Founded in 1967 by Bronx-born Ralph Lifshitz, Polo Ralph Lauren has dressed everyone from presidents to Olympians to your favorite rappers. Except, said rappers weren’t getting seeded or personally styled by the company up until more recently.
Hip-hop has served as a pro bono marketing agency for the billion-dollar fashion house for nearly three decades, but not anymore. Finally, Polo is recognizing the influence rap music has done for the brand with the 25th anniversary re-release of both its Stadium and Snowboarding collections, and placing rappers Thirstin Howl the 3rd and Meyhem Lauren in ads.
It took hip-hop a long time to get here, though. What started out in the streets of New York by the Lo-Lifes—a Brooklyn street crew whose preferred uniform was Polo—eventually seeped into the region’s hip-hop scene, turning a thing like Raekwon wearing a Snow Beach pullover jacket in the “Can It Be All So Simple” video into an unforgettable moment. Rap took something that was made for upper class preppy white kids and made it their own. “Our culture is based on taking things that aren’t meant for us or weren’t intended for us and making it ours,” as Just Blaze puts it.
With music provided by Thelonious Martin and featuring Raekwon, Just Blaze, Big Boi, 2 Chainz, ASAP Ferg, 88-Keys, Young Dro, Daymond John, Dapper Dan, Fonzworth Bentley, Thirstin Howl the 3rd, and other original Lo-Life members, this documentary explores that juxtaposition. Watch Horse Power above to learn about hip-hop’s love affair with Polo Ralph Lauren.
23-year-old twins Cam & China are making some of the best rap music in Los Angeles. Coming from Inglewood, they released a self-titled EP last year, packed with beats that slap and lyrics that don't hold back on anything, whether its their disdain for the fakes or their own self-confidence They have more music, videos, and shows in the works for 2018, but first comes this booming collaboration with Barclay Crenshaw, which is the alter ego of successfuldancemusic producer/label head Claude VonStroke. Watch the video for “The Baddest,” featuring a vintage Rolls Royce and some wild tattoos, above. Learn more about how the track came together below.
“Last year I released an album under Barclay Crenshaw of all alternative hip-hop futuristic type stuff,” Crenshaw tells us. “This is the next step in that project. I want to continue on this path and see where it takes me. My first love is hip-hop. Even though I got really into house and techno I always knew I would come back to old school hip-hop and weird beat music.”
He adds, “I really like the energy of Cam and China. They were amazing to work with. They are fun and they have great skill on the mic. The whole session in the studio was easy going and very creative. It really was a collaboration of ideas to make this track.”
Cam adds, “We want women to feel confident when they hear this, despite any negativity thrown your way on a day to day basis whether it’s being compared, bashed, talked about, bullied, unappreciated, disrespected, slept on, or looked down on. Always walk with dignity and move with grace. I hope this motivates women from all ages to work hard, never settle, and more importantly never remove your crown for no one. Show them who’s the baddest. What this track symbolizes to us is that women are powerful when we stick together.”
“I also think it’s a great time for black women, women in general are making history and setting trends,” she continues. “For example Cardi B, Issa Rae, Rihanna, Gabby Douglas, Tiffany Haddish, Michelle Obama, Viola Davis, Loretta Lynch to name a few. I think the time is now and time is up.”
Barclay Crenshaw Tour Dates:
4/12 The Majestic Theater, Detroit, MI
4/13 Elsewhere, Brooklyn, NY
4/15 Coachella Weekend 1
4/18 Cervantes Masterpiece, Denver Co
4/22 Coachella Weekend 2
4/24 The Independent, San Francisco CA
In news that doesn’t suck: KFC and Taco Bell’s home delivery service will soon be available nationwide.
According to Business Insider, the chain’s parent company Yum Brands has inked a $200 million deal with Grubhub, which will serve as its official delivery partner for thousands of KFC and Taco Bell locations across the country. As of now, the chains are only offering delivery in select cities, including Indianapolis; Louisville, Kentucky; and Omaha, Nebraska.
Yum Brands announced the partnership Thursday in a press release, explaining how the new deal is expected to increase sales “through online ordering for pickup and delivery.”
“We are committed to making our iconic brands easier to access through online ordering for pickup and delivery, and aggressively pursuing delivery as a strategic global growth opportunity, with nearly half of our 45,000 restaurants already offering it today,” Yum Brands CEO Greg Creed said in the press release. “We’re pleased to secure this partnership with Grubhub in order to drive incremental, profitable growth for our U.S. franchisees over the long term. Our partnership and strategic investment in Grubhub demonstrate our laser-like focus on two of our growth drivers: Distinctive, Relevant & Easy Brands and Unmatched Franchise Operating Capability.”
TL;DR: You won't have to leave your house to get that bucket of chicken or Double Stacked Taco you’ll inevitably crave.
See, dreams really do come true.
Business Insider reports the chains will begin rolling out the nationwide delivery service in the upcoming months. Stay tuned as more information becomes available.
Over the course of 2017, Billie Eilish went from a precocious high-schooler who wouldn't stop singing to one of mainstream music's most exciting new voices. Her dontsmileatmeEP was a crack of lightning against our musical landscape, eight tracks of dark, scrappy pop that revealed Billie's talents as a songwriter—and her fascination with morbidity. But the EP was also a family affair: Billie's brother Fineas provided most of the production, and the songs were largely written in their parents' roomy Craftsman home in Los Angeles' Highland Park.
The 16-year-old singer was homeschooled by equally creative parents, both of them actors that encouraged Billie's early interest in dance and horseback riding. She's always been a singer, but it wasn't she and Fineas uploaded “Ocean Eyes” that the musical aspirations started to come to life. That was in November of 2015, and the success that has followed swept the whole family up in its current.
Luckily, they were prepared—Billie has the right people around her, and since signing to Interscope, she's become one of the label's most sought-after acts. By the time we visited the family's house in L.A., Billie had paired with Vince Staples on the “watch” remix and cooked up some unreleased heat with IDK and Denzel Curry.
For now, however, Billie Eilish's creative base remains in Highland Park. It's somewhere between the treehouse built by her dad (he made this ladder, too), the aerial trapeze in the backyard (her mom teaches circus lessons on the side), and the hidden wall of her bedroom, where Billie scrawls ideas in black marker. It's home, but it's also headquarters.
Isaiah Thomas has only been a member of the Cavaliers for about six months now. Due to a lingering hip injury, he’s also only been playing for the Cavaliers for a few weeks. But according to a New York Daily News report, that didn’t stop him from calling Kevin Love out during a Cleveland team meeting earlier this week.
On Monday night, an ESPN.com report surfaced indicating several Cavaliers players had targeted Love for exiting Cleveland’s embarrassing loss to the Thunder on Saturday afternoon with an illness. Love responded to the report by essentially confirming it on Tuesday afternoon. He admitted he was one of the main targets during the meeting.
But the Daily News took things a step further by reporting Thomas “led the charge” against Love. It seems to suggest Thomas was causing some level of conflict in the Cavaliers’ locker room even though he literally just got there.
This didn’t sit well with many NBA fans who responded to the report about Thomas calling Love out by accusing him of being everything from a bad teammate to a locker room snitch. They used a screengrab of Thomas from a recent Book of Isaiah video on The Players’ Tribune to show their disgust with Thomas’ alleged actions and turned him into a meme.
The funny part about this is that, if Thomas did, in fact, criticize Love during the Cavaliers’ team meeting, Love may not have been all that bent out of shape about it. Because for those who might not know, Thomas and Love have actually been friends for quite some time now. They once played on the same AAU team, and in an interview with The Verticalin 2016, Thomas spoke about his friendship with Love and about how he used to routinely stay at Love’s house when they were younger so they could play basketball together.
“Kevin and his dad Stan, they would come pick me up and I would stay the weekend at his house so I could play on that AAU team,” Thomas said. “It’s something that me and Kevin, we’ll talk about. It’s crazy that we’re both in the NBA and he is at the level he’s at, and I’m doing pretty well. To be able to say that I used to go to his house every other weekend and stay the night and his parents used to cook dinner and all that type of thing, it’s crazy to see that.”
When you take all that into consideration, Thomas going after Love in the Cavaliers’ locker room seems a whole lot less egregious. It won’t stop some NBA fans from continuing to turn Thomas into a meme, but in the grand scheme of things, Cavaliers fans would probably prefer to hear that Thomas went after Love as opposed to one of the other Cleveland players doing it.
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.
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.”
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.”
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 toldEsquire. “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.
Philadelphia 76ers forward Joel Embiid has been trying to take Rihanna on a date since he entered the league back in 2014. After publicly announcing that he was moving on from a crush on Kim Kardashian to Rihanna, he first started tweeting at her in July 2014—half-jokingly asking the singer on dinner dates.
Hey baby holla at me!! Dinner at giorgios at 930pm @rihanna????
Rihanna quickly followed him back on Twitter and Embiid said she was considering his offer, but it never materialized into anything. A month later, Embiid shared a cryptic tweet saying that a “famous girl” turned him down and told him, “Come back when you're [an] All Star.”
This is the truth… I was trying to get with this famous girl and she said ” Come back when you're a All Star” bruhh pic.twitter.com/CFBnRqnKMA
TMZ later confirmed that the “famous girl” was in fact Rihanna. Embiid wasn't able to make good on his side of the bargain and become an All-Star after getting injured, however. That changed this week when Embiid was named a starter on the Eastern Conference's All-Star team.
Now, fans are flooding Rihanna with messages, making sure she follows through on her end of the deal. Right now, all of her recent posts on Instagram are full of “@joelembiid” tags and comments like, “He's an All-Star now give him a call.”
The 28-year-old R&B star posted an adorable video (below) last month of his daughter, Royalty, holding their pet baby monkey, Fiji. However, not everyone thought the scene was cute. Some of Breezy's followers voiced concern about dangers of the three-year-old being next to the exotic Capuchin monkey and called up the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to report the pop star.
While Brown isn't in trouble for bringing his daughter and the exotic animal together, the Fish and Wildlife team discovered that Brown didn't have the proper permits to house the Capuchin monkey. Because of this, he can face up to six months in jail.
TMZ reports that Brown immediately turned Fiji over to the authorities when they turned up at his house with a search warrant. Now, his case sits with L.A.'s City Attorney who will be seeing Brown's lawyer, Mark Geragos, ASAP. Geragos also spoke with TMZ and criticized the city for “using taxpayer money on investigating monkey business.”
“As I leave my office in downtown L.A. and walk past people sleeping on the street on my way to defend people charged by the City Attorney with selling medical marijuana … now spending taxpayer money on investigating monkey business, this completes the circle on his absurdity,” he said.
Watching football is a pastime that many people enjoy, but one man took football fandom to a whole new level when he was willing to kill for it. Tony Thomas allegedly stabbed his wife, Elke, to death after she changed the TV channel from his (hopefully) favorite sport at their Arkansas home.
The Associated Press reports that Thomas took a smoke break outside before heading back inside his house when he asked his wife for the score. That's when Thomas says he blacked out. The two reportedly got into an argument before Thomas regained consciousness while standing over his wife's bloodied body with a knife in his hand. It was Thomas who called the authorities to ask for a “meat wagon and police” after the stabbing, reports Fox News.
“He claimed he'd blacked out and when he 'came to,' he was over her with a knife in his hands,” read an affidavit by Lonoke County Sheriff's Detective Anthony Counts.
Now, at 58 years old, Thomas is being charged with capital murder. While the incident happened back in November, Thomas has been in jail ever since with a bond set at $1 million.
If convicted, Thomas may be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole. If it's the latter, he'll have even more trouble with his choice of TV channels. Hopefully, he learned his lesson on sharing screen time. Thomas's court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 22.
Rick Ross is going to constantly remind Birdman about his money problems and legal situation with Lil Wayne until he pays up.
The latest jab comes from Renzel’s Snapchat, responding to an AllHipHop report (via The Blast) that Birdman is selling his Miami mansion on Palm Island. Stunna bought the 19,000 sq. ft. mansion for $14.5 million in 2012, which was once owned by former Rockstar Energy CEO Russell Weiner and Scott Storch.
In his Snap, Ross breaks down the logic behind Birdman’s purchase. He allegedly took out a loan in 2015 for $12 million from a company named Easy Money EMG that's based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He put the mansion as a collateral for the loan.
“You ain’t have no money in six-seven years, n***a. You should have came and borrowed some from Rozay. Now you want to fuck that old lady life up too. You probably borrowing some money from her,” Ross says.
“I might go buy that house on the water,” he adds. “Just to keep my boat at it. I won’t even stay there, that shit is too small.”
A post shared by Baller Alert (@balleralert) on Dec 18, 2017 at 7:05am PST
Earlier this year, Ross called out Birdman for not paying Lil Wayne and countless other Cash Money producers on “Idols Become Rivals.” He hasn’t stopped spreading the message, urging Birdman to “pay that man.” And this is after Birdman exploded on Instagram Live about all the chatter surrounding him and Weezy, telling his followers about their history and that he’ll make sure he’s “straight” when the timing is right.
If Birdman can’t pay for his mansion, what makes us think he can pay Wayne’s $51 million lawsuit?