After releasing a conceptually and aesthetically innovative collection in Spring 2007, Rocksmith offers three new tees for Summer 2007 to satisfy fans eagerly awaiting their Fall collection. Format catches up with Erik, Kenshin, and LinYee to discuss the line.

“If we’re feeling party like, we look back at sneaking into the theater to watch House Party 1 or other great anthems that we like to pay tribute to.”

Format: What are each of your favorite pieces from the Rocksmith Spring collection and why?
Erik: ODB Hoody, it’s more of a collector’s item than an article of clothing. I like it because it’s outrageous.

Kenshin: ATLiens tee, it’s simple, classic, and funny even if you don’t know the reference. Plus old Outkast is my shit

LinYee: Humpty tee, this shirt brings it back. I remember slowrolling around the mall parking lot in Houston bumping “Freaks of the Industry” in my friends dropped Honda.

Format: How do you select which hip-hop or cultural icons to reference when designing for Rocksmith?
Erik: It’s a toss up. Sometimes the ideas are from the Tokyo chapter, sometimes from the NYC side. We try to visually present our season theme through the mood of these references. If we’re feeling party like, we look back at sneaking into the theater to watch House Party 1 or other great anthems that we like to pay tribute to. Rocksmith is basically like a mixtape with a playlist. Our partner, DJ Masterkey, played alongside a young Notorious B.I.G. at one of the first Lyricist Lounge parties while with his group Buddah Brand. Masterkey and the rest of The Life Ent. helped pioneer hip-hop and that club culture in Japan, and still kill it two days a week on radio and in clubs. On the design side, I have always been in music, worked with major labels designing myself and Lin has backgrounds in throwing events. Shit, Kenshin interned with Special K while in college. The music side comes natural, from all sides of our crew.


Format: Rocksmith designs reference hip-hop culture, but, for someone unfamiliar with the inspirations, the designs are still aesthetically pleasing. Have you had any interesting responses to your designs from people who didn’t know what you were referencing?
Erik: I think it just has a universal appeal to it. Partially because it is designed for two markets, primarily on each side of the world, North America and Japan. It’s also not just about the music reference, it’s also about how it looks on you. It is fashion. We get a lot of love from non hip-hop heads because of that. About a month ago, some drunk girl at Supreme Trading tried to steal my ATLliens [Me&You&Your Mamma&Your Cousin Too] tee off my back. She had no idea about the song reference, she just thought it was some reference to a foursome, weird. It’s fun to see if people get it!

Format: Please take Format through the Rocksmith Summer 2007 collection.
LinYee: Rocksmith Summer delivery is really exciting. We’ve dropped three strong custom body summer tees, one which is a collab tee with Complete Technique Jewelry. We actually did a Rocksmith x Complete Technique mixtape pendant a while back and this is a great follow-up to it. Our “Don’t Sweat the Technique” Tee pays homage to Erik B & Rakim’s classic record. The “Notorious” Tee comes in white and mint and has an abstracted Coogi print. The stars on the “Kool Moe Dee” Tee are an all over discharge.
Fall is next level. We are showing it privately in Barcelona, then the big Premier will be at Fosho Foshow, this August in Las Vegas. It’s a much bigger collection this time around. We have been getting a crazy response, and are about light the game up.


Shane Ward

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  1. I always feel like they bitin’ with they shirts. They never come up with a dope signature design.

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