Words by justalilhype! Crew
Edited by Jenkin Au and Alan Ng
Photography by Patrick Leung

In May 2012, justalilhype! released their 39th issue. Since then, the magazine has been under construction. Many people have wondered where the project was heading, as the co-founders Jenkin Au and Alan Ng seemed to have left the city where it all started – Vancouver. This featured article puts an answer to the mystery, and also bears the exciting news of the return of justalilhype! and the introduction of the Crew that they are returning with, including Frankie Angai, Hasan Hamze, Ryan Goldade, Patrick Giang, Patrick Leung, and Chris Danforth.

Whether you were with us since the beginning, or were the more recent ones that were interviewed by us during the summer in Montreal, Toronto or Halifax, this feature will start off with the same old question we use to spark all our interviews.

Please re-introduce yourself to our readers. What is your role in justalilhype!?

Alan Ng: I founded justalilhype! in 2008 as a hobby and an interesting goal of creating a community in hopes to find a pair of rare sneakers to purchase. With the support of Jenkin, I was able transform a small community-based forum to a full-fledge magazine, and became the one of the two Editor-in-Chiefs of the magazine. I graduated with Communications and had a minor in Publishing. To be honest, it was quite surreal to be able to carry-forward this project as a second year student in university. I have currently relocated to the East Coast, and am currently working on my Master’s degree.

Jenkin Au: My name is Jenkin and I live in Hong Kong now. My role in justalilhype! is a little too diverse – in short, I co-run this with Alan and am co-founder of it. It’s been a long ride so far, but we’re just getting started!

Ryan Goldade: My name is Ryan Goldade. I was formerly a DJ in the Vancouver nightlife scene. I joined justalilhype! to ask my DJ colleagues the tough questions I always wanted answered under the guise of journalism.

Hasan Hamze: I am Hasan and I’m currently undertaking a Master’s degree in Global Health. While my study interests lie in the fields of public health and medicine, my involvement with justalilhype! has given me the opportunity to embrace my creativity. This exploration of my artistic side has revitalized my passion for art in all its forms, a passion that was put aside as I focused on my university studies.

Frankie Angai: I’m a computer engineering grad from UBC and my day job is making awesome stuff at Microsoft. I currently manage justalilhype!’s web servers and occasionally work on new site features or designs.

Patrick Leung: I’m a lifestyle, editorial photographer who got bit by the photography bug back in 2002 while taking a film photography course.

Patrick Giang: My name is Patrick. I am one of the photographers on this crew. Aside from that, I am also the youngest.

Chris Danforth:  Providing top-tier verbiage, copywriting and brand communication for justalilhype! I have around 5 years of experience contributing to the blogosphere.

Tell us about how you started working with the justalilhype! Crew.

Jenkin Au: Well, I was there from before the very beginning! We started off as a forum and then progressed into a magazine that spanned over four years. Now, we’re reinventing it all over again.

Alan Ng: Similar to Jenkin, I was there from the start. My love for sneakers and street wear as a teenager lead to the creation of justalilhype!, I gathered a several of friends with a similar interest and began a community forum. With Jenkin’s business background, we were able to foray into the magazine business. The collective, also known as the justalilhype! Crew continued to grow over the years, –I feel very privileged to be working alongside with these talented individuals.

Chris Danforth: During my stint as a co-owner and marketing manager of Loose Cannons, justalilhype! interviewed my partner and I in July of 2011.

Hasan Hamze: I started working with justalilhype! back in the summer of 2009 when I undertook the scribe position. Shortly thereafter, I played a role in the design of the justalilhype! logo. Being involved with the crew for many years, I have developed a sense for justalilhype!’s identity and culture, and therefore I also play a key role in recruitment of new members. I am ecstatic about justalilhype!’s relaunch and look forward to what the magazine has to offer down the road.

Frankie Angai: As a longtime friend of one of our fearless leaders – I was enticed early in the development of justalilhype! to make all the complicated techie stuff work and I’ve been doing it ever since.

Ryan Goldade: I was originally interviewed by justalilhype! in 2010 and I thought the concept of the magazine was brilliant. I felt like my network in the nightlife scene could add to the magazine’s already exceptional quality, so I approached Alan about joining the crew. I started out with proofing and scribing and ended up running my own interviews with prominent industry figures in Vancouver.

Patrick Leung: I started working with justalilhype! after a friend told me about a dope street-urban lifestyle blog. Then I emailed the cool peeps at justalilhype! and started shooting with them.

Patrick Giang: The way I started working with justalilhype! was completely random. I was at a b-boy jam called “Battle of TNG” back in March of 2010. I was taking photos and suddenly bumped into Alan where he asked me if I was a photographer. He gave me his card and asked me to email him my portfolio.


What was your most memorable experience working in justalilhype!

Alan Ng: The most memorable experience working on justalilhype! was conducting the interviews. The experience of interviewing different individuals is priceless. When you get to speak to people about their dreams and passion, it inspires you. And of course, eating great food across Canada during these interview sessions makes the experience that much more ‘memorable’, especially for my stomach.

Jenkin Au: My most memorable experience with justalilhype! was travelling across Canada and meeting the good people out in Toronto and Montreal. Those two summers are summers that I will never forget. It was definitely a great experience and opened up a lot of opportunities and connections.

Ryan Goldade: One time, I was referenced once in someone’s term paper from Boston University. It was about the “Bandwagon Effect,” one of the articles that I wrote. I thought that was cool and bizarre at the same time.

Chris Danforth: The Loose Cannons interview felt like one of the first times that a publication online or otherwise reached out to us. I was pretty stoked on it, specifically Jenkin shooting my partner and I in the “prison squat” pose.

Patrick Leung: The most memorable moment was photographing SonReal in Blood Alley. I had SonReal sitting on the stairs and noticed 2 crack heads shootin’ up. We kept shooting.

Patrick Giang: There are so many! But the most memorable experience working with justalilhype! would have to be shooting for a dance crew called Two Four Seven. It was only my second time meeting up with the justalilhype! Crew and I did not expect much as I was a new member (very nervous at the time!). It turned out to be a great learning experience.

Share one trade secret or lesson about working in the hip-hop / street culture industry with our readers.

Alan Ng: My advice is to network as much possible without limiting yourself to a specific-type of event. Since we work in a niche industry, there are way too many excuses to not attend an event. With hip-hop transcending through a wide variety of genres, and artists from street art/graffiti scene making news on Wall Street, extend the possibilities of the connections you make. Networking efficiently is key, whether it is at a fashion show, at a break battle, or while lining up for a French poutine in Montreal.

Chris Danforth: Never try to imitate street style photos. Just don’t.

Ryan Goldade: I think the key to the success of the people I’ve worked with or interviewed is a combination of hard work and authenticity. The street culture is about expression and people can tell when it’s contrived or unmotivated.

Patrick Leung: Walking with a gangster limp and speaking in Ebonics. Just kidding. I think having a deep interest in the music and the culture.

Alan Law: You already know something you don’t even know that you know. There will always be something beautiful in sight, regardless even if it’s a poster on a wall.

In your opinion, what is the greatest accomplishment that justalilhype! has achieved so far?

Jenkin Au: We’ve done a lot in the past few years. The greatest feat has to do with our own internal progression and the ideas that came out. We’ve matured as a team and gained a lot of new cross-functional skills. None of us really had any experience or training for this yet we went quite far from where we began.

Alan Ng: The greatest accomplishment so far is bridging connections. Of course, without the support of our loyal readers, this wouldn’t be possible. Even without any attempt at hosting events, the brand was able to communicate and market itself across Canada.

Ryan Goldade: Reputation. Interviewees started referencing previous interviews or other content on the website. The magazine fulfilled its name.

Chris Danforth: Being able to travel for the purpose of collecting content across Canada and working with creatives of all types (something Alan and Jenkin partook in, not myself.)

Patrick Leung: I’d say garnering a large fan readership and interviewing the amazing artists in our hometown – Vancouver.

Where do you see justalilhype! in the future? What expectations or remarks do you have about the re-launch?

Alan Ng: I see us moving forward as a sustainable media outlet and agency that is able to work with influential and creative folks all around the world. In a sense, we have been limiting ourselves to Canadian content for a while. With our expertise and connections that lie within Canada, I am confident that we will be able to profit from projects and to continue doing what we love.

Ryan Goldade: I don’t know where it will be going. I’m just glad it’s moving again.

Alan Law: Sophisticated lifestyle media division.

Chris Danforth: Hopefully as a brand and publication that is synonymous with reliability and taste, working with creatives across the board to expand our personal horizons and share quality content.

Jenkin Au: As always, bigger than ever.

The street culture industry is a very specific niche. As you progress through your life, how do you maintain relevancy with the culture, and continue your passion for working with justalilhype!?

Chris Danforth: It’s an ongoing thing for myself, something I’m innately interested in and drawn towards.

Patrick Leung: I personally keep up to date via popular magazines (Vice) and social media streams (Hypebeast).

Ryan Goldade: I don’t see it as necessarily a passion for the street culture as much as I see working with justalilhype! as a passion for learning about people. Street culture is fascinating because it encourages individuality and expression. Because of this, it is a great direction to explore what motivates and inspires a mosaic of personalities. That’s why I work with justalilhype!. It’s just an added bonus that it’s in an industry I’m familiar with.

Alan Ng:  Being able to be excited about meeting new people from all walks of life is key for me in being relevant to the culture. Conducting interviews and working on collaborative projects allows you to capture a moment in time, and that is what I am passionate about – curating media.

What is your favorite medium of expression when it comes to media?

Ryan Goldade: Music. I think music is the most versatile form of expression. From prose to chords, it allows a musician to add dimension to his or her message in a way no other medium can offer.

Chris Danforth: The written word!

Jenkin Au: I love videos a lot because it’s an easy way to absorb information but my favorite medium still is physical and tangible mediums. Everything from the size right down to the materiality plays a large part in the experience. It’s sad that this medium has died down so much, but maybe because of it dying down, we can see some really amazing things happen to the industry.

Alan Ng: Magazine (especially covers), and social media.

Patrick Leung: Photography and film/video.

Alan Law: Stencils.


What is HYPE?

Hasan Hamze: HYPE is excitement, stimulus and buzz. HYPE creates an event before it happens. To be completely honest I do not remember how I answered it the first time but I imagine my first answer would have been similar.

Chris Danforth: To me, HYPE is an euphemism amongst younger audiences for aggressive advertising, or a buzz around a certain entity that is in some ways short-lived.

Frankie Angai: I feel like my definition of HYPE changes all the time. Today, it’s about just being you. Doing what you believe in and sticking with it. Tomorrow it’s about Sushi. Or not – but fuck, that stuff is amazing.

Patrick Leung: HYPE is when you come across something that’s unique, interesting, intriguing, and inspiring.

Alan Law: HYPE = notoriety x (mystery + exclusivity).

Patrick Giang: HYPE is a feeling you get when something out of the ordinary happens and when it does you have nothing of your natural instincts reacting to what needs to be accomplished at that very moment

Jenkin Au: HYPE is a contagion. In its simplest form, it is that moment when you say something and someone else says the same thing at the same time and then you look at each other and nod because you were on the same wavelength. In a more massive sense, it is a detached mob mentality – you’re all disconnected physically but something is going on and your mind is thinking in the same way as if you were all on the same wavelength. You gravitate towards whatever the pulse is, whether consciously or subconsciously, like a zombie drawn towards humans. On a moment’s notice, you evolve out of that pulse and then you’re hit with the next contagion. HYPE is all around – it’s inescapable because everyone has their HYPE.

Ryan Goldade: HYPE is the momentum created by initial acclaim.

Alan Ng: HYPE is faith to me. To God, and faith to people I work with. I am driven by the fact that people believe in me. Their support and trust to my vision are the only reason why we are even able to share just a little HYPE to you all of you readers in the first place. IN HYPE/GOD I TRUST.