Liftoff. Folks, today we’re super excited to debut the LIFESTYLE Feature series with the one and only Samuel Bostick, a true homie, and family to us. Samuel is a multi-talented craftsman, and just an all around genuine and creative cat. Always an inspiring presence.
We are honored to present Samuel’s project titled Swagg: Reclaiming Space and Time. These days the word Swagger seems like it’s constantly, and often carelessly, dropped in a lot of different contexts. But what does this do to the word and the concept? What is Swagger? In this project, Samuel takes a critical look at what the essence of Swagger is all about.
Multimedia. First, an interview with the man himself, followed by a documentary he created as part of this project. Digg.
Swagg: Reclaiming Space and Time
Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?
SB: I am from a small rural town known by the name of Atwater. I’m a country kid. When I say country I’m talking people still working in fruit factories and on farms; that’s what makes the city go round. Right now I’m in a transitional stage of my life, I just graduated college and got my degree in Ethnic Studies. Honestly, I am making my way through the world one day at a time.
What does Reflection and Response mean to you?
SB: Reflection and Response is a way of life most definitely. It’s a system that connects the self with the surrounding world. It is a relationship of function. The earth has a divine way of moving and keeping balance; it is up to us, you and me, to reflect on what we feel, hear, sense etc going on around. For instance the recent news and incidents concerning Troy Davis, the Irvine 11 or even on a global scale the reality of the Gaza strip and the Israeli invasions and occupation on Palestine, these are just some examples, the list is endless. Reflect and Respond appropriately, ask yourself what’s really going on? Where are you and What are you doing?
How does Swagg: Reclaiming Space and Time fit in with that definition?
SB: This past year at school I did my undergrad research on Swagger, through the lens of reclaiming space and time. We all carry an energy, an aura you can say, and this is something that can be felt by people, animals, plants, beings around us. Where this aura comes from is lived experience, personal mentalities, and the way you feel and interact with your surroundings. All this put into each step we take, the words we speak, every smile we break, the cities or regions we claim with pride, THAT is where it becomes SWAGGER. It is honestly a soulful thing. It is not a new thing either, it is something that has developed and evolved over time to become what we recognize as swagger today. It has a genealogy, a lineage of predecessors, there is a history, more so a traceable culture of undeniable stylo and interpersonal gusto!
Check it, Swagger is strongly connected to Hip Hop and Rap culture. Am I Right? Now follow me, Hip Hop’s grandfather is Jazz in the OG spectrum of funky música. Stick with me cuz here imma take it to church–In the golden days of Jazz people may not have been known for having the “meanest Swagg” per say, but I do know that they were diggin vibe off the “Coolest Cat” around, no jive. Can I get an amen?!? Cool is to Jazz as Swagg is to Hip Hop. It’s a formula of aesthetic production rooted in a subculture of sensational expression!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Hip Hop is the only space of artistic expression that presumes Swagg. No. What I am saying is Hip Hop is where the popularization of the term swagger was established. Further, Hip Hop is one of the main sources of how the word SWAGGER became a sign and a signifier for something so deep and soulful as we recognize it to be today. Warning: pay attention to how the word is being stripped of its essence and being commodified as a tool to appeal to and hook the masses by the powers that be.
So I say all of this to illustrate the function of how swagger fits into the philosophy of Reflection and Response. It is a visual sign and readable text that REFLECTS a unique experience that is moving forward in time and space. RESPONSE is the platform of what we do with our reflections of life and how we carry ourselves, how we develop the code of conduct about our SWAGGGGGER.
What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?
SB: Lately I’ve been planning a book I’d like to write and work on in the near future. Right now I’m in the super early beginning stages and development of this project but I’m excited nonetheless. Also I am looking to get into the Swagg distribution industry à barbershop, clothing, etc we’ll see where my journey takes me as I find my place in the world. More personally I have been working on maintaining peace and balance in myself and my life all together. It’s a battle but I’m aiming for the nothing less than GREAT and I have some bomb support around me so I expect GREATNESS. I hope yall stay tuned ;).
Who or what inspires you?
SB: My Family is a Grand source of inspiration, that’s my base and that is something never to change. One day my Grandpa said “Samuel, if anyone asks ‘why are you the way that you are?’ just answer them ‘I can’t help it, being cool runs in my blood. It’s just what we do.” Haha, I have to laugh but I am forever grateful for those words and for having him as a strong figure in my life. Next to family is my close homies. They may not be large in number but in support and Love they’re more than enough to keep me grounded and all that. Besides that, Traveling and seeing dope people in different situations and scenes inspires me. Lastly I’d have to say that music is a direct inspirational source of what I do on the daily.
Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?
SB: I just want people to recognize that each of us is a powerful being and have a destiny and stakes in this journey of life, do well with yours. Stay positive, dare to dream and be bold enough to chase your dreams! Never forget how to laugh from your soul, don’t trade your beauty in for anything in the world. Go 100% hard at what you do.
Shout out to…?
SB: Shout out to my Lord, my Family, including the Acklins and the Grijalbas. People and things that have inspired me, Gene the Barber, 5andaDime, GPPR, just to name a few. Shout out the homie Ricky G. a dope artist out here about to come up! They’re all doing dope biz in the world no joke. Of course big ups to Big V. and P-Mu of R & R! I’m humbly honored by this opportunity! And last but not least a special shout out to my lady who has helped me realize a lot of things about art, myself, and life in general.
Samuel L. Bostick
Reflection and Response.