This one-of-a-kind 2008 Mercedes-Benz R550 was unveiled in the MTX Audio booth at the 2007 SEMA show in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to its creator, Joe Maynard, owner of Marketing In Motion Cars (Lake Forest, California), the R Class wagon is the first SEMA project vehicle to be backed by Mercedes-Benz USA.
A young Charles Kunta Kinte Bowens Williams was an active kid. So active that his mother would often tell him he was hyperactive. Rather than describing himself has “hyper,” Charles would call it “hyphy.” Little did he know, his new word would later define a movement in hip-hop culture.
In an age where music is run by “suits” and measured by how many ringtone downloads a song or artist gets, it’s hard to have faith in an industry that cares more about the dollars it generates rather than the art it produces. However, there are some artists out there staying true to the craft, such as the talented lyricist Common.
OWNER: Steve Kehler
VEHICLE: 2005 Kawasaki ZX-10
CITY/STATE: Warminster, PA
SHOP: Tricked Out Custom Cycles
The Ancient Egyptians believed that the “soul” was made of three parts: the Ba (the personality of the deceased), Ka (the double of a person) and the Akh (the immortality of the deceased). For custom bike builder and owner of Tricked Out Custom Cycles Warminster, Pennsylvania, Steve Kehler, the soul is embodied in the custom-built 2005 Kawasaki ZX-10. As one of the nine finalists in the “Sport Bike Build” category on ESPN 2’s Metric Revolution: Motorcycle Build Off, Kehler had 180 days to build this massive two-wheeler. “I did the full build in 120 days,” he boasts. “I’ve been customizing bikes 20 years now. This is what I do each and every day, just cutting bikes apart to make new ones.”
DJ Vlad (aka “The Butcher”) has been butchering beats for years now. He acquired such a brutal nickname because of his of impeccable producing and mixing skills that kills the mixtape competition. “I came from a production background, so I know how to blend and mix my tapes really well,” he boasted.
With more than 10 years as a well-known name on the London graffiti scene, INSA has now established himself as an artist in his own right. He has become recognized more recently for his “Graffiti Fetish” work, which explores the idea of graffiti/art as an obsession and uses the traditional fetish image of the stiletto high heel as a recurring motif.
A lot has changed since Chris Brown graced the pages of DUB Issue 39. He’s now 18 and legally considered an adult, got his license, grew some facial hair, got a few tattoos and is promoting his sophomore album, Exclusive (Jive Records, 2007). Less than two years ago, Chris was an average 16-year-old teenager from the small town of Tappahannock, Virginia (population 2,000) with a whole lot of talent and a mind full of big dreams, fueled by artists he grew up listening and looking up to, such as Sam Cooke, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Michael Jackson and Usher. “I always imagined that I could be what I wanted to be; I just hoped that I could do it,” he says. “I never knew how fast this would take off, so I’m thankful for it.”
People cluster and whisper excitedly because they’ve heard the news—50 Cent is on his way. They scan the south end of the large Las Vegas Convention Center, waiting eagerly as others join the throng of curious onlookers on the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) convention floor. The crowd parts way for Curtis Jackson. The multi-platinum rapper, actor, entrepreneur and mogul moves with a cool swagger, relaxed and self-assured, despite the commotion.