Featuring: Vikki Tobak, Fab 5 Freddy, Janette Beckman, Cey Adams, April Walker, Yo-Yo, Brian B+ Cross, Estevan Oriol, Mike Miller, Jorge Peniche and Amanda Demme with DJ Jihaari
Contact High Project
FRIDAY, April 26 | 7:30PM
We will be hosting nighttime events in our Smorgasburg Beer Garden. We invite you to bring your picnic blanket, sweater and your friends to camp out under the stars and be prepared for some extraordinary visual storytelling.
The evening programming is free to attend and there is no need to RSVP. Just show up and enjoy!
Join us for an evening celebrating the visual legacy and power of Hip-Hop.
From street-style entrepreneurialism with April Walker, to Mashing it up with Janette Beckman and Cey Adams to capturing the LA moment with Yo-Yo, Amanda Demme, Brian B+ Cross, Estevan Oriol, Mike Miller, Jorge Peniche — We salute the cultural moments that defined a music genre. Hosted by Contact High Author and Curator Vikki Tobak and Hip-Hop legend Fab 5 Freddy. With grooves supplied by DJ Jihaari
April Walker is a game-changer and one of the trailblazers and a savvy businesswoman that inspired a streetwear fashion lifestyle category into becoming a multi-billion industry. As the creator of “Walker Wear” apparel in the early ‘90’s, her brand was one of the first to implement product placements and secure celebrity endorsements from Tupac, to Notorious BIG to Beavis and Butt-Head. Also, the brand was one of the first open department store / chain store distribution for streetwear and command millions in sales. Offering a mesh of fashion and function, her designs helped catapult Walker as a phenomenon in the industry. With the resurgence of the fashion brand “Walker Wear”, the brand has been featured in Essence, ENVSN Fest, PowerHERful Foundation, Harlem’s Row, New York Times, TMZ, a Ford Campaign, Hypebeast, Huffington Post, Wax Poetics, CNN’s documentary “Fresh Dressed”, The Brooklyn Museum’s Sneaker Exhibition, with an AMEX Open Forum, Barclay Center (Black History Month), The Combat Jack Show, and more.
The Brooklyn native’s entrepreneurial senses kicked in as a teenager when she started teaching gymnastics and selling t-shirts. At 21, she opened her first custom shop, called “Fashion In Effect”, making clothes for MC Lyte, Shaggy, Audio Two and Shinehead. As the visionary behind these fashion styles, she took her business acumen to another level by launching a styling division that was responsible for numerous images and appeared in countless videos, including BIG, EPMD, RUN-DMC, Queen Latifah, TUPAC, Aliyah, R-Kelly, Naughty By Nature, SHAQ, Snoop, to name a few. Her brand has been featured in legendary films such as “Higher Learning, Above the Rim, Clockers, All Eyez on Me, Straight Outta Compton, Notorious, Unsolved, and most recently The Last OG”.
As a consultant, Walker’s worked with an array of clients such as Classic Media (Dreamworks), Spectrum (MLB Licensee), Mercury Footwear, Money Clothing, UNIVERSAL, MOTOWN, Priority Records, Flavor Unit, ECKO, and Champion. Wearing a different hat, Walker has worked under the direction of Russell Simmons, as SVP for Phat Farm. She also kickstarted a women’s brand called Dimes under the sports brand, “And-1” umbrella.
As the brand evangelist spreading “Walkergems” via social media, Walker offers virtual mentorship, empowering one another, igniting the spirit of entrepreneurship by information and inspiration they need to design the lives they imagine. She also implements #BYOB workshops for scholars or professionals. “By nurturing innovative talent, today’s creative people and entrepreneurs are one step closer to realizing their dreams.” Recently, Walker’s penned her first five-star book available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at walkerwear.com called “Walkergems, Get Your A$% Off The Couch”. The audio book is scheduled to drop soon.
Vikki Tobak is the author of “Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop”. She is a journalist whose writing has appeared in The Fader, Complex, Mass Appeal, Paper, i-D, the Detroit News, Vibe, The Undefeated and many others. She is a former producer and columnist for CBS, CNN, Bloomberg News, and other leading media organizations. Vikki got her start as a culture editor for Paper magazine before going on to work at Payday Records/Empire Management working with groups including Gang Starr, Mos Def, Show and AG, Jeru and other hip-hop legends of the golden era. Vikki is also the founding curator of FotoDC’s film program and served as the art commissioner/curator for the Palo Alto Public Art Commission in Silicon Valley. She has lectured about music photography at American University, The National Gallery of Art, SXSW, The Schomburg Center, Library of Congress, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.
YoYo is a rapper and actress whose music is notable for its feminist messages. Raised in the South Central district of Los Angeles, her big break came when she appeared on Ice Cube’s 1990 debut, AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, duetting on “It’s A Man’s World,” representing her gender in admirable style. Her own long-playing debut introduced her combative attitude, with frequent interjections from Ice Cube’s Da Lench Mob posse. YoYo’s insight was later confirmed by her leading role in the formation of the Intelligent Black Women’s Coalition. Her 1992 album Black Pearl is among her best known. As an actress, she is perhaps most famous for her role as Keylolo on the 90s sitcom Martin. In 2013, she began running a musical academy called the YoYo School of Hip Hop. YoYo is currently the co-host of the #1 nationally syndicated radio show for women of color, Café Mocha, alongside Emmy Award Winner Loni Love and broadcast veteran Angelique Perrin. The show is heard in over 35 markets across the United States and on SiriusXM Channel 141.
Janette Beckman is a British-born photographer who now lives and works in New York City. She began her career at the dawn of punk rock working for music magazines. Moving to New York City in 1983 she photographed hip hop pioneers including Run DMC, Slick Rick, and LL Cool J. Her work has been shown in galleries and museums worldwide She is represented by the Fahey Klein Gallery in Los Angeles. Beckman continues to chronicle sub-cultures of our generation in addition to working on shoots for fashion brands such as Levi’s, and Dior.
Cey Adams, a New York City native, emerged from the downtown graffiti movement to exhibit alongside fellow artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. As the Creative Director of Def Jam Recordings, he created visual identities, album covers, logos, and campaigns for Run DMC, Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Notorious B.I.G., Maroon 5, and Jay-Z. Today Adams’ work focuses on themes including Pop Culture, brand identity, cultural, and community issues. He recently collaborated with Levi’s, Converse, Pabst Blue Ribbon, YouTube, and Google.
Estevan Oriol is an internationally celebrated professional photographer, director and urban lifestyle entrepreneur. Beginning his career as a hip-hop club bouncer turned tour manager for popular Los Angeles-based rap groups Cypress Hill and House of Pain, Estevan’s passion for photography developed while traveling the world. With an influential nudge and an old camera from his father, renowned photographer Eriberto Oriol, Estevan began documenting life on the road and established a name for himself amid the emerging hip-hop scene.
Nearly 20 years later, Oriol’s extensive portfolio juxtaposes the glamorous and gritty planes of LA culture, featuring portraits of famous athletes, artists, celebrities and musicians as well as Latino, urban, gang, and tattoo culture lifestyles. He has photographed Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Dennis Hopper, Ryan Gosling, Chloë Grace Moretz, Marissa Miller, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Floyd Mayweather, and others. He has also produced shoots for internationally-acclaimed photographers such as Ellen von Unwerth for Sang Bleu, and Luca Babini for GQ Italy.
In addition to shooting campaigns for companies including Cadillac, Nike and Rockford Fosgate and directing new media projects for My Cadillac Stories, MetroPCS, MTV and Apple, Estevan has designed album covers and/or directed music videos for artists including Eminem, Cypress Hill, Blink 182, Snoop Dogg and Xzibit.
His work has been showcased in select galleries and institutions—such as Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives, Mesa Contemporary Art Center, Petersen Automotive Museum, and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles’ Art in the Streets exhibit—concluding with a best-selling books of his work: LA Woman, L.A. Portraits, and This Is Los Angeles, capturing the dangerous gangsters, lowriders, musicians, celebrities, L.A. lifestyle and alluring beauty of women shot in his uniquely provocative and raw style. His photography has been featured in Complex, FHM, Juxtapoz, GQ, Vibe, Rolling Stone and other publications, with appearances on popular television shows such as CNN’s Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, CNN’s Street Food with Roy Choi, HBO’s Entourage and Last Call With Carson Daly.
Internationally acclaimed photographer and director Mike Miller. A native of Los Angeles, Miller is widely known for his iconic images chronicling the rise of the West Coast hip hop scene.
Miller grew up on the Westside, attending Santa Monica public schools. His teen years were impeccably timed, growing up in the early days of punk and hip hop. He went on to graduate from UCLA in the mid-1980s and decamped for Europe, ending up in Paris, where he briefly made ends meet by painting houses. While in Europe, super model Linda Evangelista gave him his first camera, a Nikon F2 passed on from Peter Lindberg. Miller began photographing in earnest and quickly proved gifted for the craft. Within months he was traveling across Europe to shoot campaigns for Cacharel and other major fashion houses.
When Miller returned home to L.A., his fashion work caught the eye of record labels such as EMI and by the late 1980s, he was shooting artists as varied as girl rockers The Go-Go’s and Heart, to jazz players such as Stan Getz and Herb Alpert. Miller, however, grew up a hip-hop fan, listening to 1580 AM, KOAY, the first 24-hour hip-hop station in the country. In 1989, he snapped his first rap-related cover, for the original N.W.A. group member, Arabian Prince along with his debut solo album. This was the beginning of Miller’s long history of shooting the key figures on the West Coast rap scene, thorough ly compiled in his monograph West Coast Hip-Hop and the subject of his in-progress documentary about the influence of this region’s hip-hop culture on the rest of the world.
Miller’s most recognized images of artist Eazy-E, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac Shakur, along with never before seen photographs depicting the time, culture, and community that gave birth to West Coast rap.
Mike Miller (b. 1964) lives and works in Los Angeles. His work has been included in recent exhibitions at The New York Public Library and The Oakland Museum of California and has been acquired by the by the collections of the Smithsonian, Getty Museum and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, among others.