SUPREME 2018 COLLECTION
Artists Featured by Supreme - 4/4
es featuring the artist’s work. However, it is probably Supreme that continues to be the winning brand in choosing the right artists to feature. Ranging from soul music legends, a photographer known to capture the underground scene, a hip-hop group that rebelled against society, and to a British filmmaking genius, Supreme never fails to astound the world when it comes their boundless search and selection of artists of all ages and background. In 2018 alone, Supreme worked with more than 10 different artists, and had the world raving with all its collections successfully selling out in seconds. It is needless to say that Supreme’s artist collaborations have fashion gurus all over the world longing for its release. There is one problem to this phenomenon though: every time an artist collaboration is released, most people do not know much about the featured artist, with the rarity of the items or visuals being more important to them. This ruins Supreme’s effort in selecting the unique cream of the crop. It is simply a waste to wear something without knowing the brand’s intention, and it is not too late to gain this understanding. Here we will look at artists that Supreme featured in the last year, and focus on their career background and styles. This way we think that you will grow a better attachment to that beloved piece you own.
- A Hip Hop Group That Actively Raged Against Society
It is without saying that American history is equal to the history of civil rights and racism. From all of the friction throughout different generations, many activist groups and movements were formed. Especially noteworthy out of all of these is the Black Power movement. "Black Power" is a political slogan (and a movement) that was initiated in the 1960's by African American activists to connect racial pride and civil rights, and shook the nation. With leaders like the aggressive advocate Malcom X, Stokely Carmichael that recited "Black is Beautiful" and was the Honorary Prime Minister of the Black Panther Party, Muhammed Ali that refused to be drafted in to the army for the Vietnam War by admitting that he is a Muslim, playwright James Baldwin that is known for the play "Blue for Mister Charlie", and film director Spike Lee known for "Do the Right Thing", they all fought for equal rights with pride in what they were specialized in doing. The same was observed in the music industry as well. There were artists like Max Roach known for "We Insist", and The Last Poets that sang about the anxiety felt by African Americans. However, there is no other artist than Public Enemy who represented "Black Power" better through music.
In 1982, after Chuck D headhunted Rick Rubin from Def Jam, the hip hop group was formed in Long Island, New York along with DJ Teminator X, Professor Griff, and Flavor Flav. By calling themselves the "public enemy", they equipped themselves with the new genre of hip hop music and offensive lyrics to increase their awareness and the concept of "Black Power" around the world. It is probably better to watch the following video than to hear us explain in words. The music video for "Fight the Power" expresses "Black Power" philosophy throughout the music, lyrics, fashion and performance.
In 1987, five years after the group formed, Public Enemy released their debut album "Yo! Bum Rush the Show". In 1988, their second album "Public Enemy II" was released, which still remains to be a very popular and remarkable album in hip hop history. Two of these albums helped the group rise to the top of the music scene, until this was interrupted by an incident in 1989. One of the members, Professor Griff, made an anti-semitic statement in an interview for the Washington Times, saying that Jews "are responsible for the majority of wickedness that goes on across the globe". This brought heavy criticism and backlash from the mass. To mediate, Chuck D decided to fire Professor Griff from the group. After overcoming a period of chaos, the group released in 1990, "Fear of a Black Planet", their third album. The album included songs like "Fight the Power" that was mentioned earlier, and showed an increase in radical and incisive political messages compared to their previous albums. It still marked an extraordinary sales record and making itself within Top 10 in the American pop music charts. The work is monumental in hip hop not only for its music but also for its cover work, content, sales record, and how it was critically acclaimed. In 2018, Supreme teamed up with SupremeとUNDERCOVER to create a colloborative project that paid homage to Public Enemy, and themed around "Fear of a Black Planet" in producing items that printed innovative graphics on them. Since Supreme has a history of collaborating with Public Enemy in the past, and SupremeとUNDERCOVER can also relate to the group for for having roots to punk and resistance to society, it is pretty obvious why the three stakeholders agreed to collaborate together. No brands can imitate the way Supreme's creativity to choose "Fear the Black Planet" as the right album to feature, and choosing the right timing to do that with SupremeとUNDERCOVER. Are you going to just be a fashion geek that does not know the beauty behind this movement? Or, would you go behind the scenes of the creation and enjoy both the fashion and artistic aesthetics?
Text_ LUDO OSHIKAWA