Continuing with our "Never Before Seen" memories, flicks, and collabs; we introduce an interview with Anwar Taj co-founder of Peas&Carrots Intl, now solely with Carrots. We did this interview in 2010 in LA at the now defunct, Reserve store in the Fairfax District. Enjoy the read.
Also, check out the Kerplunk page for more pictures from the trip.
For the record, what’s your name? Age? Where you from?
Anwar Taj Washington or Anwar Carrots. 20. Born in Trenton, New Jersey. [I was] raised in Orlando, Florida. Lived in Saint Thomas [the Virgin Islands] for 2 years. [And], raised in LA [for] . . . 6 years.
Anwar is Arabic for “luminous.” Could you shed some light (no pun intended) on how you got it?
My dad actually named me Anwar; wanted to name me after someone great. Anwar Sadat, the president of Egypt. Wikipedia him. *laughs* Google Anwar Sadat.
What exactly do you do? Or better yet, what don’t you do?
What don’t I do? I don’t make music. *laughs* I don’t rap. I'm not a rapper.
So, what exactly is the Peas and Carrots movement? Who does it encompass? And, what is your title in the group?
Peas & Carrots . . . I've been doing since 9th grade. I started with this one cat and he went another way and [then] I started messing with my boy, Josh Peas. I went to high school with Josh and I told him about it and he was down. He said to turn it into a lifestyle. It consists of me, Josh and Casey Veggies. I got Arrogant Veggies also; which is all the homies.
What's your ultimate direction for Peas and Carrots?
A: Ultimate direction would have to be management; what use to go down back in the day, which is artist development guidance. That’s what really going down. That’s not how I look at it. I know all these people; they are homies doing great shit and I just back it. I’m just out here showing the world what they doing: a SOS for looking at the West. *laughs*
What are your favorite brands? And, explain your relationship with Rogue Status. How did you start working there?
Supreme, number one. Rebel 8, Deadline ( out of New York), Huf, I love Huf shit. 5th Column, Rockers NYC, Night Trade from Japan, Lafayette NYC. There's more. I like a lot of Japanese shit, high quality.
I started working with Rogue Status through my mother’s husband. He linked me up with the brand manager, who is Jasper Watts. [He] brought me by the office. They liked my energy. I kept it one hundred. I just liked the culture. It wasn’t anything like “I’m trying to get this place.” I was really into graphics. I loved t-shirts since I was 16. They put me on because I actually seen shit popping by me [just] being there. It’s just more minorities started fucking with it and I don’t think it was suppose to go that way. It’s a good thing; niggas coming through and spending a rack on Rogue Status. Who does that? *laughs* A lot of stories from working there but not really into Rogue anymore.
You have done shoots for X-Large, Black Scale, Rebel 8, Imperium, and 5th Column. How did you get into modeling?
I’ve been doing it since 2003. I just don’t tell my story like that. *laughs* Really, [started] with the whole "urban" Stussy. I was walking down the street with this chick, I went to Stussy.
Nah, here on La Brea with Victoria . . . I mean, Virginia hooked me up with the dude. They liked my look. I ended up doing it again the next year, the next stuff. Thanks for the free clothes; cut a check. A lot of brands don’t cut checks. Put you guys on blast.
How did you meet up with our friend, Geoffrey Beans, from Beans & Croydon ?
I met Geoffrey through 5th Column or Imperium. He found out about me and I kicked it with him in Frisco. That’s one dude I want to shout out the most. He got me some money. I fuck with anybody who gets me some money. *laughs* That’s one person I can call, I don’t fuck with people like that, and talk about anything to level my head out. He looks out for me. I met him through BlackScale, too. I did a shoot with him and he saw a certain glow in me. I don’t know why he fuck with me but shout out Geoff.
How did you meet up with Casey Veggies?
Casey, there’s a whole era that LA had missed out on. There are different crews, everybody had their crews. Dip Set, Flip Mode. I had started with my own crew called Strange Boys. We had clicked up with another crew, Priceless. Dame, Josh, and Reggie. My boy, Charlie introduced me to Dame. We were going through the city, living that LA life. 3rd Street, all the time; fucking with bitches, always wanted to stay fly. [We] influenced by other crews because everybody had three different bitches, etc. For me, it was a dope scene because I came from the Islands. I don't fuck with nobody. I’m just a dolo nigga out here. Casey got influenced by us. He wanted to be a part of Priceless But, at the time, he was like 13. He hit us on the internet, wanting to be in. He had gone to school with the guys from Priceless. I came out here for 9th grade. At the end of my 10th grade year, 05/06 and was I was like “Nah, you too young and he said “Fuck ya'll niggas” and had his own crew, WOTB (Wheels On The Bus). They were deep, like a hundred deep. They had hella niggas following a wave. Like, 07, I was 17 and he was about 15 and said yeah, he can fuck with us now and he was solo. That’s where the whole “Customized Greatly” came from; different influences from different people. All we wanted to do is have fun, have money in our pockets live life, stay fly, fuck with bitches. No problem, life goes on, problems do occur.
A dream project that you always wanted to do?
I want to A&R whole projects; pick the beats, pick the features. I don’t know for whom but it got to be somebody I fuck with and someone big I can get a good check off of. *laughs* I want to be the next Plain Pat type of shit. Dom Kennedy is a role model to look after, from the outside looking in. Just the moves he makes; the Hip Hop 1987 shit, the networking meeting different people, and bringing all his connections in one thing. Gucci mane. If he wasn’t on Rick Ross album . . . if it wasn’t for him, Ricky wouldn’t have the Album of the Year. It’s all in good taste. Got to have good taste.
How long have you been in this so-called "Street Wear" culture?
Since 06, about 5 years.
How did you meet Tyler the Creator and the guys from Odd Future?
Tyler met him at like 15, then, Casey. He really wanted to do the music thing and Tyler was Tyler by himself and said “Fuck it,” went and did his own thing, [and] got his army. I met the rest of them this year.
How long have you been growing your dreads? Do you plan on every cutting them ?
I’ve been growing them like since I was 6 months old. Never cut them since I was a baby. If I cut my hair, I lose my power. I am never cutting my hair.
Explain wavy? What does it mean to you? Use it in a sentence.
Wavy . . . I got the whole wave from French Montana, Max B. I pay homage like I was in the movement. Max B got locked up in Trenton and I’m born in Trenton. Like, I walked past the prison and shit. Free Max B. The whole wave, pretty much, Max B. Wave means a following or swagger. “That's wavy” or a girl “She’s wavy.” Like, a movement: “That wave.” A wave is something that crashes the shore. All my niggas I fuck with got waves. They have a following.
Who is your closest female friend?
*laughs* I have to say Seiko.
Is there anyone you'd like to acknowledge for offering financial or emotional support?
Hibedde, Chase N. Cashe, my nigga, Carter, Josh, there’s a lot more. Nick Diamond, Mike Giant, Josh Peas, Benny Gold, Shawn from Rockers, June Bug of Deadline, dope dude.
How do you stay in touch with this world? Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Thank god for Twitter *laughs* and Tumblr. I love Twitter and Tumblr. Facebook too. But, I really don’t be fucking with Facebook thing. When I went to the east coast, I noticed the social network. They keep in touch with the peoples. I don’t fuck with it like that. I attached my Tumblr to my Facebook ,so, my Facebook is all my Tumblr feed, just in case, people don’t mess with Tumbler, they be on Facebook. I’m not with the whole Facebook chatting thing. The people I fuck with got my number they call me, text me, bbm me or whatever. But, mainly Twitter and Tumblr.
Twitter: @anwarcarrots Tumblr: blog.anwarcarrots.com
Last words for your fans or haters?
Casey Veggies drops December 13th. It tells a story. You can relate to the music. You can get inspired from music. It’s timeless. I see a lot of myself in “Sleeping in Class.” God bless. Pray, every day.