#CHRISTOPHER KEVIN AU - IZM
Photography by Lily Austin
Edited by Olivia Suleimon
"It's funny because rap guys were like,
'I don't like him because he likes Chief Keef and Nicki Minaj.'
When I started in streetwear it was the same thing.
'I don't like him because his jeans are too skinny.'
I felt like people only really started taking me seriously after I started collaborating and getting cosigners from some of the older guys, who were more open minded about it."
"They've loved rap for the past 2 decades but they're still open to the newer generation of artists and the newer generation of fans, which I think is how people should be because there's literally nothing sadder than seeing a washed-up rap dude who still wants to believe that it's 1996, do you know what I mean?
They'll look down on people being like,
'You don't have Nas's entire discography on fucking vinyl.'
I get it, like I respect all the dudes who did it before me. I respect those guys obviously because without them there would be no us, but like at the same time you've still got to be open minded about the way that the music industry is progressing. Not saying that you have to like everything, but it's not 1996 forever."
"Every great thing in history has been polarising.
love seeing how mad old rap dudes get about Young Thug, they just don't get it.
Young Thug will go out there and he'll just blatantly say the majority of his wardrobe is women's clothing and he will be randomly posing next to Elton John, he's also from Atlanta and people just don't get it. It's so confusing to them that they can't stop talking about him, so whose really winning in the end?"
"I grew up in a multicultural area but like it was never cool to be Asian. You'd get teased for the way you look, the food you ate and shit like that."
"There was that big thing in the 90's in south west Sydney, you know, Vietnamese drug dealers and shit. I couldn't go out to Kings Cross. I couldn't have a night out without police, security, people just asking for drugs and stuff all the time.
People were like,
'It's because of the way you dress'
but at the same time, I should be able to wear whatever the fuck I want and not be accused of selling drugs."
"Now it's like, I see a lot of kids wearing shirts with Asian writing on the sleeves, Asian writing on the back, the whole Japanese Kawaii culture and you also see hipsters wearing those Mandarin collar shirts, that's become a thing too."
"I have so much respect for any Asians who work in creative industries like rappers, designers, DJ's, producers and writers too. I know that traditionally thats not an Asian avenue of profession that you're supposed to go down."