Interview with Ibn Jasper


His real name is Ibn Jasper, but you may know him as Ferrari Murakami or F.M. Phenomenal. He’s part skateboarder, part traveling image consultant, stylist and world class barber to none other than Kanye West. From beginnings in Chicago where he “was 1 of the top 5 barbers in the city of Chicago from 1995- 2004“, you can now see his work everywhere from Kanye’s music videos (almost every video released from 808’s & Heartbreak and Graduation), to the covers of GQ, Rolling Stone, TIME and VIBE. It’s good to be him: Kanye named one of his Louis Vuitton sneakers the Jasper, he received the Air Yeezy’s the same time Kanye received them, still finds the time to skateboard and has just moved into fresh new digs in Hollywood.  We caught up with him briefly on a photo shoot for West in Paris.

Read the interview after the jump.

 LH: All right, let’s get right to it man. It’s your profession so how do you stay fresh and on top of your image game?

F.M.: I check the blogs daily and hit the stores in whatever city that I’m in to see what’s there. If you have a hunger you have to feed it, you know?

LH: What label is going to be big in 2009?

F.M.: Pastelle of course…

LH: Say Zariff calls in sick, how much do you charge President Obama for a cut?

F.M.: Ask my agent!

LH: What place would you finish in a game of S-K-A-T-E between yourself, Terry Kennedy and Pharrell?

F.M.: Terry would most definitely beat me and Pharrell.

LH: We know you’re a big Air Jordan fan, so tell us, do you prefer to skate in skate shoes or basketball shoes?

F.M.: It depends on the shoe. Jordan 1s are the original Nike SB shoe, but now there is so much stuff in the sole of b-ball shoes that you lose the feel of the board. My favorite shoe for skating in right now is the low top Nike Blazer SB in suede.

LH: You’re always traveling, what’s your best packing tip?

F.M.: The best packing tip is to not over pack.

LH: What are your favorite city’s/hotels/skate spots?

F.M.: My favorite cities are Tokyo, NYC and Melbourne, Australia. Hotels are Grand Hyatt in Tokyo and the Mercer in NYC. The skateparks in Australia are really dope. I go to skateparks in the cities that we hit on tour ’cause I like skating mini ramps. Culver City skatepark in LA and my boy Casey took me to his friend’s house where there’s a home made skatepark on the tennis court in his backyard. There’s a really fun 3ft mini ramp there.

LH: Complete this sentence, “In my carry on, I always have:”

F.M.: In my carry on, I always have 2 pairs of Jordans, my other laptop (I travel with 2), my 500 gig external hard drive, HD video camera and fisheye lens.

LH: What’s the last thing you purchased?

F.M.: Some low top Lanvin sneakers in Paris.

LH: What is the absolute dopest thing about Nigo’s house?

F.M.: The dopest thing about Nigo’s house is being able to walk into Nigo’s house.

LH:  At the 808s & Heartbreak press conference in New Zealand, Kanye said he was turning in his Aston for a Maybach, you still have your Mercedes Mclaren SLR?  And do you even have time drive it?

F.M.: C’mon man, be realistic. I’m a barber, I can’t afford an SLR. That joint is Kanye’s. I just get to move it around sometimes.

LH: It was a few summers ago when you were beginning to talk a little bit about your involvement with Pastelle, what can you tell us about it now?

F.M.: It’s gonna be dope as hell!

LH: There was talk about your own clothing label, what’s the story?

F.M.: Still writing it…


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