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BIG POPPA (ArtSpiration)

When I came to New York in summer of 2001 I met an African kid named TuTu and we quickly became good friends while attending Theodore Roosevelt HS in The Bronx. Tutu spoke more English than I did so I listened, observed, learned the slang and most importantly the American culture quickly. TuTu was always a fresh mofo. Always had clean white tees on, du-rag and always cared about his waves and how his line up (haircut) would look lol. He put me on @nike "Uptowns" (Air Force 1s) and @timberland sneakers.

Notorious BIG visuals by AJ Lavilla

Notorious BIG visuals by AJ Lavilla

One thing that struck not only his, but also my classmates attention was when I wore a Coogi sweater and a matching beanie (fake of course) to school. Ever since that day everyone knew me for being the only fly Filipino cat in my school. It wasn't about wearing "fake" Coogi but it was more like the idea of understanding the American culture and being accepted as Asian and a minority. However because of the way I dress, hiphop/rap/r&b music I would listen to, we connected and got cool. I gained respect from my peers. 

Work in progress 

Work in progress 

New York this next ones for you. #biggie #art #biggiesmalls #brooklyn #newyork #theajlavillastory

Mr. Brainwash & His New Intern

I was in a mission at 12am on Tuesday cuz my idol Mr. Brainwash was working on one of the biggest mural in New York City at Century21 to commemorate The World Trade Center and 911 only to get my poster signed.

I hung out with him for a bit to watch him and his crew do their thing and next thing you know I was an instant intern for straight 12 hours.

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