A compilation, a Continuation
'B-stylers' Are Japanese Teens Who Want to Be Black
Dutch photographer Desiré van den Berg has spent the past seven months traveling around Asia. She lives in Hong Kong at the moment but when she was in Tokyo, back in December 2013, she met Hina, a 23-year-old who works at a trendy Tokyo boutique called Baby Shoop. Hina’s shop has the tagline “Black for life.” She describes its products as “a tribute to Black culture; the music, the fashion, and style of dance.”
Hina’s appearance is also loyal to what the Japanese call “B-style”—a contraction of the words “Black” and “Lifestyle” that refers to a subculture of young Japanese people who love American hip-hop culture so much that they do everything in their power to look as African American as possible.
I called up Desiré to find out more about her time photographing Hina and her gang.
VICE: How did you meet Hina?
Desiré van den Berg: She appeared in a documentary about B-style a couple of years back, which I happened to watch. This is what got me interested in the culture. It took a lot of effort, but I eventually got in touch with her on Facebook, through other B-stylers. I said I wanted to take photos of her, and she actually thought that was pretty cool. It was all a bit of a hassle though, because Hina and the other B-stylers didn’t speak a single word of English. We needed a translator both to make an appointment and at the actual first meeting, too.
How does that work in terms of translating rap lyrics?
Hina speaks some English but not fluently. She does like to use some English slang when she speaks Japanese with her B-style friends, like finishing a sentence with “man” or using bad words like “motherfucker” jokingly.
Japan is fascinating.
With a bit of Photoshop magic, Photographer Robert Jahns creates these surreal photos of people performing death-defying stunts in the city.
See more of Robert’s work over at his top-notch Instagram below!
Da-P - The Hamptons
GDNA, Waju, and Soopacrzy - Day Dreams
Go Yama - Kiki’s Delivery Bump Truck
Tall Black Guy - Sade’s Tabo (Sweetest Taboo Blap-up)
Go Yama - Ohmu Stomp
NeguimBeats - Side8Bit
starRo, Mr. Carmack, Teeko, and Mikos Da Gawd - Catch Me ft. JusMoni
Jeftuz - Spaced Out
Penthouse Penthouse - Miami
Dil Withers - j’adore
PromNite - Denzel Curry
DAILON - Purple Feelings
How do you make a movie when your lead actor is under government surveillance? You do it fast, you do it under the radar, and you make it short. The film is called The Sand Storm, and it’s set in the near future. It’s written and directed by Jason Wishnow and shot by Christopher Doyle. And — oh yeah — it stars dissident artist Ai Weiwei.