I literally just got home from watching Jay-Z and Kanye West kill it at the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles. They were in town for their Watch The Throne Tour, and my God did they have all of us watch the damn throne. It was such a monumental time in music and in my life personally. Being able to watch Jay-Z, my favorite artist of all time, perform live is something that I will never forget the rest of my life. Everything I've heard about his ability to perform live were all true. From his breath control to his crowd control, he really is a master of his craft and I respect him twice as much after seeing it all in person.
Kanye To The. Kanye really stole the show in my opinion because I already knew what to expect from Jay, but Kanye just surprised the hell out of me. His stage presence is amazing. His individualism is exactly that; individualism. Dude was wearing a black t-shirt with an insane graphic, leather pants or leggings, and a leather kilt. There was a segment during the show after they performed "Made In America" that really stuck with me. Kanye had the violins going as he spoke to the crowd, "Everyone tells you to be humble, be humble, be humble. When was the last time someone told you to be great? Be great everybody. Be great! Be amazing!"
A salute to you Kanye for being such an inspiration. Now, if anyone has been wondering where I've been and why I haven't been posting, I just haven't felt like it. For the past few months, since my last post in September, I just haven't really felt like I had the material that were up to par. I've come to a full circle since then and have revamped what I want to do with this blog as well as what I want on it.
Thank you to those who've stayed loyal and to those who constantly ask me about the blog. Back to what I do best and that's to provide you guys with photos to look at. All taken by Ken "K. Sole" Soleta of course.
The weather has been cold lately out here in Los Angeles, and by cold, I mean cold for us Angelenos. My favorite piece by far this season is the vest by Gap. I can throw it on top of another light jacket like I did here, or on a shawl cardigan that I love so much. Such a versatile piece of clothing and something definitely worth investing in.
Another item I'd like to highlight is the vintage Citizen watch I am wearing in the photos. It's an old watch that my dad wore all the time before he passed away. My mom recently got the band replaced and passed it on to me. I've been wearing it everyday since then. It means so much to me and is definitely my favorite accessory.
Last, but not least, a BIG thank you to my girlfriend who made this day possible. She woke up extra early when they first sold the tickets for the Watch The Throne Tour and purchased them for me. You single-handedly crossed off one of my biggest goals on my bucket list and I'm glad I was able to experience it with you.
Until the next post, remember, be amazing.
First and foremost, I want to apologize for the lack of updates these past few weeks. My friend K. Sole has been extremely busy with school, and August is just a busy month for me in general due to birthdays including my own. Other than being busy, it's also because I've taken a step back and really analyzed where I started out with this blog, where it has gotten me, and what I am planning to do to keep it moving forward. When I decided to launch this blog, I made sure everything I did was original to ME, but as time went on, I realized I started to sway away from that and did things to please others. Other bloggers to be specific. It's a very common pit to fall into, but I never imagined myself falling in it and I'm glad I caught myself before I fell any deeper. It may not be anybody else's business, but I just felt it was appropriate to share with my readers.
With that said, here are some photos K. Sole snapped of me this past Sunday.
Cardigan by H&M White V-Neck by Hanes Selvaged Jeans by GAP Belt by GAP Watch by Kenneth Cole "Jamford" Suede Oxfords by Polo Ralph Lauren
The main thing I want to point out from this outfit are the suede oxfords I picked up recently. It's always a great experience to find a pair of beautiful shoes by Ralph Lauren at a reasonable price. I just love how versatile they are. They can easily be dressed up, or worn down. These will definitely be worn all throughout fall and winter. I don't really mind them being suede since it never snows here in Los Angeles or rarely does it rain.
Here's a more detailed photo of them.
Not detailed enough? Here's another one.
As you can tell, I am completely obsessed with these shoes. I've always been a shoe guy to begin with, and these are just lovely. Can't wait to wear these out later on this season!
PS: This is complete off topic, but for anyone around the Los Angeles area and have no where to go for Fashion Night Out, come through the GAP store in the Glendale Galleria for some drinks and live music. They'll be hosting a party from 6pm-11pm. K. Sole and I will be there covering the event. See you all there!
It’s been a week since Diji’s first official mixtape dropped and he’s already playing me new tracks from the next project he has been working on. I tell him to calm down and stay in the moment, but that’s just who Diji is. Migrating from a third world country at the age of 12, he truly embodies the spirit of a kid chasing the American dream. We walked around Downtown LA discussing all sorts of topics from the concept of his mixtape to his love for fashion. Read and you might just find out who the f*ck Diji really is.
When people read the title of the mixtape, they might think it’s another cliché way to title an introductory mixtape. I have a feeling it’s deeper than that.
It IS deeper than that. When we decided to make the mixtape and call it Who The F*ck Is Diji?!, it was so that I can introduce myself to people through my strengths and skills in rap, but due to our team's conflicting schedules, the tape kept being pushed back and was constantly pending from being released. This gave me time to write more material, but more importantly, to really find myself as an artist. The mixtape, for me at least, started drifting away from a statement to a question that I asked myself: who the fuck AM I? What kind of music represents me? The mixtape doesn't only serve as an introductory mixtape to people that have never heard of me, but it also helped me find my niche.
I truly believe that finding your niche is very important regardless of what line of work you are involved in. How did finding your niche help with your development as an artist?
I remember my manager asking me during one of our earlier meetings "What is your niche? Why do you rap? Who do you rap for?". I never really was able to answer the question. Not until now, but verbally I still wouldn't be able to. I can definitely answer that question through my music. The wait for WTFID gave me time to really think about what my niche is, and looking into it helped me develop as an artist because now I feel more secured as to what my music represents. I'm more clean-cut and feel like I'm not jumping from subject to subject anymore. I guess you can say that finding my niche helped develop myself as an artist because I found what I represented, and I show that through my music.
Speaking of your manager, how did that relationship come about? Well, I had a friend in high school that knew him when he was rapping. My friend introduced me to him, and that was it from there. Having a mentor like him really help develop my skills. To come to think about it, I probably wouldn't be rapping right now if I never met him. Whattup Yanne!
On your track "Lobby Life", you mention that you listen to Waka Flocka and House of Balloons. Those are two completely different genres of music. I'm very interested to know what you had on your iTunes while recording WTFID. I was listening to a bunch of different shit. My girlfriend introduced me to other types of music other than rap. I was listening to indie, hardcore rock, rap, and all kinds of music. I just became more open minded as I grew older. Listening to different artists from different genres inspired me to take their passion and use it to spark my own. I just love music, plain and simple.
Other than music, what else inspires you not just as an artist, but a person in general? It might come off as a surprise, but a whole lot of other things inspire me. From shit I learned in my art history class, to the aesthetics of clothing. I try to tie it all together to help me grow as an artist.
Being that The Common Grounds focuses mainly on men's fashion, what's an essential piece of clothing that you can't live without? I'm very big on denim, specifically jeans. I love the idea of being able to transmit my personality into the jeans I am wearing. If you take the time to research the whole idea of denim, it really has its own world. It might seem a little far fetched, but I can relate denim with my music. As I wear my jeans overtime, you can see different stories through the different fades. My music is exactly that. I try to tell stories of my experiences and hope that my listeners can relate.
The world of denim is really crazy when you get into it. It's amazing how dedicated people can be with their jeans. What are some of your favorite brands? I'm really leaning towards APC and the whole idea of "less is more", but damn they're expensive. I'm a starving artist who goes to community college relying on financial aid. I can't be dropping $200 on a pair of jeans! I'm working on a pair of selvage jeans from GAP right now. They're not APCs, but they're serving their purpose.
Going back to your music, what's next for Diji?
I have a few projects lined up. I have my 2nd mixtape that I am working on, but I really can't give too much info about that. We still have a few projects we want to do with tracks from WTFID. We recently sat down with Oishi Media to discuss future video plans and finalized a few things. I can't wait to start shooting with them. The next few months should be very exciting!
That pretty much sums up the the interview. Thank you for participating and it truly was an honor to have you as the first feature in our "Artist Spotlight" series. Any last words? Whattup to the Redlight Music Group fam! A big thank you to my Back2Pluto folks for constantly showing me love. Thank you to The Common Grounds for the feature, and for always giving me style advice! Last, but not least, thank you to all those who downloaded or streamed the mixtape! It really is a blessing for me to able to share my work with all of you. It's to the top from here!
If you've yet to listen to Diji's "Who The F*ck Is Diji?!" mixtape, you can download it here, or if you prefer to stream it, you can do so here. Also, check out his personal blog, which happens to have a very cool banner that I am extremely jealous of.
As I mentioned in the previous post, I'll be adding different aspects to the blog as it grows to help improve our content. This specific series I'd like to introduce is titled "What I Found Wednesdays". What inspired me to come up with this series is my love for thrifting. That rush you instantly feel when you find something special really can't be compared to anything else. This will allow me to share with you guys all the awesome things we've bought from thrift stores. From ties to vintage goods, anything can be found at your local thrift store. We won't be doing this on a weekly basis, but more often than not because of the fact that were constantly thrifting.
My photographer, Ken Soleta aka K. Sole, was out shopping around a few days ago when he came across a beautiful pair of weaved tassel loafers by Nunn Bush. Although Nunn Bush isn't normally your first option when buying a pair of shoes, for five dollars these can definitely be a part of anyone's shoe rotation. The details are amazing and the quality seems fine. Can't really complain especially when they were priced at five dollars. I can't wait to see what Ken decides to wear with these.
Take a look at some photos K. Sole snapped of his new loafers.
Ken isn't just an amazing photographer, but a passionate thrifter as well.. He enjoys the thrill of it just as much as I do. I hope you all enjoyed the first addition to our "What I Found Wednesdays" series and look out for the next one coming soon.
As the The Common Grounds grow, I will slowly add different aspects to help further the depth of our content. I am proud to present a new series we will be working on titled "Artist Spotlight." It gives us the wonderful opportunity to feature talented artists that deserve to be recognized. Regardless of what industry the artist works in, we are looking forward to collaborating with talented individuals.
I am truly ecstatic to present our very first featured artist. An artist from Los Angeles, Diji is set to release his very first mixtape appropriately titled "Who The F*ck Is Diji?" We hung out around Little Tokyo, and discussed all sorts of topics ranging from music to denim, and fashion in general. The full interview will be set to release very soon along with his mixtape.