July 29, 2021No Comments

How hip-hop and fashion struggle with masculinity

Men's fashion has been the continuous shadow of women's fashion for centuries. The stereotypes of men and fashion are smart, intelligent and practical rather than that of women which are considered decorative, impractical and pretty.

Read more

November 12, 2020No Comments

How Female Rappers Became 2020s Hottest Brand Ambassadors

cardi b, megan thee stallion, saweetie brand ambassadors 2020

Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion and Saweetie. Images: Instagram

While women in Hip-Hop have been dominating the global charts (and headlines) for decades, marketable ambassadorship roles have historically been reserved for a different breed of celebrity - mostly white, mostly actresses or pop singers and mostly with a squeaky-clean public record. In the last few years, notable improvements to this lack of inclusive representation have been made (Rihanna for Dior, Beyoncé for Adidas) but 2020 has seen a more palpable shift in the push for brand diversity. This year, three multi-million pound companies tapped some of the most successful women in rap (Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion and Saweetie respectively), to represent their businesses at a global scale. A move that not only celebrates the commercially-successful careers of these female rappers but also openly recognizes the power of their international influence. Scroll down to read more about these game-changing appointments…

 

Cardi B & Balenciaga

Campaign Launch: September 2020 

 

cardi b for balenciaga

Cardi B for Balenciaga A/W20. Image: Balenciaga

“I like those Balenciagas, the ones that look like socks” Cardi B famously rapped in her 2017 hit ‘I Like It’ and fast-forward three years later – the 27-year old is now the first celebrity face of the luxury label in five years. Announced via two giant billboards next to the Louvre museum in Paris, Cardi’s campaign sees her in a form-fitting black dress – true to her own personal style – with a nod to motherhood as she lays down surrounded by children’s toys. Shot during lockdown, the campaign also separately features some of the House’s internal creative team who styled and photographed themselves in the collection, but Cardi’s appointment is by far the most publicized, and headline-worthy imagery.  

 

Megan Thee Stallion & Revlon 

Campaign Launch: August 2020

megan thee stallion revlon campaign

Megan The Stallion, Revlon's new Global Brand Ambassador. Image: Revlon

2020 may not have been a celebratory year for most but for Megan Thee Stallion, it’s undoubtedly one of her best yet. Boasting a number one hit with her Cardi-collab single ‘WAP,’ the Texas-based artist also won Best Female Hip-Hop Artist at the BETs and was revealed as the newest Global Brand Ambassador for iconic makeup label Revlon. The first female rapper in the brand’s history to ever hold this title, the news was announced on Instagram, where Megan proved she’s more than up for the job by insisting on doing her own makeup for the much-applauded campaign. “I feel proud,” the rapper told Allure magazine shortly after the announcement was revealed. “I’ve loved Revlon products since I was a kid, and the company has a history that’s real close to my heart.”

 

Saweetie & Pretty Little Thing

Campaign Launch: June 2020

 

saweetie for pretty little thing

Saweetie X Pretty Little Thing. Image: Pretty Little Thing

PLT has worked with a notable roster of reality stars and Insta-models over the years but historically, these partnerships have purely centered around a single capsule collaboration. This year, the e-commerce retailers reached out to ‘Icy Girl’ rapper Saweetie for a partnership deal with a more admirable goal in mind – raising money for Black Lives Matter. Launched in June as many BLM protests were taking place worldwide, 100% of all profits from the 48-piece ‘At Home With Saweetie’ collection were directly donated to blacklivesmatter.org. In a statement, the UK-based brand not only acknowledged Saweetie's drive to raise awareness for this cause, but also how the actions of brands during this time needed to be a force for change. “PrettyLittleThing understands how important it is to speak up, step up and take action. We are committed to implementing positive change and giving a voice to our community. Therefore we will be donating all proceeds from the At Home With Saweetie collection to Black Lives Matter. Because we know, we’re always stronger, together.”

 

Hip-Hop's unquestionable influence on fashion was recognized way before 2020, check out some of the most notable catwalk homage's from the 90s and beyond: https://cultureshiftuk.com/hip-hop-influences-fashion-designers/

August 28, 2020No Comments

Apple To Open Its First Ever Floating Store in Singapore

Credit: Getty Images

As if Apple stores weren’t slick enough already, they’re upping their game once again. The tech giant will open a new retail store like never before. 

The new Apple store is a pricey-looking, ultra-modern orb that floats on water in front of the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore, adding to the already impressive skyline of the city. 

While the store is not open to the public yet, we’ve seen plenty of photos of the exterior. In preparation for the opening, Apple has a webpage devoted to the unveiling, which they’ve described as “a place we’ve made for you to capture your ideas and passions. It will be a space for you to explore, connect and create something new.”

According to reports from 9to5Mac, the store features “an elevated boardwalk and underwater passage connecting the pavilion to the shore and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.” Sounds pretty impressive, right?

Credit: @dezeen on Twitter

As night falls, the sleek orb glows in a multitude of colours, ensuring that passers-by can not miss it. With Singapore’s iconic skyline lit in all its glory as a backdrop, it’s most definitely a fixture best viewed in the dark.

The Apple Marina Bay Sands store is Apple’s third store to open in the city, with the other two located at Jewel Changi Airport and along the shopping hub that is Orchard Road. While there is no confirmed opening date for the floating store, Apple says it will be opening “soon.”

June 3, 2020No Comments

Minnesota Dept. Launches Civil Rights Investigation Into Minneapolis Police Department

Photo Credit: Glenn Stubbe

Following the needless death of George Floyd, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights have launched a civil rights investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department. Following pressure from protestors all over the world, the department is taking action.

George's death has been declared as a homicide following an official post-mortem. The results contradict the findings of the original post-mortem, which was ordered by the state. Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for the Floyd family, said: "Beyond doubt, he would have been alive today if not for the pressure applied to his neck by officer Derek Chauvin and the strain of his body by two other officers." He went on to say: "The ambulance was his hearse."

While Derek Chauvin - the officer captured on the video – who was initially charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter will appear in the court next week. Today, nine days after George’s death - Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar confirmed that the other three officers on the scene at the time have now been arrested.

While details of the charges are yet to be confirmed, Chauvin’s charge is expected to be elevated from third to second-degree murder. The raise means the maximum sentence he’ll serve has increased from 25 years to 40. According to some reports, the other three officers may face aiding and abetting second-degree murder charges, which also carries a maximum sentence of 40 years.

When Medaria Arradondo, chief of the city's police was asked why he fired the four officers, he said: "There are absolute truths in life. We need air to breathe. The killing of Mr Floyd was an absolute truth that it was wrong, and so I did not need days or weeks or months or processes or bureaucracies to tell me that what occurred out here last month was wrong." He added: "This was a violation of humanity."

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz discusses the civil rights probe into Minneapolis Police Department
Credit: CBSN

According to reports, the investigation will delve into MPD policies, procedures and practices over the past decade to "determine if the MPD has engaged in systemic discriminatory practices toward people of colour."

It what could be a real turning point, the investigation marks the first time Minnesota has launched a civil rights investigation against the state's biggest police department.

As the charge was served to the city on June 1, Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero said she hoped for "quick changes" as the city works toward long-term changes. The charge comes after 40 Minnesota Democratic lawmakers have called for increase regulations on police in the wake of George's death. They will demand a total of 22 changes to legislation during a legislative special session later this month.

In one of the most significant changes proposed, the Democrats have suggested that the Minnesota country attorneys are stripped of their power to prosecute police killings, instead, handing control to the Minnesota Attorney General's office.

As the news broke, state Rep. Ruth Richardson, DLF-Mendota Heights, said: "I hope at this moment when I go home tonight, I can look into my own children's eyes and tell them this time is going to be different." She continued, "But I've had that conversation before, and still we're here."

Updates to follow.

April 14, 2020No Comments

Lockdown: A Link Up Between Artists And Fans

As social distancing has come into play, our screen time has inevitably increased. Thankfully, rather than leaving music fans to scroll aimlessly through our timelines for hours on end, artists have stepped up with some serious entertainment. Although tours have been rescheduled, releases are postponed, and real-life connection is on hold, fans seem to be more engaged than ever.

With social media entertaining the masses, Instagram and TikTok have offered huge opportunities for musicians to connect with fans. As music fans all over the world are entertained for hours on end, we're taking a look at some of the highlights from the past few weeks.

Record-breaking lives

Unless you've been living under a rock lately, you've probably tuned in to Tory Lanez infamous quarantine radio. If not, you've more than likely seen a wild snippet or one of the weird and wonderful trending topics. Yep, the almond milk and hand sanitiser trend was thanks to Tory. Nope, it wasn’t a shopping list.

Last week, as Tory called on some famous friends to join his Instagram lives, he teamed up with Drake. Unsurprisingly, the pair threw fans into a frenzy as they broke the record for hip-hop related IG live with over 315k viewers tuning in, surpassing 6ix9ines previous record. Along with Drake, the likes Megan Thee Stallion and DMX have joined Tory.

More recently, Tory's latest live streams surpassed 350k viewers thanks to a whole lot of twerking and a giant gummy sweet. The twitter reactions were PRICELESS. Although his live capabilities were stripped for a minute, Tory made his come back just in time for the release of his new album, The New Toronto 3. Long live quarantine radio and those incredible ad-libs!

Live producer clashes 

We've tuned in to a fair amount of clashes among heavyweight producers in the UK and beyond in recent weeks. Among the clashes, Skepta has stepped up for the UK grime scene as he's battled it out with Jammer and Jae5 in a light-hearted friendly. It's impossible not to be gassed after tuning it to that.

Of course, no clash would be complete without Wiley chipping in. ICYMI,  he took to Twitter to call out Drake, Ed Sheeran and Boris Johnson for a clash. Forever trolling.

Across the pond, hip-hop producers Swizz Beats and Timbaland went head to head as The Dream, and Sean Garrett were also amongst the musical masterminds getting involved.

Songwriter battles 

If you're an R&B lover, plenty is going on for you too. With an impressive five Grammy awards between them, Ne-Yo and Johntá Austin battled it out. The duo showered fans with a string of their great hits as over 40,000 viewers watched on. With Ne-Yo rolling out bangers including "Take A Bow" and his own jam "Sexy Love" Johntá came with the goods as he took a step back in time with Mariah Carey and Mary J Blige tracks on offer. It was nothing short of a masterpiece.

Unlikely duos 

As some artists are taking the time to jump on lives with fans, Davina McCall stepped up as she flexed her moves with NSG. That's right; a whole Davina McCall nailed the OT bop as fans were delighted to see her pop up. Branded as one "probably the best thing that's happened during this lockdown period" – you've got to check it out!

Showcasing new music 

Along with popping up on Tory's live, Drake has done his fair share of self-promotion during the lockdown period. In case you missed it, Drake took to IG live to preview a whole host of his upcoming music. As he streamed live alongside Mark from his OVO camp, Drizzy played out snippets of his unheard tracks as fans eagerly await his upcoming project. Not content with stopping there, he upped the game and released brand new track "Toosie slide."

Alongside the track, which is bound to become a TikTok hit, Drake stayed inside the four walls of his lavish home as he reinvented MTV cribs. In what looks like the home of a 40-year old mob wife, Drizzy showed off his fresh new dance moves to complement his playful lyrics as he debuted his latest offering.

Young T & Bugsey securing US chart success 

Perhaps one of the greatest musician successes to come out of lockdown is for Britain's very own rising stars, Young T & Bugsey. As their banger "Don't Rush" featuring Headie One has become a staple track for TikTok's #DontRushChallenge, they've flown up the US Charts. Earlier this week, they made it top the Top 20 in the US iTunes chart. At the same time, they sat at number 3 in France. While the fans have contributed massively here, this much-deserved success is ultimately the result of yet another fire offering from the duo! If you like the track, their mixtape Plead The 5th is sure to fill your quarantine days.

With artists digging deep to connect with fans, we can't wait to see what's to come. Even when social distancing is over, we hope this kind of thing lasts!

© 2021 Culture Shift     |     Designed by Rav Kumar