Pusha T Calls BAPE the Greatest Streetwear Brand of All Time
Last week, BAPE celebrated their 10-year anniversary with a star-studded event that concluded with a performance from G.O.O.D. Music rapper and BAPE supporter, Pusha T. Before the festivities, the former Clipse man met with different media outlets to discuss his limited 10-year anniversary collab with the Japanese brand and the importance of A Bathing Ape to streetwear culture. Push attributed a lot of his experiences and growth to the popular streetwear company and went down memory lane to recapture some of his fondest memories on the brand.
Alongside his brother and fellow Clipse member Malice and Pharrell's Star Trak record label, Pusha T and friends can be credited for the success of the BAPE brand in the U.S., as well as the strong connection between the clothing line and hip-hop. With BAPE releasing their Pusha T collaboration worldwide to the masses this Saturday, May 2, XXL caught up with the Virginia MC to speak on his collaboration and his love for BAPE brand. —Roger Krastz
XXL: Tell me about the importance of the BAPE brand in streetwear culture.
Pusha T: BAPE is the greatest of all time when it comes to streetwear culture to me. I feel like there's no other streetwear brand that has made their brand such a lifestyle-type of brand. The importance of branding has never been executed as well in streetwear culture other than BAPE. I'm different. I've been going to BAPE anniversary parties since 2003 in Japan. You know, Nigo's Rolls Royce, the head of it, had BAPE interior and the head of the Rolls Royce came up, like, diamond encrusted. I'm from that era of this. I was there at the BAPE cafe when I didn't know BAPE had a cafe. I was mind blown, as a lover of fashion, as a kid from Virginia coming there, [it] was too much for me.
As part of the BAPE 10-year anniversary you did a collab with the brand. How long has that been in the works?
Man, that might've started like six months ago.
What was the story you wanted to tell with the collab?
Well, I wanted to personify my music in the collab and that was number one for me. Number two, I felt sort of like, you know, I use the term "Fresh out the pot," in regards to the BAPE head logo being made of base and with the pyrex lines through it, but that's how I sort of felt, like we were fresh out the pot with BAPE. Meaning my crew, meaning Star Trak, meaning Pharrell, meaning the Clipse, you know, when it first hit. It was 2002 for me. Shout out to Beastie Boys, they were before us I know that, but the frenzy started with us.
What do you think is needed for a good collaboration between an artist and a clothing brand?
It has to have a story and I think once you have that story you don't need much else. There's a story, I feel like, in my collab, and man, you know, people have to be able to link it back with you. I think when you look at my design it goes directly back to Pusha T. You know exactly whose design that is. [Laughs] So to me that's a win.
Could we expect another BAPE collab with you later down the line?
You know, I attribute a lot of my growth, a lot of my experiences, a lot of my views to my experiences in Japan and with BAPE. I have a clothing line, Play Cloths, I've had it for seven years now. It would not have been possible without BAPE. You know what it is, it's like Pharrell asking me for a verse. It's just certain things you don't have to ask me because you have to pay homage at all times. So I gotta pay homage to P and BAPE. Those two are definites, and I could probably think of a couple more, but just a couple more.
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