[Each week, Complex columnist Percy Carey a.k.a. MF Grimm dives into the world of comic books with industry interviews, reviews and more. All MF Grimm music can be purchased on Itunes]
Do you remember those Sprite commercials in the '90s with Large Pro, Bambaataa, Common and others? When I saw those commercials, I remember feeling like hip-hop finally was getting respect it was due. Although I never met the creator of the commercials, I knew the person who created them had a love for hip-hop that equaled mine (if not more) and I always wanted to meet the mastermind behind those ads and thank him.
Reggieknow was the person who started that creative revolution (Reggie also designed the label for Vitamin Water) and it was a pleasure meeting him recently. I'm sure you'll feel the same way once you read this interview...
Percy Carey: Where were you born? And when did you realize you wanted to work in the comic book industry?
Reggieknow: I was born in Go-Ill (the city side of Chicago) and Dem Dare raised me on Michigan Avenue. Well, actually I'm more of an anime/manga air conditioner (it's being a fan but cooler). I collected only X-Men in grammar school, which I'm happy to still own.
Percy Carey: Could you please tell the audience about yourself?
Percy Carey: Can you explain to the readers about your profession?
Reggieknow: I lead creative executions in marketing, advertising, grassroots and P.R...from conservative brands such as Colgate to edgier ones such as Truth.
Percy Carey: Would you mind giving some words of wisdom to the readers who are interested entering in your profession?
Reggieknow: To quote the 1988 ad campaign, in the words of 1988 hip-hop... "stay in school and don't be a fool" [Laughs]. Seriously, it's as simple as educating yourself on being a creative writer or art director. The same seriousness in approach one would take with any profession. It's all dedication at the end of the day, which goes back to education, which still goes back to 1988 hip-hop.
Percy Carey: Do you recommend any books about how to enter your field?
Reggieknow: It's so many books on advertising greats and everybody's opinion on how to do great advertising. I really wouldn't suggest starting there. The perfect place to start is within yourself and finding that inner creative. While doing that the One Show award books, the CA's are great for inspiration. Most of the books I've read on advertising, I felt to just be one's opinion, so I wouldn't suggest a title. Concentrating on your creative mind is first before clouding your head with others.
Percy Carey: What was a lesson you would want to share with people who want to enter your profession?
Reggieknow: Heavy, heavy research. The more you know about them and their order of operation the better for you in finding your lane. I enjoy the advertising arts but I have a dislike for the business of advertising, please pardon.
Percy Carey: Name one comic book store you recommend people to visit when in Los Angeles?
Reggieknow: I guess it would have to be Meltdown, but again anime & action figures come first for me.
Percy Carey: Who is your favorite comic book artist?
Reggieknow: Jack Kirby, all the above as far as comic books.
Percy Carey: Can you inform our readers about any of your upcoming projects?
Reggieknow: My partner Nowenen and I are shopping the urban anime THIS DAY. We're doing collabs with www.unionlosangeles.com with Chris Gibbs. Jewelry with www.melodyehsani.com and a list of things I can't speak on just yet.
Percy Carey: Where do you see your self doing in the next five years? And where do your industry going?
Reggieknow: Well time itself is faster, so THIS DAY for sure on a larger scale. Technology also being fast and accompanied with the power and say so of consumers, most likely the ad*itive will just bury itself deeper in culture.
Percy Carey: Please tell the audience about your project This Day?
Reggieknow: THIS DAY is an urban anime cable feature and series, in short best described as Seinfeld meets Yo!MTV Raps. It's about having "one of those days" EVERYDAY. A Murphy's Law through the urban experience. It's the humor of Family Guy with the anime story telling edge of Perfect Blue, but hip-hop. It's topped with an artistic feeling of Ralph Bakshi's animated film Coonskin meets Sin City.
Percy Carey: How did you come up with the ideas for the Sprite commercials? And will we see more in the future?
Reggieknow: My growing up in the best times of hip-hop culture, I would have to say. Because of that, I acquired a vast knowledge of the culture. That in addition to my interests in Asian pop culture as a teen. I've tried to work with Sprite during these times, but they have different directions in mind. The THIS DAY collabs carry a hip-hop essence that has the taste of what the Sprite ads were doing in the '90s for sure.
Percy Carey: Do you have any plans dealing with film or television? If so can you talk about them?
Reggieknow: Yes, heavy discussions are taking place with THIS DAY as far as television and film. I'd rather make mention of those things once it's signed and sealed, very exciting though.
Percy Carey: What's your opinion on the state of hip hop?
Reggieknow: Hip-hop has created many jobs for people and a great source of income, so for that I'm grateful. It's not balanced at all and I wish there was more available that suits my taste, but I search hard and I do find what I need to make my killer tapes, so no complaints.
Percy Carey: How do you feel about the state of advertising today?
Reggieknow: I think the ad game is just that, a game like everything else. I get tired of everyone thinking they're smarter than everybody else.
Percy Carey: Do you still see room for growth in the music industry and comic books industry? If so how?
Reggieknow: As far as music, I think it depends on ones definition of growth. What many may call growth, I may consider taking steps backwards and vice versa. With comics... totally, with all the movies happening, etc.
Percy Carey: What is your view on the current economy? Has it affected the entertainment industry in your opinion?
Reggieknow: The economy being this way was designed many years ago and it has affected EVERYTHING. It's the Y2K joke on the American public but even more polished and on a grander scale.
Percy Carey: Can you squeeze in a MF Grimm cameo in your next commercial?
Reggieknow: I suggest we do a commercial on one of your many projects so it can stay true. A lot of the people that work in the commercial field and execute hip-hop ads are "internet" hip-hop experts. Us doing it on our own keeps it true.
Percy Carey: What inspired the design of your ride?
Reggieknow: It's based on Joe/Jason's G-2 race car from Gatchaman/Battle of the Planets, which is an anime series I grew up watching. Wow, it's like driving an action figure!
Percy Carey: You and I both share the same respect for an emcee named Sir Ibu please school the readers about him?
Reggieknow: Hey man, that's a personal favorite... Sir Ibu was the main rapper of Divine Force Crew. 5%er rapper from BK, I believe. Anyway, "Holy War", "Peace Maker," forget about it. You hear a "Holy War" verse in Ghostface's "Mighty Healthy" hook. Fur coats and Bally's, there is no touching the god Ibu. Oh yeah, I used "Holy War" on my reel online.
Percy Carey: With the success of comic book properties turned to film Iron Man, The Dark Knight, Watchmen, and Transformers, Who do you think should play John Solo: Secret Agent in the live action featured film: Brad Pitt or George Clooney?
Reggieknow: Brad Pitt may be better for the pocket, but either is great.
Percy Carey: How can the readers get in contact with you?
Reggieknow: firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook, myspace.com/thisdaysucks, twitter and myfacespacebooktwitter
Percy Carey: Who would win a fight between Superman and Sentry? And why?
Reggieknow: Sentry, because I've never been into DC comics.
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