Pure Rad Living: A Conversation with Tyler Grosso (2015)
Written by Greg Harris
Modern Life Mag has been around long enough to produce content that has stayed our readers over time. Making the magazine during a time where it was a renaissance in music and art, we had a chance to converse and work with the likes of Gianni Lee, Kali Uchis, Raz Fresco, Tyler Mitchell, Josh Peas, DJ Mustard, and more. In this collection of material we've shared over time, one of the most entertaining and insightful pieces we had was with Tyler Grosso.
One of the last survivors and believers in streetwear culture, Grosso has paved the road from his work as a designer and being a playmaker with artists in his career. He got his start with interning for the late and legendary tastemaker ASAP Yams, since then he's propelled his brand, Superrradical as one of the last organic brands who's producing quality goods in the streetwear community.
Here we revisit a conversation we had with him in 2015 during the initial ascension of his brand, him getting deeper into his role as a curator, and ultimately becoming someone who people are going to get familiar with due to his consistency and detail to design. Check out the interview below and enjoy.
How's your Modern Life?
My life is fucking great right now, finally for the first time in like 2 years. I can't complain.
How would you describe Tyler Grosso in three words?
Damn 3 words... I'd say optimistic, shy (no homo), and.. lazy hahah but I'm working on the last two.
You're from Charlotte, an area in the South that gets looked over to a certain extent. How would you say Charlotte inspired your lifestyle now?
Back in 2013, and I'm sure its still like this unfortunately, there was no culture. no one liked the right music, no one had dressed cool, no one was creative. I discovered this lifestyle I live through the internet and I was the only one in Charlotte who wanted to be different from the mold that was Charlotte... so that dryness really inspired me to want to move to New York and get myself popping.
You moved to New York not too long ago, so how would speak on the differences of their lifestyle and how has it influenced you?
Like I said.. its literally polar opposites. Not trying to diss my hometown but no one really got the right vision down there. I hope it changes soon. Cities outside NY are finally getting it, like Dallas & Atlanta, those scenes are popping. Hopefully one day Charlotte can start to pop.
Your reasoning for moving to New York was to work alongside ASAP Mob as a graphic designer. What have you learned while closely working with them?
Dog.. even though everyone is young they've all been the big brother/role model for me that I was missing all my life. everyone in ASAP has given me some input/advice that has helped me a lot. They haven't held my hand at all, they can be hard on me *pause* but they all look out for me and I can't think them enough. After Yams passed, Lou & 12vy gave me a spot to live. I just cant say enough.
Photos by Greg Harris
One of main support systems was ASAP Yams. For someone who had a eye for talent, what were some of your favorite memories with one another?
Damn. Every day was something new. I loved Yams man. No one in the world will ever be as funny as him. He was really a different kind of human. He was so smart and like really had this marketing behind the scenes shit on lock. Wherever he went he brought me with him, I just sat back and listened and he taught me a lot about this music industry shit, he really wanted me to come up.
Not only have you learned to work with ASAP Mob, you branched out to make your own brand, Supperrradical. What inspired you to make your own threads?
I never really made clothes because I wanted to, I made them because i felt i needed to. A few years ago street wear was really dead and whatever was around was really wack so i made Superrradical to just try to make good brand, some real dirty street shit. It's had some bumps along the way but its finally right where i need it to be.
Your brand is reflective towards a time when streetwise was fueled by true artists that had messages behind their gear. In a time where street wear feels oversaturated, how do you separate yourself from the static?
I think what differentiates Superrradical from the others is in all honesty its just not wack lol. You're not gonna see triangles or DOPE in cursive font on tank tops. I really think I have an eye for this shit. I can't make that high fashion shit but I can definitely kill this street wear shit.
What are your thoughts on today's youth and fashion?
I don't really want to offend anyone with this one haha. I think too many kids want to be popping on the internet. Thats a fact. But at the same time 99% of them bring NOTHING to the table. Too many kids cloning shit, everyone wants 10K followers, everyone wants to make a brand that copies MIDNIGHT. Be different, let it come natural. Being popular on the internet isn't all that, trust me. A positive thing i can say however is I love how many people are apart of the "youth" scene. All these old heads and companies watch our shit closely. The youth is in control.
"I think too many kids want to be popping on the internet. Thats a fact. But at the same time 99% of them bring NOTHING to the table. Too many kids cloning shit, everyone wants 10K followers, everyone wants to make a brand that copies MIDNIGHT. Be different, let it come natural. Being popular on the internet isn't all that, trust me. A positive thing i can say however is I love how many people are apart of the "youth" scene. All these old heads and companies watch our shit closely. The youth is in control."
What are thoughts about the Internet and how it has its positive and negative effects?
Without the internet I probably wouldn't be alive. I was depressed heavily as a teen but through the internet I met Yams, A$AP, created a fan base, sold clothes, make a living all that. I love the internet. But the downside is people just wanna believe anything they see on the net. People don't want to go outside. Kids don't want normal jobs, no one wants to be a doctor. We need doctors.
Who are three people you converse on a daily basis?
Everyday I talk to A$AP Lou, A$AP 12vy, and.. we'll call this person "Cee"... he runs New York.. he's my OG lol
Who are three people you listen to on a daily basis?
Everyday I listen to Rocky's new album, Young Dolph, and this sick ass band from Cali called MIZERY.
What are three of your pet peeves?
I'm so glad you asked.. I cannot stand when people bite their nails, chew ice, and don't listen to me when I'm talking to them.
Where are your three favorite cities?
New York, Dallas, & Los Angeles
What are three things you want to accomplish this year?
I'm trying to have 20 racks in my bank account at all times, make a movie, and get sponsored by Vitamin Water