Archive for the ‘Grand Master’ Category

Respect The Architects…

Monday, July 29th, 2013


Outfit Architecture isn’t just about putting your clothes together with footwear and accessories. It’s about understanding your relationship as to how you represent yourself to others. Strangers and like minds alike.

One of my National Football League heroes was named Ernie Barnes (RIP). As an offensive lineman he protected Jack Kemp while he was a quarterback for the San Diego Chargers.


As a fine artist he was the author for some of the most enduring and expressive paintings I have ever seen.

You must have surely seen his painting ‘Sugar Shack’ which was used os a cover for a Marvin Gaye album as well as part of the set for the television show ‘Good Times’.


Even tho’ I wasn’t in that portrait I feel in my soul that I know the place Barnes was describing. I can smell the hot-buttered soul sweat steaming up that juke joint. I’ve done those dances before in my life. Ernie Barnes got soul.

And I got sole. I copped this Ernie Barnes throwback jersey to rock with my Air Jordan powder blue North Carolina 2012s.



The irony is that because UNC was segregated at the time Ernie Barnes was an All-American high school athlete he couldn’t attend the school. Barnes ended up on full scholarship at the HBCU North Carolina Central.

Respect the architects always my Internets. Whether you realize it or not we do this life thanks to them.

Fan Bros Es Muy Fantastico…

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013


Fan Bros is another one of the Combat Jack Show affiliates. Benhameen hosts this podcast alongside former comic industry insider Chico Leo. Fan Bros is a celebration of fandom in comics, video gaming and pop culture in general.

For this episode of Fan Bros I get to sit inside the booth with Benhameen and Tatiana King and talk my Fan Bros shit. You know… X-Men #137, Daredevil #181 and my action figure love.

When Hipsters Pitch(fork) A Fit…

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Editor’s note: Do you remember the Grandmaster? Well here he is again with a guest drop on why the hipster media exploits rap for its credibility until shit gets real…

“yesterday, [Action Bronson] crossed over into unsettling territory … he posted Instagram photos of a supposedly incapacitated transgender person that a friend of his had poured water on.
“Lame and reckless all around.” – Carrie Battan, Pitchfork News

“Hood” and “hip” are on-again off-again business partners. In the ’60s, Detroit Red sold drugs to slumming Manhattan socialites, while Jean-Michel Basquiat’s ’80s rise to art world stardom was boosted by his connection to Andy Warhol’s pop art circles.

Today, as Cam’ron and the Clipse before them, groups like Odd Future/Wolf Gang, A$AP MOB, and a crop of loosely-affiliated emcees (Danny Brown, Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, Das Racist, etc.) are being embraced by a White hipster scene craving the authentic voice of the streets.

But as Tyler, The Creator and Action Bronson share Terry Richardson’s lens with Lady Gaga and Kate Moss, is the hood being valued – or exploited?

Pitchfork is a signpost for the hipster music scene: reporting on it while also charting its course. Sometimes that trend-setting (word to Prodigy) can be cutting: they’re notorious for dropping 0.0’s on undeserving albums, and recently Childish Gambino’s Camp received a 1.6.

Considering this, the comparatively high scores that Action Bronson’s last three full-length efforts received – Dr. Lecter and Blue Chips got 8.1’s, while Well-Done copped to a 7.1 – represent a strong endorsement of his style and content. Pitchfork’s string of positive reviews provided him with breakthrough media coverage, filled with comments like “Bronson boasts his own brand of gonzo humor, subtle pathos, and specificity”. By “specificity”, I assume they mean not only references to obscure French cheeses, but also to lines like “7 times she got stabbed in the back / By a regular john… / That’s what she gets for being a whore though”.

So it felt a little surprising this past Thursday when, on a Greyhound to New York, I pulled out my iPhone and saw a headline on Pitchfork: “Action Bronson Stupidly Posts Photo of “Drunk Mexican Tranny”, Rightly Gets in Trouble“.

The blog post said “[Action’s lyrics] crossed over into unsettling territory when he went on a Twitter tear in which he posted Instagram photos of a supposedly incapacitated transgender person that a friend of his had poured water on.”

Oh, word? That’s when it crossed over?

This from the same site that once wrote that “Bronson’s lyrics can be ignorant as fuck (“Take a dyke on a date/ She let me pipe cuz I’m an ape”), but … He’s just kicking silly bullshit, and it’s tough to imagine anyone seriously getting offended.”

Action’s lyrics were “silly bullshit” while they rode shotgun in iTunes; but when he took to Instagram, connecting his lyrics to an actual environment and lifestyle, that was the step too far? While Action plays the part of chubby hood jester, rapping about bruschetta and occasionally slapping women or juxing fags, hey, it’s all part of his “swag”; but God forbid he actually disrespects a woman or objectifies a gay person. That’s when it goes too far.

Here is the problem: Bronson’s New York swagger isn’t just some goofy fat guy schtick. He’s Queens through and through, and the Pitchfork hipsters-in-chief seemed to misunderstand – or not care – what they were co-signing when they call him a “raw Queens charmer, scheming in the tradition of old working class New York”. To be working class in New York is to be funny, a quick charmer, a slick-tongued hustler. It also means not taking shit from anybody, being politically incorrect, and having a big pair of balls. These are traits the left-leaning hipster agenda is happy to support – opportunistically, whenever they happen to support their causes.

In a profile of the young and amoral Odd Future collective, a Pitchfork contributor wrote that they should “Continue on, undeterred by the demands of the mainstream’s social mores and face the wraths of conservatism,” or else “change up and burn away their hard-earned integrity“. Free speech, thumbing their nose at the man (I ain’t a part of your system!) – causes near and dear to any hipster’s ironic-American-flag-tee wearing heart.

But what happens when that “hard-earned integrity” starts butting up against other hipster values? Let’s face it: while LGBT awareness runs deep in the hipster community, you’re not likely to see large sections of “old working class New York” turning out for the Rainbow Coalition, and gay pride parades aren’t exactly “raw Queens charm”.

When that happens, what comes about is a morally confusing cycle of praise and rebuke: Bronson, Odd Future, and others like them are applauded, praised, and promoted by hipster tastemakers for their authentic voices; but as their media profile grows, so does the pressure for them to become inauthentic to the same roots that they were praised for staying close to. So Pitchfork and other outlets like Vice, Vulture, Fader, (I’d say Rolling Stone, but since when were they relevant?), and the like praise the “Talented, hilarious, villainous, immature, precocious… vanguard of modern hip-hop” – but when these artists turn out to resemble the people they rap about – the performing monkeys have escaped from their cage. And those same outlets scramble to distance themselves.

It seems that hipster media has confused “sounding grimy” and “being authentic” – they love the first, and find the latter distasteful. They love hearing raps that push the boundaries of acceptable behavior – slapping bitches, disrespecting gays, selling drugs and pussy, living rough – but don’t want to acknowledge the social reality that, for some people, this is life. So they stay in their bubble, listening to music that hints at a morally and socially frightening world, while being able to ignore its realness – until that realness pops up on their Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook feeds.

Is Action Bronson’s man Bes throwing water on a Mexican tranny “reckless”? Sure. But it’s hypocritical for the hipster/fringe-culture-glorifying music press can call it “lame” – when rapping about this lifestyle is exactly how he earned cool points with them in the first place.

“Queens shit. That real rap, homie. None of this relationship drama rap these faggots be putting out nowadays” – Action Bronson, Respect the Mustache.

Jason Chu (@jasonglchu)
Not a homophobe at all, I’m just surrounded by ’em

Rugby Lifestyle Remix…

Saturday, December 25th, 2010


I’m sad that Rugby won’t let people buy their patches anymore. Hyper-exclusive retailing is the aspiration of poor people attempting to be middle-class… Looking.

I’m glad that I bought my patches years ago and started the trend. I’ve been sitting on a pile of patches and a pile of knits copped from Marshall’s on the come up.

I figured I could marry a few I.T.s with as the congregation [ll]…


Internets. You need to have several colorway programs to be fully lifestyle. The PRL sport red is basic swag that you can rock all year around if you are a lifestyler from Florida to Texas. This knit was reduced from $34.99 down to $27.00 at first clearance. In all honesty I usually don’t copp from Marshall’s until second clearance or less than $25 bucks. The Rugby patch is funky. That cost me $12 on a sale at the store.

The African tailor on Washington is a good dude. I overpay him with a dub for applying the patch, but I make him do some fly shit to make the patch really popoffavitch. Cross check, outline the numerals and put this material in between the shirt and the patch.


This material gives the patch a nice puffy (no Last train To Paris) look and the material also picks up the sweat from you big sweat-back lifestylers [ll].

The next I.T. is actually a short sleeve rugby knit. Most of you know that the classic Polo short sleeve is fashioned after a polo match knit? This Polo is a rugby shirt. Crosshatched stitching re-inforced shoulder yoke. Marshall’s first retail price was what? $24.99?!? I’m gawn innnnnnnn!


Even tho’ I’m no Yankee fan I can top off this I.T. with the classic navy fitted on some school uniform shit.

The blue/grey program would get officially murderated if I copp the Air Jordan XI ‘Cool Greys’. BONG!

cool gray

Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself, My Name Is…

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

gm show

Editor’s note: GrandMaster

Peace dp dot com family

I’ve been sighted on these pages before mainly via the Sneaker Fiends Unite! NYC tours and subsequent kicks write-ups… You all know my Nike game is proper, so don’t even front on the heir apparent to air.

What some of you don’t know though is that I moved to Beijing, China this summer just to take the movement to an international level. I know china has a reputation for fake Jordans and knockoff Gucci bags, but in the end isn’t getting it however you live it so Hip-Hop? Please believe that Beijing doesn’t play when it comes to rocking the official tissue either.

So I’ve been moving and building during the last couple months, hitting the studio to drop mixtape trax and to start developing an album, plus linking with heads all over Beijing. The beautiful thing about Hip-Hop here is that it is still a subversive movement. Too young to be pop, too street to be censored, and too foreign to be mainstream.

gm show

What this translates to is passion for the culture. I’m talking about top emcees who still get up with pieces all around the city, hiphop parties with the top emcees rapping over the top DJ’s spinning while the city’s best bboys get down. It’s a beautiful thing.

Internets, walk with me. As your foreign correspondent I will be staying in the streets with my pen and pad, camera and notebook. As I live, record, perform, and travel daily throughout Beijing, let me put y’all on to what is, for 1.3 billion people, the local Hip-Hop scene.