THAT’S THE HOOK UP is an online lifestyle magazine maintained by ten innovators primarily based on the East Coast. Our contributors are graffiti artists, sneaker designers, music industry insiders, performers, fashion designers, fine artists, photographers, graphic designers and more. We are active members of the communities we report on, enabling us to bring first-hand knowledge and insight to emerging trends. We invite you to join us in this journey and we hope you can appreciate our fresh approach and personal perspective.
Proletariat™ began in 2004 as the nervous response of an artist to the economic and political climate of postmodern America. Kerry Simon’s store in Harvard Square became home to Boston’s creative elite, in all genre’s of the arts, and Thatsthehookup.com is the culmination of the friendship’s made within those walls. In 2011, Kerry and his wife Leslie fled the grid in a vintage motorhome to absorb the United States and all the people and places brimming over with proletarian spirit they encountered along the way.
Thatsthehookup.com is an effort to reach all of those people and many more like-minded folk. The writers comprised here used to meet for afternoon chats in a shop in Harvard Square; now, scattered about the globe, brimming over with talent and producing original and groundbreaking art, they meet on this forum, sharing their ideas, concerns, aesthetic endeavors, and inviting the general audience to participate and respond. Kerry has relocated to Salt Lake City with his wife, where he creates and manages his brands Proletariat™ and KingPen ESCOBAR™. He is also a co-owner of S&S Paint Company as well as a founding member of Thatsthehookup.com.
Joe is a young buck working in the entertainment industry while residing in New York City. He’s worked as an artist manager, marketer, freelance photographer, and music industry hustler. The world is large and he wants to explore every crevice of it. His posts vary with the days of the week and seasons of the year but are always thought provoking. TTHU is an outlet for his thoughts — the ones that surround his actions, the ones that are not yet realized and the ones that have passed. Joe is also an integral part of Proletariat™ and a founding member of Thatsthehookup.com.
BIGJUS was born and raised in Boston. In his formative years he became obsessed with graffiti and everything that came with it. If you asked someone from Boston to explain who JUS is in a few words, they would probably say “I know that guy, he down with my friend and i definitely met him at a few parties, and I know he writes!” BIGJUS believes the art/graffiti world is the way we, as THE youthful members of society, will all be connected in the future, and he is here to bring it to you. BIGJUS is an integral part of Proletariat™, KingPen ESCOBAR™, and S&S Paints. He is also a founding member of Thatsthehookup.com.
Alphabet Soup is a Boston-based street artist and designer. Self-taught, with no formal art education, he adopted the streets of the East Coast as his personal studio. With a taste for the grittier things in life, Alphabet Soup has managed to balance the delicate line between fine art and fashion, all the while staying true to the street aesthetic from which his work originated.
Kenji Nakayama’s diverse practice ranges from careful pinstriping and gilded lettering to hand-cut, multi-layered stencil paintings. Each intricately carved stencil painting is a unique manifestation of his documentation of and response to the environment surrounding him, and often takes months to complete. Kenji’s work has been exhibited widely across the US and abroad in numerous solo and group exhibitions. He attended the Musashi Institute of Technology from 1998-2002 in Tokyo, and studied traditional sign painting at Butera School of Arts 2004-2006 in Boston. Currently Kenji designs sneakers for Converse in Boston, Massachusetts.
Evoker (Ryan Robidoux) is a professional graphic designer/painter currently living in Brooklyn, NY. He has created murals and installations and has done live painting for such clients as ICA Boston, Coca Cola Japan, Nickelodeon, Fuel TV, Mountian Dew’s “Dew Tour,” Bodega, Microsoft, LAB Boston, The Lonely Island, Proletariat, Chuck D, and Adidas. Ryan acted as the art director of Fast Life Urethane, and has created skateboard deck graphics for Mobb, 7ply, Orchard, Credo, Capra, Proletariat, Civil, Watershed, Gansett Juice, and Academy.
Producing over 100 custom sticker designs and printing over 250,000 stickers, Ryan’s stickers have been seen the world over. With his high involvement in the sticker community, he has been listed as one of the top ten sticker artists in the world by Bomit.com several years in a row. He has been interviewed and featured in Peel Magazine, Issues 1 and 7, and is currently showcased in the books Peel: The Art of the Sticker, Stickers: Stuck-Up Piece of Crap, and Label 228. He has exhibited paintings and installations at galleries across the United States, England, and Australia.
Skript is an interdisciplinary artist whose main professional foci are hand-cut stenciling, linework, and illustration. His mix of intricate stencil imagery and geometric volumes creates seamless pieces that narrate a personal journey for each viewer. His work is fueled by diverse cultural and personal influences, including film, music, journalism, art, and various forms of social interaction. Most of his pieces involve months of planning and cutting. After a brief stint in architecture, Skript followed his passion for footwear and joined the team at Converse as a digital innovation designer. He has been featured in blogs and magazines and has exhibited work throughout the States. He currently lives and works in Boston.
Keaton is the only member of TTHU that possesses an X chromosome. She works daily with major label bands in NYC. If there is an event worth going to, Keaton will be there.
Etan was born in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, where the sewers of D.C. and Baltimore irrigate a complex network of tobacco plantations and dirt bike tracks. Having such toxic sludge drip into my childhood water supply has left me obsessed with electronic music — the more annoying my neighbor finds it, the better it sounds to me. Somehow I figured out how to make a living by irritating groups of people as loudly as possible, whether with my drums or with my laptop and synths. Luckily it has taken me on tour around the world and helped me hear some of the music I had been missing out on. I have lived in Boston, New Orleans, and Dallas.
I didn’t excel at writing or drawing, so I adopted photography to help me document my surroundings. I primarily photograph graffiti and the ephemeral.
“He has a very distinct style and an instantly recognizable vintage feel to his work and always a great choice of subject matter.” -Spray Beast