Within the street culture community SLICK is a modern day renaissance man. Renowned not only for his graffiti prowess, SLICK has been an OG in the streetwear game having a founding role in Fuct, Sholin Worldwide, and Third Rail Clothing. â€œBefore streetwear was even called streetwearâ€ SLICK has been down.
Born in Hawaii but later moving to Los Angeles at the age of 18, SLICK was surrounded by the burgeoning L.A. graffiti culture. He soon became immortalized in the scene associating with the renowned K.II.S (Kill to Succeed) crew. It wasnâ€™t long until SLICK had come up and made a name for him in the west coast streets. He has since expanded his repertoire to cover music videos, art installations, and even movies.
The name Dissizit means this is it and was adapted by Slick from the film Style Wars. Dissizit stays true to SLICKâ€™s graffiti roots by using his traditional hand-styles and large striking graphics throughout the line. Designs like the Vive Le tee are sure to get looks, featuring sprawled graffiti over a barbed wire background. SLICK has his sights set high on taking over the game, in his words, â€œWe are already doing it now. We just want to do it on a larger scale.â€
â€œThe parallel I see with streetwear and graf is the element of getting up. Like our predecessors got up on trains, we get up on clothing.â€
Format: Hi SLICK, Please introduce Dissizit and yourself.
SLICK: Hey what up! Itâ€™s the OG SLICK in the motherfucking house! As far as my credentials, Iâ€™ve been in the streetwear game even before it was called streetwear and doing graf even before that. For more info on me, go to my site www.dissizslix.com and click on about SLICK. Sorry, Iâ€™ve been too busy to update it this past two years but itâ€™s pretty on point for anything 2005 and before.
Format: How do you think your background in graffiti has impacted the development of the brand thus far? Are there any parallels between the graffiti world and the streetwear world?
SLICK: It started out strictly for the graf heads, because I am so into the art. But as we grew, we chose to highlight other facets of our culture, never forgetting where we came from. The parallel I see with streetwear and graf is the element of getting up. Like our predecessors got up on trains, we get up on clothing. You can go mainstream and sellout for cheap, and get up on a gang of shit at a lower price point or keep your shit so limited and overpriced that only a handful of people can appreciate it. I donâ€™t think you have to necessarily put straight graf on shirts to be street â€“ itâ€™s an attitude.
What the fuck is graf anyway? Itâ€™s grown so much from just scrawled tags. Itâ€™s now letters, characters, murals, stickers, wheat pasting, Xeroxing, roller paint, laser projections, animation, little light, stencils and, yes, even the lost art of aerosol can control is graffiti nowadays â€“ anything goes.
Format: In your mind, is there a specific consumer that you are trying to reach?
SLICK: The brand is for anybody who appreciates our culture, the lifestyle, the music, the humor, and most definitely, the art.
Format: What are some goals, in regards to Dissizit that you have not yet achieved?
SLICK: We are currently working on establishing ourselves as a full range, multimedia design studio where the clothing is just a division. We are already doing it now. We just want to do it on a larger scale.
Format: Artists including KAWS and FUTURA have had great success transitioning into the apparel business. Did you learn anything from their experiences?
SLICK: As happy as I am with their success, Iâ€™m really too busy myself with my own day to day bullshit to keep up with what my contemporaries are doing. I do know they aligned themselves with some of the bigger players in the game in the `90s in Japan, which was key to their success now. Unlike myself, who hid away during much of the `90s behind drugs and was trying to do everything myself. I do know FUTURA was a big influence in my early graf years. If you see some of my early pieces, you could see the heavy FUTURA influence. Iâ€™m hoping we can all collaborate on a project together, SLICK, KAWS, and FUTURA. Dang, that would be the shit!
Format: When youâ€™re designing clothes do you try to predict what will be popular, or do you just focus on your personal preferences.
SLICK: I used to design only shit I liked, then I realized everyone isnâ€™t me. It kept us real limited. Now, I try and have a more open mind to what our peoples will like, not just me.
Format: Is it important to create hand drawn graphics at a time where so much apparel design is done on computers?
SLICK: Drawing and computer graphics are all just tools. I donâ€™t think it matters if itâ€™s hand drawn or computer generated; itâ€™s all about the concept. If itâ€™s a weak concept, itâ€™s a weak concept. If itâ€™s a strong concept, then you can draw it with your left foot and it should still rock! Lately, Iâ€™ve been using my own hand-styles incorporated in some of our graphics to soften the coldness of some of our graphics and bring some realness and the human element back into the line.
Format: Do you hope that fans of Dissizit will want to learn more about the history of graffiti?
SLICK: I think many of the fans already know. I donâ€™t think itâ€™s our job to educate them â€“like the late Biggie says, â€˜Now if you donâ€™t know, now you know nigga!â€
Format: How did your relationship with La Coka Nostra come about?
SLICK: LCN is the brainchild of my boy Danny Boy Oâ€™Connor of House of Pain fame. Iâ€™ve known Danny for years, frequenting the same watering holes. It hasnâ€™t been till more recently that we actually put our heads together and came up with the hot shit for Dissizit and his group LCN. I think another reason things have been really clicking for us is the fact that we are both sober but far from clean. We still both dirty as fuck, just without the drugs and alcohol. I also think we both done this and done that and both made a lot of loot and fucked off a lot of shit during our short careers so that everything we do now is not by luck.
Format: Describe the experience of working with Disney and participating in the BLOC28 art exhibition.
SLICK: Having so much childhood memories with Disney, it was an honor to be a part of new Disney history. What we do now will influence the next generation of young people who are touched by Disney. The release party was exceptionally fun because they had me go into the space three days prior to the exhibit and cut me loose. They even built an actual bus stop for the event that we crushed the hell out of. The fact that Disney is even open to such an exhibit shows how far graf has come full circle into mainstream. There are some who are anti-graf hitting the mainstream but it is as American as apple pie.
Format: What is on the horizon for Dissizit, any surprises or collaborations in the near future?
SLICK: Eventually, Iâ€™d like to have an entire design house and design team designing everything from tees to outer wear, from fixed gear bikes to cars, from toys to 30-foot sculptures, from store displays to entire living environments, from short films to full-length animated features. Itâ€™s limitless.
More Info: http://www.dissizit.com