Reflections: Rebel with a Cause
I love hip hop’s ability to sample eclectically and confront political and social issues.
I grew up in a household that appreciated how music could fill a void in room and whether you know him as Mos Def, Black Dante, Flaco or Dante Smith, Yasiin Bey’s artistry has always resonated with me. His distinct voice combined with his lyrical finesse caught my ear in ways few artists ever could. I can happily sit through all of “The Estastic” and pick up on something, like a great bar, that I hadn’t properly processed the last time.
I remember going to the Enmore theatre with my best friend to see Yasiin perform when I was a uni student. The enthusiasm and intensity with which this guy performed was just awesome. Unexpectedly, but as always, in true Mos-style, “Quiet Dog Bite Hard” wasn’t just performed with a pre-recorded backing track but with Mos himself on the drums, going at it like it was his last performance ever. An experience like that is something I’ll always remember.
Not one to shy away from controversy, Yasiin’s music is politically confronting, socially conscious, and brazenly irreverent. How he gathers all these elements (and his natural scepticism towards authority) was something I brought with me when designing our tassel loafer. I wanted to put together a shoe that considers tradition but would be worn by those who weren't afraid to flout it. I don’t think footwear needs to be confined to a set standard or context. And I don’t think you should be overly pre-occupied by the opinions of others either.
Just like “…Umi says, shine your light on the world, shine your light for the world to see…”
So, here’s to the rebels amongst us.
- Gabriel Abi-Saab, Etymology Founder & Creative Director
Shop the Yasiin tassel loafer here