thirstin howl III

Our trip down Polo Memory Lane continues with the one and only Thirstin Howl III

This interview has been condensed for clarity. For part one, click here.

D3 The Concrete:  I remember as a kid just watching that show and just being really fascinated by it. And it was very um, for lack of a better term, magical. It was like lightning in a bottle, you know, because from what I could remember, the only other shows that were really like hip hop influenced that had sketch comedy to ‘em was “In Living Color”, you know, and to have a show that was more of the freestyle lyrical base on, from what I remember, it was on cable television and you know, we, we had cable as a kid. So it was like, yeah, and to be able to see that and be like, wow, like this is, this is actually happening on MTV, which for a long time, you know, except for Yo MTV Raps for a long time was really just more about rock and punk and you know, many other genres. Pop, you know what I mean, but to have something that really, really represented and show the real art form of rap, it just, it felt really good. You know what I’m saying?
Thirstin Howl III: And it’s crazy ‘cuz before the show came out, I was working for MTV for mad years already in production, well before I did the Lyricist Lounge Show. I worked behind the scenes in production management and on their promos and all that part for at least a good 7, 8 years before I even did the show. I was already familiar with everything in production and how they were managed, you know.

Well let me let ask you this. So, so going back into the, into the fashion aspect, when the 25th year anniversary came up, how did Polo even get in contact with you to do the photo shoot?
They called me. They rang my phone, sent me an email. It’s crazy ‘cuz they wanted me to be in the interview and everything, but I was all the way in Boston and then the snow storm hit so I couldn’t get out. So they had scheduled it for a week later. Once the snow cleared up, I was out of there. You know, that was some historical shit man, that’s the only thing I could say. I mean its big for hip hop, big for Lo Life, big for Puerto Rican, groundbreaking on so many levels, man. I’m just happy that I could contribute in order to help the culture keep going forward because that’s what I feel I’m doing right now. Like when Dapper Dan got endorsed by Gucci, swear to God, you can ask everybody, I said we next because it was only right, you know, everybody was so happy and proud. He got his just due. And even the world started to look at Gucci better, you know, like, “Wow, at least you appreciating the man now showing him some kind of love.” This man has pioneered so much, you know, talking about Dapper Dan.

I feel honored and all I’m appreciative. I’m just waiting to see what comes from here was, you know, cause I’m workin’.

Why not any other brand? I know we mentioned earlier that you, you know, Hilfiger and the Kangol and that you know, and all of that —
We touched everything. That’s what a lot of people don’t know. They think we only did the Polo; we always did everything. Look at a lot of the pictures: You’ll see this sometimes, we got on all Fila suits. You know what I mean? There’s other times we Pelle’d out, you know, shearling coats, like we touched a lot of brands, you know. It’s just Polo was the one that came – Polo was the first brand I ever noticed that was seasonal, came every season and you know, have the writings of logos and they just kept coming real consistent. So you know, became a race to get the new logo before your man does type shit. It was just ‘cuz they were so consistent with how much stuff they were dropping, the big logos and all that.

Would you mind telling me about the process of how y’all put the book together: Bury Me with The ‘Lo On?
It was a years’ [long] process with Tom [Gould]. Tom had the idea of how it should be attacked, took photos to help facilitate and with the people to get photos, I added vintage photos from my collection and got with Victory Editions, they gave us the designer, we put it all together. Tom did a lot of major work on there, you know, orchestrated a lot of that book, you know, everything went smooth when we released, we got a lot of press. We got almost every publication you can imagine. Had a beautiful book launch with Red Bull. We also did a launch in Japan.

“RALPH LAUREN IS NOT A TREND.” – Thirstin Howl III

When I went to your website, I saw the footage of you guys in Japan, that was super outstanding. I’m still trying to track down a copy and I heard it sold out the first edition. Sold out in like three days!
Did you see the prices?

Somebody was selling the joker for like, $16,000, something crazy, nuts! I saw the caption under it, it was like this book, first edition and never been open. Still got the plastic on it
Yeah, I got some first editions. The lowest they go is five. And the second edition drops, but they already sold out. Then I’m gonna have extra copies of those, too. I don’t know my number, because the resellers be the ones going with the big prices, you know.

How does it feel when you see like the next generation of heads and then also other MCs who are in the game and producers, people like Kanye West, people like 88-Keys, who says that he’s been wearing polo from head to toe, every day for the past 15 years? How does it feel to know that these guys are still kind of ripping the Lo life, being the lo’ heads and being on a more global mainstream scale? How does, how does that make you guys feel to see that?
It makes us feel good. It reflects on us as well. We appreciate the reflection. Whatever they contribute, with their style and all, its diverse from what we are doing as well, so it’s still a contribution in some form, and it’s all New York inspired, ‘nah mean? Regardless, at the end of the day. I love the new generation and all that, you know? Without the new generation, we would just be a story from the past. When we get to exist and be present, you know, we’re the only movement that’s past, present, and future and we’re growing tremendously. Recent studies show, you know they always say music was like the bridge to the kids and the older generation. That’s what brought them together. But then recent studies [show] it’s the fashion now that took over that spot where the fashion is the connection to the youth and the older generations, you know, and that’s where we really pretty heavy at.

And I can definitely relate to that. I don’t know if you got my email from earlier, when I went to the book site, I sent an email to there and I was just explaining how, you know, my father, he recently passed away September last year and he was a super, super duper Lo’ head. I’m talking about like, he has stuff mad going back all the way to the early nineties, I want to say and to be able to, you know, when I went to his house as they were cleaning out his room and stuff like that, and, his wife gave me a lot of his things and I was able to fit them, you know. I was like, wow, for me it was like [he was] passing down that tradition. So when you say, you know, the past connected to the present and then connect to the future, I can definitely totally relate to that in a very personal way.
Ralph Lauren is not a trend. It’s just here. Lo Life [and Ralph Lauren] are attached at the hip now, to the world. So, that means, I am not a trend either. I’ll lasts as long as he lasts.

Do you have anything planned for the future? I know you, gearing up for the second edition of the book to be released, you know, any kind of events. Are you guys planning on maybe taking a tour? You know, maybe would y’all be open to coming to the H we bring you down or something like that?
Hey, make it happen. Let’s do it. I do that all the time. You know I stay workin’ man. A lot of music being released. Lotta projects coming out. You know, I do Art Basel every year, I do an event at Art Basel at my grandmother’s house called the Love & Loyalty Weekend. It’s pretty big out here in Miami. So, you know, it’s a Lo Life event, everybody welcome. Free food, free drinks, free entertainment. Live salsa bands. Art Gallery, Lo Life store. We been hittin’ very hard every Basel out here representin’ for Hip Hop Culture.

I think we the only event that’s fully hip-hop cultured out, you know? Got a lot of albums droppin’. The next album that I’m gonna drop is with me and Sadat [X of Brand Nubian]. We got this album called “The God & The General”. We shot the first video off of it. So, I think we gon’ come with that. I got the next season of my cooking show comin’, “The Chef’s Survival Kit” show. Just stayin’ consistent, man. Doing a lot of films, definitely droppin’ videos on a regular basis, and doing collaborations everywhere. More books and ready for documentaries and all. We just here workin’.