Mr. J. Medeiros Critiques Crooks & Castles With “Books and Pastels” Song & T-Shirts

In response to stumbling across streetwear brand Crooks and Castles‘ t-shirt featuring the image of Malcolm X, socially concerned emcee Mr J. Medeiros questions why a brand that roots “for the villain whether it be in a movie, a comic book, a novel, a rap song or everyday life’ – ‘Crooks’, criminals, pimps, hustlers, thieves, etc and ‘Castles’ – those who got rich by becoming a crook” – feels it appropriate to associate their message with the socio-political icon.

“If any genre of music, style of clothing, or force for counter culture has a responsibility to the image and message of African American hero’s – it’s Hip Hop,” Medeiros comments. “‘Street Wear’ brands like Crooks and Castles tie themselves to Hip Hop’s built in fan base using the image, culture, and music to support its branding/finances. If you’re going to do so – do it with some respect.

”Calling Malcom X a “Crook” and twisting his statement ‘By any means necessary’ to support a ‘villains’ way of securing wealth or a ‘Castle’ is an attempt at re-writing history for the soul purpose of profit… thanks ‘Christopher Columbus’.”

He recorded the following song, “Books and Pastels,” to comment on the situation – opening with a sample of The Cardigans’ ’96 smash, “Love Fool” before adding his own critical “lyrics to go.”

“It’s not going to change the world,” Medeiros adds. “It’s not going to put a single dent in Crooks and Castles following. Why? Because guns on a T- Shirt are COOL! They just are. This song is a song about principles – ones you can’t destroy with a T-Shirt.”

Further to the cause, he collaborated with French clothing brand LaFamille to concoct a limited edition t-shirt supporting his sentiments, in the hopes that their ‘Books and Pastels’ print is embraced as “an alternative to wearing a poorly misplaced comment by another leader twisted for the purpose of profit in selling a ‘crooks’ image.” [click to buy]

“From the pulpit, to the political podium, down to the fashion peddlers we have seen enough “crooks” we just want something that means something.”

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