Suga J is a legend in his personal proper, and he continues to do legendary issues. Arising as a proud founding member of Ma$e’s supergroup Harlem World, the Harlem, New York native has since shifted into the style business, dressing all of the elites from Diddy to Ma$e to Nelly.
In describing himself, Suga J merely states he’s “an innovator from Harlem, born and raised, that’s into music, style and a life-style specialist. He’s been on the scene for over twenty years, elevating the tradition.”
Following within the footsteps of legends equivalent to Dapper Dan and Man Wooden of 5001 Flavors, Suga J launched his personal model titled Members Club Clothing again in 2012, paving the best way for the Respeckfully Brand which got here into fruition throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The brand new attire line has been seen on everybody from Fats Joe to Jadakiss to Cam’Ron to most not too long ago Busta Rhymes. Moreover, Suga J simply launched his new single aptly titled “RESPECKFULLY,” which embodies themes of originality, authenticity, and naturally, respect.
Now, Suga J is worked up to be dressing Nelly for the upcoming BET Hip Hop Awards, as he receives his I Am Hip Hop award. Their long-lasting friendship goes a lot deeper than meets the attention, and AllHipHop had the prospect to meet up with Suga J to debate what it was like throughout the peak of Nelly’s profession.
AllHipHop: What does Harlem imply to you?
Suga J: Harlem is such a lovely place. Harlem is the mecca of style, music and leisure. Rising up in Harlem with inspirations like Dougie Contemporary, Kool Moe Dee, , nights at Rucker Park and Ma$e put us on the map. Simply exhibiting us that it’s potential. You will be contemporary, you will be fly, you will be tradition..That’s Harlem. You possibly can be in wherever within the nation and so they’re going to know he’s from New York Metropolis. He’s from some a part of New York that’s completely different. That’s Harlem. Irrespective of the place we’re at, we put our stamp down.
AllHipHop: What was a younger Suga popping out of Harlem like?
Suga J: In ‘99, I used to be a younger child from Harlem simply glad to be on. Ma$e gave us an opportunity and it was an honor. It was a blessing as a result of Ma$e had obtained a member from every block of Harlem. When he put the Harlem World group collectively, all of us got here from completely different elements of Harlem. It was a collective that he handpicked. He believed in a younger child from Harlem and in that second, Suga J was born.
AllHipHop: When did you fall in love with style?
Suga J: Vogue’s all the time been in my DNA. I used to be raised by a lovely queen that’s all the time been trendy, which is my mother. She used to all the time costume me in Benetton and the Hole once I was younger, so it’s been put in and embedded in me. I used to be all the time doing customized clothes for lots of artists and entertainers. I didn’t know the popularity I used to be getting till different manufacturers began mimicking the designs. In 2012, I made a decision to formally create my enterprise and began a customized clothes line referred to as Members Membership. We took off from there, dressing the likes of Diddy, Ma$e, Nelly, Busta Rhymes, Floyd Mayweather, Jermaine Dupri, Fabolous, the checklist goes on and on. It was an honor to see I may transition and formally construct a model.
AllHipHop: How was it transitioning from music to styling these large names?
Suga J: It was pure. Coming from the music business, I used my relationships. Everybody else have been producers, artists, songwriters, and so forth. I selected the trail much less traveled. I used my creativity to begin dressing these artists. Music and style all the time go hand in hand so I made the logical transition, tapping into that style and my creativity.
AllHipHop: How has style shifted from again then to now? We’re in 2021, it’s a brand new technology.
Suga J: It’s completely different, it’s the brand new technology. I’m right here to revive the sensation, restore that period again to the place it’s cool to get cleaned up and classy. Put on garments that break custom, carrying leather-based outfits. I got here from the period the place they’re carrying shiny fits, they have been laughing at it in Puff and Ma$e movies again then. Now, it’s coming again..colours, combined patterns, originality is the definition of style in 2021. Historical past repeats itself. All of the glitter stuff, all of the flashy put on, making rhinestone and sequin blazers and bike jackets — “Billboard put on”. “Pink carpet prepared” is what I name it.
I inform individuals, personal your look…Be accountable for your personal. You don’t should appear to be a model. You don’t should appear to be others. In Harlem, we put it collectively. We combine and match. We don’t should have an entire singular designer outfit. We will put a significant designer on with a white tee, some Air Power 1s and be alright. It’s a blessing I can see the curve and I keep true to who I’m. Keep true to the style I used to be raised upon.
AllHipHop: What’re you most excited for dressing Nelly for the BET Hip Hop Awards?
Suga J: Sure, that’s large. One other large second I’m glad to be part of. I used to be proud to decorate Busta Rhymes for the DMX tribute as effectively on the BET Awards, that was an honor. Relaxation in peace to the Nice DMX, he was an inspiration in my life as effectively. That is one other shot: BET Hip Hop Awards. That is large for Nelly and the whole lot he’s completed in his profession. Many might not know, however I began with Nelly, in 2001. After Harlem World, I went behind the scenes.
The identical particular person managing Ma$e, Cudda Luv, began a manufacturing firm referred to as Fo’Reel Leisure. We got here throughout a CD that was the St. Lunatics. That was my introduction to Nelly. Nelly earned his solo deal and after his success, all of the members earned solo offers. To revisit it 20 years later and having the ability to costume him and watch him obtain the I Am Hip Hop award, that’s a blessing.
AllHipHop: Fondest recollections from the St. Lunatics days?
Suga J: Man I inform individuals til this present day, he doesn’t get lots of credit score he deserves. There’s only a few that offered extra hip-hop data than Nelly. That’s an enormous accomplishment and folks don’t know that. He went Diamond on his first album, not many in hip hop have that accomplishment, particularly for a younger man coming from the Midwest. That was an honor, I’ll always remember that.
The movies from “Scorching in Herre” to “Dilemma” to “Journey With Me,” I used to be there for all of it. The video fits, the units, it was completely completely different coming from the Harlem World days. He broke out the gate, went from St. Louis to worldwide.
AllHipHop: What does it imply to decorate him now, as he receives the I Am Hip Hop award?
Suga J: Aw man, I do know it’s large for him. It’s large even for me to have the ability to witness it. Hip-hop began on Sedgwick Avenue, a block that I used to be raised on: 1520. Seeing how far it’s risen, it’s wonderful. I come from Sedgwick Ave. I come from hip-hop. To see that an artist I labored with and was part of his journey, being acknowledged as “I Am Hip Hop” is big. I’m positively glad to be part of it, I’m positive it’s a bucket checklist second for him and it’s positively a bucket checklist second for me. That’s one thing that may’t be taken away. He’s one of many causes this melodic circulate actually broke by way of. The singing and rap model, the mainstream successes which he hasn’t been getting credit score for. Hopefully, he’ll be on that pedestal.
AllHipHop: What do you’ve gotten him carrying on such an enormous evening?
Suga J: Oh man, I can’t disclose that. [laughs] He’ll positively be contemporary, he’ll be dripped in Members Membership. I labored with a few of his stylists as effectively, however I actually work straight with Nelly. It’ll be customized and. He’ll be proudly owning his look.
AllHipHop: Discuss having your personal model, RESPECKFULLY. It’s your latest single too.
Suga J: Should you don’t know, I’ve a track out now. It’s streaming on all DSPs. It’s not only a track, it’s a life-style, It’s a way of life. I’ve been raised respectfully. I’ve shut associates that’s been dwelling respectfully. I watched the primary Black President turn into a president in my lifetime, and he did it respectfully. RESPECKFULLY, is a motion. Everybody’s screaming respeckfully. It’s a peaceful means of claiming, “I’m cool”, disrespectfully. Or “thanks”, respectfully. We’re branding the life-style. It’s an honor to be part of setting a pattern, setting a wave for the longer term to adapt.
AllHipHop: Why’s the title spelled that means?
Suga J: I spelled it with a “ok” most significantly, for us. For trademark functions, and to separate it from the phrase. Respect with a “t,” is a phrase you’ll be able to’t trademark. I trademarked it with a “ok” to separate it. Anytime you Google it, you’ll know Suga J is part of it. RESPECKFULLY with a “ok,” that’s for us.
AllHipHop: What’re you most excited for subsequent?
Suga J: Proper now, I’m specializing in blowing this “RESPECKFULLY” file up. I’ve an enormous remix that’s on the best way. A significant remix that’s on the best way with lots of shut associates within the business.
AllHipHop: You gotta inform us who!
Suga J: A number of of them have been on VERZUZ. [laughs] It’s New York. I’d simply name it “AllHipHop.” We would have a “AllHipHop” remix coming your means. I’ll positively debut it with you guys, y’all be the primary ones to press play on it. I’m engaged on an EP. I’ve a couple of offers on the desk, so we’re engaged on that. For Members Membership, we’re nonetheless supplying the demand of the streets.
I come from a material that was accountable for lots of hip-hop, which got here from 5001 Flavors and Dapper Dan. Each are accountable for iconic seems to be for LL Cool J, EPMD, Puff Daddy and Missy Elliott, respectively. To have the ability to carry that torch and do my half with Members Membership, is an honor. I respect the blokes that got here earlier than me and paved the best way.. You converse of Dapper Dan, you converse of Suga J’s Members Membership. You converse of 5001 Flavors, you converse of Suga J’s Members Membership.