Standfirst: Malaysia’s hip hop threads are both hot and cool.

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Text Ili Farhana
Image Show Up Pictures

The best way to promote your self/group/band is by getting your fans to wear the band’s merchandise. Not only you get free advertisement, you get extra income too. Design it well enough; it might even attract the attention of non-fans to buy it.

There’s never a strict ruling for artists merchandise to be only t-shirts. Some turned their names into brands and came up with form of perfumes, jewellery, or even edible body products (hello Jessica Simpson). On the local tip, you might remember 4u2c and Sudirman coming up with their own canned drinks and KRU with their KRU posse hoodies.

Local artists merchandise slowly faded away after that, as mainstream acts favour endorsements to developing their own brand. But over at the independent scene, it’s business as usual. Bands churn out t-shirts after t-shirts and now it’s hip hop’s turn to follow suit.

Of late, more and more acts have pooled their resources together to come up with their own merchandise. Again, t-shirts are easily the starting point, with it being more visible and easy to produce. Altimet has a few t-shirts within his RAC brand, Phlowtron has Battalion t-shirts made for both boys and girl, and same goes to KLG Sqwad. The Rogue Squadron has Dash Underscore Dash. Point Blank’s Voyurizm didn’t just stop at round neck tees, they also have polo tees, caps and bandannas. The most prominent of all will be Joe Flizzow’s State of Mine caps. The caps with the bold ‘KL’ on it are not only a hit among fans, but pirates too. 1Asia is said to be in the midst of producing their own clothing line too, set to launch by year end.

An interesting year for hip hop, this could be. Not only the musicians in it are working hard on their albums, but stepping into entrepreneurship is also a sign of maturity within the acts and acceptance among fans. Let’s just see if any of these can actually grow as big as Rocawear.

All brands are easily available directly from each artist’s website. RAC, State of Mine, and Voyurizm are also available at Echo Park.

This report was published in the September 2008 issue of JUICE.