Dallas’ Newest Double Threat: Hip-Hop Lyricist & Designer 88 Killa

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Sam by Jeremy Biggers

How many creators do you know that can make magic through music and fashion all in one breath? That type of talent is a rare commodity.  A talent that can be found in DEFDISCO signee Donovan Payne, who goes by the stage name 88 Killa.  88 is a true double threat.  Not only does he create gems in the studio, but also designs apparel for the Brain Gang Misfits.  His chic designs and retro influence gives collide in such a unique way while paying homage to his main inspirations from the golden era of hip hop.  The Fort Worth native is making news while anticipation rises for the release of his sophomore EP entitled 88 BPM on the 5th of August.  His music and style compliment each other in such a way that creates collaborative and complete content. Don’t believe me? Ask local, female rapper, Sam Lao, who is also an affiliate of the Brain Gang.  As a style icon in the metroplex, she can be spotted rocking some of 88’s signature designs.  

We sat down with the designer/rapper and discussed his endeavors:

88 shot by Karlo Ramos

DFW Style Daily: I heard that you design clothing for yourself & the Brain Gang Misfits.  How did you get into that?

88 Killa: “I got into designing our own stuff as a way to try to make extra money after shows and had a little success here and there but it wasn’t until I shifted focus onto making purely my own stuff that I began to really enjoy it. I learned that a lot of the major brands that exist are basically getting free advertising from people like me, and instead of channeling that money and exposure into their pockets, I would rather it go into mine. Plus, I wanted to start a brand that people could wear as real life clothing options rather than just ‘merch’ so that’s why I try to keep my designs subtle and versatile rather than having my face plastered all over it.”

What are some of the designs that you pride the most?

“I really like my beanies because that’s my signature clothing item and my long sleeve shirt. I have some jackets and more fall/winter appropriate items coming soon that I will be proud of as well.”

Sam and 88 by Jeremy Biggers

What are a few projects in the fashion realm that you were working on now?

“I want to make more unisex pieces that can be worn throughout the year (mainly jackets, hats, socks, and crew neck tees) and also begin dabbling into custom pieces for automobiles and maybe one-day collab with BMW – fingers crossed.”

To check out more content from the up-and-coming Dallas double threat, visit his website at www.88killa.com. New designs and merchandise are soon to be released so stay tuned.  He is also hosting a free album release party this Saturday for his rapidly approaching sophomore EP entitled 88 BPM.  It starts at Spinster Records beginning at 8 p.m. Come show some love and make sure to check out the merch table!

Check out 88’s new music video, directed by Dallas’ Jeremy Biggers, for his newest single “Boomerang” here for the exclusive premiere on HypeFresh.

Image 1 and 3 courtesy of Jeremy Biggers of Stem and Thorn. Image 2 courtesy of Karlo X. Ramos.

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