It's a Trill Thang June 10, 2017 21:16
I sat down with the introspective, funny, and incredibly interesting Arturo Bustamante of Trill City Kings. Lots of jewels here! We discussed philosophy on culture, the artists resistance, productivity, Trill City trademarked parties, Texas culture and so much more. Check them out on IG @trillcity comment and let us know what you think below
listen to the full interview here -40 mins
Respect the Shooter May 29, 2017 15:05
#STAYimperial Podcast. Discussing the young creative and entrepreneurial hustle in Austin, Tx and Beyond.
Episode 2 IE sat down with Xavier Anthony, ATX photographer. We Talk working towards greatness, mastering your skill, being war ready, mentors, and building a voice. Xavier's passes along some good times for working and aspiring photographers. Check out his work on IG @xavieranthonyphotography and the upcoming work with @allouttx
Liste to the full interview - 27 mins
The Imperial Journal: Evolving, Hacking Productivity, Enjoy The Journey May 18, 2017 13:25
I'm starting this blog as a way to document the things I'm learning and working on as I personal evolve along with Imperial Eloquence. More importantly, this is a way to share ideas with the world that can be more clearly deconstructed as I expose them, break them down, and hopefully build conversations around.
The past week I turned 29, the last year of my 20's and although I'm lucky to be here at this point the "MORE Monster" in me thinks I'm not where I should be at 29. This can be good from an motivating perspective but if fueled by ego or standards that aren't true to myself it can be detrimental. In light of my "old age" I've began to work on systems of simplifying my life goals and documenting them to build my reality in order to thrive, overcome, and reach greatness. The following is the study I've taken on this week and the resources that ignited these realizations.
As I've started to look into the rewiring of your personal reality, or how Dr. Joe Dispenza coined it- the way you think, the way you feel, the way you act creates your personality overtime- I've recognized some pattern in my thinking. THIS IS HUGE, because we can neurally change thought patterns since we are the only creatures that can think of the thoughts we are having (metacognition). This made me think of greats: Joan of Arc, Mandela, Jay-Z, MLK Jr; people who came from situations that almost guaranteed their failure but they thrived. And how did they do that? According to new science on neural plasticity, the brain's ability to restructure itself, we can make the conscious effort of changing the language of the mind; thoughts, along with the language of the body, feelings, simultaneously to create the reality we want. This clears up the bullshit of the woo-wooism of the law of attraction that entices people to think they can attain with feel-goods only and shallow Instagram posts. Instead we can evolve by changing the habit of who we are by practicing the process of feeling and foreshadowing, when we do this with emotion and practice we open up and connect new neural pathways in our brain. This is a tool to heal any trauma or realize any mindset, which can be the key to unlocking your greatness. I believe mindset is a big part, if not the whole, solution to the success/happiness equation.
In short Joan of Arc, Jay-Z, Martin Luther King Jr all lived the reality they wanted before it became physical reality and they made it their personal reality and so can you. Its not easy, but it is possible and it has helped me in evolving my distracted brain into a thinking brain which in turn has brought me greater joy and understanding. This is due to the fact that as we learn something new we create a pathway of new neural receptors that open up the opportunity to create a new reality. And if you want to look deep into a rabbit hole of interesting information I recommend pairing Dr. Joe Dispenzas' work with some research into quantum physics/quantum reality and how it relates to Newtonian laws.
Super Human Mode
This tied in with the ideas discussed by Aubrey Marcus on his recent interview with Jamie Wheal, co-author of "Stealing Fire". Now, I've heard numerous interview since the book came out and found this one as the most informative and meaningful. The idea of "Stealing Fire" relates to the Greek myth of Prometheus, who stole fire from the Gods and gave it to men as a Godly power. "Stealing Fire" covers altered states of consciousness also know as ecstasis and the healing and godly force that these states can bring us. The description of a state of ecstasis has one or more of the following traits: a)selflessness b)timelessness c)effortlessness d)richness of experiences. Lets name a few examples of what this can look like; a Yogi achieving a sense of transcendence, the basketball players who connect and communicate with exact timeliness, the raver who attains an insight into a solution during a concert, the runners' high that bolsters additional energy and puts the athlete "in the zone", the Navy seals team that can read micro expressions in a dark room to surgical degrees, the zone that an artist can put himself into while creating a painting, the musician who is in the pocket within a jam session, etc.
Mammals have searched for ways to increase their conscious level for centuries, either subconsciously or consciously. Whether through illicit drugs, live EDM shows and Festivals, Yoga, Alcohol, Meditation and other substances and behaviors that chemically change the brain make up, we've hungered for a state that is not just intoxicating but can be downright transformative. Many animals who live around psychedelic plants such as Iboga, Ayahuasca, and psychedelic mushrooms digest these plants and trip out, theres a fascinating phenomenon of dolphins who lightly nibble on puffer fish to get its toxins out and float around in a "rotation" type circle. Similarly the rockstar on heroin, artist on codeine and xans, and wall street billionaire on cocaine are achieving altered consciousness often to a detriment. Most of these states at the evolutionary level don't really serve us, they don't increase our chances of a mating, or ability to gain resources, per say and some can even be dangerous. Dolphins can become easy targets for Killer Whales and other predators above them in the food chain, but they still puff puff the puffer's magic potion. Understanding that we, as American's, subconsciously spend over $4 trillion dollars on altered state of consciousness is almost unbelievable; yet the fact that these states are recognized in various cultures to be just as real, or more so, than awakened consciousness, its clear to me the dire need to personally comprehend and implement a practice and ritual to use this information to my advantage. Hopefully 10X my quality of life, success, and enlightenment.
My key takeaway is that my experience in trying to tap into altered states with either psychedelics, sex, meditation, yoga, or partying - can be calculated, planned and used to go into healing, learning, collaboration, and growth that can be incredibly accelerated. I can also avoid getting lost in living for those moments of "being high" only. The integration of these practices comes with a practiced discipline, this means after the day on mushrooms or the weekend at a music festival, we put down in writing the homework given for us to do. We might also want to fast or abstain from other distractive practices to work on what the altered state gave us in form of a vision, realization, or conversation. Then, we must find a way to create a dialog on ideas as well as putting in the sweat and effort to advance them.
For me this has been clarifying what I can do with the resources I have now, in order to increase my quality of life, happiness and contribution to the world. A month ago, through an altered state, I realized that the overthinking that I was making kept me from taking action, mostly from fear of the ideas not working out- without even trying them. As I walked a pathway in a busy park I realized that getting from one side of the park to the other is a set of corrections in direction. I wouldnt take it personally if a dog crossed my path and I had to go around it and correct my route, similarly any idea that is thought out to an extent still needs to be acted on and any "failure" or lack of attaining my goal from it, is actually information and data for me to use to strategize and correct my direction. I eliminate wasted time worrying or judging by instead analyzing and acting to the best of my ability and as soon as possible. I saw that in my business and life, being overtly focused on the errors and taking them personally kept me from taking any steps forward because I already imagined some catastrophe. I had the homework to assign time and meet the deadline to strategize, cut out excess business, and put to work the strategy on how to improve my life and business by collecting data instead of worrying about failure.
By setting up a purposeful practice of going into the altered state and coming back out with a task and guidance we can use "The fire of the Gods" in a manner that serves us and our goals, whatever they may be. Also the discipline of practicing abstinence from your altered states shows you how restless you can be without it(similar to fasting from food) can allow you to frame a practice of that activity or substance in a way that serves you. We want to prevent our practice from being just an escape that makes you feel like you're gaining but all you're doing is becoming dependent on that state. My observation is that the anxiety or any hardship you feel after an experience can be offset to serve you by integrating it with a practice into your life. Because its easy to think that what you experienced only exists in the memory of what you did but the reality is that if you act on and consciously look at the feedback given to you after a rave, an ayahuasca ceremony, a pleasure session, yoga or any mindfulness practice, you can free yourself of the need to only live in that state and progress by strategizing and building a body of work with the tools you have.
Building your body of work is necessary to developing mastery, contributing, and finding joy. A body of work can be figuring out how to make that idea you've had in your head real, building that business, creating the future, finishing the artwork, unpacking the personal luggage and doing it in a tangible way. Because going from the altered conscious and back to "reality" is necessary in order for the muse (the creative part of your soul) to transfer the data to the real world. This also requires your conscious mind and body to do the reps necessary, the reps only you can do. As much it can be a prison to believe that this reality is the only one, its necessary to create a tangible and realistic body of work to evolve and express yourself. I know I can personally spend too much time with over educating, and paralysis disguised as healing but the real healing comes with a two part recipe, one part altered state with a purpose and plan and second part as integrating that work into the real world with real risk and real potential to grow. Because the part of you that creates and grows never needs healing. (Pressfield, War of Art. Audible). The War of Art says there is a proper place for true healing but often times the juice we can spend on creating and building a body of work can be wasted on the idea of healing a part that never requires healing in the first place.
Essentially, altered states of consciousness can help us get the information and tap into consciousness at various levels; chemically, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We can use that info to strategize and can tap into other levels of ecstasis while we do the work or in between the work and the rituals. This can help us transform our lives, health, and future if purposely applied.
The following was the most insightful information as it came with great clarity into how to move forward with life and business mindsets and practices. It also tied the ideas of the other resources with a similar tone. Daniel Dipiazza, founder of business coaching site that helps millenniums become entrepreneurs, gave a clear plan for mindsets and discussed how to set your self up mentally as well as strategically for success.
First point was how ambition doesn't entitle you to succeed, having some drive and a strong will is not all you need to become a success in business. You have to know and master the entrepreneurial stuff that is not sexy, such as but not limited to: finding a skill set, finding and understanding your market, targeting your offerings, productize offer, scaling up strategy, and other things that the bromides don't tell you. The actual work you put in as entrepreneur in the market place takes timing, meaning the hours you put in behind close doors that nobody shares on Instagram, is what the journey is mostly made of. You must do a lot of work, consistently and often times the results you see won't come until much much later. Entrepreneurship is also very much the opposite of the quick validation and gratification world we live in. Finding a way to keep your journey enjoyable comes with a mindset, unaffected by the social media likes, comments, constant feed updates, and comparison thats can keep us from getting any real place.
Second, the time that you put in and the time that you "strike it rich" is also something to keep in mind. I believe that with a growth mindset there are always opportunities out there but often times it requires patience and the development of a skill set which can only come with timing and effort. Give the time some time while you continue your work and hone in mastery in a manner that keeps fuel in your tank. This comes with a mindset to run your own race, again, with all the input and insight into others' lives that we get from social media and other sources today, it can be hard not to compare yourself. The need to do so probably has something to do with our evolutionary mind/survival mechanism. I think you must train the need to compare and hone it in so it serves you, you can do this by 1) Always having a goal and clarifying it 2) Seeing others' success with gratitude. Now, you may say, "yea yeah I know be happy for others and don't hate, I get it", but I want to clarify this mindset because although I doubt you're a "hater" I found it useful to look at other's success with emotionally linking appreciation as best as I could to the fact that opulence, wealth, influence (or anything I want that others have) exists. When noticing people who are succeeding in areas I want to succeed in as well, telling myself something like: "lead the way and set the table and Ill come with my recipe for all to enjoy after". This way I am free of the need to compare and can also inspire gratitude in my mind, which will help with focus on my mission and almost guarantees success. Most importantly it will build an air that others in your field and yourself are colleagues and all who play a part are contributors to the culture. This is an abundance mindset and the frequencies at which it vibrates adds, where the lack and jealousy, by definition, subtract in the form of resources, energy, and accomplishment.
Everyone knows that when you strain a muscle it tears down and regrows which adds strength and healthy mass to the body. People also know that doing something thats hard and seeing it through to the end makes you stronger in other ways. In this interview, Daniel really clarified how and why this works, he explained that the point of frustration is where most people give up, that's the rep or emotional challenge that makes you want to give up, but if you understand and accept the frustration that comes at that point and see what is really going on you'll push through it a lot easier. Whether there's a business solution you can't realize, a life problem that seems to be weighing you down, a personal illness, a skateboard trick you can't land, a creative project thats not coming out quiet as you envisioned it, the frustration thats felt is a threshold. If you look at what's happening under the surface of the frustration the hardship is not only bearable its understandable and beyond that threshold there's a treasure. The frustration and discomfort is the brain's lack of understanding with why we're feeling the pain and it's trying to keep you safe, but the trick is to rewire that evolutionary code in your brain that says "pushing through that set of exercises again is going to make you too tired to run from the sabertooth tiger". When you push beyond that frustration and do enough of the thing that hurts, the thing thats hard, the thing you don't want to think about- you chemically rewire a part of the brain that once reset is set for life to do this thing that is actually good for you. Daniel's example of learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is perfect. The number of times that you have to get your ass beat and keep going with frustration as you keep getting stuck in the same bind, relates to how much your brain is permanently restructuring a solution. Even though the frustration may be simultaneously telling you to stop pushing beyond that voice in the brain and persevering grants you self-trust, this is the most important gain because with self-trust you are now chemically and mentally wired to believe in yourself to succeed in other areas of your life. With the same mindset done enough you begin to see why new skills live outside of our comfort zone. Yes, sometimes you may have a natural disposition to be good at some things but at the same time those valuable gains are worth the struggle they often come with a struggle. The frustration from that same struggle is the catalyst that helps rewire your mind biologically and chemically to overcome and be greater at other things.
The reason most of us won't to push past that pain is because we are afraid of the mistakes we'll make. Framing mistakes as necessities instead of a deciding factor of our worth is the only way to attain greatness and be happy. Again, understanding, evolutionarily, where the fear of mistakes come from can help to push past the blockage, we may internalize mistakes subconsciously to believe we are not good enough if we make a mistake. The minds evolutionary protective system is saying that if you mess up you will be chastised and kicked out of the tribe and the voice will say "if you do this you'll mess up and if you mess up you'll die after you're left out in the land without the tribe to survive". Training the brain to not stop you with this nonsense, that served us as cavemen but now does more to impend us, is a skill that one must hone and this training of the mind makes the journey to success sustainable. By making mistakes you grow and rewire and prior to making the mistakes you train the mind to be ok with them which also boosts motivation since demotivation comes from tying your worth internally to an external result.
Freedom is gained by eliminating the external result from determining your internal worth, you do this by not having a set outcome in mind that says "if I fail I'm not good enough and if I succeed I am good enough". Do more of the exercise that trains the mind to grow by making mistakes and don't have a set outcome in mind. Now, not having an outcome in mind is very different from not having a goal. Lets look at it with an analogy; if you're a frog and the goal is a destination on the other side of a pond, the path to get there are lily pads. If you make your goal: to perfectly land in the dead center of every lily pad on your way, the journey will be next to impossible. By being okay with making mistakes along the way (say, maybe fall off a lily pad, over or under shoot one) you will get there and as a result you may get better at perfectly landing on your lily pads by the end of your journey. What often happens is we overthink and fear the mistake of not perfectly landing on the center of that lily pad so much so that we don't jump at all, never reaching our destination, or we overanalyze and with anxiety and self criticism add unnecessary pain that makes the journey harder or burns us out before we even get there.
Another way to understand is that by tying your internal identity based on what the external shows is a way to give control to things that will sway in any direction and your quality of life then becomes a slave to those outside things. Life is guaranteed to give you challenges and specially if you want to reach success or greatness, trouble will come. The long game is the key, as a recent interviewee said, its not about how much you make but how long you can stay in the game that counts. As counter intuitive as it may be, letting go of needing the external validation of perfection will actually help you be happier and attain success. Despite what the instagram memes say success requires more than the hustle which is a trait of the ambition we mentioned at the beginning. Yes theres a time and a place to burn the midnight oil and hustle a-la Gary Vee, but even he will tell you its not about "no-sleep", its about what you are doing with the hours you spend awake after a good nights rest. What are you thinking, working on, doing, and feeling during these awake hours and this means you have to ground your internal framework in a manner that keeps you in a state of longevity by getting to know yourself and discovering and finding interest in you and your history with a clear manner which is independent of anything that is external. The side affects to this aside from your success an happiness is it may also make you a better person to be around because you are more fulfilled and this mindset subconsciously attracts abundance.
Most importantly, as you set your mind and body up for growth you have to begin to build a body of work. Before the internet and the democratization of entrepreneurship and music, 2Pac build a catalog of work that is still being released today. With whatever you have on your plate or in whatever way you can figure out a way to tangibly contribute a peace of you out there, create and build on a body of work, a portfolio to improve on and build mastery at. Then put it out and if you can, develop a message that provides value to the world. Its a content war out there so if you want your creation to be seen you then must work on placing it in as many spaces, again, with it being part of the lily main goal but not defining your worth on the attention you get.
In summary, seeing your challenges with a positive attitude trains your brain to become the good coach and helps you instead of hindering you, whether its a workout routine or trying to solve a problem for a personal or business solution. This is integral to bouncing back as you face challenges which are guaranteed on the journey towards growth, entrepreneurship and life. Decide to be okay with mistakes and 'failures' by saying "I'm going to work until I'm better, I won't be perfect and don't need to be, but I'm greatful for the progress" you will enjoy the journey, trust in the time, and attain greatness. Give yourself the time to develop the talent and use as many tools and ideas like these to make it a joyful experience which will improve your chances of success.
The quote above comes from a powerful book which discusses the phenomenal power of the mind and goal setting. This particular chapter spoke on "purpose tremor" which is when you are threading a needle all of the sudden you become shaky but you can hold the thread perfectly still otherwise. This is due to being too careful to not make a mistake. Basically, you're giving too many fucks and its fucking you up. When you have a fear of making errors the activity becomes highly anxiety stimulating. The root of stuttering is a person's fear to make an error and is a form of excessive negative feedback as they try too carefully to not make any speaking errors which results in inhibition and sabotages your performance. The answer here is a relaxation training where one develops the habit of letting go of excessive effort and almost a disassociation from the result, this can help you perform and be more effective. Know that you're human and to err is human, as the old saying go. By not trying to avoid "failures" , big or small, you save time, headache, and take action. Always be sure to take the action though to the best of your ability and use but don't overuse or anticipate in a detrimental way the feedback. Remember to just look at any "failure" or success as data. "Excessive carefulness and anxiety are close kin" (Maltz, 1976, pg 1960)
Thats my learning for last week and I may be sharing how Im applying theses ideas later on down the road. As of now this can provide a tracking and guideline as to methods and information to evolve, learn, and create the best version of you. I hope this will be helpful for anyone that reads it and I find it necessary to flesh out these ideas with conversation so I would love to hear your thoughts on these ideas or if this helped you at all. Ill be citing the sources as they pertain to the topics below, #STAYImperial
Bape is NEVER on sale: AUSTIN'S Hype Appeal May 15, 2017 14:30
Satori February 15, 2017 18:19
Satori Tee- satori: individual enlightenment, or a flash of sudden awareness. The feeling of Satori is that of infinite space...💎💎💎To feel envy, hate, overt judgment, cynicism towards others is really an irrational fear of people. This can be an understandable yet limiting weakness. The narrative that "people are bad, and people will hurt you" may be logical to a child version of yourself but when you realize what's really happening you can empower the adult and warrior that you really are. If you're living with this limiting mentality understand you're still taking advice from a 3, 7, 12 year old version of you. You don't ask a toddler, teen or any less experienced person for advise and sometimes that's what we do with a less experience version of ourselves. Flip this narrative into the gain that it is: NOW you have unsurmountable power and complexity. NOW your attitude towards all creatures (specially mankind) will dictate your relationship with them. You're a predator to be respected and capable of empowering yourself by respecting and empowering others #STAYimperial
Contact us via twitter @beimperial or text (512)763-2555 for help with your order
Jesus Walks but Kanye Flies by Eric Webb September 22, 2016 19:24
Jesus walks, but Kanye flies above us all at Austin show
September 22, 2016 | by Eric Webb
Photography by Luis Felipe Giraldo
We didn’t want no devils in this house Wednesday night.
Kanye West kept things heavenly in Austin during a one-and-a-half-hour Saint Pablo Tour stop at the Frank Erwin Center, where the rap superstar was a god. No, I’m not saying Yeezus is the Lord Almighty. (He might, though.) West has always flirted with the divine, as do plenty of major cultural figures. For this show, he stopped flirting and entered a fully committed relationship.
(And if you don’t agree that West is an significant cultural juggernaut, read no further and stop quoting that one episode of “South Park” as if you’re having some kind of original thought.)
From the opening praise service of “Father Stretch My Hands,” the evening with West was a study in visions and vices. The tour’s much-touted floating stage was as cool as you think it would be in person, with the rapper holding back none of his hyperactive bravado as he glided over the audience. General concern that he would slide off the edge hung in the air. It looked like a hip hop “Metropolis,” and West was throwing a Fritz Lang house party for the revelers down below
A little variety in stagecraft would have been nice, though. Even Superman lands for a sec every now and then.
The crowd felt the spirit of worship, with no compunction about screaming “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex” with the conviction of a thousand snake emojis. West moved the audience to clamor beneath him with phones aloft as he laid down for “I Love Kanye”; he turned them into an Auto-Tuned gospel choir for the a capella homestretch of “Heartless.” As a performer, West lacks an athletic flow and pipes that get the job done without technology. Yet somehow, when he’s at full tilt, you believe a man can fly.
Visually, the evening was lit like a hot shower seen through sunglasses during a power outage. West gave a shrouded, weirdly alien performance, cloaked in smoke and darkness from his magic carpet, his face never completely visible. Even the screen projection for the cheap seats gave the impression of an oil painting as seen during a mushroom trip. The aesthetic made West an unknowable mystery. It felt like peering behind the tabernacle curtain to see the Ark of the Covenant or gazing into a burning bush, and anyone with nostrils could tell there were a lot of burning bushes in the arena.
The hymnal was stacked. Cuts from living album “The Life of Pablo” reigned. And some cheeky cover-work at the top of the show — Yeezy just jumped over Jumpman, straight to “Pop Style” — led to a thrilling tour of Yeezy’s discography: a dark and murky “Mercy,” a searing “Black Skinhead,” a rapturous “N***** In Paris” with Jay Z’s entire verse preserved, a “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” that served a palpable burst of energy in both West and the crowd. “Blood On the Leaves” hit a somber note that could help but conjure this week’s headlines in your head. Dancing ‘Ye showed up for “Jesus Walks,” as did kneeling ‘Ye.
Not to put too fine of a point on it, but West’s pre-“Yeezus” songs — you know, from before West was fully committed to capital-A Art — crackled with a clear-headed soul (samples notwithstanding) that his most recent work just doesn’t have. West tore into his lyrics and threw his body into the physical focus we’ve all in the “Otis” video. (But no, he didn’t do “Otis” at the show.) “Touch the Sky” was clearly the most explosive powder keg of the night, and the only number where even West couldn’t help but to command everyone to jump. That electricity didn’t seem like it could be matched, but “All of the Lights” gave it a run for its money, as did a truly joyful “Good Life” (Kanye grin!) and a “Stronger” that literally gained momentum from start to finish.
But hooky cuts from “Graduation” don’t quite round out the messianic metaphor. Kanye’s talk of visions coming to life and a palette of “Stranger Things”-like synths decorated his most religious experiences, like the heartbreaking prayer of “Only One” and the nightclub nativity of “Wolves.” West, who you can’t accuse of half-assing anything, danced with devilish red lasers for “Fade” before literally moving on his chariot of fire into a column of glowing white — an honest to ‘Ye ultralight beam for the song of the same name.
As he dismounted the stage and walked out, West met the anemone-like arms of his disciples, walking the line of adulation straight out of the arena. All he needed to complete the picture was a donkey and some palm fronds. This was a God dream. This was a God dream, except that meant entirely different things for the performer and his fans.
We have a limited number of original Saint Pablo Tour merchandise available for sale.
Austin, Tx Saint Pablo Tour was the 15th Stop of the U.S Leg of the Tour going on until Nov 1st, Kanye will be in Dallas tonight 9/22/16 at the American Airline Center, information on tickets and stops are available at www.kanyewest.com
Article appeared on Austin360 http://music.blog.austin360.
Photography by Luis Felipe Giraldo
How We Connected With Amazing Human Beings For Another one! SXSW 2016 In Austin March 28, 2016 22:45
The Madness of SXSW began March 11th as President Obama became the first sitting president to visit the festival of festival. SXSW is where technology, music, film, arts and all things new/legendary/exciting meet in our great State’s Capital. The Austin vibes were hectic, not uncommon during this fest, locals either made their way into the action for all the free booze, swag, music and prizes they could handle or stayed far away from the downtown scene. In this post we’ll give a run down of our experience as locals looking to immerse themselves in the stimulating experience with all the varied and exciting activities SXSW offers in an attempt to take away a key idea or two to build on.
Image via SXSW website
The festival is kicked of with the interactive portion, which primarily focuses on technology and education. As attendees poured in and out of conference halls and exhibition rooms the conversations and energy began to churn the machines of collaboration, new ideas, and reflection on the current state of the culture across various industries. We first find ourselves at the packed keynote for Gary Vaynerchuk (Expert on Marketing, Business, Social Media, and Trends). Gary allowed Q&A for the entirety of his time on stage and as the first question was posed on apathy versus empathy in business, the audience filled room anxiously awaited for his response. The questionee ended with the following "As a marketer I see that we are not just machines that go through the day in motions, we're trying to make life happen and have connections that fuel us-how did you start systematically applying empathy to your relationships?" Gary who jokes he has ego along with his empathy responded with a very insightful answer "Im one of the great salesmen because I've been applying empathy my whole life... If you understand what the other person is thinking and you are a true sales person, an operator, and business person, you can reverse engineer to get what you need to get." He admitted that this thinking can be used as a bad thing because of its power but in any interaction, business or non, really caring for someone else in return makes all parties involved enjoy showing empathy, be it business or non business.
Image via GaryVee Instagram
The refreshing tone of the human element in business or while creating, as stated by Gary, was quite the appropriate way to begin a week where one would run into countless people from all fields and walks of life. The fact that "SXSWestees" might possibly collaborate, ink deals, or party with various characters and crews makes this a very useful mindset. With that, we were off to see the fashion folks at the Decoded house where guest were welcomed with key notes, beautiful people and drinks. Plenty of jewels were dropped by Frank & Oaks' as well Combat Gentlemens' CEOs, these two companies who's founders had quite the resume to prove their knowledge, spoke on meshing fashion and technology to better the end user experience . They touched on a making your website an interesting place to hangout at. Also mentioned was the challenges of fast fashion and how being a small company and owning the manufacturing process in the sense of doing all your CMT (cut making trim) and then taking it to the manufacturer can cut down cost and minimums all the while increasing quality and tackling a common manufacturing problem as it pertains to the latest styles for a smaller company. Also something we here at IE took to heart is the practice of pop ups being set up as more of a community event and not sales focused this is gold for uniting your tribe and building community around your customer. One impressive trick from Frank & Oak was to release new collections every month and working with the reality that seasons don't exist when you're providing fashion for the entire globe as its always shorts and jacket weather somewhere and this can work if you've tapped into your customers at that level. The quote we left with in mind was "Women like the pieces for the pieces sake, while men like the piece for the lifestyle it represents"
Image via Pearson School of Design Blog
The Westin Hotel hosted a Fashion open hour on their third floor with a transcendental/modern recharge room where coffee and charging stations powered up cell phones and attendees alike. The panel here focused on the importance of knowing your customer. The question on the line was; had big retailers lost their ability to connect emotionally with their brands personality and customers? Talk on how Nike went from a strictly athletic, non fashion brand- to now allocating great time and money to building within the fashion world was a hot topic. From here we wondered in on one of the 4 presentation rooms where we found Kendall Marie Warson and her project SensoryTT. Her display was selected by the Parsons School of Design, where she attends, to showcase her innovation here. The passionate graduate student designed her collections for the independence of people with visual impairments. Her jacket, Sensory (which is part of a larger collection), is designed with several adaptations to heighten the tactile and auditory awareness of wearers, allowing them to be more in touch with their surroundings. It includes a braille system that allows the wearer to identify the garment; cuffs and flaps that adjust up and down, and an embedded cane, that is used to detect objects in the path of a wearer; and large pockets that allow easy access. Fashion is a form of self-expression,” Warson says. “To not understand color and patterns, people with visual impairments lose so much independence. I want them to get that back and to feel a sense of empowerment.” via blogs.newschool.edu/news/2016/03/
Image via Pearson School of Design Blog
In traditional SXSW fashion we digested the info for the days great panels with a nice cold alcoholic beverage, courtesy of the open bar at SxStyle. We were of to let the knowledge settle with stops at pop up lounges, showcases, and parties to boot.
Next morning we got the Zen like start we needed with some Virtual Reality meditation following a key note on Mapping out Emotion and how it relates to music. Eric Rodenbeck's team and the Dalai Lama worked to analyze the major moods which they paired into five categories Fear, Excitement, Sadness, Joy, and Disgust this also tinseled into Peter Swearegen Mappable Music maps which allows visual directories for music in form of game-like maps. The next amazing key note included friends of artist we admire, who are also play the key roles of A&R. The panel spoke on the "Future of A&R in Hip Hop" and had representatives form all-star acts like Jay-Z, J.Cole, Fabolous, Jene Aiko there was some great back and forth between these iconic leaders who helped manage and shape some of our favorites today. Legendary Rocnation's Lenny "Kodak Lens" Santiago spoke on making sure your artists wants it bad enough before you make the investment of repressing them. Ibrahim "Eebs" who manages J.Cole explained the sense of vision that artists who are multifaceted have, "If your artist can produce and rap, even if he's working with outside talent, it cuts the time and increases fluidity when creating new music or building on the artists' brand." Jewels on jewels on jewels!
The next panels seemed to give us a guideline as to where we should focus our attention during South By's hectic happenings. One comment in particular from Deigo Figueroa, who spoke on a panel about building brands within culture, struck a chord "Expose yourselfs to stuff that is outside of your daily sphere because that's where interesting ideas can come through your filters. If you're in music go see so weird tech stuff. If you're in tech go see some of the movie premiers." He set the audience off with something to act on knowing that many of these disciplines focus only on their craft or industry when they should be out there exploring outside sources of stimulations to add to their experience.
We made our way to the Sparks Capital one small business house later in the week. This hidden gem sits right on 6th Street between the daily ratchetness and downtown madness as an AirBnB rental which Capital One's hosted guests with drinks, food, and walls lined with story board drawing for their small business panels and networking. The presentation we saw was with the founder of Chubbies Shorts, Tom Montgomery, who explained how the brand "disrupted" the fashion industry. Chubbies created a strong relationship to their followers who were more than proud to show off their "Chubbies" via a lively and involved community of weekend warriors who related to the companies ideals. The take away here; brands should start a conversation with their audience in order to achieve an emotional reaction "If you can sit in front of a camera and talk for 5 minutes without boring your intended audience thats when you truly know them - you may hire a team to work on your business at this point. Otherwise go back to the drawing board".
Chubbies gained its momentum by starting controversy with its name and going by its own rules. The brand began after some friends, who were tired of the corporate suit and tie world, made some fun shorts as a brotherhood like stamp that they wore on the weekends. Their shorts would start conversations and they found a demand for people wanting to join in on the fun and weirdness of the shorts. Soon there after they began producing great, engaging, and funny content that became viral on social media and they grew into what Tom describes as a 2 part business; creating content and selling product. This simple prescription put things into perspective for us here at IE and the discussion drove it home with this quote: "As long as you give your community a reason to root for the underdog they will." The examples of how they made a hilarious MARIO CARTS video viral and the attention to detail was fascinating and insightful for the many entrepreneurs in the room.Image via Capital One Instagram
The next major stop was the famous Fader Fort. What the Fort seem to lack in activities it made up for in the quality of their first day exhibitors, from funny improve stage show with Cipher Sounds to Music making gloves and more, all on the house. On stage, before the music, we saw artist Yung Jake displaying his incredible emoji portrait skills. He asked an audience member to choose an icon and completed the image right before our eyes and concluded by emailing the art to the lucky attendee that requested the portrait. Next we headed to the juice bar and embroidery station where one could get a simple custom embroidery on SXSW branded bandanas and enjoy a delicious healthy smoothie.
Now that we had downed our vitamins for the day we hit up the Fader open bar and strolled over to a virtual reality set up. We spoke with photographer Ruvan's who's work varies from National Geographics commissioned School Yearbook of Afghanistan Grade School to his project on display, "Unstitched" - a VR experience of a live photoshoot that takes the viewer into the middle of the fashion action. Ruvan also exhibited various print out portraits and encouraged guest to take one, as students of photography we gladly snatched out picture of choice, thanks Ruvan! Another cool new company making its debut at The Fader was Off Top app, it allows you to rap over beats submitted by various producers and makes networking easier between artists and producers in addition to offering a fun way for you wanna be rappers to give your flow a go and share with friends. The app has a super dope interface and is based here in Austin, Tx!
Birds Barbershop hooking up free Fader designs.
Wall of Photography by Ruvan
Cipher Sounds at the T8 Gloves wearable Gestures as sound Technology.
Throughout the week we were blessed with the company of our friends Dj Bounz and OG. Checking out multiple showcases by the Texas Scratch League we were able to get reenergized with some local flavor and brainstorm our plans for SX and beyond. Be sure to check out the On Mindset podcast and the Risk Happy movement from these inspiring Austin locals we are proud to call our friends.
Now It would not be Austin and the SXSW full experience without some good food. Throughout the week we enjoyed the South Bites food truck extravaganza and were very impressed by Odd Duck's vegan sampler and the energy and delicious Asian Fusion from the Carolinas own Roti Rolls, definitely must tries if you get the chance. With a tummy full of food truck delicacies we wanted to get off our feet, lucky for us the Film portion of the festival was happening and there was some big screen and comedy action for us. Austin's own Richard Linklater Dream is Destiny documentary premiered this year. The famous director and producer of films like Slacker, Dazed & Confused, School of Rock, and many more, discussed how he came to the once quaint town of Austin and began his creative projects in film; making waves by standing out in a world dominated by large studios and succeeding at various levels in the film industry. Judd Apatow and Friends had a stand up showcase with various comics including Robert Klein, Nate Bargatze, and Hannibal Burress a totally hilarious showdown with boucoup Bill Cosby impersonations at the legendary Paramount Theater.
Upon leaving the theater it was clear this was the first time of relaxation we've had from what seemed to be a nonstop, show to show, panel to panel two week run. This got the engines turning and the ideas a-flowing on what would come next after SX so we soaked up the rest of the festivals good vibes with a vision in mind of what would come next for IE.
Up Close and personal at The Woodies, Jack Garratt brought Anderson Paak on and we hooked up the talented bloke with an Art Never Sleeps Pocket Square he humbly accepted, thanks Mate!
Kevin Garrett Soulfoul Sounds at Pandora Stage
Image via Missio Facebook
Austin Local Missio prescribing the ATX vibes at The Blind Pig
Enjoying some amazing Art by Santana at Old School Bar
Robot Dance at the Tech Tradeshow in The Austin Convention Center
Second Annual "Live at the BBQ" Mass Appeal Madness with 2 milly, Mannie Fresh, BasBuckshot, Smif & WessUn, Black Moon,Sean P bday celebration & DUCK DOWN RECORDS family reunion, Large Professor from Main Source, Yo Gotti, Trae Tha Truth pre Wyclef, DJ Kahled, Bun B, 2Chainz, & Nas 1991 who premiered New Track with JDIlla “The sickness”.
Bas and the Dreamville team at The Belmont
In closing SXSW 2016 we saw various shades of uniqueness, inspiration, and changes not unlke our crazy weather the scene out here changed daily but it was all very inspiring. Each panel, demo, or performance had its own flavor or a different style yet the most important take away of this years festival was in realizing the similarity that is the lives of every single person we got to interact with or see in passing. All the knowledge and advances and parties are part of a bigger human need we all have and that at a human level we all have the same story in a sense; we all want to enjoy life, we all have fears, aspirations, we all have people we admire and people who depend on us. Everyone was coming for their own reasons, for their own purpose to an extent but seeing that we are each others counterparts can be so powerful. In remembering that each day everyone is on their journey and having awareness of your path while learning about what others' might makes the experience as a person or business to serve your community more rewarding. We look forward to next SXSW with the intention of building our story as these great teachers we met during the festival have built theirs and by looking at our culture, city, and neighbors not as statistics but humans who provide so much we can use as insight and info on how to benefit them- in business and personal generosity this is how impact is made, heres to SXSW 2016!
Follow me on Snapchat at IMPERIAL-LU
Imperial News: Art and the Hustle, Government and Basel Miami, Kanye's New Creation And More. December 08, 2015 10:00
Our love for art and the culture and self education are among the subjects that keep us inspired. The following is headlines from the world though our peripherals: This past weekend at Art Basel Miami,The Dean Collection presented "No Commission", a free festival space set up by non other than Swizz Beatz. This was a full festival with no commission being charged for artist to display and sell their work. Swizzy aka Mr.Showtime, who hand picked the artist, feels artists usually walk away on the losing end after the galleries profit and the collector owns a masterpiece so this was a way to give back to them for their gifts to the world, check out the full discussion with Elliot Willson. No Commissions became one of Miami's Hottest event, with performances from Pusha-T, Fabolous, DJ Esco and Metro Boomin and a closing set with Dj Khaled and Ruff Ryder alpha dog DMX! This marked a great weekend for art and a fire beginning to an eventful December. For all those who had the opportunity to attend Miami's Art Basel, we promptly admit our jealousy..
Other weekend news ranged from countries dictatorships ending to badass book releases of art tales. Those following social media or any headline got the news of KimYes new addition, Saint West, but we also celebrated the birth of uncle Hova on Friday December 4th who is now 46. Grammy nominees were announced, "Drawing Blood" an interesting new book with ingenious tone and insider tales was released by artist and writer Molly Crabapple. Artist and creative Naturel and Mountain Dew did an amazing interview on their upcoming colab, we highly recommend reading this visual experience on a desktop. Last but definitely not least the possible change to Venezuelas socialist unrest may end with a win by the oppositions in the country's first election since its corrupt leader died. We've composed a list of our favorite quotables rocking the Imperial world and more details on the events below.
Naturel x Mountain Dew-ART OF A CAN
ON WORKING WITH ROCAWEAR
"while Lawrence Atoigue AKA Naturel was at Rocawear he witnessed transition from Dame Dash to Jay-Z... Dame was more exuberant while Jay was more quiet and concise. Speaks when he needs to, puts everyone on his level...lead more gracefully than Dame.. i learned a lot from those brothers"
ON BEST WORK IN THE LOW HUM OF THE NIGHT
"[NATUREL] He works until 2 a.m. most nights to set an example for his daughter: hard work pays off. It makes his morning coffee that much better."
" ...at night thats when i find my solace, thats when everything blanks out, no ones around me, and i can focus on the things I've gathered throughout the day"..hes excited to design a can for DEW...
ON MENTORS, CORPORATIONS AND INSPIRATIONS
"It's very important we live in a product era. So, for [artists] to take advantage of companies that have money that want to do creative things, is important. If you're likeminded, or have similar demographics, being collaborative can bring a lot of good things to the table instead of just having two worlds separate"
"Leichtenstein and Tom wesselmann are like the architects of the building that my work is in... from process to how they approach their work ... like how they developed their process and live in it. They took popular objects and kind of used it as a language to communicate with folks..."
"MENTORS..dudes i looked up to and got a chance to work with were at Ecko Unltd, which is were I aspired to work for sometime: Kimou Meyer "Grotesk", Ewok, Romeo Taghal, Justin Kay, Steve Green.."
*Meyer is partner at Doubleday & Cartwright, Taghai is HUF art director, Kay is head of design at Mekanism, and Green is lead graphic designer at Nike SB
Swizz Beatz and The Dean Collection Present No Commission
"No Commissions is the first art fair built by artist for the artist for the people... no body had to pay a dollar to be here.... THE ARTIST GOT TO KEEP 100% OF THE SALES BECAUSE THEY DESERVE IT..." -Swizz On Stage from Miami's Art Basel
Drawing Blood By Molly Crabapple
The media had become stupid with money. Web 2.0 brought with it the intoxicating delusion that we could all be wealthy microcelebrities. Thoughtful work was for idiots. There were gilded prizes to be seized.Gawker turned a bland dating columnist into the era's Becky Sharp, making her famous by eviscerating her online for her naked ploys for attention, then scooping up all the clicks for themselves. Video editors donned white suits and were flown to Vegas on private jets, working-class craftsmen transformed into brands, traveling to a branded city on a branded plane.
Outside New York, books like Rich Dad Poor Dad spread the lie that, for the middle classes, money could come from nowhere. They didn't reveal that this trick only works for the rich. Buy a house on credit, flip it, buy another—so the pundits counseled. Don't think. Don't wait. Everyone was getting rich. In New York, we were the credit we would draw against. We were no longer writers or artists. We were start-ups. Branding may have been for cattle, but we were all brands. We would get book deals movie deals angel funds venture capital cash cash cash and never think that someday we'd have to earn it back."
Excepts via VICE
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OUTLAWS: A movie within a movie inspired by Mexico, Motorcycles, and Leather September 22, 2015 23:06
OUTLAWS Mini Film for Belstaff Leather starring David Beckham
Written & Directed by Geremy Jasper
Executive Produced by
Liv Tyler, Tom Berendsen, Adam Joseph, Mazdack Rassi, Damian Mould
Original music by
Jason Binnick & Geremy Jasper
PRODUCED AND ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY BELFAST FILMS
Dope Reel, Real Dope shot By SteadyPrime June 12, 2015 12:49
Imperial Eloquence #CreativePowerfulStyle
Premium Streetwear in Austin, Tx.
"Real Dope Dope Reel" shot by Zach Villafana with SteadyPrime,
Find our premium Pieces at www.imperialeloquence.com and stay tuned for #AtxStreetwear coming soon at www.atxstreetwear.com
Track: Jet Life "1st Place" Produced by ShowOffBeats and Sampled from Yreeta's
“I Too Am Wanting”
IE presents Sarah Palacios in F As In Frank June 11, 2015 10:30
Model: Sarah Palacios
Photography: Marcos Orlando
How Yeezy Taught Us May 18, 2015 16:50
Zak Tebbal has provided this era's toddlers a much needed life lesson in the form of Kanye for Toddlers. The illustrator created a children's book by way of necessity. "The only audience Kanye isn't reaching right now is toddlers, and they are missing out.", says Zak, who's taken on the project as part of his senior design thesis at the School of Visual Arts. It shows the same influence that the Louis Vuitton Don has on all aspects of our society, from politics to fashion -- and now, children's literature.
peep, peep some pieces inspired by Kanyes look by clicking the image below:
Check out Zak's book at http://zaktebbal.com/Bound-2Gether
New Era x Sneakers x Tattoos x Japanese Gardens April 23, 2015 01:18
Shooting in San Antonio at the Japanese Tea Garden the week of the USA vs Mexico soccer match proved the style and passion which sports inspire among people. Many made long trips to cheer for their team and the fans were wild about their countries "kickin it" at this much anticipated game.
With San Antonio having a large Mexican population it was interesting seeing the connection and rivalry of those who associated themselves with their respective team as Mexicans reppin for USA and families of TX born hispanics cheering for Mexico. The team affiliation and contrast was considerably similar to the parallel between Japanese Culture and streetwear.
Brands like the legendary A Bathing Ape and Pharrell's Billionaires Boys Club are some of the labels who are based in or largely influenced by the Japanese style that draw from both American and the Oriental culture. As the beautiful Kat Lacroix posed in our American Team Snapbacks by New Era it was clear that the contrast and association between sneakerhead culture and Japanese esthetics were a familiar mix. See the preview below and stay posted for more to come
Luis Felipe "Mr Eloquence"/ IE
Imperial Eloquence Shoot at African American Cultural Center February 25, 2015 12:06
A fun view of some of our behind the scenes action and visuals. In the heart of Austin's East side the African-American Culture Center is a beautiful hidden gem that can be missed in a blink of an eye. Once you know its there its presence is felt in the vibrant power and culture that it symbolizes as a part of the East side that was once primarily black. Please enjoy this little treat Kings and Queens, Stay Imperial #Beimperial with Inkkas shoes and sneakers!
Collage Garage x IE Colab
Faces of Imperial Eloquence [Part II]: The Collage Garage February 09, 2015 17:28
Exposed plumbing is to the artist what brushed steel is to the young professional; it conveys the same kind of disorder and acceptance of said that enables the former to differentiate him or herself from the latter with some minimal degree of comfort. Katy Hirschfeld's studio is replete with painted over pipes, plywood, brick and the like -- which I won't pretend to be anything other than fond of. The artist's studio is, after all, the equivalent of the YoPro's office. So when I saw and felt that hers is in a building which boasts no elevator, A/C or central heating, you can bet I was comfortable reveling in these minimal degrees of discomfort.
Pump Project Art Complex, where this studio is located, has all the quintessential elements of an environment where an artist is both invited and welcomed to thrive, but not without paying their dues. It is a minimalist work space, the lessness of which I could do with seeing more of. My first time visiting it was last November during the East Austin Studio Tour, where Ms. Hirschfeld's art was featured. Her medium is that of mixed media, one that -- like so many others in the realm of visual art -- I can appreciate greatly in spite of knowing very little about. Imperial Eloquence's most recent collaborative endeavor is a series of high quality beanies screen printed with select pieces of Katy's work.
I am here in a journalistic capacity, so as to document a sort of behind the scenes preview for what is to come from Ms. Hirschfeld and IE; and will freely admit that my ego is just a tad swollen for having been granted the opportunity to do so. See, I have loved art and fashion equally for some time now. They finish very close behind writing and motorcycles in the running for things to which I lend authentic passion and personal ardor. It doesn't hurt, either, that Katy is a friend of mine whose work I wish one day to see garner international acclaim, nor that the shoot currently taking place is featuring two very attractive models of color, who are sporting a) beanies, b) Ruanas (a kind of South American take on the Poncho), and c) precious little else.
Photo shoots can be a damn good time -- noted emphasis on can -- in my experience. This evening's succeeds in being so, primarily because we're all of us just hanging out in this cold ass studio with not much to keep us warm but laughter and each other's company. After stripping down and assuming the first pose, the male talent begins by asking his female counterpart "Wait, what is your name again?". Both are being asked to convey intimacy and sexuality having never met before, which most of us know is a prodigiously difficult feat to accomplish (especially on camera). The photographer, one J. Mos, is young and likable and visibly hardworking. He seems to be aware of what many up and comers in his field are not: that the photographer's job is to capture beauty, not define it.
Interviewing Ms. Hirschfeld is casual and organic; it takes less to walk her through than I think either of us would've expected. She's just shy of timid in her answers such that I know my questions are being met with the unpreparedness of an artist who has yet to recognize that she is truly great. Katy's demeanor makes the difference between self-deprecation and self-pity ostensible in a way that's poetic. She is from New Jersey -- a fact which I only recalled after hearing her classic Northeastern butchering of the word "orange" -- normally this would invite a slew of judgment, but I refrain from that as an attempt at professionalism, and out of genuine respect for her talent.
The lovely artist is in the middle of telling me about her grappling with a recent piece, and how she feels she ruined it by trying to improve it (a feeling I am all too well acquainted with), when I ask if she is a perfectionist...to which she replies "anything but". Apparently, her work -- characterized by retro-chic images sublimated and superimposed by digital means -- has been defined since the beginning by deliberate imprecision and stylistic experimentation, an example I think many artists would benefit from following in these early stages of self-improvement and actualization.
My favorite of the beanies depicts a woman smoking, which happens to be counted among my favorite visions in this world, as well as one that comes up frequently in Katy's work. When asked why this concept reoccurs with such regularity, Hirschfeld answers simply by saying "I just think it's sexy." That response, not unlike her studio, says a lot about the woman and her work. And really, who the fuck am I to deny the beauty in brevity? There is an eloquence to it which I find, well, you know.
To see more of Katy Hirschfeld's work, visit her website:
For upcoming news on and collaborations by Imperial Eloquence, visit ours:
Faces of Imperial Eloquence [Part 1]: A$AP Cocky October 15, 2014 18:38
Prior to this assignment, I'll admit that I knew little to nothing about Harlem born rapper and fashionista, A$AP Rocky (born Rakim Mayers). In fact, what I knew only amounted to a vague awareness of his Billboard hit "Fuckin' Problems" (featuring Drake, 2Chainz, and Kendrick Lamar); and so long as we're being honest, my knowledge of contemporary rap is admittedly (and deliberately) limited, on the whole.
But I do know a thing or two about fashion, or at least about what looks good, and what that entails. I also know that -- whether they're willing to admit it or not -- rappers care a great deal about how they look, because rap culture is deeply and historically influenced by image and perception. Every successful artist from Run DMC to Lil' Wayne right up to Rocky himself has had an associated aesthetic (e.g. Hammer's golden pants, Tupac's bandana, Nelly's stupid fucking Band-Aid...et al.)
Don't think that's just a cheap shot I'm taking at materialism in rap, because image and perception are just as important in other genres of music; and besides, this goes deeper than simple references to clothing and cars in lyrics. I'm merely pointing out that the link between fashion and music has been present in American culture for decades now, and that (at least as it manifests in rap culture) this connection is very important, and further, very telling.
Now, after having researched and learned a bit about Rocky, I have rather a lot to say on the subject. Rap culture has undergone phases of evolution in terms of style, but it's always been centered around a fundamental image of appearing and/or being gangster -- "Thug Life", if you will. This translates into various aspects of the music (e.g. lyrics, videos, publicized feuds), and is just about everywhere you look in the culture, as well.
For a long time, it seemed as though one's credibility as a rapper was directly correlated to the level of debauched and/or illegal activity he or she was party to. Bullet wounds became medals of honor, criminal records CV's, and the act of cuckolding a rival something worthy of positive notoriety -- which is really fucking weird, honestly...but we all sort of went along with it, because rap had become such a powerful cultural force in modern American society.
And, as rap progressed, the intended message turned to one of wealth and success. The concept of having "made it" became hugely popular within this cultural microcosm -- you know, rags-to-Rolls and all that. Young rappers began to covet an image of themselves as having transcended the ghetto, rather than the previous one of succumbing to it (despite frequent reminders in most every song that parts of the ghetto remained present and readily accessible, if needed).
The overarching theme here should present itself all too plainly as modern day rappers' insatiable need for affirmation from the society they live and act in spite of. These men and women seem to be torn hopelessly between a desperate want to establish their image as social pariahs contrasting middle class America, and a financial need to sell that image (along with records in the millions) to those very same suburban households that comprise it.
Here's where Rocky comes in. If you watch "SVDDXNLY", the online mini-series documenting his meteoric rise over the last four years, a few things become gradually yet distinctly apparent about the undisputed leader of the A$AP mob (stands for Always Strive and Prosper, by the way). What's most striking and likable about Rocky that you can see from his interviews is the way the guy walks the line between confidence and arrogance.
There's a level of brashness that's not only expected, but required from rappers of any era -- and Rocky's got his fair share -- yet there's a self-awareness, a genuine humility that's easy to discern when hearing him speak. Rocky's not shy in the matter of discussing his success, but nor is he tasteless or overly smug in doing so. That grotesque, often repulsive boastfulness which many rappers assume after achieving fame is nowhere to be found in his persona (or at least, not the public one, but that's another issue altogether).
You get the sense, watching these interviews, that the guy's got nothing to prove -- which is pretty much unheard of among rappers of the 21st century. At the age of 26, Rakim Mayers has succeeded in doing what only a few of his peers in the industry (e.g. Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell...and that's it) really have, which is making it...without having to make sure we know it. And that modesty, that ability to just live well rather than demanding to be seen as living well, it's seldom seen in the young and famous.
Keep in mind, also, that what you wear can say a lot about you (and is in fact meant to, most of the time). Clothing is a statement -- like it or not -- so when you see Rocky walk on stage in attire that succeeds in being at once urban and magisterial (and you hear him verbally acknowledge it in one of the videos), it's safe to say he's going for something explicit, something quite apart from the more basic grandiosity/insecurity of his contemporaries.
Swagger has become a grievously misused word in modern America; it's become more of a marketing tool than anything else. What it really denotes is an overconfidence that is somehow attractive -- and I mean that in the literal sense, that it attracts -- and you can see that, hear it, when people talk about Rocky. He's not just a pop star; he's a leader. Qualities like this, along with a seamless sense of style, are what grant him and the chosen few other artists genuine transcendence, true independence -- Imperial Eloquence.
"Not gonna let all these millions get to our heads; I’m still the same ghetto, crazy....pretty mothafucka"
- Rakim Mayers
Here's a link to the first of five parts in the "SVDDXNLY" mini-series:
Watch the other four, if ya dig.
to be continued
by V Andre Mikhail
follow Andre @drescribbles
Check his Blog at
Always Strive And Prosper, The Imperial ASAP October 14, 2014 08:01
A video airing last Sxsw here in Austin inspired by one of our favorite artist and style went on to push for a great follow up written by our friend Andre. Here is the video footage that'll be begin the Imperial analysis of ASAP.
The X-GAMES Leave Austin With A Story To tell June 10, 2014 19:25
Photo Courtesy of fatbmx.com
The most extreme of sporting events, The X-Games, came to Austin for the tournaments at the grand Circuit of The Americas and left with a story that only the 512 city could inspire. The event for us began as a working weekend on June 5th, the Thursday when the famous Downtown Austin Capital became a playground for Tony Hawk and friends. As they took over in Extreme fashion with a massive half-pipe crowds gathered in downtown 12th and Congress area to join in the fun.
Photo Courtesy of Tony Hawks Instagram
The next morning it was evident that the event at the Circuit of The Americas would be a huge success, as crowds poured in regardless of the high humidity and almost triple digit temperatures. A record of 160,000 attendees graced the COTA for the weekend, making it the highest attended event besides the Formula-1 races the venue was built for. The games and entertainment where not lacking; everything from Bull Riding, Laser Tag, Arcades, and Vendor set ups were available to enjoy as part of the action in addition to the extreme competitions. The Major League Gaming association also had a Halo and Call of Duty tournament in place that attendees could check out. The first major event we caught highlighted the great Videography the X-Games camera crew were displaying, great shots of the Big Air Contests were shown on the Jumbotrons across the park and in countless TV screens in America, all displaying our city in full family fun force. Watching the Monster Street Skate qualifiers was amazing and we later saw the record setting Nyjah Huston Win his 3rd Gold Medal at Sundays Finals. We called it an early evening since we would be back the next day at 9 AM. Non-the-less seeing the Texas flag up top the huge ramp of the Big Air being surrounded by the massive crowd of tan bodies enjoying the Austin Night was truly breathtaking.
Photo by Shelley Neuman via Austin.Culturemap.com
The Pretty Lights Show was said to be a pretty sweet sight but we made it a point to check out Austin's Own Magna Carda who's live jazz/neo-soul sounds encompass the chill Austin vibe yet their aggressively clean lyrics show the passion these young artist from our city posses. The following day began bright and early, the likes of Jackass' Wee-Man and Legend Tony Hawk were perusing the stadium signing autographs. The games and qualifier events kept us busy until Bad Religion hit the stage with a high energy show but the real attention grabbers to us were the few risk takers who brought their best outfits primarily the evening of Kanye's Show. Hats were a mandatory but the inspirations of graffiti artists in their oriental inspired attire and headgear gave us a glimpse into some awesome upcoming trends we would like to tap into. The perfect spot to catch the diversely dressed crowd was the "watering hole" pond that covers the entrance of the COTA stadium.
Prior to running into the Kanye West Show we met a young man on his grind. Working his booth which displayed his limited edition Paper Toy Clothing tees he enthusiastically explained what he does and why. The graphic tees made by this up and coming artist and entrepreneur, who couldn't be over 10 years old, are a part of a vision to make a difference with his art and apparel. We're keeping a close eye on the great things to come from Santana Draper!
The evening shows began with a great performance by Mac Miller who's hilarious disposition and on point lyricism kept the crowd hyped and the stoners laughing. He played new jams as well as the Kids Mixtape classics just to top it off with the fame intro Donald Trump.
Then came the big show after a brief intermission Yeezus himself set the stage a flame with a full production initiated by a red solid screen. The rapper's silhouette emerged under the 60 foot red screen and as the crimson colored lowered rumbling sound atop rabid dog growls and barks emerged from the speakers. The vicious audio attack went on for about 20 seconds and the stage exploded with "New Slaves" Followed by "Blood on The Sleeves". The classics included "All Falls Down", "Good Life" and new G.O.O.D Music included "I Dont Like" and "Run Away". The crowd irrupted in a Happy Birthday to Mr.West as he celebrated his 37th Birthday on stage, this ensued with an additional song from the artist past the 1:00 A.M city curfew time. The social media waves caught a great glimpse of the cake baked by Austin's own vegan Sugar Mama's bakery which made a delicious marble cake for the artist presented by his wife Kim who was in attendance.
Picture via Virgil Ablohs Instagram
Picture Via Sugar Mama's Bakery
The last evening we watched the final competitions and did our final round of lounging and swag grabbing. We watched it all end perfectly with the Flaming Lips trippy performance. As they were minutes from hitting the stage all the fans were invited to the front stage and the stadium seating filled with weekend warriors ready to enjoy the show and enjoy it we did. The act of the 80s group infused with psychedelic sounds and tribute to The Beetle's made everyone in the stadium feel the love. With appearance from Wayne Coynes cohorts; mushroom, aliens, and sun flower friends the stage took on a life of its own. The finale was a great symbolism to a great weekend that came alive with the great Austin Crowd and left its adoring personal touch on the visitors and artist that came for the X-Games weekend. And as for us locals we are reminded again of the great times and hospitality that our city blends with excitement, appreciation of art, and Texas Culture unlike anywhere else.
Until NEXT TIME!!!
Artists Corner May 26, 2014 01:42
Loes Van Delft, has made a splash on the scene. A self taught "non-artist" who quotes on her twitter to hate the word artist :"...it's like calling someone air and the people that use that are ghosts themselves" is incorporating the world of pop with a graff style that is her own. The lively creator's Trademarked Pijipje Character, a blend between a caricature like painting with the presence of very clean sketching lines, adds an esthetic personality to her work that is very unique. The 23 year old has the talent and put in the work to be recently featured at 3 Punts Galleria in Barcelona, alongside none other than legends and international graffiti artists like Banksy, Blek Le Rat,and Mr.Brainwash. The hustle and creative spirit that her work inspires is something to be said for the power of conviction in creating and passion. In a recent interview Loes stated that art is probably the only thing she was ever good at, we say the focus and the effort that went into perfecting her craft is a testament of how gracefully and early one can accomplish if you let your inner creative lead. The Netherland native has entered the scene as a recognized artist and is on her way to becoming the artistic icon she was meant to be. Link up Loes via Twitter @loesvandelft. or Subscribe to her Youtube and Facebook We'll be keeping an eye on the upcoming projects from this Imperial Soul.
F as in Frank... our new Favorite Vintage Blog April 05, 2014 12:23
F as In Frank has been emerging with one of the dopest blogs we've seen recently, produced by the Vintage inspired store out of Canada. The blog highlights everything from Colabs like the recent Mookee X Crooks Collection and a sexy new take on Versace print. Catch some vintage inspiration and enjoy some great fashion reading- Definitely a THING TO PEEP!
SXSW done Imperially March 21, 2014 00:22Photo By DanPsnaps
It has been a week now since the craziness began of SXSW music Festival here in Austin, TX. As a transplant in Austin for 3 years I can say that the festival has gotten bigger and badder every year. This comes from a well versed party folk raised in lovely Las Vegas, SXSW is a animal of its own and that no major festival, event or tour can compete with. Imagine your favorite artists in music popping up at free shows after a day of networking (if you're looking to interact on a business level) with a belly full of free food and drinks provided by various major and start up companies looking to build or strengthen its relationship with customers or the various freeloathers es-cowering the city. Ours began on a somber note, at least for a fashion company, because we had been so focused on the last semester of school and getting new inventory in we didnt have any plans for SX (south by south west aka South By). The Imperial Fam ended up hitting the Blind Pig on 6th Street just at the beginning of interactive week which started on March 7th. An amazing band played, who did covers of rap songs in a rock/maroon 5 style- tunes from Lil Waynes "Lollipop" to R.Kellys "Pumb and Grind" were jammed out by a band of 6 members including a badass girl drummer, wish we would have gotten the name of the band as their original songs were truly amazing. The rest of the week followed at lightening speed but our highlight was seeing one of our friends electric cab company work with some amazing companies including Crooks and Castles who had a car wrapped and was Chauffeuring around the likes of Kendrick Lamar and the TDE crew, 50 Cent, H-Towns Slim Thugg among a few. After months of lagging content and school and work holding us up we were inspired by seeing the entrepreneurial success of JD, after having poured his blood, sweat and tears over a year ago into establishing the first electric car taxi service in Austin the fruits of his labor were finally showing and the great service he was providing for movers and shakers in the music industry did not go unnoticed. The realization of our friends company got our creative juices flowing again and with performances from 2Chainz (who busted up STUBBS mic at the Def Jam 30 Anniversary Party), Dom Kennedy, Schoolboy Q and the TDE crew (we saw preform 3 days in a row) , Skrillex, Killa Camron, A$ap Ferg(Complex House Party), Trae Tha Truth, Que, A$AP Mob, Future, and Mike Will Made it (at the coveted Illmore After Party Hosted by Diamond Supply Co), a great surprise appearance by the Legend Dj Mannie Fresh and the Hot new Rico Love. The incredible energy from this year's SXSW got us on action mode and grateful to be a part of this awesome city. The great shows, the go-getter spirit, the hustling and bustling show the amazing result of hard work that an active community has to offer. Please, if you are ever able to come to Austin for SX or any other time, do so and get ready to experience the Live music capital, "Keep Austin weirdom", and greatness it has to offer. Most importantly, get your creative juices flowing and draw inspiration from everything around you, whether a music festival or a brilliant book, there's fire awaiting ignition within us all. Be the best and enjoy the spirit of creativity and that which surrounds you!
Visualization of A Brand with Trapstar London & Veritas February 02, 2014 16:28
Here at Imperial Eloquence we maintain the proverbial one eye open on a motivation and success principles that we can put to use. We are inspired by the fashion we see as art, unique, and unapologetic but what goes beyond this is the stories of where they came from and we hope that on your imperial journey- can draw inspiration and knowledge en route to finding your calling.
Take the story of Trapstar London a military/biker culture inspired label that came up as most streetwear labels do- printing Graphic tees and now include a line of bespoke customer pieces worn by Hip-hop royalty and enthusiasts of revolutionary fashion everywhere. The brands beginnings and success was formed from a passion to create and in doing so Mikey Trapstar, co-founder and designer, was able to make stars out of those behind the brands success. "we felt we were Trapped but still shining in our current environment" says the visionary on an interview for Jay-Z's Life + Times art curating site.
Numerous are the labels and businesses that have began with humble beginnings, they are often the perfect example of how visualizing an idea and taking action on it brought a dream into fruition. The innovating and creating was not an overnight process, the work and failures were in direct proportion to what success was achieved. We recently spoke with Ross Heffner of Veritas Apparel, a new label from New Orleans making waves with their crispy design concepts and blended aesthetics of streetwear and high fashion. "We lost money trusting unqualified manufacturers and refused to sell merchandise that was not up to par with what our customer deserved" Explained Ross a week prior to Veritas making its debut at Preview Tradeshow in Atlanta, GA. The attitude it takes to build something that is done well is the same one that entrepreneurs thrive on- seeing their vision regardless of the stumbling blocks in their way, visionaries keep their focus on the goal and recognize the obstacles in the way as benchmarks, a sort of confirmations that they are moving forward. "Where I came from people laughed at your dreams, a lot of people are caught up on a lack-poverty stricken mentality, we couldn't let that kill the dream that was Veritas Apparel, we are going through with the vision through the end..." Ross knows the path to success is not an easy one, as long as there is growth there will be challenges and there is a visionary in all of us that can take this on. It's a blessing in it of its own to find your passion but what separates a success from a dreamer is the perfect quote by TE Lawrence:"All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes to make them possible"
Dream on and do, visualize and act. This is what will clear your Imperial path and lead you to the success and joy that should be life!
Iconic Art By Mike Frederiquo December 24, 2013 23:24
Familiar with the Spongebob and BBCIceCream Collection? Well meet the new face of "POP ART" Dutch Born Mike Frederiqo began as a tattoo artist who's love for caricature drawings and fashion icons have created some of these years most funnest art work. See his interview with Life+Time here.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM IMPERIAL ELOQUENCE TO YOU!
Was Gangsta Rap Made to keep Prisons Full? November 27, 2013 12:20
This was the accusation made in a recent article reposted by Dontpanic.com of an "industry decision maker" who anonymously emailed a letter of a secret meeting that took place in 1991. According to this anonymous writer the unnamed record label and its cohorts were aligning themselves with investments in private prison systems funded by government grants. After signing confidentiality agreements, the author was told that record labels would be moving more towards crime-ridden lyrics and music through hip-hop as a way to keep prisons filled.
If you can believe this secret meeting took place, as conspiracy-crazy as it may sound, part of it is probably true. Most of the hot new acts and their boasting criminal activities have been flooding the airwaves for the past few years even with a lack of actual street credibility the artists are portraying. However; a film produced by various Hollywood heavy weights, including John Legend and Brad Pitt has actually captured the truth of the prison systems and how the American Prison System operates and is fed. I highly recommend you watch Eugene Jarecki's The House I Live In and share your thoughts on the topic.
See the anonymous letter here..
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