AlSesay: Tell us a little about yourself? Tayyib: I’m an Influencer, former nightlife Impresario, Social Change Agent, Artist Conduit, Founding Publisher at two.one.five magazine, 215mag.com, my clients call me Little Giant.
AlSesay: Is it true that your beard holds all the creativity? Tayyib:No not at all, my inspiration for creativity comes from my parents, mentors, peers, environment, friends, and a few muses.
Al: What made you start two.one.five? Tayyib: The initial idea was my partner Matthew Bacine’s. ?He owned a retail space and found it frustrating that there were no suitable options to reach the local youth with the media options in 2006 locally. I was looking for new career path to get away from the music business, so when he approached me, the timing was perfect.
Al: How many hours go into each issue/publication? Tayyib: Many man/woman hours – we have 8 full time staff and approximately 20 interns per semester, plus contributors and there never seems to be enough hours in the day..
Al: What is your mission statement? Tayyib: Our primary purpose in developing two.one.five is to create a space where ethnically diverse social exploration can be realized, allowing Philadelphia to help transcend last-century models while documenting the city’s new 21st-century reality. And to have fun doing it.Our hope is that two.one.five grows increasingly more influential, becoming synonymous with engaging forward-thinking and stylish interlocution, a positive vehicle of influence for natives as well as transplants to the region.
Al: What’s sets two.one.five apart from other magazines? Tayyib: I would prefer to allow our audiences to make that assessment.
Al:What do you think draws people to two.one.five? Tayyib: The design, paper stock, photography, good writing, and locally focused stories with national relevance.
Al: What do you and the magazine have planned for the next couple years? Tayyib: For me personally I will be dedicating more time to the parent company Little Giant Media, which is a more traditional creative agency, relaunching the Philly 360 campaign in our partnership with GPTMC (Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing corporation). I will also be learning, growing and finding ways to increase my creative productivity. For the two.one.five brand, we will continue to do good work, increase our market share, improve our distribution model, and tweak our online presence 215mag.com. So in a couple of years? Lets just say a lot, because a few yrs. ago, my life was completely different and none of this existed.
Al: In the past couple years we have seen a few big magazine fail leading to bankruptcy… What do you think has caused this to occur? Tayyib: A host of reasons, the high cost of printing, astronomical shipping cost, many publications sacrificed quality for quantity, and market saturation with the same content. I believe for a magazine to flourish and prosper in the future it will have to be a keepsake, reference, or coffee table show piece. Nothing worth having in life comes easy, I think the pressure is there regardless of what you do today, if you are not pressed to succeed in the worst economic climate in 50 yrs., you are NAIVE! Or you inherited so much loot you can’t fuck it up in this lifetime. In my previous career in music the sky was falling everyday, so I’m accustomed to the dome and gloom industry talk. It motivates me in the sense that two novice entrepreneurs with no back ground in publishing are succeeding at producing a top notch quarterly journal, while large corporations are closing the doors of established and trusted periodicals.
Al: What motivates you to keep two.one.five magazine going? Tayyib: I’m motivated by my love for Philadelphia in general, my family has lived here for four generations, and I am going to be an intricate player in re-forecasting how locals and the world perceive this city.
Al: What other magazines impress you? Tayyib: Waxpoetics, Interview magazine, The Fader, URB magazine, Wall Paper, Adbusters, Juxtaposed, Swindle, Foundation (support Locals!) The New Yorker, Wired, Rolling Stone (only for the political articles)
Al: Any regrets? Tayyib: None I would admit to.
Join Tayyib at Silk City on December 1st as two.one.five magazine celebrates the release of its highly anticipated annual Sound + Style issue. Attendees will have the opportunity to have the very first look at the 6th issue, while enjoying copious drink specials from Sailor Jerry, Heineken and Amstel, top-notch entertainment and a variety of door prizes.
This season of The Boondocks has earned mixed reviews. Some say it’s hilarious while others claim it’s not funny at all. Some say it sends a deep message and others say it’s pure ignorance. Today on Uristocrat,Jim Bean and Michelle Huxtable discuss season 3 being the last season of The Boondocks, Satire vs. Coonery, and Dave Chappelle.
On Season 3…
What is your opinion on Season 3 of The Boondocks?
JimBean: I think with a show designed at taking a look at stereotypes there are only so many things you can take a stab at. So with this season you see him focusing a lot more on current events. The problem with that is it takes so long to make the show that some of the events are dated, i.e. the Sgt. Gutter’ episode.
MichelleHuxtable: I agree on the relevance aspect of the show. I’ve always said I enjoy the comic strip more than the show and that’s one of the reasons. If an event happened one day, the very next week he would be making fun of it or critiquing it in some way. Do you prefer the show or the strip?
JimBean: That’s a tough comparison because he has hundreds of comics versus a few episodes of the show. In a perfect world, it would only take him a week to make a show. I prefer the show only because it’s 30 minutes vs a few panels but I wish Caesar made the show.
MichelleHuxtable: Me too! Him and his “BROOKLYN!” shout outs were priceless. For me, the TV show is much easier to laugh at. There are a lot more jokes and then you have John Witherspoon from Friday so it’s bound to be funnier. But the comic strip was smarter in my opinion. He definitely discussed a lot more politics in the strip than he does on the show. Overall I prefer the comic strip.
On the audience…
JimBean: Touché. Good points. So who do you think the audience of the show is?
MichelleHuxtable: I think the audience of the comic strip is slightly different for the show. I think the show’s goal is definitely to be funny while still pushing the message of challenging stereotypes like you said. The comic strip didn’t need to be as LOL funny so it was able to tackle less funny/more serious issues. Example: You wouldn’t see/hear that on the show:
JimBean: Yeah. He had to package his take on US/China relations in a ridiculous episode about kickball.
JimBean: I think the show is elitist to the core, which is where you have a lot of people getting offended. Since it is a cartoon, I think a lot of people outside of the target audience tune in and don’t get it. He’s laughing at, or making fun of a lot of people that think they’re laughing with him.
MichelleHuxtable:You think the people who don’t “get it” are offended?
JimBean: Yes, I do. Maybe that’s an elitist stance to take but there are a lot of people who think the show is demeaning to Black people where for me it’s a lighthearted way of saying #wegottadobetter
On writer Aaron McGruder…
MichelleHuxtable: So are you saying McGruder is elitist for laughing at black people or the show draws an elitist audience who thinks other people don’t get it?
JimBean: I’m saying McGruder is an elitist. There’s really only one socially aware person on the strip/show. Everyone else is aloof at best and I think a lot of people who are fans of the show/strip are elitist too. We make fun of people who watch BET all day, follow the trends of mainstream hip-hop and are unabashedly ignorant like, “Look at these coons”. By stripping the political focus away from the show, it really puts more of the microscope on black people.
MichelleHuxtable: I don’t know McGruder personally so I can’t vouch for his elitism or non-elitism but I definitely think the show has an elitist following. You see this in academic circles a lot. We sit around and discuss this “other” this “some people” that always shows up in conversation. “Some people” aren’t going to get this. “Other people” don’t analyze the show like we do. That said, I like to think McGruder isn’t so much elitist as fed up with what we as a people are doing to ourselves. And so he critiques it through comedy hoping we’ll see how foolish we can sometimes be.
JimBean: Well said.
On the goal of The Boondocks…
MichelleHuxtable: What do you think is the overall goal and message of the show?
JimBean:I think you nailed it earlier. Our behavior as a people has gotten out of hand. We need to do better. At the same time, I think McGruder is skeptical that that’s going to happen. This clip sums up the show’s message nicely.
MichelleHuxtable: I agree. I think that clip perfectly sums up anyone who’s ever felt fed up with the current state of Black America. At the same time I think he feels a comedic obligation and that can sometimes hinder that message. The episode I’m thinking of is “The Story of Jimmy Rebel”. There was a lot of debate on whether it was funny or intelligent.
On Satire vs. Coonery…
JimBean:Yeah. I think the need for the show to be funny leads for it to be over the top. Which leads to my next question: Does The Boondocks sometimes cross the line from satire to coonery?
MichelleHuxtable: At times. I think that the satire on the rap industry is obvious. The scene where Gangstalicious is running away from some guys trying to shoot him and Riley asked where his G4 plane is from his music video or his fast car from the music video, he sheepishly admits that they were all rented. Quality stuff. Then you have him critiquing Black people’s blind faith via the R. Kelly Trial episode and the Obama episode. His critique of BET is just complete excellence. He hasn’t done as much commentary on the n-word as I would like but overall I give him an A- on balancing comedy and satire. Until Season 3. That’s when it all went out the window. When I say I didn’t think an episode was deep, someone says “Well it isn’t always gonna be deep. Sometimes you just gotta laugh.” If I say it wasn’t funny, someone says, “Well it isn’t always gonna be funny. Sometimes it’s deep. You didn’t get it.” Well to me, Season 3 hasn’t shown itself funny or deep.
JimBean:I don’t think the show has crossed into coonery. I just think he’s kind of run out of steam. The Obama episode was funny but he’s taken on Black people’s blind faith before. The 2nd episode on Obama was outdated and I don’t think the kickball episode was funny nor did it really get the point across. The Jimmy Rebel episode had a good message, but it wasn’t that funny.
MichelleHuxtable: What was the message of the Jimmy Rebel episode?
JimBean:I think there were a few messages. First, racists don’t really know why they hate us, they just do. Second, even when faced with a situation that completely destroys whatever notion their racism was built upon, the concept of being racist is so irrational that it doesn’t matter. Like when the racists found out Uncle Ruckus was Black, they still hated him even though he was singing about how much he hated Black people. Third, if hating Blacks becomes uncool, there’s always Mexicans.
MichelleHuxtable:I can agree that those were good messages but I doubt people walked away with the feel good message that racism is wrong.
JimBean:Do you think the show has been effective in getting the message across?
MichelleHuxtable:I don’t know. I feel like regardless of how good you are at sending your message, the people who want to receive it will, and the people who don’t, won’t. I think the show gets people talking and thinking. I know there was more talk of the pros/cons of BET after he went in on them.
I don’t know. I feel like regardless of how good you are at sending your message, the people who want to receive it will and the people who don’t, won’t.
I think it got people talking and thinking. I know there was more talk of the pros/cons of BET when McGruder went in on them.
On Dave Chappelle…
JimBean: So Chappelle’s Show has come and gone and The Boondocks will be done after only three seasons… what’s next? Will someone else step up and fill in that void?
MichelleHuxtable: I was wondering the same thing. I’m curious as to why shows that perfectly balance smart and funny like Chappelle’s Show and The Boondocks don’t last. In both those cases it wasn’t low viewership. It was the decision of the writers – Chappelle and McGruder – to end the show. Maybe it’s like Kanye said, “No one man should have all that power!” I think the stress gets to them. We as a people look to leaders for answers. When The Boondocks is funny, McGruder is funny. When Chappelle’s Show is cooning, Dave Chappelle is failing our race. It’s the nature of the beast. What’s next? I don’t know but we need something to fillt he void. We need our faces on TV. Animated or live.
JimBean:I think sometimes when you’re a writer, entertainer or whatever, you wonder, “What’s the point if people don’t get it?” And maybe McGruder is at that point. “People don’t get the show so whatever I’ll make it as funny and over the top as possible. I won’t touch on many issues.” I don’t know the man. I don’t know if that’s what he’s thinking, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s thinking something along those lines.
The Boondocks will definitely go down as one of my all-time favorite shows. While it sucks that this is the last season, I can respect him getting out before the show became really stale. Hopefully there are some more creative minds out there willing to push envelopes and make us laugh, think and scratch our heads at the same time.
MichelleHuxtable:While the show has been hilarious, I don’t know if The Boondockswill go down as one of my favorite TV shows of all time. However the legacy will definitely live on via the comic strip in my heart.
So Uristocrat readers, what do you think: Does the end of The Boondocks mark the end of an era? What will replace the show once it ends? Does McGruder sometimes cross the line or is his controversy helpful in sending a message?
Do you guys remember Jay-z’s “S. Carter” Mixtape from a few years ago? The one that was released to coincide with the release of his Reebook sneaker? Well this song would have fit in well on that tape.
Charles Hamilton went on Toca Tuesdays to promote his new music series “The Multihamiltonization Process” as well as his new single “Gauchos”. Being the off the top rapper that he is, Tony put him on the spot. Tune in to Toca Tuesdays each and every Tuesday from 8p – 12a on Shade 45/XM 66.
Nike Presto’s rivaled the first Nike Shox as my favorite sneakers when in High school. If you have ever tried them on, then you understand how comfortable and light they are. They were amazing. It makes me happy to see Nike releasing the original version of the Prestos. Here we take a look at the Sport Red and Neptune Blue versions of the sneaker.
Featured here is another look at the Nike SB Dunk High Premium “Iron Man” sneaker. The sneaker predictably features the colors of Tony Starks Suit as well swaths of suede. The sample is available in US men’s size 9 from cigar0330 on eBay.
So after hearing “I Want You” (The great Cee-lo song that leaked a few weeks ago that I was forced to take down for copyright reasons) we get blessed with “Georgia.” This is along shades of Ray Charles’ Georgia but its focused on Cee-lo’s home state. I also really like the homage that he pays to his mother on the first verse. Can we take a guess and say that his mom’s name is Georgia? Correct me if I am wrong. Take a listen. Its a great song.
1. Gary Coleman – Gary Coleman died over the weekend, grabbing major headlines before the holiday. The star of 80s show Diff’rent Strokes, had fallen on hard times lately and was probably laughed at more than laughed with towards the end. Hopefully he’s gone to a better place.
2. The Roots Picnic – This Saturday marks the 3rd Annual Roots Picnic. Of course The Roots will be performing (Hopefully the perform new songs from their new album, “How I got Over”). The Picnic will also feature Vampire Weekend, John Legend, Method Man, Ghostface, Raekwon, Clipse, Das Racist, Mayer Hawthorne & The County, Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew, Jay Electronica, and many more! Enter the 215mag Roots Picnic Giveaway here.
3. Kanye – ‘Power’ – Kanye came back from his hiatus to drop ‘Power,’ which sounds like his middle finger to the world. Mr. West is a lightning rod for criticism and controversy but he’s proven once again that he can grab the biggest headlines with his music. Welcome back ‘Ye.
4. Drake feat Jay-Z – ‘Light Up’ – As Drake’s album continues to leak song by song, one of the more anticipated tracks hit the streets late last week. ‘Light Up’ features Hov and has been the most talked about of the leaked songs by far. Opinions are all over the place on this one, but if you haven’t heard it yet click here.
5. BP fails to stop oil spill – One of the more disturbing stories is the BP oil spill situation that still hasn’t been solved. Only time will tell how damaging this oil spill will be but this thing has the potential to be more devastating than BP/the gov’t is letting on.
6. ‘F a Mixtape’ – T.I. – T.I. dropped his first mixtape since being home called ‘F*** a mixtape.’ Is the king back? The mixtape features a host of features including Killer Mike, Keri Hilson, Lil Duval, Timbaland and Philadelphia Native Kevin Hart. Check it out and let us know what you think.
7. Lakers vs. Celtics: Part 124 – As soon as the final buzzer sounded in Phoenix Saturday night, the NBA hype machine was already at work. Lakers vs. Celtics, the rivalry continued. Can Kobe and company avenge their 2008 loss? Can the Celtics bring home trophy #18 in what may be the end of an era for the ‘Big 3’ in Boston? Luckily for David Stern, this is one of the few matchups that can postpone the free agency talk for a few weeks. I hope this matchup will be more entertaining than the 2008 version.
8. ‘Albert Anastasia EP’ – Rick Ross – Now here’s something you don’t see every day in hip-hop, an EP. Rick Ross dropped his Albert Anastasia EP to mostly solid reviews. It’s a nice warm up leading up to his album ‘Teflon Don,’ which drops this summer.
9. Memorial Day recap – With Memorial Day in the books, summer’s officially here. Fire up the grills, break out the pastels and finalize the travel plans. If you haven’t already, make sure you read the Formally Introduced piece on summer formal essentials.
10. Philly Sports Update – Doc Halladay has been worth the price of admission and more for the slumping Phillies. Last Saturday he had a game for the ages, throwing the 20th perfect game in MLB history against the Florida Marlins. Meanwhile, the Flyers are down 2-0 to the Blackhawks. They’re going to have to keep fighting to avoid being swept at home, as the Blackhawks stars haven’t even played well yet. Right now, the only good thing about the Flyers being in the Stanley Cup Finals is the cool t-shirts that have been popping up.
Welcome back everyone to another edition of UrStyle. We have the Man…the Myth…the Legend Johnny Cupcakes (hold your applause, please). Most know the story of Johnny Cupcakes and his brand, but one thing you would never understand without meeting him in person is his grandiose demeanor. His attendance at Ubiq for his U.S. Suitcase Tour brought out campers that resembled the Air Yeezy lines of last year, and a ambiance that rivals many celebrities. Eager supporters formed two lines that made it so you couldn’t see the walls nor the floor; one line to meet him, and one line to buy his goods. After each person met him, they seemed changed or somehow reformed as they walked off. First thing I noticed about Johnny was the dope jacket(as pictured), when I commented on it he let me know it was made by a 15yr old that was so motivated by him he started his own line. So Johnny made sure he was the first to purchase, showing his support & belief in the kid, and to further assist & foster the 15yr olds dream. Johnny Cupcakes is rare…not only in what he does…and what he’s done…but how genuine he is; which is shown through his style. So again comment and let us know how you feel about Johnny Cupcakes (@JohnnyCupcakes) and his style. Always remember that Uristocrat is everywhere, we might see you on the street and decide to showcase you and “UrStyle.”
Uristocrat: Where are you from?
JohnnyCupcakes: Boston, Massachusetts
Uristocrat: Do you think where you are from influences your style? If not what does…
JohnnyCupcakes: No, I think being a kid at heart and still holding onto a lot of nostalgia from my childhood influences my brand.
Uristocrat: What direction would your brand have taken if you would’ve foregone being exclusive and instead linked up with bigger retailers?
JohnnyCupcakes: I wouldn’t have been able to control the customer’s experience. It would also allow any “joe shmoe” to pick up one of my shirts. Right now it feels more like a family/secret club/cult and I’d like to keep it that way.
Uristocrat: In the fashion industry its really dog eat dog…and dog eat bigger dog…What makes you want to help others?
JohnnyCupcakes: My parents raised me well and it feels good to be in a position where I can motivate and inspire others.
Uristocrat: What inspires you when you are creating/coming out with new designs?
JohnnyCupcakes: Traveling, my childhood, interesting food packaging.
Uristocrat: Why did you decide to keep a lot of your business in the family?
JohnnyCupcakes: They are a big part of my life. It only feels right.
Uristocrat: What’s the initial advice that you give to anyone trying to start up a clothing line?
JohnnyCupcakes: Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons, have fun with it and don’t rush, first impressions are everything. I talk about this in my college lectures.
Uristocrat: What plans do you have for your brand in the future?
JohnnyCupcakes: More pop up shops, more community events and tons of surprises.
Uristocrat: From the times you have visited…what do you think of the Philly fashion scene?
JohnnyCupcakes: I didn’t have much time to absorb Philly for all that it is but I did notice, just like everywhere else that people had their own unique way of expressing themselves.
Uristocrat: Last Question…my Advisor/Sensei (@215tayyib) believes that short people rule the world…what do you feel about that?
The North Face releases new tee shirts for its Purple Label Japanese market exclusive line. The nanamica designed The North Face Purple Label feature the iconic TNF logo. A third release features a jacquard polo. Available now at anoutcommune Meta. I really like the different colors being offered for the tee shirts and v necks
We get another track from The Roots. This time the song samples John Legends “Again”. The Roots’ How I Got Over drops June 22nd. Will you be at the Roots Picnic this Saturday? Because both artists will be.
Featured here is a look at new Nike Air Max 90s that will be released this fall. The sneaker will be released in its original form and in an updated Am90 silhouette. Take a look and tell us what you think of these colorways.