What is hip-hop?
Most people think of music when they think of hip-hop. Whether it be rap, beats, or dance. But the beautiful thing about hip-hop culture is that it’s so much more than music. It’s a culture driven by art and there are so many different mediums. Hip-hop artists are more than just rappers and dancers. A large part of the culture can be found in the streets.
Last Friday, We Out Here visited HiiiTop Gallery located on the 8th floor of The Portland Storage Co. Building on S.E. Morrison & 2nd. There we saw the other side of hip-hop culture. The studio was filled with clothing, paintings, fashion accessories and graffiti covered walls. Not to mention the soundtrack created by Trox filling the space as well.
The art of DeAngelo Raines (a.k.a DELO) was scattered about the studio. Most commonly known as a musician who has played with the Portland group The Love Loungers, his talent translates well across the board. A lot of his work shows inspiration from his music like this piece from his Ghtoblst series.
DELO also teamed up with Vincent Magee to create the brand Vice & Virtue. The duo displayed urban fashion accessories that combined style and function. Leather satchels and bags with tribal patterns and designs were bought throughout the evening by those who know good fashion when they see it.
Jay Jankans (a.k.a. Jayyo) also brought in fashion to be displayed. His brand RO.BO, which stands for Real Outcast Become Original, offers a variety of tees, tanks, sweatshirts and jackets. The simplistic design of the RO.BO mouth accents tops for both men and women in a rainbow of colors. The famous RO.BO can be seen on many items as well, including the classic RO.BO crewneck.
Beyond the art displayed for sale, the room itself was adorned with graffiti, giving it a real urban hip-hop feel. Artists Jeremy Nichols and Cole Kent created the masterpiece seen in the backdrop of the featured image at the top of the page. As evidence of their work, cans of spray paint lined the floor and added to the vibe.
For those who were unable to catch the open studio, the art displayed can now be seen by appointment only. Vice & Virtue and RO.BO gear will be available online and in stores for purchase soon. For more details use the contact info listed below.