Discover more from District 5ive
& Other Things #1
The Legacy of Handsome Boy Modeling School
District 5ive isn't just about streetwear; it's about other things as well (shouts to Shea Serrano - for those who know). So, in this series, I'll share where I'm drawing inspiration from or what I think you'll find interesting.
I have a weird memory of pop-cultural moments in time that I can refer to and recite like they were yesterday, but often can't tell you somebody's name after I've met them four times.
Thanks for reading District 5ive! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
This happened last week when somebody I was talking to started telling me how he is working on the new Killer Mike album, 'who I might have heard of,' and also working with G-Love and Special Sauce, 'who I probably haven't heard of.' Little did he know that I've heard of G Love and Special Sauce but only from their cover of Holiday by Madonna for Like a Version, over 15 years ago.
From here, we started talking about this era of music and how I'm most familiar with Jack Johnson through his work with Handsome Boy Modeling School.
Which brings me to the point of this email.
Handsome Boy Modeling School.
And let's see if I can figure out a way to bring it back to branding.
A collaborative project and pseudonym for the renowned American hip-hop producers Dan "The Automator" Nakamura and Prince Paul (Paul Huston). The duo formed the project in the late 1990s and released two studio albums, "So... How's Your Girl?" in 1999 and "White People" in 2004.
Tone: The tone of Handsome Boy Modeling School's work and persona is often playful, satirical, and ironic. Their music and branding often incorporate humour and a sense of absurdity. They use their project name to ridicule the modelling industry while delivering inventive, genre-blending music.
Voice: HBMS’s voice is marked by its irreverence and genre-blurring approach. Their music often combines elements of hip-hop, electronic, and pop, and their lyrics can range from witty wordplay to social commentary. Their tracks may feature a variety of guest artists and vocalists, adding to the eclectic nature of their work. Some artists include Jack Johnson, Del the Funky Homosapien, RZA, De La Soul, Mike D, Grand Puba, Pharrell Williams, Mike Patton, Lord Finesse, Cat Power & many more.
Style: Their style is characterised by creativity and innovation. They are known for pushing the boundaries of traditional hip-hop and sampling, often creating intricate and layered soundscapes. Their music is a fusion of diverse musical elements, and they are credited with pioneering the concept of the "supergroup" in hip-hop by bringing together a range of guest artists for their projects, similar to what a DJ Khaled album looks like now.
In summary, Handsome Boy Modeling School is an example of a music project that embraced a distinctive voice and style, incorporating humour, genre-blurring music, and a collaborative approach to create an original and memorable body of work, which has now made its way to a streetwear newsletter, 20 years after the fact.
Standout Tracks for me:
Anything with Del tha Funkee Homosapien.
If It Wasn’t For You
The World’s Gone Mad
Dating Game Skit (this sums up the group)
Now have a listen for yourself:
White People (2004)
As always, thanks for your time.
PS: If you liked the above, you might like Prince Paul’s A Prince Among Thieves. It’s probably my favourite conceptual album of all time.