Hip hop, anime and esports: FaZe Clan’s partnership with Takashi Murakami is a perfect marriage
The worlds of fashion and esports continue to collide.
Guild Esports had several garments designed by Fergus Purcell, G2 Esports partnered with Ralph Lauren and Gen.G Esports sported Puma jerseys. All of these collaborations are great. But for me, FaZe Clan’s partnership with Takashi Murakami is the most exciting yet.
Takashi Murakami is a contemporary Japanese artist, one of the most famous in the world, with decades of legendary work. Speaking of the collaboration, Murakami said, “Some people may think our association is rather incongruous. But in 30 years, the meaning of this collaboration in the context of art history may be reviewed and reassessed. And so, while I felt a little embarrassed to do a collaboration with such young people, I granted their request, confident in the freshness of the landscape that the future audience will see in this project.
“While I felt a little embarrassed to collaborate with such young people, I acceded to their request, confident in the freshness of the landscape.”
I’m glad he did. To call this incongruous pairing is not to see the full picture. It’s a dream game, and FaZe took the gold. He is more than one of the most innovative and influential artists in recent history. He has a rich involvement in multiple industries that intersect with the esports audience. Although this is Murakami’s first esports project, there are many signs that his work is being received with great satisfaction.
From memes on Twitter to high-production videos for tournaments, anime is deeply rooted in esports culture. There’s a reason companies like Riot and Valve have invested in the anime – they know it’s something else their fans are interested in. Young and old, where you find esports fans, you find anime fans.
With that in mind, it’s easy to bet on Murakami’s style that resonates with esports fans. His signature style is what’s called Superflat, an art movement with a deep influence drawn from anime and manga. Not only is he part of this movement, but it is he who largely led it. Murakami not only has an anime-inspired style, he has the anime inspired style. If FaZe wanted someone to help capture this audience, there is no one better than Murakami.
But a lot of Murakami’s influence is on something else: hip hop. It is undoubtedly from there that comes most of its notoriety in the Western world. His most famous business collaborations have been designing album covers for Kanye West. With brilliant and memorable covers for Graduation and Kids See Ghosts, Murakami is an important figure in hip hop history.
Hip hop is another industry that overlaps a lot with esports. With both spaces having huge audiences of young men, it’s no surprise that we continue to see these worlds intertwine. Esports shows host raps and fight numbers on one side, and famous hip hop artists continue to invest in esports teams on the other.
FaZe is easily one of the leaders in the combination of esports and hip hop.
The FaZe house is famous for hosting a slew of top rappers for parties and collaborations. At one point, they even recruited Lil Yachty to the team. Asked about it, he said, “Faze Clan is the best playgroup in the world, and I was a fan since high school. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of it? “
Lil Yachty went on to say esports “goes to the top”. He added that “hip hop and gaming will continue to intersect” as artists get younger. There is always a need for games and music.
FaZe understands hip hop better than anyone in esports. Partnering with a hip hop icon like Murakami, they now have the perfect fit to continue to make inroads with this audience.
There are tons of reasons why Murakami’s involvement in esports is exciting. Sometimes, however, it is better to ‘walk the walk’.
Taking a look at this collection, it’s clear that he did. It wasn’t a low-effort cash grab on his part. The swimsuits are gorgeous and epitomize all that is good about her Superflat style. With a reasonable price range of $ 50 to $ 100 plus, FaZe should have a job well done.
Many fans have been understandably skeptical whenever big brands or big names enter esports. Too often, it seems like they’re only looking for quick cash. I don’t think that’s the case for Takashi Murakami. He has a great foundation for understanding what esports fans want and has already done a tremendous job. Murakami has built his career by continually blurring the boundaries of culture. This time he’s doing it for esports.