This designer spotlight has been a longtime coming. I’ve been rocking 21 maroons for the past few months now, but every time I would hit Emeka up he was hella busy. I guess that’s what happens when you make that good stuff…
Peep 21 Maroons (21MC). Founded by good friends Emeka Alams & Yego Moravia in their quest for individuality and heritage. Make sure you read up on 21MC and their message. Then peep their t-shirts…
1. How did 21 Maroons come about?
After doing graphic designs for the music industry I was fed up and needed a change! The work was stressful and at the end of the day meant nothing in my life. So I went down to San Francisco to visit one of my oldest friends, Yego Moravia. Having both just returned to the states from long stays in our countries of origin (Nigeria and Haiti) it was the perfect timing for something like 21MC to come about. We both decided to dump our design jobs and do something that actually mattered, 21MC.
2. Elaborate on the message behind 21 Maroons.
21 MC: It’s about honoring our ancestors and the creative legacy that makes Black history relevant and important in the 21st century. Essentially, Maroon culture is about trying to maintain and establish individuality, community, autonomy and freedom in the face of a society that wants to strip all knowledge of where you came from and assimilate you into something you’re not. So through 21MC we encourage ones to think about what reclaiming our identity means on a person level and to simply have pride in your heritage.
ANGEL’S PICKS FROM THE 21MC COLLECTION
3. Describe your inspiration(s).
21 MC: We have a lot of people, places and things that inspire us like our ancestors, the future, West African design and textiles, the West Indies, Afro-Beat, Aime Cesaire, Afro-punk culture, Nigerian movies, Sun Ra, Abuja, Linton Kwesi Johnson, sunny days, Bo streeter George Jackson, Coco Fusco, Lee Scratch Perry, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Emory Douglass, Nas, M.I.A, King Tubby, Black Uhuru, Big Youth, dead prez, al green, jimmy cliff, Afro-surrealism, Cadillacs, the Tropics, skateboarding, Abidjan, Lagos, Afrikanboy, 2face, brother brown, L.E.S, 6th and Howard, Fillmore and McAllister Santogold and Black history in general.
4. Where do you see yourself in the future?
Emeka: Yego and I just talked about this the other day. We both decided that we want to go hard with 21MC! We want to make a label that has the ability to out last our youthfulness and hopefully go on to the next batch of kids coming up. We also agreed that no matter what we are both enjoy life much more back in the West Africa and the Caribbean. So we are happy with the acclaim and success 21MC is enjoying and we hope it continues but at the same time home is where the heart is and we hope to be there before too long.
I say pick up these tees before they’re sold out. In the meantime, you can peep me rocking the ‘Warrior Jack tee’ in my recent interview with Gakcity.com here. Personally, I’m still waiting for that Pharaoh’s Poncho to be released though..
Visit the links above for more info on 21 Maroons and creators Emeka & Yego.