Jersey City. Where vibrant culture breeds creativity to the furthest extent. Where voices and hands can erupt into full-fledged combat, or come together in harmonious synchronicity. Where a blank stage is the canvas for tongues to paint masterpieces, and those of the visual arts pride themselves amongst unified originality. A mecca that births passion. A foundation for creative ventures. A soul-seeking resemblance of all those who keep the city upright and fruited. This is the truth of truths, and it felt good to be home.
The Sayless event hosted by ProVision was held at Café Sole on Communipaw Ave, right down the street from the infamous Crown Chicken and Lincoln High School. CUTS being official sponsors of the event, I arrived early (as I tend to do) just to get a feel of what was in store for the night. I immediately ran into street art extraordinaire WarrOne of SNC (Society Needs Culture) and chopped it up a bit while moving tables out of the venue and into the connecting parking lot. The night was far from beginning but as I sparked a cig under the only shade I could find, one by one, artists were pulling in to set up their pieces and claim their spots in and around the venue. I had picked up digital screen prints for our Visual Director, “True”, who was also an artist displaying his talent at the Sayless event, and hung them up with generous help from WarrOne.
True x Mr. Mustart
Gus of ProVision
Although many of the creatives that attended were people I have known for quite some time, I’ve been living in Seattle for the last four years as well. So one of the dopest parts of the visit was being able to shake hands with artists and entities that I had only experienced via the internet.
I ran into emcee Crime Apple who was set to perform later in the night, along with “Jersey City Made Me” founder and author Abib Ascencio. Abib’s creative talent stems from old-school style photos of modern day Jersey City, but touches upon the essence that we all grew up in. Her brand of art was hung up with chaotic control, featuring shots of bodegas and cultural representations of the city itself. Iritadescence was also present, displaying her artistic strength through vibrant light composure that gleamed off of reflective materials that patterned the walls. It was breathtaking, and definitely a touch of ambiance that I have never experienced before. Chase Trav of the 6thBoro Collective was also a time travel for me, as he and I used to work together on music back when I was spitting bars. I have always been in tune with his abilities as an instrumentalist, but that night he had drawings of Mos Def and the cover of “The Purple Tape” pressed up against the sheet rock of the venue right next to the entrance for all to see. Our East Coast Ambassador Barron Wilson, tacked up a few photos he had captured throughout the year in NY and NJ and enlightened the viewer with his unique photographic perspective. It was crazy how talented the artists were in different forms. People who I had known to be masters of one craft professed their skills in art forms I was unaware they had knowledge of.
Eric the Thrift Chief
Per the usual, I grabbed a beer and mixed a drink at the upstairs balcony bar and proceeded to search around for people to poly with. I spotted Eric the Thrift Chief posted up out back with the dope array of thrift clothing he is known for. I have always been a fan of his selections, as he makes it so simple to find the coolest pieces the Tri-State area has to offer. Of course there was a bunch of ladies going through the racks of clothes and posing with their newly bought items, making the event that much more rounded. The big homie Alaska of Dead Since 1987 was in the building as well, fitted with his traditional dad hats and memorabilia. Dead Since has been a favorite of mine for the greater part of the year, as we had the opportunity to interview Alaska and find out the more intricate details behind his punk rock inspiration for designs. “Hood Buys Anything” shirts by Villainous NY were EVERYWHERE, accompanied by threads created by Mad Limited who I had heard of through True, but never had the chance to peep the realness. The conglomerate of talent was by far such an inspiring streetwear phenom that I tend to take for granted back in Seattle. Dudes are really out here pushing their ideas into reality, and all I could do was stand their like a fanboy looking for the illest creations I could find.
As the sun went down and the night air cut through the intense humidity, the speakers inside the venue started pumping out classics. DJ Obvious of Contemporary Negro (who I’ve known since I was about 8 or so, believe it or not) and my follow Caribbean bredrin Bizznice were set to support the entire musical presentation. Between nostalgic industry tracks and original material, they kept each performance together and allowed us enough time to get some fresh air in between each hiphop set. Crime Apple started it off acapella style spitting the realness- “The outside is ill and they callin’ for medicine. Some take it to the face, others injecting it. To some it’s a rush and to others a sedative. Relatives in back rooms smoking and sniffing shit. You smell crack fumes and you never forget the scent”. Rap duo PETEYxKRAZE bumped up the intensity a bit with heavy production and stage presence, jumping around and getting everyone amp’d. CUTS Alumni Ki Bohiti was most definitely in the building with his 7Triiibes affiliates. Bohiti performed tracks off of his newest project entitled “AMERIKiiiN GUNN” that dropped just a few days prior to the event. Harlem is always representing every time Lex Lavo is in the building, and when you get a chance, ask em’ who’s in the kitchen. WEPAAAA AYEEEEEE
All in all, the entire night was a huge success. Shout out to each artist that came through and not only implemented their craft, but also represented the culture. We need more events like this to keep the soul alive within the city, and help birth the next generation of creative minds. A big shout out to Gus and ProVision for making this happen, and allowing us to be a part of an amazing night. Until next time. Peace.
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