UrbanRhetoric

UrbanRhetoric

7.20.2014

New Kicks [most wanted]....by pemora

Where have I been? Good question....mostly on the Twitters and the Facebook. It is hard staying a G on these here social media streets.

(also, I've been reading. Like, actual and factual books.)

Anyway, I was spending 1,348 hours on the Pinterest and saw this amazing pic:



What is there not to love about this? It is the perfect I-may-or-may-not-have-2-kids-to-take-care-of-but-I-am-still-hip-to-it outfit. Of course, I would wear bike shorts underneath because I don't need to expose my wiggle and jiggle to the playground set.

Looking at sneakers, I found 3 that I am coveting. For some reason, I am drawn to blue but, heck, I will take any color. What's your fav?

I can go with this:

From Coach and on sale!

Or I can go with that:
From Aerosoles (seriously....who knew?)

Or I can go with this:
From Reebok. This is some old school steel-o right here....

Any new kicks you are rocking this summer?  And for a peek into some of my favorite kicks from my personal collection, check out my interview at Kicks Culture.

3.28.2014

Q+A with kevfrumbk....by pemora

kevfrumbk has been a longtime supporter and friend to UrbanRhetoric and is also one of my very good friends. He is a really positive spirit with a ton of creativity, ideas and talent. Thanks to kevfrumbk for taking a couple of minutes to answer some questions for UR!

1.     Let's start from the beginning. What started you in the fine arts?

My earliest memories of making art really are of Saturday mornings sitting on the floor in the bank as my mom waiting in line to cash her paycheck.  I would travel with a plastic bag of crayons and a legal pad and sit there drawing away secretly hoping the line would take extra long so I wouldn’t be interrupted.  So the love has always been there.  Coming up in the 80s a lot of my family lived in the same building so my older cousins and the graffiti in our neighborhood was a big influence.  They introduced me to artists Biz, Kool Moe Dee, Audio Two and I would copy the things they were doodling on their canvas 3-ring binders as well as the stuff I saw on the walls of our apartment building. There’s one image that I remember drawing all the time in multiple variations of a guy with a flattop, rope chain, 4-finger ring, and boombox. Since then, hip-hop culture has always been the background to my art, whether it is the music or the inspiration or, usually, a combination of the two.

2.     Describe this medium. Why do you enjoy working with it?

My work right now are digital illustrations which I create using a couple of different Adobe programs.  When working digitally, my approach varies based on the concept.  Most pieces begin with research for reference images and a sketchbook drawing.  After that, again, it depends on the concept, sometimes I’ll work it some more on my iPad to get it to a more final state then transfer that image to my computer for final edits, or I’ll take the sketchbook drawing straight to Illustrator and finish it there.  

The biggest reason I enjoy working digitally, is the ability to manipulate the image.  I can move things around, create layers, resize, change colors, etc. with ease and accuracy. Not to say I don’t still love the other mediums I’ve worked with, but without my own studio, it’s hard to execute some of my ideas as well as I would like.

3.     Your art is clearly influenced by hip hop (mostly from the 90's aka the golden era) and pop culture references. How do you decide what you want to present in your art?

This is going to sound cliché and cheesy but it’s a lot about what speaks to me. Often, I’m listening to the music and an image pops into my head.  But a lot of it is about representing those iconic moments, items, and verses.  I want my viewers to get a tinge of nostalgia and see themselves in the piece.


4.     Do you have a favorite piece? Which one and why?

I have a couple favorites… 

I love “Mixtapes” because it’s a symbol of my relationship with hip-hop.  Coming home from middle school and sitting by the radio with the tape deck on record/pause waiting for that hot song of the moment to come on.  Some of the best mixes on my itunes are based on lists from those tapes I made in the early 90s (which I refuse to part).

Another piece is “I listen to Classical” which is a play on T-3’s line from Slum Village’s “Fall N Love”.  For me, it really says it all when it comes to how I feel about the state of the music now.  Not to mention, although many of us think of the music of golden era as if it was yesterday, it really was 20 years ago so it has reached that “classical” stage.


5.     What does the future hold for kevfrumbk?

Right now, I’m working on a series called “I Got A Story to Tell” in which I aim to present some of favorite Hip-Hop stories/songs as a comic book or picture book.  It’s a really slow process as some parts of a song aren’t as vivid but I love the challenge of finding ways to present those parts as images.  In between, I’m doing smaller concepts pieces based on whatever pops into my head, like the “Warning” and “Technics 1200s” series.

6.     Where can UR heads find your work?

To be honest, I feel like I’m kinda scattered about the Internet, but here it goes… 

The formal site (for now) with some of my older work is

For the more current things I’m working on and the occasional random musing,

 To purchase my readily available work,

Pharrell - Happy Feat. The Notorious B.I.G. (DJ Rob Dinero Remix)

Happy Friday, y'all!

Pharrell - Happy Feat. The Notorious B.I.G. (DJ Rob Dinero Remix)

2.14.2014

Night Time Routine......by missDTM

let's talk about hair for a second:

i remember that one time i went to my dominican spot and watched the woman who did nails take the parts of my hair that they cut off and pretend like it was her chocha hair. no joke. it was embarrassing.

growing up in the 80's and 90's, curly was too taboo and the standard of beauty was (and still tends to be) straight hair. i admit it - i straightened my curly hair, i did the relaxers and used the flat iron to "tame" it. i wanted to get rid of every curl. 

stupid teenage DTM.

the beautiful thing about growing up is the ability to not listen to the haters. i've been wearing my hair curly since college and haven't put a relaxer in my hair in over 7 years (it might be more than that but i just can't remember). i'm always looking for representation of other curly haired beauties and so when a friend of mine, Coily and Cute, started doing these illustrations, i instantly fell.in.love. and now she's published a children's book?!? i'm about to buy this for all of my pregnant friends.





Get your copy of Night Time Routine at Amazon.

2.06.2014

They're Not Called the 'Me Generation' For Nothing.....by savazhe

*beginning of rant*

I've been saying for YEARS that our parents' generation just REFUSES to get out of our way and let us be in charge. They were the same people that instituted a mandatory retirement age so they could get their own parents out of the way, but then eliminated it when they started approaching that age because "how can anyone tell me how old I FEEL, or when I'm UNABLE to continue working?" and then invented the term "ageism" to make themselves victims. The majority of what they've added to our culture is stuff to appear younger (the now-ubiquitous elective cosmetic surgery craze), ways to stay alive longer (the OD health food craze), or ways to keep anyone younger than them from enjoying the freedom they had as kids (the war on drugs, banning trans fats, etc.). We can't really "do better" than our parents, because in a weird way, our parents' generation won't LET us (despite offering vocal support and admonition when we seem to be on a path that varies from the one they SWORE was the model for success, yet isn't really working for us - the whole "get a college degree and the world is your oyster" approach that was valid when they were college-aged and intelligent enough to go, but doesn't really work for us since SO many more people in our generation have SOME sort of college education). We try everything to get ahead - going back to school, taking jobs below what we're capable of in hopes of working our way up - but they're still in control of the work force, so they hold the keys to our ability to advance, and they just keep denying us so that their pension can be a few percentage points fatter.. This is also why SO many of them are dying while they're still working, or shortly after they retire. Still stuck in the paper-chase '80s when it was their time to shine, and they can't fathom NOT having every dime available to them, so they don't retire until they're forced, or until the job environment changes so drastically around them that they can't hang around anymore. There is pretty much ZERO regard for the damage they're doing to the folks behind them, b/c they're so used to being the majority as baby-boomers and only looking out for themselves. This is also why our educational system is pretty much shot - they're using their power and leverage to limit the number of people coming along behind them that can even do what they do, which makes them irreplaceable. They're notoriously bad about sharing their knowledge, b/c they're afraid of training their replacement (I see this ALL the time at the MTA), and they don't care enough about the company to worry about how screwed everyone will be when they leave with the knowledge base needed to do the job b/c they already got theirs.. I don't think it's COMPLETELY sinister in intent on an individual level, but I do feel like their generational lack of concern for anyone other than themselves is hurting everyone around them.

*end of rant*

12.31.2013

Resolutions for 2014....by pemora

Here are my Resolutions for 2014:
1. learn how to do a cartwheel
2. no new friends
3. don't use 'it's been hectic' as an excuse
4. learn all the words to the roots' 'web'



What are yours?