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Friday, December 29, 2006

Interview with Naledge: Getting Fresh

So as I told yall here it is...Shoutout to my man Gotty at for passin' me the rock over there! Its like when Jay put Ja Rule on "Can I Get A" and sparked his career (He's Jay, I'm Ja minus the fallin off). LET'S GO!

Words By Sneek 0f

Sneek: How did you become interested in vintage Polo considering your age?

Naledge: Its crazy because way back when I was younger I was always into Lacoste, Polo, and rugbys and fleeces you know the whole nautical wear. It gets real cold in Chicago and so we like to layer up. As far as the vintage Polo I was always into it but about 3 or 4 years ago I started getting into it real strong. The more you go places and see people you want to step into the room and feel more unique. We’re in an age where people want to be individuals and want to have something exclusive and to have something vintage is dope.

Hip-Hop heads can respect it because if you look back at Grand Puba, and Brand Nubian and what those cats where rocking some of that stuff is still fresh but its hard to find. Also some of the people I’m around now are into Polo like John Monopoly, Twilight Tone, and DJ Word.

Sneek: I heard Just Blaze is into vintage Polo too.

Naledge: Yea Just, is real heavy into it. He is like one of those kids who was always into Polo but couldn’t necessarily afford it as a child so he is just going back and getting all the stuff he couldn’t when he was in high school. Being around all those cats, some of their style has influenced me and some of my style has influenced them but one thing will always remain the same, clothing is like a competition or a sport to see who can get the flyest stuff. And with the vintage gear some pieces are hard to find, sometimes even if you have the money if you don’t have the connect its hard to get.

Sneek: Who is the biggest Polo collector that you know in the industry?

Naledge: Probably DJ Twilight Tone.

Sneek: Do you cop stuff on eBay?

Naledge: I’m not big on the eBay thing because I have so many people around me who are willing to give up the goods for the right price. Just has one of the illest connects but he hardly ever wants to give up the goods.

Sneek: What is the craziest thing you have done for some clothes?

Naledge: Well I had some guys that used to rob trains. They would hit the trains and I would come up off them. Me and one of my homeboys also used to go downtown on Michigan Avenue and try on gear and put it on under whatever we had on. You could only use the skinny dudes cause he could put on three or four outfits and just walk out.

Sneek: What is the clothing scene like out in Chicago? I know it’s a lot of fly people out there and indie brands.

Naledge: Yea we got Phli, Fashion Geek, and Saint Alfred. The Leaders is probably one of the illest stores in Chicago and Self Conscious is also poppin off.

Sneek: What do you think of new trends?

Naledge: We was doing the preppy look way back. Southside kids been doin it, kinda like a fresh b-boy look. Now skate culture has infiltrated a little bit. Certain things like vintage Polo and Yves Saint Laurant will just never go away. Some things are always classic and are always fresh around the way.

Sneek: Any fashion predictions for 2007?

Naledge: I think more cats are getting into accessories now, belts, shades and just doing different things as far as adding on to outfits. It used to be simple you had some jeans a shirt and some cool kicks, but now it’s a little more even with the New Era hats, it’s been taken to a new level of customization.

I think that’s where the Chicago scene is starting to become more about. It’s like if you cant get the ultra-fresh stuff, you want the ultra-exclusive stuff or the ultra-vintage stuff. I just seen a cat with a YSL rugby on and was like man you hurtin’ em. Even the vintage Benneton is hot. The P-wing (Polo) always appealed to me just cause me, going to University of Pennsylvania, the P always symbolized so much, it almost looked like the Penn Relays logo and the colors went with our school colors.

Sneek: What are some other clothing brands that you like?

Naledge: A lot of people send me stuff now just being that I’m an artist so I get a lot of samples. A year or to ago I got into Creative Recreation as far as shoes, I like the way they feel on my feet. Greedy Genius is fly and I have been down with Five Four since day one. They were one of my first sponsors. I also like Alife, Artful Dodger, Obey, and The Hundreds. I like to keep it home though with Fashion Geek and Phli, the same way they want to see me grow as an artist I want to see them grow.

Sneek: What is your definition of "fresh"?

Naledge: I think fresh is being an individual and not necessarily looking like somebody else. Having what you wear explain who you are and having it define you and your own unique style to me is being fresh. One thing I’m not feeling is people thinking they fresh cause they look like the next man or they wearing what everybody else is “supposed” to be wearing. Somebody who is really fresh can make something out of nothing its not about money when it comes to being fresh and being fly.

Sneek: The Kidz In The Hall album School Was My Hustle dropped, tell us about that album title.

Naledge: Where I’m from everybody is like "what do you do?" You have to have some type of purpose or hustle. Some cats was hoopers, some cats were hustling, some cats were all about getting the chicks. For me my hustle was school, most people looked at me like don’t mess with him cause he is a school kid, don’t take him off that path cause he can actually do something. So that was where the title School Was My Hustle came from, I rapped from the point of a schoolboy, someone who has came out of a prestigious institution but at the same time I’m a city kid so I’m going to apply that to a street perspective.

Sneek: How is it being a college graduate in this Hip-Hop industry?

Naledge: I think it helps. As far as knowing people I know a lot of people who started as interns and worked there way up at labels. People also respect you a lot more when they know they can’t get over on you. If you studied business then obviously it’s going to be hard for someone to get something over on you. If you studied marketing then obviously you are going to have some ideas about promoting yourself. School was a way for me to find myself as an individual, an artist, a scholar, and just a man in general.

Sneek: What is upcoming from Naledge?

Naledge: The solo project is coming first this summer, and we're going to do another Kidz In The Hall Album. We still pushing School Was My Hustle, it’s been a blessing that people have accepted the album and it’s been getting good reviews and the buzz on it has been pretty good.

Sneek: Now you have the floor to say whatever you want.

Naledge: Go to the website and my website I’m in a few magazines this month XXL, Mass Appeal, and The Source. Naledge Is Power album coming soon.

Some pics of some vintage Polo:

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