Friday, April 27, 2012


This past weekend after we knocked out all of our business we linked up with the ASAP Mob & the Black Scale crew out in SF.  I'm sure a lot of people are wondering the connection between us & Black Scale along with the whole A$AP Mob.  Well in the words of Mega, "It's all about energy"... It's kinda crazy how things fell into place with these guys.  

Have you ever had any kind of inspiration or just looked up to a person in the same industry as you?  Well that's what Mega & Black Scale was to us, he was someone we respected, looked up to, talked about years ago.  I had no idea that a couple months later that he would end up being a good friend to me & the brand.  

This is where it all began, my mentor Melloe called me up about a video series he wanted to start with Swag Syndicate called "Behind the Brand", ironically Mega was first up on the list.  The date was set and this was the first time we met Mega, after working with him on this project he caught us off guard by driving out to our shop to work on the editing with me.  This was the first time he found out about the brand, when I met him it was the last thing I wanted to introduce to him.  I know how often these bigger brand owners get hit up by kids saying "check us out" or "we should collab" so that was the last category we wanted to fall in to.  When I explained to him our vision & just how we started from nothing, didn't know much & just went for it, he replied "That gave me chills, you remind me of me when we first started."  In the midst of working on the video he showed us the Black Scale x Asap Rocky Capsule which recently released, this was months ago.  After this project released, we kept the projects rolling in with multiple videos done for Black Scale as well as a couple photos.  There was a day that we sat at dinner & I explained to him that it was crazy that we used to always talk highly about his brand and how we met & he explained that "energy" brought it to fruition. 

Anyone who knows Mega, knows he has a lot of knowledge in many categories,with even more wisdom & is willing to pass it along.  Any negative assumption about this dude that people may have I can guarantee is wrong.  I can say that it has been a pleasure working with Mega & Black Scale since day one and a major learning experience. 

So now where does ASAP Rocky fall into this equation?  I first heard of ASAP from his track "New York Bittersweet Symphony" this was released before "Purple Swag" & "Pesos" which pretty much put him on the map with his unique visuals.  Rocky's tracks easily joined the daily rotation on my ipod  & earned my respect.  He was another inspiration that I'd hope I could work with one day, until I ran Rocky at the Pasadena Flea around the time he got signed.

We snapped this picture above and he replied "Yo you gotta send that too me so I can instagram it".  He took my phone & dialed his number in, he continued by saying we should do some kind of visuals together & that he was moving to LA.  I hit him up the next day to link up as he said & I didn't come close to seeing a reply.  I chose not to "fan out" & persistently hit him up, but little did I know fate has something else planned.  Two weeks later I got a phone call from Mega asking what I was doing at the moment & if I was down to shoot a photo, without hesitation I replied yes, Mega told me I'd be shooting Asap Rocky.  We recreated a classic ODB Photo for the Live Love Black, a concept that Mega had came up with.  After that phone call I became a firm believer of the concept of energy, because once again it had brought a idea into a reality.  When Rocky showed up to the shoot he instantly remembered my face ask said "Yo, what happened? You never hit me up & send the picture" I debated by telling him that I had texted him multiple times that day & didn't wanna blow up his phone so I let it be.  He automatically knew the issue and smirked as he pulled out his phone and handed it too me.  There was about 318 unread text messages from a barrage of recognizable names such as Theophilus London, Hit Boy, Etc.  He then instructed, "next time call me bro".

The "Live Love Black" Photo became an instant classic, it has been released as a Black Scale tee, a poster, print,  can be seen all over the net, all the way to a 15 foot tall window display on the side of Black Scale New York.  

The project was a success, I was blessed with the privilege to say "I shot that amazing photo".  Since then the Asap Mob has made a presence in California with several events & In-stores, I was blessed with invites to some of these shows which allowed me to capture some moments that cannot be recreated & develop a relationship with the crew.  They even had an interest in the brand asking for some CAPO tees & about the Certified design.  Wezzie even got offered a job to join Rick Who on Rocky's Security team after the crazy LA In-store on La Brea.  San Francisco brought out a new experience with the ASAP crew.  He brought me & my crew on stage with the entire mob for the 4/20 Show with Wiz Khalifa.

We joined in for a quick prayer before going on stage for a hyped sold out crowd, Schoolboy Q joined in.  Right after this Rocky had came up to me and Weez said "Yo fuck the cameras tonight, I need yall to party & hype out the crowd, please"

So we followed instructions and partied on stage, but I had to snap a couple of pictures... this was epic.  The Black Scale x ASAP After Party brought similar events, in fact we might go as far as saying that we had more fun than the ASAP/Wiz Concert.  Enjoy the photo set below of the last few events with both Black Scale & Asap:

It's kinda crazy to look back & realize that we looked up to these two individuals and within a certain time, end up building a relationship with them without having to chase them down, bogart them with emails, or show up knocking on their door.  Things just fell into place, we appreciate every experience.  Thank you to Mega & the whole Black Scale for the hospitality, advice, & good times, as well as the complete ASAP Mob.  Both Mega & Rocky are humble & hard working dudes, even tho we are fam with these dudes, we still look up to them.  I already know Mega is gonna call me emo for that last line...but you gotta give credit when it is due.  We have a long way to go to achieve what these dudes have already have, so everyone out there keep that positive energy in the air & you never know what may come.

Post by Mateo