By: Joseph “J. Hyphen” Poakwa
As chants from the L.E.P Bogus Boys rang out from the steady house flat screen, our scene was set. 2011 has seen the dominant emergence of younger, and younger men and women with extraordinary talents take over the forefront of Arts and Entertainment. More frequently we have seen names like Collin Tilley, Adele, and Mark Zuckerberg championed for their continual growth and influence in todays society. However, this is no overnight scheme. Brand builders such as these have been cultivating their respective fields for years. Across the board there is one distinct trait, sheer passion for their craft. This new age of entrepreneurs refuses to stop expanding their influence. They refuse to listen to outsiders and critics, and Keep Going. Bubbling down in Los Angeles, California is the life of a youngin’ no different in passion and perspective as the aforementioned names. A tastemaker of sorts for the youth, Anwar “Carrots” Washington, is living out his brand in similar fashion, as he pushes through the crowd and pushes out his dreams with a refusal to quit. Hailing from Trenton, New Jersey, Anwar “Carrots” Washington has been on his journey for some time now. Walking through the city with high hopes and tan Timb boots, Anwar has seen the rise of the Peas and Carrots brand, as well as, the rise of client and friend Casey Veggies to the public eye. With more up his sleeve to come, 20 year old Anwar “Carrots” Washington, is not showing signs of slowing down his grind anytime soon. LKG recently sat down with the young leader to discuss the Peas and carrots brand, Swag Soakin’, and where he’s about to take things.
First, congrats on everything. How do you handle your continuing success?
I want to say thank you to start this off. How do I handle it? You snap out of it. You start having epiphanies about shit, like whoa! Shits Real! I started seeing how people started to treat me now; just the attitude of the people and its like, wow, I must really be poppin’ right now. But, with that I just gotta stay humble. Fuck it! Imma keep doing this shit, its fun to me. Everything I do is fun.
Your brand is very unique. Why Peas & Carrots though?
Coordination, Before, it just started like, it was two things that went together. Inspired by the whole aesthetic of Crooks & Castles as a brand. Those were two things that actually go together, succinct. You just gotta stay consistent with the same shit. Now we are getting older, and Peas and Carrots is more than a million dollar idea. I can go so many avenues with this shit. Now its come to fruition for me that, “Life is like a Garden”. Start small, expand. It was just me and Josh (Joshton “Peas”). The colors are perfect to me. I want orange and green to be like the new navy blue. I never understood that , “It’s the new black” shit. Like what the fuck is that? What does that mean? Then living out here you understand its more Crips out here than any other thing, and the safest color you can wear out this mutha fucka is navy blue. Period [laughs]. You can’t even wear royal blue really.
That must have been real a culture shock. We hear you are from Jersey?
Yeah, a huge culture shock but I had to adapt quick! Born in Trenton, NJ, raised in Orlando. I lived in Orlando for about eleven years. I was back and forth; south, north connection. Every summer I went to my grandmother’s. My grandmother stay on the same street I was raised on [in Trenton]; My uncle their, auntie there. In Florida, my dad didn’t want me growing up in Trenton; its real down there, too real! Trenton ain’t got shit on Camden though. I am not fuckin’ with Camden, but Trenton, you can go there. I still see the same dudes just posted. I lived in the United States Virgin Islands before Los Angeles.
Trenton, to Orlando, to St. Thomas USVI, to LA. What was that like?
I got out here in ’04 from the Virgin Islands (St. Thomas), The day I moved out here I seen a gang of Black P. Stones (BPS) beat up a whole bunch of mexicans! I’m at the park like, “This shit real? Is this a movie?” Beating this nigga ass for no reason at all. I stayed on 25th and Third. This was right in the bloods, like, I looked the shit up on youtube. It was just connecting the dots with everything for me, like this shit is too cliche [laughs]. Literally, the park I was at was right across from my place. The first day there, I went outside in all brown, oblivious that that’ s they enemies; the 30′s. I had on a brown fitted, brown T, brown shorts; outside just playing’ ball. These niggas outside, all black on, red belts, “Aye blood where you from?” I’m like, “I’m from Jersey.” They like, “Oh blood ain’t from round here! You can’t be having’ all that brown on.” I’m just like, word? I had to ask though. Closed mouth don’t get fed you know. I caught on quick; had to get neutral real fast [laughs]. I was here two days, and was like, hell no! I am not getting’ caught up in this shit. You don’t know how to adapt when you go places, you’re fucked. You’ll just be sitting there moping , or not wanting to go outside. Just scared of your environment; scared of your own people. I am not scared of my people at all. I can’t. Shit real out here Mann! Over… it was the greatest move ever! I love Los Angeles, California!
Great mind frame to have. So now you’re in LA, how did you and Casey Veggies start working with one and other?
Started with a few folks I got attached to it (PRiCELE$$, Prep Gang in Los Angeles 2006-2008). Paid my dues, paid my homage, gave my respect, all that shit. Shit grew, and grew. We threw parties, got money, grew. Casey saw us and was like, “Man I’m trying to be apart of that shit.” This nigga is like 13. I said, “Nigga you young my nigga; Finish middle school first at least.” He was like, “Fuck y’all then”. That’s how it was. I was like ok, ok. He said fuck y’all, went and started his own shit; started his own crew. You had Wheels on da bus [W.O.D.B] , and every crew had like a team hat on some click shit. So, it went from that, and I was like wow! I fucks with you just cause you said fuck us. Like fuck us! Shit who the fuck are we. I can’t tell you that can’t be from some shit; well I can if its ours,but at the same time, start your own shit. Everybody has the same opportunity. Everybody can do the same shit. That’s why sky is the limit. That showed me enough. I believe in this nigga just off that. I didn’t know he rapped. Then he was like, “Oh yeah, I rap.” We were like what? You ain’t trying’ to spit. Fuck out of here with that shit [laughs]. A year later, that nigga came back harder. The next summer I heard his shit, I’m like, “Yo, if your gonna do this shit, you can’t play with it.” It went serious for him. We were like 17, he was 14. From then on, Boom! He became Priceless, and his mentality was greater than all these other mutha fuckas out here. A young kid.
That was a bar, that tumblr look from Complex Magazine last week.
Man, you know niggas look at that shit at times like, “Oh Complex, he got that look, whatever.” To me it’s a big fucking deal. I remember Pharrell said in his renegotiation skit on his Gangsta Grillz, “Who do you know?” Places where shits not really poppin and all they have is the internet and TV, they look at that shit totally fuckin’ different, like that shit is wavy! [Peasandcarrotsinternational.tumblr.com]. Appreciate the love everyone shows us on the site. Appreciate the look on Hypebeast too! Blessing to whom spread the word about us to them. You know who you are!
Dope. So what is your affiliation with The Trap House store, because word is that it’s your store?
I did the whole Creative Direction, but it was more of an experiment for me or basically an art project. In my opinion… It worked, shit! G shit, what happened… it was nothing in that store. He was doing that shit with another dude, his homie or whatever. Dude was just giving him all these bullshit ideas like putting a runway inside the shop ! They had some whole other name they were gonna call the shit. We ended up smoking, and I was like “you know what would be tight? A store about the Trap house.” I coordinated every direction and nigga’s just fell in love with the shit. Plus it was a way for me to pay homage to the brand that helped us out with our movement. Open daily 4948 W Pico Blvd.
How did you get involved with Highsnobiety and Hypebeast?
Meeting the editors at trade shows. All it takes is to get up, get out, and do something. You don’t even gotta be all, “I’m so business-y, I got appointments and shit.” Go explore, like fuck, just go. You also have to speak up… closed mouths don’t get fed. You gotta connect & connect the dots.
So you started going out there and niggas just started fucking with you?
Real eyes recognize real lies is how I look at it. Eugene from Hypebeast; Pete over at Highsnobiety; and the folks at Slamxhype… yes to answer that question as well. They started fucking with me. I respect them.