Lesson 1: Self-Oppression fashion

Thank you PBC for the wonderful image.

Leads and followers. As a follower, you voluntarily oppress yourself under someone else's whelms and thoughts. For example, when people become trendy by following a trend dictated by a celebrity, who is usually following some unknown trend setter's style, then you submitted to the style of the unknown trend setter. You are following his or her style second-hand. If by chance you happened to cross paths with the trend setter, which your favorite celebrity copied, then you would not respect him or her as the father of the style. More than likely, this trend setter would have moved onto a different style, thus being labeled as weird until some celebrity copies that new style.

We call this the Agnostic Trend Setter Effect. We are blind to the individuals that actually conjure up new trends; however, we revere celebrities for mimicking these trend setters' styles. It is like ignoring the message of a god because we want to relate to the messenger. The messenger is this person that has earned our support by causing us to relate to him or her in some way through art, sports, fashion, or swagger in public view. The god-like trend setter has not earned our trust or our support, so we view him or her as being "too" individualistic. The trend setter in his god-like manner does not care if you appreciate his style because no one's opinions matter to him. His emotion and mood trumps his existence, so he drums to his own beat. The celebrity (local, national, or international) is not quite the god-like being.

The celebrity is the demi-god. As mortals, we can follow the path led by demi-gods. They make the work of the gods easy to understand. These individuals do not create usually in fear of losing public support. They admire the gods, but rather not be one because the gods are very detached from the mortal population.

Mortals are the leaders in the general public. They are more hip to fashion. They are your hardcore stunters. They latch onto celebrity trends as they hit the scene. Mortals have no understanding on how to recognize a god, thus losing the ability to become a demigod. Most mortals are satisfied with their current position. The usually hate the gods for being so different, fear the demigods for being similar to them, and love the clones for showering them with praise.

In the eyes of clones, mortals are similar to demigods in their areas because of their ability to switch styles right after a celebrity makes it popular. Clones follow the style of mortals because they have no idea of what is cool. They find it easy to look at the mortals around them and purchase the same products as them. They have no idea why the product is special, but they desire to have it because everyone else has it. That is good enough for them. Then, there are those that don't even care about trends and such. These individuals are considered droids.

Droids drone to their own symphony. They are completely blind to the world around them and completely internalize their existence. These guys look inward for confidence and think the world is a big wilderness. These guys are like the gods, but on the opposite end of the spectrum. Where the god feels to project his personality on the world, the droids shelter their personalities from the world.

When are you going to destroy your self-oppression to be reincarnated into a demigod or a god?

Here is an example using the shemagh/keffiyea:

God - Taz Arnold, one of Kanye West's associates that is always pushing the trends to the next level. Most people think Taz is weird. But, really he is the next level of style.

Demigod- Kanye usually follows suit after Taz. The only advantage Kanye has over Taz in collecting the new new stuff is money and celebrity power. However, Kanye still cannot keep up with Taz's style because companies seek people like Taz to plant the seed of any product.

Mortals- David Beckham is a mortal because his fame or fortune does not give him trend setting credibility. He is just following what all the cool hip celebrities.

Clones- All the trendy kids in the suburbs and urban areas running after their favorite celebrities.

Droids- These are the people that think following trends are so lame, so they are anti-trendy.


Why is Murakami so Hip that He's Hop?

Why is Takashi Murakami so big in urban trend setting lore when his art is seriously high snobiety?

Takashi Murakami is an inventor. He created his own style birthed from the soul of ancient Japanese art. Like Hip-Hop was birthed from soul music, Murakami's Superflat artwork was incubated when he was pursuing a doctorate in Nihonga, a mixture of Western and Eastern styles dating back to the late 19th century. Murakami like most hip-hop heads fixated on two Asian entertainment arts--- anime and manga.

Yes, I said it. Many hip-hop heads have a hidden love for Asian martial arts movies, anime, manga, and urban Asian fashion. This explains the recent phenomenon of mediocre graphic designed T-Shirts, poor faux vintage denim, and bad colorwise sneakers flooding some urban and all suburban communities.

I digress. Murakami became disillusioned with Nihonga, and fell in love with otaku culture, which he feels closely represents modern day Japanese life. Murakami armed with his Superflat style focused his energy on making Poku (Pop and otaku aka nerd) culture popular. He believes animation and otaku will be the leaders of trend setter culture. This new culture will rejuvenate the contemporary Japanese art scene. He is dully quoted as saying that the Japanese contemporary market is nothing but "a shallow appropriation of Western trends." His stance against Japan's love for post-war Western culture is very similar to Hip-Hop's societal rebellious attitude. His first reaction was to make art in non-fine arts media, instead to focus on the market sustainability of art and promote himself first overseas. This mindset led to his creation of KaiKai Kiki, LLC. KaiKai Kiki has grown into a professionalized art production studio and also an artist management organization.

Kaikai Kiki represents a great opportunity for hungry creative artists to develop under the watchful eye of Murakami. In grand high-fashion and urban creative culture respected style, Murakami took over Roppongi's Rolling Stones Cafe with an opening party to commemorate both Kaikai Kiki's roster of artists and commencement of his new gallery. Google Translation of Openers Fashion Coverage of the Event

Murakami has the soul of a bonifide hustler. He is very unapologetic for what he believes; he forms alliances with the right people and companies; he isn't a guy out to sacrifice capital gains for a social message, yet all his work has some social message; and he doesn't give two yen what anyone thinks of him as a person. Murakami is young at heart. Hell, the man is seen running around chasing the finer things in life with Kanye West. He does Louis Vuitton pieces, but is rarely seen rocking the brand. His swagger is similar to Jay-Z thrown in a blender with Dame Dash. I think that is the recipe for a celebrated personal life and calculated business life.

Thirty years from now, society will be dissecting his art and wondering why in the hell did he accept Hip-Hop as his voice. One thing is for sure. Murakami has changed pop culture and trend setter culture in one single swoop with his Superflat art style.


For Those Other Sites

We know there are many sites out there that just post irrelevant material goods and hype it up to the point where every suburban boy needs to own it. These young victims run downtown or to the cluttered trendy boutique shop strip, and they buy all the unnecessary objects that make them a certified cool kid. As I stroll from trend site to trend site, I've noticed that there is no life in them. They are all designers or close friends of designers that only present new products to the general public.

We are here to report these products, but to give these products life. We are able to give these products life by exploring their relevance or irrelevance to the greater culture. For example, what is the significance of the BAPE craze? Why has Pharrell divided his line into Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream? Why is LRG's advertisments appealing to the trend setter community?

Underground Live is going to answer the questions. We are putting the soul back into trend setter culture while the rest keep talking all that jazz.


Headed for Self-Destruction

Self-Destruction is a worldwide epidemic. Kanye, Dre, Timbaland, Pharrell, Pete Rock, RZA, J. Dupri, Swizz and Premier, WE NEED A NEW SELF-DESTRUCTION. What in the hell are you guys waiting for?

The boys in Japan, got it together. Thanks to my man, DJ Yutaka for exposing Japan's Self-Destruction.



The Beginning of Greatness

As Rap artists beef, Underground Live has taken the high road to glory. We are currently working on a project that aligns itself with today's music climate. As we leave our pre-production stages and head into production of our new project, Underground Live has learned more about the ever changing climate of trend setter culture.

Trend setter culture is a force to grasp and understand. Many institutions (business to academic) have tried to harness the power of trend setters by capitalizing on what these individuals do best-- lead. These people lead the herds into the future. They are the torch holders for culture and the martyrs for change. If institutions can get the most powerful influencers (the trend setter) on board with their mission, then the masses will surely follow. The only issue they face is the trend setter, himself or herself. These individuals cannot be told what to believe. They just believe themselves.

Most trend setters, don't even recognize they are trend setters until the public labels them. They are people that are individuals that have a high awareness of self-presentation. They are not people that are different for difference sake. They aren't the early adopters. Trend setters are people that are in tuned with what they do and who they are. They are capable of allowing their personality to overlap their judgements in fashion, food, leisure activities, work, and thoughts. This ability to always present personality has been called many things such as mojo, the glow, and swagger. In reality, it is just personality. Trend setters don't just do something different, they do things that is completely genuine to who they are. They can wear the same Target t-shirt as the next person, but the way they feel and act in it is different. That is the trend setter. They don't just go out and buy the exclusive, rare, and latest items. They purchase items that represent their personalities.

The psychology behind the trend setter's decision making is mind boggling. Each individual is different, thus their motivations are different even when they make the same choice. These individuals may all like a specific soft drink, but their reasoning will vary. Hard sciences, soft sciences, and creative arts cannot single-handedly explain this process. It is a process that swims through various schools of logic and dives into some schools that are completely illogical. We are here to  expound on these schools of thought.

Underground Live's core mission is to present the trend setter with understanding of himself and herself while giving the public a view into the future of trend setter culture.

Underground Live is positioned and poised to present the future.