration in a press release.

Fenty Spring 2018 Runway Show
Image via Getty/Victor VIRGILE

But perhaps the most impressive thing about last night’s show was Rihanna’s ability to make the presentation unique and entertaining. Since debuting her first Fenty Puma by Rihanna collection in New York last year, the singer has experimented with different ways of presenting her line. For Spring 2017, she hosted guests at the majestic Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild in Paris and sent models down the catwalk in designs inspired by what Marie Antoinette would’ve worn to the gym. For the school-inspired Fall 2017 collection, invites were mocked up as detention cards and the venue, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, looked like something out of the Harry Potter series, with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and rows of long study tables with green reading lamps in front of every seat, which later served as the models’ catwalks.

Last night’s show accomplished much of the same things: Impressive venue, daring designs, Rihanna’s DNA all over the presentation, and a star-studded front row (Cardi B, Offset, Big Sean, Jhene Aiko, Ty Dolla Sign, Fabolous, Whoopi Goldberg, and more were all there last night). What made her Spring 2018 runway show different was the element of a performance. The motocross stuntmen replaced any real “performance” by Rihanna herself or a rapper/singer, but that was more than enough. It was thrilling, without it being over-the-top and unnecessary.

Cardi B and Offset at Fenty Spring 2018 show
Image via Getty/Paul Morigi

As The New York Times’ Vanessa Friedman pointed out, several different brands have left New York Fashion Week for Paris. In July, Rodarte and Proenza Schouler jumped ship. Thom Browne, Joseph Altuzarra, and Lacoste have also followed suit. Even men’s brands like John Elliott canceled its annual NYFW show for an appointment-only presentation in The City of Light this past January. And the brands that did show up mainly stuck to the traditional, tired fashion show format. At a time when labels are opting out of NYFW, Rihanna brought excitement back to New York.

Fenty Spring 2018 Runway Show
Image via Getty/Victor VIRGILE
Fenty Spring 2018 Runway Show
Image via Getty/Victor VIRGILE
Fenty Spring 2018 Runway Show
Image via Getty/Victor VIRGILE
Fenty Spring 2018 Runway Show
Image via Getty/Victor VIRGILE
Joan Smalls at Fenty Spring 2018 runway show
Image via Getty/Victor VIRGILE
Fenty Spring 2018 Runway Show
Image via Getty/Randy Brooke
Fenty Spring 2018 Runway Show
Image via Getty/Paul Morigi

 

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Watch Kendrick Lamar Perform “DNA” and “Humble” to Open 2017 VMAs

Kendrick Lamar made the jump from critical darling to household name in 2017, and it was only right that he got to punctuate that rise by kicking off the 2017 VMAs.

Bundled in a winter coat and rocking a red durag, Kendrick kicked in the door to start the show, opening the VMAs with two cuts from Damn, “DNA” and “Humble.” It was quite the spectacle, with stuntmen climbing up a burning rope ladder in the background while Kendrick continued spitting bars.

The rise of Kendrick's star was matched by the amount of nominations he received, with his eight VMA nominations leading the pack heading into the evening. But his focus wasn't a selfish one, and a point of focus for the rap star was on his TDE label mate, SZA, who he believed should be named Best New Artist.

“I watched her slave over and over to make a masterpiece that not only represents her, but represents women all over the world,” he said of her new album, Ctrl. “Something that we all can feel. It touched so many different spaces and connected with so many people. There’s nothing much more I can say — she needs to win.”

You can watch his performance from the 2017 VMAs up top.

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Protesters Are Demanding Donald Trump Be Removed From WWE Hall of Fame

Nothing can escape the glare of Donald Trump's buffoonery in 2017. With Americans angry over his lacking response to white supremacists, an unexpected group is calling for his ouster: wrestling fans.

But no, they're not asking for him to be impeached. WWE fans are worried about an institution that is much more sacred, the WWE Hall of Fame. Gothamist spoke to a group of fans gathered outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and they believe there is precedent for Trump to be removed from the hall.

“We were talking about how Trump gave that crazy press conference, and then thought about how he's in the WWE Hall of Fame even though Hulk Hogan got kicked out over racism,” said John Stevens, one of the men arguing Trump should get the boot. “What Trump has done is remarkably worse than what Hogan did, since he's dividing the country by siding with neo-Nazis and white nationalists.”

Stevens would continue, claiming that it reflects poorly on the company to keep Trump in. “I was sickened by that press conference, and his response to Charlottesville,” Stevens said. “WWE is endorsing those comments by having [Trump] in their Hall of Fame. I can't wrap my brain around the fact that they'd leave him in there, take Hogan out and claim they say they care about racism.”

Trump has taken a lot of heat for his handling of the tragic situation in Charlottesville, Virginia, blaming “many sides” in the immediate aftermath of a white supremacist running over a counter-protester, Heather Heyer.

In fairness, if racism was the driving force behind a possible Trump ouster, the WWE didn't exactly need the Charlottesville aftermath to be affiliated with racism. In the late 1980s, he took out full-page ads in major New York newspapers calling for the death penalty in the case of the “Central Park Five,” in which a group of black men were eventually exonerated after facing sexual assault charges. Decades later, he refused to back down from his stance in spite of DNA evidence and confessions from the actual assailant.

The rest of his history isn't a whole lot better, if at all. He accused a federal judge of being biased against him because of Mexican heritage (the judge was born in Indiana), he was sued repeatedly for not renting to black tenants, his casinos were fined for removing African-American card dealers at a gambler's request, claimed Barack Obama was a foreign-born Muslim (he is not and it wouldn't matter if he was Muslim anyway), and attacked the family of a deceased U.S. Army officer after they spoke out against him during the 2016 election.

So yeah, WWE fans upset with him being in the Hall of Fame have a point, even if it's one that could have been made when he was originally inducted into the Hall in 2013. Though his normalization through WWE was not as big of a problem as it is now that he's in the most powerful office in America, the luster of his Hair vs. Hair match against Vince McMahon is not more important than showing your fans you give a damn about racism.

But who knows! Maybe this will give WWE the kick in the ass it needs to take action. Given that McMahon is a close friend and supporter of Trump's don't expect him to get booted from the Hall of Fame anytime soon.

Send all complaints, compliments, and tips to sportstips@complex.com.

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Joe Budden and DJ Akademiks Debate If 2Pac Is Overrated

On today's Everyday Struggle, Joe Budden, DJ Akademiks, and Nadeska go through some quick news hits, including Tory Lanez's next album, Travis Scott losing money, Stevie J fuckery, and Freddie Gibbs still dissing Jeezy all these years later. Additionally, the crew talk about 2 Chainz's “DNA” freestyle and if the art of spitting off the dome has died in hip-hop. Later, Budden and Akademiks dive into some West Coast topics—like if 2Pac is overrated—before announcing that the show will be filming in Los Angeles next week! To wrap, the crew answer some fan questions from Twitter. 

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Watch 2 Chainz Flex on Kendrick Lamar’s “DNA” Beat in New Freestyle

Quiet as kept, 2 Chainz has been one of the rap game's best and most prolific artists over the last half decade. After shedding the Tity Boi moniker and starting fresh under his current name, the gaudy, fun-loving Georgia native quickly became one of the most beloved rappers in the business.

But it's not just his persona and his nature as a person that endears him to fans—this dude can rap. And he proved it once again with a freestyle over Kendrick Lamar's “DNA,” coasting on the beat for a solid two-and-a-half minutes while in-studio with the LA Leakers crew.

2 Chainz doesn't just float on one of the year's top instrumentals, he even mimics the rhyme scheme employed by Kendrick for roughly the first minute of the freestyle, splicing in rapid-fire bars and putting his own spin on the Damn track. He eventually relents, but even as he strays from the original style of “DNA,” he finds time to add his own hook to promote his upcoming albumPretty Girls Like Trap Music. 

Watching the video, you can tell 2 Chainz has been thinking about and listening to “DNA” a lot since it dropped. “Shout-out to Kendrick,” he said as he finished up, “he like the illest one doing it in the game, salute TDE.”

Pretty Girls Like Trap Music is set to be an experience only 2 Chainz can deliver. What other rapper in the game is offering an accompanying VR experience with strippers as part of their album? He's a true renaissance man.

You can watch the full video of the 2 Chainz freestyle up top, and sleep on Pretty Girls Like Trap Music at your own risk. 

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Mike Will Made-It Reveals Beat for Kendrick’s “Humble” Was Originally Made for Gucci Mane

Mike Will Made-It has had no trouble building a production empire without the assistance of Kendrick Lamar. The Georgia native's influence on music has been vast over the last few years, with the superproducer teaming up with everyone from Miley Cyrus to Future.

When you're bouncing from job-to-job (in a good way!) like he has, there's bound to be work you produced with one artist in mind that ended up being a better fit with someone else. That appears to be the case on “Humble,” Kendrick's first ever No. 1 single as a lead artist and the first single for Damn. Mike Will told NPR when he first made the beat, it was with Gucci Mane in mind:

I made that beat [last year] when Gucci Mane was getting out of jail; I made it with him in mind. I was just thinking, damn, Gucci's about to come home; it's got to be something urgent that's just going to take over the radio. And I felt like that beat was that.

I ended up not doing it with Gucci and I let Kendrick hear it. I was thinking, if Dot gets on this it'll be his first time being heard on some[thing] like this. At the same time, it kind of has an NWA/Dr. Dre feel, an Eminem kind of feel. So I thought, let me see if Dot f**** with it. And he heard the beat and he liked it.

When you hear the beat kick in on “Humble,” it does sound a lot more up Gucci's alley than Kendrick's. Coming off a jazzy project like To Pimp A Butterfly, the trap-inspired beats on Damn represent a change of pace for K-Dot. Don't expect any ice cream tattoos on Kendrick's face anytime soon, but he has proven he can weave in and out of different styles with the best in the game; in his early days, Kendrick even flipped a Gucci sample into a song about materialistic obsessions.

Mike Will also shared a story about the creation of “DNA,” a fan favorite and the second single from Damn. Impossible though it may sound, the producer claims he only made the beat for “DNA” after Kendrick rapped the entire song a cappella​ and challenged him to build the production around his voice.

“[Kendrick] said, 'I just want to see if you can put some drums around this,'” said Mike Will. “I said, 'Man, hell yeah.' But he was going so hard; that man was rapping so crazy. Just imagine him a cappella rapping the second half of 'DNA.' and I had to build a beat around that.”

That creative process would explain the dramatic change-up halfway through “DNA”; Kendrick transitions rather quickly from a laid-back, conventional flow to artillery fire on the mic, and it necessitates a shift in the song's mood. Thankfully, Mike Will was there to guide the song where it needed to go. 

The two have reportedly spent countless hours in the studio before they officially put it on wax for Damn. Hopefully the success of “Humble” and “DNA” inspires more collaborations between the hip-hop heavyweights in the future.

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Don Cheadle Didn’t Realize ‘Rush Hour 2’ Reference in Kendrick Lamar’s “DNA” Video

If you missed the Rush Hour 2 reference in Kendrick Lamar’s “DNA” visual, don’t feel too bad. Even the original Kung Fu Kenny didn’t realize the connection at first.

In a new interview with Pitchfork, Don Cheadle opened up about his starring role in Kendrick’s latest music video. He admitted he wasn’t aware the rapper’s Kung Fu Kenny alter ego was modeled after his Rush Hour 2 character of the same name.

“I didn’t know that until the next day. He got that from my character in Rush Hour 2,” the actor explained. “He was like, ‘Duh!’ He texted me like, ‘Dude are you serious? You didn’t know that?’ […] I did not put it together. Then I went to Coachella and saw him perform, and I saw the video before the thing and still didn’t figure it out. And then I went on Twitter and someone had randomly tweeted, ‘Don Cheadle is the original Kung Fu Kenny.’ I went, ‘Wait a minute, I did play a character named Kenny who did kung fu and spoke Chinese.’”

Cheadle also revealed he didn’t have much time to prepare for the project, as he was contacted by Kendrick only a couple of days before filming began. He told Pitchfork the Compton rapper hit him up out of the blue and asked if he wanted to be involved in the music video. Cheadle said he agreed before knowing he would play a cop who rapped a big portion of the song.

“I was like, ‘Uh OK, you know you’re like the best rapper in the world, so what are you talking about.’ He sent me the lyrics and was like, ‘You just have to get this much of it down,”’which was like half of it [laughs]. I was like, ‘Are you gonna have a teleprompter?’ And he said, ‘No, it’s gonna be fine.’”

The pressure was on. Though Cheadle is no stranger to memorizing lines, he said delivering the “DNA” rap was much more difficult than memorizing a script. He said the tricky part was figuring out how each thought segued into the next.

“It takes a deep dive to kind of figure out why one verse creates the other verse and what it comes out of and all of that,” he said. “So it’s tricky to memorize because it’s so specific to the way he thinks. But then when we got in there, we really just started playing. We just started improvising, really.”

As you can see in the final result, Cheadle pulled it off perfectly.

You can read the full interview—in which the actor also mentions his opening dialogue in the video, his friendship with K-Dot, and Geraldo Rivera’s criticism—over at Pitchfork.

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Joe Budden and DJ Akademiks Debate the Best Crews in Hip-Hop

On today's episode of Everyday Struggle, DJ Akademiks and Joe Budden share their reactions to Kendrick Lamar's new “DNA” video and debate if K-Dot makes the best visuals in the game. Later, the guys break down Troy Ave's claim that he almost signed to TDE and argue over the best crews in hip-hop. They also discuss the new Drake and Birdman lawsuit and wrap with a discussion on the Carmelo and La La Anthony breakup rumors

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‘Kung Fu Kenny’ Is Just the Latest Example of Hip-Hop’s Fascination With Martial Arts

Kendrick Lamar is a man who, for a rapper, has a comparatively short list of nicknames. But on his new album Damn, his new video for “DNA,” and particularly during his set this past weekend at Coachella, he's introduced a brand new one: “Kung Fu Kenny.”

KungFuKennyVideo
Image via YouTube

At Coachella, Lamar started his set by unveiling a short film titled The Damn Legend of Kung Fu Kenny that was modeled after the kung fu films of the 1970s. Similar imagery, including the phrase “Kung Fu Kenny” spelled out in Chinese characters, appeared in the “DNA” video. The moniker itself seems to be inspired by Don Cheadle's character in Rush Hour, who goes by Kenny:

But why? Why would a rap star associate himself with Hong Kong actions films released well before he was born?

As it turns out, Kendrick is continuing a tradition that dates back to the very beginnings of hip-hop. Martial arts—in particular, martial arts as depicted in the films of the 1970s and ’80s—had a seminal influence on hip-hop culture from the start. The New York City of the 1970s that birthed hip-hop faced an economic crisis. The same forces that were burning the Bronx were also having their effects felt in the theaters of midtown Manhattan.

Joseph Schloss, a scholar and author who wrote the book Foundation: B-boys, B-girls and Hip-Hop Culture in New York, explains that the movie theaters were feeling the pinch, so they went for the cheapest programming they could find. 

“Their best economic alternative was to buy packages of these cheap Hong Kong action movies, and just show them all day long. It was that and porno movies, basically, on 42nd Street,” he tells Complex. Starting in 1981, this programming was mirrored on television as well. WNEW, channel 5 in the city, broadcast Drive-In Movie every Saturday. The program showed primarily kung fu flicks, and was a huge hit with kids. “Pretty much every single hip-hop artist that I've met from that era used to watch that show religiously,” Schloss notes.

So kung fu movies were in the theaters and on TV. But why did the kids of the era—the ones who were, as Schloss puts it, “developing their own culture”—love the films so much? What did they see in those stories?

Adisa Banjoko, founder of the Hip-Hop Chess Federation and the author of the book Bobby, Bruce & the Bronx: The Secrets of Hip-Hop Chess, has made a life-long study of the connections between hip-hop, martial arts, and the game of chess. To him, the affinity between black youth of that era and martial arts makes perfect sense. 

“People often forget that hip-hop was born out of the ashes of the civil rights movement, and so much of that was tied to a reclamation of black male dignity,” he says. “These films—Bruce Lee movies in particular, and a lot of the Shaw Brothers films—often dealt with one man going against an organization, or one man going against an unjust state. Because so much of this was done with just the hands, it was also a tool of the poor. You didn't have to be rich to have these skills. You just had to be disciplined and be willing to work, and you could have it.

“That was one of the main reasons that the martial arts resonated with African-American males who, people conveniently forget, had all of their warrior traditions literally beaten out of them on slave plantations and in sharecropper/Jim Crow America. So these films were supremely inspirational to masses of black males who felt culturally robbed of their warrior spirit, and inspirational on a philosophical perspective, because of the responsibility that having the skills demanded.” 

On a very direct and literal level, kung fu films also gave young black and brown kids heroes who were not white (“it's hard to understand looking back on it how revolutionary that was,” Schloss says). But there was also a new model of learning—crucial for children who, like kids everywhere and at all times, mostly hated school. People in kung fu movies learned from a master, practiced their skills obsessively, and developed new styles, all practices that made their way into hip-hop culture.

“What martial arts really did for hip-hop was to provide a model for an apprenticeship system that showed how you could respect a teacher or a mentor without diminishing your own self-respect,” says Schloss. “It was a model where you could be like, 'I'm going to learn to be humble and disciplined, and let this guy tell me what to do, but that doesn't mean that I'm letting him disrespect me.' That's a big part of what allowed the art form to develop, because when people put themselves in that situation, they were able to learn a lot of important things and push the art form forward by being open to that instruction.”

Banjoko agrees. “It gave all of these renegade artists a blueprint for mastery, because they were innovating and trying to master something that was completely new,” he says. “And so when you're looking at films like 36 Chambers and you're seeing all the times they have to practice one kick, all the times that they have to practice one punch—these guys are practicing that scratch, they're practicing the headspin, the freeze, with that same ferocity.”

But at root, the reason martial arts is so deeply embedded in hip-hop is because it was deeply embedded in the lives of the kids who created hip-hop. Schloss sums it up:

“Hip-hop was a combination of everything working-class teenage kids of color in New York City were into in the ’70s. So martial arts was just naturally a part of that.”

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