by Walter Greene
(NNPA—The international music arena is abuzz with the sounds and persona of the new kid on the block “The Ophilus London.” A Trinidad-born, Brooklyn-raised rapper who is taking his music to levels only reached so far by the major players like Jay Z and Kanye West.
With the release of his debut album entitled “Times Are Weird These Days,” London has caught the attention of the fashion sect. Over the past weeks he’s been seen perched front row at the men’s wear shows in Paris. He’s also been seen hobnobbing with the glitterati in Cannes, posed in an advertising campaign wearing Lanvin, struck a deal with Cole Haan Shoes to design a special ‘blue shoe’ and is gearing up to launch his own fashion line with the European powerhouse LVRS who owns the major French fashion brands.
London started rapping and performing when he was 12 or 13 years old. His two cousins were rappers, who he said made words sounded so very cool. “I’d do like two line and stop, but they told me ‘No, Keep on going.’ I was banging beats against tables and chairs at school and it never stopped,” was how he described his entre’ into the music business. A great admirer of James Brown, Prince, Biggie Smalls, Mark Ronson and Kanye West, London will be on tour for three months with Big Boi and Friendly Fires and has a new mix tape in the works, which he says is dedicated to all of the sexy women behind the scenes. “Not models,” he emphasized, but for all journalists who sit at their desks and the women behind the camera. Among the curious guests at his recent New York appearance in Central Park were Jay Z, Kanye West and Solange Knowles.
A natural fashion plate who says he really not into fashion, yet fashion houses are running after him admitted that he e-mails Kanye West quite often about fashion. “We acknowledge what’s next and what’s new.” He also admitted to Style.com that he has an eye and a taste for fashion. “I love to shop, I’m just not like a fashion guru though. I didn’t grow up drawing models and telling them what they should wear. But I could dress someone else up, actually I just started dressing the band. I never go for just one look, very much like my music. When I do a photo shoot I would rather shoot in something iconic, like Lanvin or Tommy Hilfiger. I like to step out of my comfort zone. I have the height and attitude to wear anything…I can pull off anything, the only thing I cannot wear are leotards.”
This dandy rapper is known to customize his outfits from jeans to jackets. In Paris he said he’d pick up different buttons to put on his jackets, sew patches on his clothes and even dye fabrics to his satisfaction. His own fashion line, which will be launched later this year, will hopefully encompass his own signature hats, blazers and unisex outfits. He also has collaborated with menswear designer Carlos Campos whom he admires, and, appeared in his ads. “He’s tight and has a good vision,” stated London. Declaring that he’s all about rapping and representing brands, London revealed that he also has a full-on picture book coming out with Bushmill Publishers. “It will be lifestyle photo book of all my travels featuring all of the cute people in my life. I would love to collaborate with Givenchy and Lanvin has been showing me a lot of love lately.”
(Special to NNPA from The New York Carib News)