"Na ka mua, na ka muli."
Belonging to the older, belonging to the younger.
On a higher conscious level, time is all relative. In cosmology, it is thought that the future can affect the past and depending on the observerʻs reference, the future and/or past may also be experienced in the present. An example of this is viewing sunlight, which because of the distance that light has to travel from lā, is in actuality, eight minutes and 20 seconds old; yet weʻre experiencing this right now, in the present.
Na piko ʻekolu, or three piko, is a spiritual belief some kānaka maoli subscribe to, which connects us physically to the past, present, and future, in addition to the cosmos. This theory was shared pre-Western contact in Hawaiʻi, and is said to have helped with harmony and health/well-being. ʻEkolu piko is said to also represent the mind, body, and soul, as well as the the three main body points: piko i (head) which connects to our past and ʻuhane, piko ō (middle) which give us our naʻau (gut) feeling and informs us of the decisions we make in the present (and is also where emotions, knowledge, and wisdom are seated), and lastly, the piko ā (loins), in which our seeds, or next generation emerge from. It is in this divine order, top, middle, and bottom, that we are able to pass on the knowledge we've obtained throughout our life on to he hanahuna.
In Hawaiian culture, pālua, or duality, is an important concept. It can represent the relationship between life and death, good and evil, light and dark, the sunrise and sunset, and past and future. As we mentioned earlier, the latter concept of time is incredibly powerful. There are times where we look to the past, where the sun sets and po (darkness) prevails to inspire us in the present, which may help shape the future for the next generation.
As many of you have come to know over the past 15 years, our artistic roots are profoundly and firmly rooted in Hip-Hop culture and music with a particular focus on the 90s. In the past, we've referenced everyone from ‪Mobb Deep‬ to ‪A Tribe Called Quest‬, ‪De La Soul‬, and Biggie. With this latest graphic, we used the concept of past and future while paying homage to Pete Rock and ‪CL Smooth‬, the illustrious duo who blessed us with two paradigm-shifting albums: their 1992 debut LP Mecca and the Soul Brother, and the '94 banger, The Main Ingredient, both of which nearly claimed the coveted five mic rating in The Source magazine.
While the image is symbolic of Chocolate Boy Wonder and CL Smoothʻs logo used across all of their collaborative albums, we also looked to the historic past at statues carved out of stone. Such kiʻi pōhaku were found on Nihoa, one of ten islands found in the leeward Hawaiian islands, just Northwest of Kauaʻi and Niʻihau. Hawaiian mythology explores the belief that these stone carvings were portraits of our ancestral Gods: Kū (whose name means "to rise") and Hina (which roughly translates to "leaning down"), with the former representing kāne, and the latter serving as a deity for wahine. The slab-shaped pohaku are known as male, while the flat-shaped stone carvings represent the female.
Just as these ancient tales are what helped forge the many principles and values that modern Hawaiians hold today, it is the influence of the two gifted Hip-Hop scribes, the Mecca and the Soul Brother, that helped form the silhouette of this new design weʻre calling "T.R.O.Y."