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Non-Graphic T-Shirt Wearing Hypebeast.

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It may be the most simple piece of clothing that many of us throw on each and every day, but I still believe it is the best. The T-shirt has always been a staple of a males wardrobe, but as a lover of streetwear culture it has become an apparent obsession of mine.

I now own between 50-60 tee’s – this figure only became apparent when Jack saw the stack of t-shirts folded in my wardrobe last month. I have often claimed that I would like to add another dimension to my “style”, but it is apparent that any attempt to do this has failed.

Quite simply, I am at my most comfortable in a tee emblazoned with a graphic, a pair of selvedge denim jeans, and a classic pair of kicks. While many people in the streetwear game have slowly turned their backs on the lowly t-shirt, I have amassed an ever growing collection, because the t-shirt will never go out of fashion.

Mr Eugene Mensah recently pointed me in the direction of the piece below, produced by hypebeast.com head editor, Eugene Kan. What you should read below sums up my feeling towards t-shirts and streetwear in a way I couldn’t quite manage.

Big love to the two Eugene’s (and please actually read the post)!


“If you’ve been around for any short period of time and have followed “streetwear”, you’ve seen the very visible progression of the industry/movement/culture (blah whatever word describes everything it encompasses). People traded in their all-over print hoodies and their graphic t-shirts for button-ups and more refined tailoring. That I see no problems with at all. Largely the reason anybody gets into a deeper form of fashion is association. As you grow up, you want to shed the associations of adolescence and being a young buck as well as losing the need or desire to have the spotlight of attention placed on yourself. However, something I shouldn’t loathe, but I do, is how people all of a sudden felt the need to close the door on graphic t-shirts. I guess you could say not being down with streetwear is not being down with T-shirts to a certain degree cause the two have always gone hand in hand.

Graphic t-shirts in themselves can be an all-day, every day type of garment. It’s always comfy and never needs any real processing. No need to iron, just open the drawer and pull it out. I don’t care if it’s wrinkly as fuck, by the very notion you’re wearing a t-shirt, you don’t need to look all prim and proper anyways. If you go deeper, I think just like many have traded in their big graphics for oxfords and chambrays, there’s no reason why we can’t continue to wear smart and cool graphics. The t-shirts you see sold at that shop those Jersey Shore smucks work at are dumb and straight-forward. Yes, I would generally avoid those, and anything that is conceptually bland without any sort of interpretation or at least a bit of thinking. Just like you’ve traded up for greater refinement, I don’t see why t-shirts can’t be judged by the same lens. I think Supreme has often been a champion of this. Their t-shirts are never super straight forward and add an element of uncertainty as to what they represent. Same with P.A.M., seen above. There’s something about seeing cool visuals that represents something you don’t know or are just not sure how you grasp it. Maybe it’s in many ways, a different angle at elitism. You’re trying to be associated with a certain brand and since nobody gets the shirts (sometimes yourself included), you can embody this elitist nature… of course don’t tell anybody that you don’t know the meaning behind it haha. There’s often a degree of respect associated with the unknown or something misunderstood… this is what fashion’s often been about, a perpetual game of oneupmanship.

It’s ignorant for me to tell you what to wear, but I see getting rid of graphic t-shirts no different than turning the back on your roots. If you grew up with graphic t-shirts that undoubtedly led you to where you are now in regards to fashion progression, why the need to cut it out. It’s still very much a part of you, just be more discerning about what you’re looking for. Just as much as we post up on Hypebeast everything from high-fashion, dudes going hiking… in the urban jungle and streetwear, I have a profound appreciation for all of it. Sure we post less streetwear now or graphic t-shirts, but that’s less about turning our back on it, more so that our eye for a conceptually richer communicative graphic simply is now much greater… eh that sounds pretentious.”



Written by returnofthemac

March 9, 2011 at 12:00 am

Jay Dilla Beating the Sound of Love.

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Since it’s February 14th, and we find ourselves in the middle of “Dilla Month”, I present you with a song for the lovers.

Whether your celebrating this day or not, this Slum Village track from the Fantastic Vol. 2 album is an essential listen – one of the smoothest Dilla beats and a personal favourite of mine.

Climax (Girl Shit) [Instrumental], put it on.

Or check out the complete Slum Village track here.

Written by returnofthemac

February 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm

J Dilla, The Mozart of Hip Hop.

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In the 10 years I’ve consciously bought into Hip Hop, I was quite often subconsciously listening to a genius I never truly took the time to discover.

It’s only been in the last couple of years that I’ve took the time out to educate myself on the life and times of James Dewitt Yancey, the late great, J Dilla.

Having listened to much of his commercial work as part of the Soulquarians, I’ve hailed him as an artist and man once before on the ‘Connection almost 12 months ago (here).

In the past week I’ve found myself compelled to delve further into Jay Dee’s back catalogue of work, and now have over 400 tracks under Yancey’s name on iTunes. For the past 5 days I’ve simply shuffled each track and his beats have been the playlist I wake up and go to sleep to – everything from 1 minute samples to entire Slum Village productions have flowed through my head.

One classical composer named Miguel Atwood-Ferguson recently put a 60-piece orchestra together to play a special tribute concert for Dilla at an arts centre in LA.

“Dilla is a modern genius,” he says. “Everyone has genius within them, but not everyone, for whatever reason, manifests it. But Dilla did. He stood for taking a great risk on different levels, for continuous hard work and for courage. He is a modern genius because he captured and represented the spirit of a particular time. What he did was so deep that he has influenced a huge amount of modern music. In an age when many of his peers are still more interested in vanity, Dilla was more interested in exploration through music. And that is why he is a modern genius.”

(Read the rest of the article via The Guardian, HERE)

The video below gives an insight into how Dilla affected the artists around him; everyone from Common, Questlove, & Dwele explain how he went against the grain to create his own unique sound.

To mark what would have been J Dilla’s 37th Birthday, there are three “J Dilla Changed My Life” events: at the Deaf Institute, Manchester, this Friday Feb 4th; at the Scala, London, on Feb 6th; and at Jam, Brighton, Feb 9th. More details can be found HERE.

If you’re not tempted to attend any of the forthcoming gigs, you should at least take the time out to listen to one of the most talented musicians and artists of our generation.

James Dewitt Yancey (February 7, 1974 – February 10, 2006) R.I.P.

Written by returnofthemac

February 3, 2011 at 10:03 pm

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Iron Man.

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November 16, 2010 at 11:02 pm

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Casually Allure.

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September 17, 2010 at 5:11 pm

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so much on my mind…

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Fuck me it is grim outside, stay in and listen…

 Now you all know where my love and respect for hip hop stemmed from, it’s only right that I encourage you too to delve into those beats that follow me from day to day. Take a trip to the streets of Brookyln and experience true hip hop at its finest… this is it.


Most people who truly know me will already know I’ve hailed Common for a good while now. In all honesty, I am not ashamed to admit that I wasn’t exposed to his skills until I was gripped by his track “My Way Home” on Kanye’s, “Late Registration”. This then led me to purchase 2005’s, “Be”, and that was me hooked on Lonnie Lynn for life. This track with the dynamic Brooklyn duo, Mos Def and Talib Kweli, is truly one of the best examples of what hip hop should be all about. Three of the greatest MC’s alive today, all on one track, talking the truth (with an awesome video to match). I advise you to watch this again and again and again; then explore these guys some more. If you don’t, you’re on crack.

Peace, Mac x

Written by returnofthemac

January 24, 2010 at 7:21 pm

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