With redwood-sized roots in graffiti, skateboard and tattoo cultures, Mike Giant and business partner Josh D. of REBEL8 have been sketching, tagging, burning, biking and raging through the streetwear industry since 2003, always putting out the cleanest, meanest drops imaginable; typically featuring killer babes, skulls, snakes and imagery inspired by the other side of the border, REBEL8 lines more often than not pay tribute to those influences all at once (check The Muerte II Tee, top right).
The love for heavy metal and hip hop music is not lost on each design, and we would be complete idiots not to mention that all works are the exact, hand-illustrated replications of Mike’s art; no digitized, vector format-fucked, compromised trash on these tees. Just that one, small piece of authenticity separates REBEL8 from many of the mass-produced brands on the wrong side of McFashion, and just one of many reasons why we love these dudes.
The first, and most obvious reason, is the art of each design itself. Where Joshy has the business side of REBEL8 on lock, Giant is a dedicated student of not just graffiti and tattooing, but architecture as well – study the prints long enough, remember that they are hand-produced, and you’ll see the connection soon after your mind is recovering from being blown to fucking smithereens. The lines are simply ridiculous, almost unfathomable, requiring a steady, patient hand that only drawing blueprints and constant working with the ink gun for hours upon hours on end could provide. For further proof, just Google/Yahoo! search “Mike Giant Art.” Dude is on-point like heroin addicts.