Agenda Festival Looks July 2017

Agenda Festival was held in Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, CA. This was the event's first time including a concert, rather than it being its original streetwear brand showcase. The concert included artists such as Lil Dicky, Cam'ron, Ludacris and Tyler the Creator. The event brought a fashionable crowd and here were some notable outfits from womyn (and a lil dude) killin' the scene: 

 

 

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Too Political a Butterfly - Cover Art Visual Analysis

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Too Political a Butterfly

a visual analysis of the cover art to Kendrick Lamar's album To Pimp a Butterfly. Covering political topics and touching on the simple idea of a vacation photo.

The world of hip-hop has grown profoundly over the last decade. Where fans of old school hip-hop believe that the prime, culturally enriched era of the genre belongs to the 1990s, rappers of this generation prove to show their activism, especially towards injustices served to the black community within the last year. Rapper, Kendrick Lamar, proves to be a driving force in re-emerging political awareness within the hip-hop community. With his album To Pimp a Butterfly, an album he dropped on March 15, 2015, he brings light to political inequality in America of course through lyrics but uniquely, through the cover art of this project. The photo Lamar chooses suggests political activism through its symbolism and photo realism.

The photo contains 6 specific features:

  • A handful of shirtless African American men holding cash. The man in the middle, which seems to be Kendrick Lamar, is holding a baby. Some of the men are holding what seems to be bottles of champagne, wearing necklaces, and have cash in their hands and mouths.

  • There are 2 children at the bottom right corner. You can tell they are children because they are significantly smaller than the rest of the people in the photo. One of the little boys is posing similar to the men and the other boy is raising his hands in celebration.

  • There is a judge on the floor and the African American men are positioned behind the judge and posing. The judge is portrayed as dead because of the Xs that are marked on his eyes. In addition, he is holding a gavel in his hands and wearing garments similar to that of a judge.

  • The men are all standing in front of the White House which is evident through the structure, especially the railing at on the roof of the building. In addition, you can see the flag raised on top of the building.

  • The whole photo is framed by a gray border.

  • They are very much aware that they are posing for a picture because all of their faces are looking in the same direction which is to the camera, or audience.

These features in the visual field are all signs that lead to a political story behind the lives of the black community today.

The group of men posing for the camera seems to give off a prideful demeanor. The money they obtain, the jewelry they are wearing, and the bottles of champagne in their hands run parallels to what gold and silver symbolize in Renaissance era. Because these men are posing with these lavish items it suggests that they are successful and capable not only of obtaining wealth but the ability to thrive in society. Because the group of people shares what seems to be the same ethnicity the audience has the power to assume they all know one another and have accomplished something together.

Significantly, alongside the men there are two children at the bottom right corner of the photo. One of the boys is posing similar to the majority of men, perhaps in order to suggest that he too, has accomplished something with them. The little boy on the farthest right adds to the celebratory vibe but in an appropriate childlike way. Ironically, right below the children is the parental advisory explicit content sign, which suggests that the album is not suitable for children.

There are two very political symbols shown in this photo: the judge and the White House. The judge has X marks on his eyes, which insinuates that he is dead. In addition, the judge is in front of all the group of people who are proudly posing for the camera. One can easily assume that the men are celebrating the death of the judge. Behind the group of men is the White House, another symbol that is undeniably political. Though the two symbols can at first glance stand for the same thing, the two symbols hold two significantly different places in the government. The White House is a symbol belonging to the Executive branch, a form of government carrying out federal law headed by the President. Conversely, the judge could stand for the Judicial Branch, a form of government that interprets the constitution in order to decide the rights of a given case. When interpreting the culture code of both of these symbols it at first doesn’t really make sense. However, as we dive deeper into the meaning behind the men posing behind a dead judge it gives light to the character of the people. As they pose in for the camera, their demeanors communicate an impression the society can interpret as intimidating, or scary. When perhaps the judge is portrayed as dead because there should not be an existential being determining whether or not the character of the group of men is good or bad. The symbol of the judge being dead encourages the idea that the only judgment that matters is of a greater being.

A simple yet important feature of the photo is that it is framed by a gray border. This could symbolize that this moment is important and is meant to be celebrated. In an interview with Kendrick Lamar, he explains to MTV that the reason why the men are posing in front of the White House is because he believes that the people he has grown up with and around deserve to see different parts of the world, “whether it be the White House...or London” (Kendrick Lamar Breaks Down Tracks From 'To Pimp A Butterfly). As Kendrick Lamar states, this cover art although political and complicated in political symbols it proves to be an innocent photo taken in the reasoning of an everyday tourist. Although the group of men is posing in a way that could potentially scare society, Kendrick directs the men in front of this structure to celebrate a moment of simple triumph.

One can assume that this photo is not actually taken in front of the White House and is indeed a form of photorealism. Although complex and clearly political, it is unlikely that the group of men is really posing in front of the white house with a dead judge. Moreover, this photo serves as the cover art for the album To Pimp a Butterfly. In an article entitled, “Why Cover Art is More Important than Ever” by Eric Skelton, he explains that cover art holds a significantly different meaning in today’s society where music streaming is at its peak. Skelton brings light to cover art no longer standing as a symbol to distinguish physical copies of an album, rather it predominantly becomes a way for music artists to brand themselves to their audience. With all these elements included in the cover art of To Pimp a Butterfly it has the ability to communicate to the audience that the triumph of the African American community is not possible when a figure, such as a judge, is serving its purpose as a regulator of the law. Because Kendrick Lamar loads his album with a potently political image, he brands himself as a politically aware music artist and a hero to the African American community.

Kendrick Lamar provides for the audience an intriguing political image that speaks volume toward his branding as a music artist. Through his use of his peers, and prominent political figures he ultimately leaves the political story left for the audience to interpret. In a time in which African American injustices are served, Kendrick Lamar gives light to the personal community that deserves to triumph above its oppressor.

16 of 2016

At the end of every December I do a lil reflection on what's happened in the past year. Kind of corny but I like to do # facts of 20##. I've been doing these type of posts for about 3 or 4 years now and my old posts can be found on my old tumblr but this will be the first of many here! So here it goes:

  1. I am now one semester from graduating - I know this is a fact of this year (lol) but in 2016 I felt like I really built myself back up to this point. I did well in my extra-curricular activities with my Pilipino club, started working retail again, and was still able to do well in school. 
  2. I kept up with my New Years Resolution - Sort of. My new years resolution last year was to lose weight with a big goal of mine to become a runner. Although I wasn't really able to reach a goal weight or run a half marathon like I said I would, I still made progress. I definitely had a lot on my plate this last year, and though no excuse is a good excuse that's mine. I still look to improve, especially with graduation coming around the corner. 
  3. I feared my birthday - But I was not let down with great friends like mine. Although I feared the day to come, and despite the fact that I'm at an age where I hate to mention it my friends really made my day/s. There's really nothing like a birthday to make you feel purpose and meaning. 
  4.  I was able to go to Disneyland twice - Yeah iano it's just really rare that I go that often.
  5. I witnessed a legendary year in music - with Solange's a Seat at the Table being my ultimate favorite of the year. Though the artists that stick out to me of this year are: Childish Gambino, Chance the Rapper, Kanye West, Travis Scott, Frank Ocean, Rihanna, NoName, Anderson Paak, and so many more. 
  6. I went through a really difficult time with my family - although I won't ever really reveal what happened to me through a platform such as this, that experience is something I'll never forget. It really tested me in ways I never thought to be, it brought me closer to some friends, and tested my moral beliefs. I can't say I'm fully healed from this experience, but things have definitely progressed since it happened. Time really heals all. 
  7. I decided to give a past experience a second chance -
  8. I took a 24 hour day trip to LA with one of my best friends - and I forgot a change of clothes at his house. So I bought all new clothes and make up. I'm the worst.
  9. I saw Kanye West's Saint Pablo Tour - and many other ones. I just had to say this one because idk, that tour was legendary for negative connotations lol. I started off the year with Pharrell Williams and ended the year with Camp Flog Gnaw and it was great. I'm happy because I feel that this year I had a really good balance of fun, academics, and family.
  10. I used to fear that my friends at home would outgrow me and now I don't - not because we all aren't cool anymore, but because life happens sometimes you tend to learn to live without some people and that is okay. It was never about which set of my friends were better but what I was dealing with at the moment. I wouldn't say we outgrew one another, I would probably phrase it as we grew apart. And again, nothing wrong with that. 
  11. The farthest run I've ever had was 6 miles - which I hope to change in 2017.
  12. I had a summer video series - it was a fun lil project I hope to make better.
  13. I attended the first ever Complex Con - an event that allowed me the opportunity to meet people like SoSuperSam and Rachel Muscat. This event is something I look forward to going to every year because it allowed for those attending to meet people who work at the brands we love. My friends and I were able to meet CEOs, project managers, and in short people who simply inspire us to work hard in order to work right next to them. 
  14. I realized my favorite type of food is Asian food - Idk why that's so significant but I guess I just learned to know myself better
  15. I lived my one and only full year in Apartment 28 - and I'm going to miss it so much. Living in this apartment in San Jose has been such a time of my college life. This place is such a haven for my friends and I to just hang out and laugh a dumb things. We can go from watching double dutch, to Moonrise Kingdom, to videos of bath bombs and we'll all be so intrigued. 
  16. I ended up getting a DSLR for Xmas - and I look forward to providing more new content for my YouTube and for this blog. 

Overall I would say I really enjoyed 2016, I felt I got to know myself so much more. I look forward to what 2017 is going to bring, what can I say I always liked the number 7. Yeehee! Graduation!

diulFluid

W'sup friends! First things first if you don’t know me already my name is Necole Layla Cayanan. I’m a 24 year old Business Marketing student. Welcome to diulFluid.

I know what you’re thinking, “What the heck is diulFluid? What does that even mean?” Well let me break this down for you: At the age of 12 I began taking karate lessons. (do it under love) diul. Sometimes in karate I’d grow so frustrated with failing to master a technique quickly or being unable to defeat my opponents during fights. Rather than excelling in my craft, my negative energy with wanting to be so good at something I really loved to do would only feed me the idea to quit. When you’re fueled by emotion, the love you have for your craft can easily be thrown out of the window. Be patient, because love is patient. Fluid. Throughout my martial arts career a significant concept has played as a recurring theme to my life: Mushin - no mind, mind like water. Act without any inhibitions. Let you, be you. The ability to silence all fears and hesitations and to simply do. diulFluid (de-yul-Flu-ed) is my place to inspire YOU as well as myself to simply Be and more importantly to DO the things I love. To progress and to persevere. To let my mistakes become my greatest teachers. 

Throughout this blog you can find my current music selections, the clothes I adore, the concerts I attend, the people I love, my outfits, my projects, etc. More than anything this is me living fluidly. I currently reek of postivity and motivation to start this thing so with that said: LEZZGITIT.