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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Ice Cream Dream: BAPEmania & Skateboard P!

(Hippo's Note: The Nigo track has changed, so make sure you check it! Big ups to Yoshi for the heads up.)

The other day I was visiting my local university campus to talk to a professor about my master’s thesis and I noticed all these kids were sporting BAPE camo everything (shoes, shorts, shirts, caps, socks, watches, whitey tightys…yes white camo, you get my point). I know I’m probably the last person to be up on whatever’s new, fresh, crunk…hyphy? But I do know that the Lifestyle brand BAPE has been around for more than a minute now. And the word “lifestyle” here encompasses not only clothing, shoes, and fashion in general, but BAPE has taken it to the next level putting their brand camouflage on vinyl toys, credit cards, make-up, hair salons, cafes, etc. What’s next, libraries? All of these things/places (including the clothing and shoe stores) have been all over Japan for a while now. And about 3 years ago, they got even more exposure when Pharrell Williams of the super hit producing team The Neptunes met BAPE founder & CEO Nigo. They became fast friends and even collaborated to put out exclusive shoes for Reebok known as Ice Creams (working with the graf artist Kaws was an even better idea). Ever since then, BAPE has blown up all over the world with stores in Hong Kong, London, New York, Taipei, and soon LA this fall.

And I haven’t even mentioned the best part of the BAPE culture, the music. With his own record label, Nigo has been able to put out albums for a number of artists that cover the spectrum of musical genres. Music to go with the camo or bapestas (sneakers) that you just spent a grip for. Some of my very favorites are listed below and I wish I could post more. And of course Pharrell did do a couple of tracks for some of Nigo’s artists but I’m not going to waste your time with typical sounding Neptune beats that seem to be all over the airwaves today (imitation & real). But I did post up some of my favorites off of Pharrell’s new solo debut album In My Mind, which drops 7/25.

[MP3] Teriyaki Boyz :: You Know What Time It Is
{a supergroup of Japan’s best MC’s lacing a beat by DJ Premier. Other producers on their album include Dan the Automator, Cut Chemist, Daft Punk, Pharrell, DJ Shadow, Just Blaze, Beastie Boys. Definitely worth picking up.}
[MP3] Magnolia :: This Day
[MP3] OOIOO :: On Mani
[MP3] Nigo featuring Rakim :: Once Upon a Rhyme in Japan
{He can produce too! With the G-O-D spittin'.}

[MP3] Pharrell :: You Can Do It Too
[MP3] Pharrell feat. Snoop Dogg :: That Girl

BAPE.com
{it’s a dope site}
Pharrell’s site

And if you don’t like BAPE, then see the shirt pictured above (thanks Freshjive). Otherwise APE SHALL NEVER KILL APE (or Hippo).

::MISTA HIPPO::

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