I met up with the brother Koe Rodriguez a few months ago and we spoke about this special project, A Thousand Words. Today it has come to life, and it’s something that hasn’t been done before. A Thousand Words aka ATW is limited-edition, licensed goods lifestyle brand where art, fashion, and culture exist as one. Their mission is to use this timeless visual art to bring these limited edition, one of a kind lifestyle products to the masses. ATW has paired up with a unique collective of NYC artists (Martha Cooper, Joe Conzo and Jamel Shabazz) to premiere a collection of signature tees and wall art. A number of these images have never been produced on tee shirts until now. Rodriguez, a well known photographer and visual artist in his own right, co-starred in the film Just For Kicks and has contributed his work to films Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest, Big Pun: The Legacy, Way of the B-boy, Bomb It and Mixtape, Inc. among others. It’s his vision that has brought to life Hip Hop culture through the lenses of photographers who have captured the movement since the beginning.
This venture has been years in the making and I’m honored to be a part of such legendary company. I’m looking forward to building a brand that will continue to curate timeless and compelling work, and one that offers a platform to global artists.”- Koe Rodriguez 2013
These three artists, Cooper (Subway Art), Shabazz (Back In The Days), and Conzo (Born In The Bronx) are staples in Hip Hop culture, documenting its life from birth to what it is today. The images, burned into our memories were captured individually by the three, but come together collectively in ATW. A portion of the profits from these products will be donated to various arts and education based non-profit organizations. A great way that this culture is giving back to the youth of today. We need to foster relationships with the future Conzos and Coopers so they can carry that torch forward. All of these photographers are very important to the culture. They captured that moment in time in Hip Hop history that will never be again. When you see any of these images, they instantly transforms you back to a raw, unfiltered time where fashion, music, art, and culture met. A place where all types of people gathered in unity at the revolution that was not televised, rather captured on film by these photography legends.
If you want to know what it was like, you go to any of the founding three and their photos. They have been the go to documentary people that have illustrated a small movement that has grown into a world wide culture which shows no signs of stopping. If you don’t know your past, you don’t know your future, and ATW preserves these moments forever in this project. Stay tuned for more from ATW in the future.
A Thousand Words website.
Like ATW on facebook.