PHLAVAZ


Back from a week overseas, so apologies for the delayed update here. In conversations over Szechuan food, Stüssy art director Mr. Adam Weissman mentioned that, as an enthusiastic 15-year-old, he co-directed, produced and wrote a hip-hop cable TV show in the vein of Fab 5 Freddy’s section of Yo! MTV Raps with a young Alchemist/Mudfoot on presentation duties during some early episodes that transmitted solely to the people of Beverly Hills. With Al wildly gesticulating and using slang I haven’t heard in a minute (one day we’ll have to explain to kids that a name like Funkee Phlavaz didn’t seem weird or dumb a few decades ago) while stood in a Cross Colors strewn Fred Segal, this is a loose-fitted time capsule of hip-hop from 1992 and 1993. Most of the videos are classics of the time, but it’s good to see them in good quality and the earnest nature of the whole thing, down to Adam interrogating Apache with a giant mic and the strangely flamboyant serif font on the end credits. There’s a whole load of barely told stories from this era (though Brian Cross’s It’s Not About a Salary is a great primer), with Blood of Abraham, Atban Klann, Bud Bundy, Balistyx and early Dilated Peoples making up the story of Los Angeles rap connecting with that famously wealthy postcode without having to descend into discussion of Brian Austin Green spitting those Demon Boyz/Das EFX wiggedy-diggedy multiple syllables. Adam told me one of the greatest anecdotes regarding Ruthless that I ever heard, so I’m looking forward to seeing some related acts on the show when more episodes get upped (there were 15 more made) on the show’s new website later this month.