MUSIC

Immature Talk Reunion Tour, New Songs, and Relentless Passion

Popdust caught up with the legendary trio right before they hit the road.

After the monumental success of B2K's "Millenium Tour" earlier this year, Marques Houston was approached by his cousin and B2K member, J Boog, with a big idea.

"At first it was a little back and forth cause we're kinda older now," said Immature's Marques Houston. "We didn't know if we wanted to do it, but [J Boog] is very convincing." J Boog proposed that Marques "Batman" Houston, Jerome "Romeo" Jones and Kelton "LDB" Kessee reunite and bring back Immature. With Ray J in tow, the group signed on for a mega reunion tour, with DAY 26, J Holiday, and B5 performing as openers. The trio will release a greatest hits album on November 1st.

"It felt really good to be back in the studio, and be back around the guys," said Houston. "It was all very natural." The guys will kick off the "TBTour" at Madison Square Garden's Hulu Theater this November. "We're just excited to get back on stage and make some memories with the fans," said Kessee. As for new music, four new songs were recorded for the greatest hits album, but the trio was mum on further details. "When we all got back together we decided we were gonna put all our focus on the tour," said Jones. "The four new songs are just where we're at musically right now." It's true that a lot has changed in the last 18 years. The trio has become involved in many business endeavors, Marques and Jerome even own a film company together, but they're determined to make Immature a priority once more. "Nothing can go on hold," Houston said. "When you're passionate you gotta be passionate about everything."

Buy tickets to the "TBTour" here.

Follow Immature on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

CULTURE

Nazi-Chic: The Aesthetics of Fascism

Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.

Villains always have the best outfits.

From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.

Way more handsome than Batman. static.giantbomb.com

But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.

Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.

Oh, right.

Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.

Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did. i.imgur.com

Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.

As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.

History of Nazi Chic

For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.

The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.

Very rotten, Johnny. i.redd.it

Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.

The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid. images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com

Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.

Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.

Lady Gaga looking SS-uper. nyppagesix.files.wordpress.com

Nazi Chic in Asia

Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.

A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.

In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.

OF COURSE. i.imgur.com

That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.

In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.

Implications

So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?

The answer is not so black and white.

On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.

But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.

Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.

MUSIC

INTERVIEW | Emilie Brandt Releases Her New Single 'Like I Never Did'

"My favorite part about making music is being able to connect with people..."

Emilie Brandt is an American Singer, song-writer & performer known for her electro-pop, alt-rock & indie sounds. The up & coming star has racked up over 20 million plays through through her various EDM collaboration through 2017. We are excited to announce her newest single released today (05/02/2018) called "Like I Never Did." Popdust got a chance to catch up with her to learn more about her music:

How would you define EDM/Dance Music?

EDM is constantly evolving as a genre, as are the artists in the scene, which makes it a little hard to define. I think EDM is mostly defined by the culture that surrounds it-- people coming together to express themselves, have an amazing sensory experience, and feel accepted by the people around them.

When and how did you start your journey in music? Where did your interest in EDM/Dance music come from?

I picked up an acoustic guitar around the age of 15 and taught myself a few chords. Soon after, I started writing my own songs and performing at coffee shops around Milwaukee. I stayed in the acoustic lane for the most part until some opportunities arose from electronic producers looking to collaborate. From that point on I really began to enjoy the electronic vibe. From there, my music evolved pretty seamlessly into what it is now-- its definitely come a long way from just my acoustic guitar and I.

What do you love about creating music?

My favorite part about making music is being able to connect with people in a way that I had never been able to before. I'm usually pretty transparent about how I'm feeling but I haven't always had an outlet to express those feelings. When I found that outlet, I clung to it. I got accepted to a few colleges out of high school but I knew the only thing I was really going to put my heart into was my music, so I still haven't gone to school. Writing music and being able to share it with people has helped me learn how to better handle my emotional 'baggage'... feelings are healthy but not when you carry them around and let them weigh on your soul. That shit gets heavy, and writing music is the release.

What inspired you to make Like I Never Did?

LIND is one of the reflection songs of the record, dealing with the aftermath of a failed relationship and realizing that you may have previously taken it for granted. It's almost begging someone for another chance to prove to them that you can be better this time and that you can truly love them like you never did before. Sometimes it takes the absence of someone to realize how much you took them for granted. If I slowed it down an played it on piano or an acoustic guitar, it would actually be a really sad song. I love writing really sad lyrics and hiding them in a really upbeat track. A lot of my songs are like that.

What do you love most about performing?

I've always dealt with anxiety and my friends will sometimes ask me if I ever get nervous before I go on stage-- I don't. I actually feel very at home on stage. I've worked so many random jobs that I wasn't passionate about, countless hours of being miserable trying to make money to put into my music, that by the time I get to be on stage, I'm finally in my happy place where I can do what I love and be appreciated for just being myself.

Where can fans see you perform?

I'll be playing at the Marquis Theater in Denver on May 19th. Chicago IL, Los Angeles CA, New York NY, and Madison WI dates coming soon. And if you'd like me to come to your city just email me and I will get out there. EmilieBrandtMusic@gmail.com

How would you sum up your music in two words?

real + honest

What feelings do you associate with your music?

Each of my songs is completely different than the next, so naturally each song has a different feeling associated with it. Each one is like my own private journal entry that brings nostalgia reminiscent of however I was feeling when I wrote it. Sometimes I'll listen to one of my songs and I'll find a different meaning to it than what I originally intended it to be about. That's kind of my style of writing-- its personal but also general in a sense that others can easily apply it to their own lives.

Where can readers go to find out more about you?

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify