Set in the meticulously maintained and wholly retro Pink Motel, Illegal Civilization show off their growth from DIY streetwear brand to organizers of a day-long festival and full-on culture curators. With a mixture of trap, skating, streetwear, film, and hardcore, Illegal Civ runs the gamut of the clashing state of hip-hop. Starting out as a homegrown clothing and skate crew out of North Hollywood, Illegal Civ fit right into the scene at the height of the Odd Future era, partnering and collabing with Tyler and the rest of the Odd Future crew. The brands sports a similar attitude and style of cartoonish colored clothes. Founder Mikey Alfred made his first T-shirt at 15, and from there created a following within the Southeast Valley scene. Soon he began to branch out into skate films, branding, and eventually throwing shows with a rotating cast of talent. Mikey comes off a high from last year’s Mid90s, which he co-produced.
The Pink Motel is a Los Angeles staple, unapologetically retro and a popular spot for filming, most notably in Netflix’s Glow and 2011’s Drive. The festival grounds opened up the already brightly colored rooms of the hotel to exhibits and photobooths, with the front driveway peppered with vendors selling clothes and accessories, creating a path that led to a haystacked outdoor theater showing skate vids, short films, and music videos. Mikey was seen wandering around in a preppy vest and button-up combo with a bright red tie to sign it all off. He joined the attendees by snapping pics, handing out stickers, and talking with old friends. The center point of the festival was definitely the full stage built in front of a dry pool in which a rotating cast of pro skaters dipped in and out of. Presented as part of the Red Bull Music Festival, the event happened to be on the most picturesque day, with the afternoon sunset colored pink peach and baby blue, matching the pastel theme of the day.
Bathed in the aroma of caffeine and blunt wraps, the main stage played host to a diverse cast of artists, each with their own unique style centered around a common genre: hip-hop. The lineup switched from some jazzy soul stuff by Sunni Colon to hardcore outfit Show Me The Body, flanked on each side by trap rapper Rocket da Goon and 1TakeJay. As the sky turned an appropriate grey during Show Me The Body’s set, the night got heated and went into sets by Tommy Genesis, Illegal Civ staple Na Kel Smith, and a guest appearance from none other than Chief Keef. Tierra Whack headlined the night, her rainbow ensemble and colorful performance fitting the event. All in all, the event was a success in showing that DIY skate brands can still find their home in the sprawling city and how the relationship between skating and hip-hop is not one that’s going away any time soon. Check out some photos from the show courtesy of Red Bull Music.