We recently spoke with streetwear OG, better yet Triple OG & this year A3C Style UNHEMMED panelist Jeff Staple to discuss his love for Hip-Hop, involvement in A3C, & few tips for brands on the come up as well as a few random Hip-Hop questions of course:
What interested you in partnering with A3C?
Staple was born on the roots of Hip-Hop culture. And I’m just interested in anything that pushes the future and integrity of Hip-Hop culture. So working with A3C is definitely exciting for us.
What artist do you hope to see perform during your time at A3C?
Your favorite rapper?
It changes all the time, but I would have to say from a longevity standpoint and body of work it would have to be Jay-Z.
Your favorite producer?
I’ll say Kanye West as a producer.
Favorite Hip-Hop song?
It would have to be “ I Used To Love H.E.R “ By Common
What is the importance of Hip-Hop to you and the Staple Design brand?
If it wasn’t for Hip-Hop and New York City, Staple would not exist. That’s the bottom line. It meant so much to the cultivation of the brand and my thinking from the beginning, that it was just inseparable. Early on when I started Staple, I was a Designer at Rawkus Records, which is a legendary Hip-Hop label. That had a big affect on my exposure to Hip-Hop music and the art form of the music, and how that trickled into Staple is what’s key.
What would your dream showcase look like, what artists would perform?
So I’m like a backpacker, sort of neo-soul, conscious Hip-Hop fan.That’s like the root of what I really love when it comes to music. And going back to Staple, our motto is A Positive Social Contagion. You can see how that is born from that Golden Era in Hip-Hop, where you have The Roots, Bilal, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common and Erykah Badu, and now newer artist like Robert Glasper are taking that and bringing it to the future. So for a me a jam session with all of them with like a surprise appearance from Lauryn Hill to top it all off would be the dream showcase for me.
Favorite collaboration to date?
Danger Mouse and MF Doom did a collab called DangerDoom ,The Mouse and The Mask, that I thought was great, just very left-field. You wouldn’t imagine them together but it worked out really well.
What changes over the years in Hip-Hop do you like, dislike?
Its a double edged sword.I like the accessibility of Hip-Hop, meaning that Hip-Hop used to be a very taboo thing and now you can walk into a coffee shop serving cappuccinos and hear Hip-Hop. But because of that accessibility the overall quality of Hip- Hop has gone down, thats because there are so many people involved in it now, and that goes for any industry. But thats not to say that there’s no quality, cream of the crop artists, you just have to sift through it a little harder.
Thoughts on the current state of streetwear?
Same thing actually, streetwear used to be this really niche, small taboo thing and now with the collapse of urban Hip-Hop wear and with the collapse typical skate wear, streetwear has really taken the place of both and is a monster onto itself now. Which is great for business, a lot of people want to get involved in it and a lot of people are jumping on the bandwagon. And with me considered as more so an old timer or veteran in this game its important that we maintain and do things that allows us to rise to the top.