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HHDX | Eazy-E & DMC Honored Through Akomplice Collection
Own a piece of Rap history with Akomplice’s latest collection in partnership with photographer Ricky Powell and street artist David Flores. The duo teamed up to create a series of T-shirts, skateboards, prints and mugs to honor Hip Hop legends.
DMC is among those featured in the collection alongside LL Cool J, Big L, Mike Tyson and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Flores has a simple answer for his inspiration in his work.
“The wanted man, from the wanted clan, wanted by every fan across the land,” he says to HipHopDX, referencing DMC’s lyrics from Run-DMC’s “Run’s House” from the group’s 1988 album, Tougher Than Leather.
Powell has a similar admiration for the man born Darryl McDaniels. He shares memories of his escapades capturing the group since the 1980s.
“He is a positive force,” the photographer says. “Always has been, since I met him about 30 years ago, in the Spring of ’86. When Run-DMC and the [Beastie Boys] played at this girl’s Sweet 16 in Long Island.”
He describes a scene where he and some friends, including pioneering artist Doze Green, were “running around the house half naked, makin’ girls scream with embarrassed exhilaration.” He says that since that time, DMC always stood out to him for his carefree attitude.
“I was impressed with the way he dressed and carried himself, related with peoples, especially being a huge rap star” he continues. “He was very cool. And very witty. I have to admit that I was in awe of him when I was with him. In fact, sometimes I kinda looked up to him, and he was younger than me. We made some cool images together. He would always stop, and amuse me. When I would say, ‘Darryl, do me a favor, stand right here for a sec.’ And we were roommates one night, on the ‘Together Forever Tour,’ in South Carolina somewhere. And he kept playing ‘Rebel Without a Pause’ on his boombox, all night. I was… Anyway, fast forward to today, and he’s still the same good ol’ D-Mac, but even better. Beautiful soul. Love that guy. Great memories.”
Powell has built these memories after knowing DMC for many years. On the contrary, Powell says he only met Eazy-E once, but still feels a powerful connection to the late N.W.A. rapper. Powell’s picture of the Compton, California icon reaching for a radio is one of the pieces used in the Akomplice collection.
“I loved the one encounter we had, in 1993,” he says. “I got a gig to interview him for a CD/EP he came out with. He greeted me at the door with a cannon-sized blunt, saying ‘For you, Ricky Powell.’ I was like, ‘Whaa? This is gonna be fun.’ So we spread out in his suite at the Hilton, on 51st and 6th Ave. We smoked as he rolled more joints, and I asked questions on my tape recorder, and took some pictures, and we were sharing some chuckles. Then I broke out my Ricoh camcorder and stared filming for my public access show, ‘Rappin with the Rickster,’ and then he asked me if he could film me, so I handed him the camera, and he got illy with it. So I dubbed him the Black John Cassavetes. You can peep on YouTube. And then I shot my famous shot of him, which I call ‘Tune in Compton.’ I really likened to him. Shame he passed so young. But that’s what happens when you wild out too much. I know. I’ve come close.”
Eazy-E died from complications due to AIDS in 1995. His legacy was furthered as his rise through the music industry with N.W.A was depicted in the recent biopic, Straight Outta Compton.
The Akomplice prints and skate decks run $60. T-shirts are priced at $35.