Russell Simmons, Sean Combs, Damon Dash, Percy Miller, Bryan Williams and Shawn Carter. These are some of the names that come to mind when we think of hip-hop’s pantheon of self-made moguls. These men helped to revolutionize the entertainment and fashion industries with their shrewd business moves– thus inspiring a younger generation of go-getters to do the same. Young bosses on the come up like A$AP Yams, Madbury Club’s Phillip Annand, and today’s “Hey, You’re Cool” subject, Josh Peas of Peas & Carrots INTL, have learned to leverage their knowledge of culture, fashion, and music (as well as their social media presence) to carve out their own unique career paths and create their own brands. Mass Appeal’s Timmhotep sat down with Josh Peas to talk about how he’s made his Los Angeles kid’s lifestyle a business.
Mass Appeal: Who are you, sir?
Josh Peas: Josh Peas. Ain’t shit funny.
Mass Appeal: How do you describe what you do?
Josh Peas: I don’t very often but, I don’t know, I do a lot of shit. I manage an artist [Casey Veggies], I work with a clothing line [Peas & Carrots]. I build brands.
MA: Let’s talk about brand building and how you got your start as a brand builder because you’re a relatively young person.
JP: Yeah, I’m 23. I got my start being a kid who was interested in hip-hop and the culture all that stuff. Not even just the music but just the way people talk, the way people dress, the way they interact with people who aren’t in their culture, the way they interact with people who are in their culture. It’s a real culture and there’s a real science to it, just like any other culture so I will always be interested in it and I’ll parlay with that, managing artists and starting a clothing line.
MA: Would it be appropriate to call you a cultural scientist as well?
JP: Yeah definitely. I’ll accept that. [Laughs]
MA: One thing I’ve always respected about you is that you’re an actual, real student of the game. Now, more than ever, we’re seeing young people–who really study and are not just fans but are participants in it– rising to the top and running shit. You know there’s that “young niggas run everything ” saying. I think there’s a certain type of “young nigga” who runs everything. It’s the person who’s business savvy, who’s savvy about social media. Someone, who is really aware of all the stuff that’s going on. Talk about your entrée into hip-hop and how you use social media.
JP: Hip-hop is all around me. My older brother, my cousins they were always big into hip-hop. A lot of my family is from the south. My older cousin he was big into all that southern shit like No Limit; he had every No Limit CD and that crossed over to my brother because he lived down south for a couple of years. It came back to LA with them and that was my shit– No Limit Records–that was the greatest shit ever. Then I started fucking with Cash Money. I was on the Lil Boosie early.
MA: Let’s talk about Casey Veggies. Let’s talk about how you guys met and what you saw in him that made you say “Alright man, this dude is going to be dope.” This young dude, ’cause he’s like 19 now. Obviously you’re young too but you identified something early.
JP: He was just relentless. that’s one thing I’ll say. When we were in high school, I was in the ninth grade maybe and Casey was in the seventh grade maybe. He was always hanging with the older kids like always around us. We had a little prep gang called “Priceless.” He was the youngest member and he was always around in the area. He was rapping on his own. He was fucking with Tyler [The Creator] and shit. And then, I remember one day he freestyled for us, this was at school. I’ll never forget it was like “I kick flows like karate!” He didn’t even finish his bar. We was just laughin’! So it was just funny he did that and then a couple of weeks later he came with this young called “The Cool” over a MF Doom track. I can’t remember which one but that shit was hard as hell and we put it on MySpace. You asked how I got into social media – MySpace [is the answer]. That was how we connected with everybody. We put the song on his MySpace page and shit started bubblin’ people started responding. We never really said, “I’m your manager, we about to manage you.” We just kind of moved together and it was how it worked out. That was the beginning really it was just MySpace. That’s how I met Tyler. That’s how I met him [Anwar Carrots] That’s how I met all those kids.Next Page –>
MA: I was about to ask about that, so how did you and Anwar meet?
JP: We went to the same high school at first we didn’t really like each other it was some weird shit. he was messing with this girl and she liked me–he’ll probably fight that accusation but she liked me, man. She had sixth period with me, she was trying to rub on my leg–
Anwar Carrots: He rubbed on her leg! [Laughs]
JP: She was on me. So he didn’t really get along with me. Outside of school. We had mutual friends. We was into fashion. It was evident. We didn’t like each other but–
MA: Who dressed better back in high school?
Anwar Carrots: I’ll give it to this nigga, he dressed better.
JP: Keep this in the article, I dressed better than Anwar in high school and he said it. So Complex who ever, I’m just saying. That shit changed. I’m not even a fashion nigga and I dress better than him so … [Laughs]
JP: We met in high school. We didn’t really like each other but fashion brought us together in a way and then it was our homie Charles. He was cool with both of us. He was in the same prep gang with me and he knew Anwar and Anwar kind of started hanging out with us. LA is like a big high school if you go to high school in LA and if you’re quote unquote “cool,” then you know everybody, at every high school. You’re into similar shit, you go to the same places. I remember the grove had just got built and everybody was going to the grove. You see people everywhere, like, basketball games, whatever. It was a big high school.
MA: You talk about people hooking up in LA based on mutual interests. You know, you had an affiliation with the Madbury Club, people like Phil [Annand] and shit like that. I remember seeing the article on Rob Roy on Madbury Club way back when they first launched. Tell me about how you guys connected?
JP: Okay. Phil was straight MySpace, Internet shit. We were just into similar stuff. Oh yeah, as a matter of fact, it was the Hypebeast forums. Phil was on the Hypbeast forums, he was doing his On Award Tour shit. I was a fan like, straight up, that shit was dope. He was so young and my age it just made it even better. But then I reached out to do a logo for him for Casey. He did the Casey Veggie script. He hand did that with a Sharpie and everything. We had to scan it over and make it a vector file and all that. He did that originally and that’s how we connected. Ever since then we always traded ideas. I remember when he told me about the Madbury Club, how he was explaining it to me, it was so new and just so groundbreaking because it was for kids and the youth. But it came from a smart place. They weren’t talking down on the youth–it was eye level shit. It was ill. That spawned Complex’s whole like how they do their Internet shit. A lot of brands and publications bit off of it, maybe it’s just the progression over time.
MA: They were just #inspired
JP: Yeah, hashtag “inspired.”
MA: The clothing, I think it’s an interesting outgrowth from the collective and your crew and whatever. Being dudes who actually know about gear and all that shit. Tell me how that progression happened?
JP: The clothing idea, when me and Anwar originally first linked for the blog and all that shit it was really just a clothing idea that we had. It was something we wanted to do but we were kids we didn’t have the money for that. We really didn’t have the know how [to do it]. We were like “let’s have a blog; lets research this shit, talk about what we like, post what we like, live our lives.” I feel that was our learning stage. He [Anwar] interned for Rogue Status and we was hanging around those guys and soaking up their energy. We were just learning. Going around meeting new people, meeting designers, meeting people who was doing the same shit we were doing or were doing the stuff that we wanted to do and just soaking up that energy and that knowledge. We didn’t put out that first collection until last year? Shit, we had a brand probably about four years before that. We had a brand we had logos but we didn’t put out a full collection till last year.Next Page –>