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The Bronx's Flyest Chefs Are Combining Food And Activism

Ghetto Gastro's dishes are an ode to Black lives and their beloved borough.

For hip-hop heads, the Bronx is first and foremost associated with the original formation of the culture, not world-class chefs in the kitchen. While the borough is immortalized as the birthplace of hip-hop culture, if the members of the food connoisseur collective Ghetto Gastro have their way, the Bronx will also be world-renowned for the creation of original dishes merging fashion, art, and politics. Conceptualized in 2012, the collective members (Jon Gray, Pierre Serrao, Lester Walker, and Malcolm Livingston II) formed together to create "altogether more arresting and political food experiences," according to Dazed.

Jon Gray created Ghetto Gastro after experiencing a snag while working in the fashion industry. "After some soul searching I realized food is the one thing that I really enjoy and I spend all my money on, so I might as well find a way to make it my life’s work. Me and Lester, we grew up in the same neighborhood and we were always talking about doing things together. So I came up with the title Ghetto Gastro and was like: ‘Look, we’re both from the streets, let’s figure out how to have a narrative, or an autobiographical experience using food, and ways we can inject that into art, fashion, design.’ I already had a lot of relationships and a small understanding of these different worlds. I was like, let’s bring food and Bronx culture into it."

Gray's upbringing in the Bronx powerfully influences the work of Ghetto Gastro, as well as as his own individual sociopolitical outlook. "I had a lot of Puerto Rican and Dominican friends," he recalls. "I would go and eat with their families, so I was exposed to different types of food and seasonal drinks like Coquitos. Then as I got older, (I started) tapping into West African, Ghanaian, Nigerian, Sierra Leonean, Trinidadian, there’s even a small Vietnamese population – it’s a lot of different vibes."

While the Bronx is one of the most culturally diverse places in the nation, with a heavy influx of African, Caribbean, and Latinx immigrants, heavy poverty and systematic racism in housing. When discussing the importance of the borough, Gray retains his sense of pride in growing up there. "The Bronx in very important to us," he continues. "Coming of age in the 90s and early 2000s it was a very unique time. And I’m sure it was the same no matter what block you grew up on, whether it was Brooklyn, Harlem or the Bronx...the Bronx has been a little bit under served. Of the five boroughs, it is the most impoverished. I think it’s important for us to celebrate different attributes and some of the positive things that come out forced creativity."

Despite their success, the bourgeoning food collective insist they're not in this for the fame, as many people in their neighborhood are without access to certain food experiences reserved for the upper-class. They've shown an interest in urban farming, wanting to provide agricultural jobs for an increasingly marginalized community. "It’s thinking about how we create. When I was a kid I was attracted to things that were cool, I wanted to spend my time doing what I wanted to do without thinking about what was the social good of it. For me, it’s about doing business in a new way where it intrinsically has some benefit for the community. Because, you know, you can’t just be screaming ‘The Bronx! The Bronx!’ and getting in magazines cause it sounds cool."

READ: BUFU Is The Dopest NYC Art Collective You've Never Heard Of

In addition to pushing the boundaries between art and fashion with food, they apply a similar theory In a political environment that readily consumes the creativity of Black folks in art, social media, and music, preparing a dish for guests that symbolize consumption of the Black body is a bold statement. The group recently presented a desert entitled, "Black Bodies," in which chalk outlined a body on the plate. "It’s fear of the black body. The black body is being abused and murdered on these streets for the world to see, so we did an outline of a body in chalk. And then Hank, he was like ‘let’s do something really American’ so we did a deconstructed apple pie, " Gray explains. "We used different types of apples, and it was called ‘black bodies’.

"We’ve always been into making people feel uncomfortable, and we felt this plate might do that."


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Stephen Curry Inspired By 9-Year-Old To Provide Curry 6 Shoes For Girls

Proving to be more than just an expert shooter from the free-throw line, Stephen Curry has managed to do right by the majority of the people in his life, including a young girl he's never met.

After receiving a handwritten letter from 9-year-old Riley Morrison, the precocious kid pointed out one minor issue with the Golden State Warrior's latest Curry 5 shoes — the sneakers were not manufactured in girls' shoe sizes.

hey @stephencurry30 can u help?

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"My dad and I visited the Under Armour website and were disappointed to see that there were no Curry 5s for sale under the girl's section," the aspiring basketball player wrote.

Quickly swooping in for the save, the 30-year-old athlete responded with a written note, saying, "I appreciate your concern and have spent the last 2 days talking to Under Armour about how we can fix the issue." Continuing the letter, the father-of-three went on to say, "I am going to send you the Curry 5's now and you will be the first kid to get the Curry 6."

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In a statement to VIBE, Dean Stoyer, VP, Global Brand Communications for Under Armour explained the shoes were intended to be worn by girls and boys.

"Thanks to Riley and Stephen, we’re correcting a simple yet critical error. We’ve actually offered Curry signature footwear in youth sizing for boys and girls since the initial Curry 1; however, labeling that youth sizing for “Boys” and not designating for boys and girls, was simply wrong," he said. "Beginning now and moving forward our youth sizes will be properly labeled on to reflect co-gender “Grade School” sizing, and on boxes beginning with the first youth sizes of the Curry 6 delivering this spring."

Working diligently to correct the mistake, Curry proceeded to invite the young fan to an event for International Women's Day in March.

Looks like everyone wins, including Riley and girls all over the nation.

READ MORE: Stephen Curry And Viola Davis To Executive Produce 'Emanuel' Doc On Church Shooting

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Wu-Tang Clan Taps Teyana Taylor To Model New Lipstick Collab

On Thursday (Nov. 1), the iconic hip-hop collective Wu-Tang Clan announced to Billboard that they teamed up with Milk Makeup to launch their first-ever cosmetics line with Teyana Taylor as the star of the campaign.

Wu-Tang, who is heavily inspired by Chinese culture, are no strangers when it comes to extending their brand beyond music. In the past, the Staten Island group has had a line of sneakers via a partnership with Nike and spent this year launching an apparel collection of streetwear for different seasons.

However, this is the first time the group hopes to reach to the hearts of ladies everywhere with the new lipstick collection. Wu-Tang's RZA told Billboard that his wife is a fan of Milk Makeup products. "My wife has a cool perspective about makeup [because] in her youth, she was in the modeling circles," RZA said.

"She is a fan of Milk Makeup's products, and when [Rassi and I] talked about forming a collaboration that reflected our NYC sensibility, and philosophy makeup became the unique and unpredictable choice," he added. "The Milk Makeup collaboration was spearheaded by my wife."

The 46-second commercial for the limited-edition product features Teyana Taylor performing karate moves on a roof with the NYC skyline in the background. Dressed in an all-black battle suit with long sleek black hair, Taylor is focused on her kung-fu styled moves as the video goes into slow-motion.

Taylor, who featured Wu-Tang on a remix to her 2018 single "Gonna Love Me" spoke with Milk about the new venture. "[Working with Milk and Wu-Tang] was a no-brainer. I have been a huge fan of Wu-Tang forever and I love the modern energy of Milk Makeup. When I saw the quality of the lipstick with the custom-sculpted dragon on the bullet, I was impressed—it's like a work of art."

The limited-edition collection is currently available exclusively on Each of the lipsticks can be bought separately for $55 each or all together for $440. Along with the collection comes a 24 karat gold compact mirror ($75) and a makeup pin set ($18) that can also be bought separately.

Will you be buying one for the holiday season?


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WU-TANG X MILK MAKEUP 美 AVAILABLE NOW - We are unleashing a ❗️limited-edition❗️collection of 8 luxe Lip Colors in collaboration with Wu-Tang that balances sacred Chinese ingredients with high-payoff colors. - The longwear Lip Colors, each named after the eight earthly elements of the I Ching Trigrams ☯️ are housed in a specially-made component, revealing a custom-sculpted dragon upon opening. 🐲CHI (high shine red) 🐲SACRED (rose gold glitter) 🐲FIRE (matte orange red) 🐲FLOW (high shine rosy beige) 🐲FREQUENCY (purple glitter) 🐲SOURCE (high shine burgundy) 🐲CYPHER (high shine brown) 🐲RUCKUS (high shine hot pink) - Our #wutangxmilkmakeup Lip Colors available NOW exclusively on - Video features ME! Original beat produced by @RZA Campaign video produced by @whoodencollective

A post shared by Jimmy Neutch- Shumpert (@teyanataylor) on Nov 1, 2018 at 10:39am PDT

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Virgil Abloh's Moët Collaboration Goes The Cool Kid Route With Free Tape Dispensaries

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From Friday (Nov. 2) to Nov. 20, those in the Chicago area can stop by a bus stop and find them decked out with Abloh's design. Bus shelters wrapped with Abloh's signature design include the Art Institute of Chicago with two additional placements in the Chicago neighborhoods of Printer's Row and near Greektown. Abloh previously announced the limited-release of the brand's first-ever liquor brand collaboration in September.

The free tape dispensaries will be available from 9AM-5PM today. Abloh previously spoke with Harper's Bazar about the idea behind the design. In addition to staying true to Moët's timeless legacy, the designer wanted to make the design as treasurable as possible.

"I was inspired by the idea of what champagne means. How it can be symbolic of an achievement, a celebration, it has a sort of upper-echelon emotion attached to it," he explained. "So the design I applied to it, as a figure of speech in a way, in my voice, using Helvetica and quotes, to say... treasure the moment, "do not drop," it's fragile. That was a way to, in contemporary speak, merge these two ideas together."

The 750ml “ready-to-wear” design can be purchased for $60 at retailers nationwide, as well as online at The 38-year old happily celebrated the new partnership last month at New York City’s New Museum.

Check out the sleek design below.

READ MORE: Virgil Abloh’s Moët & Chandon Collaboration Is Too Cool To Sip

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