David Tran is the man to thank for the Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce you douse your scrambled eggs with every morning. You know the stuff. Red bottle with a green cap and a rooster on the front—plus five languages on the bottle—this simple sauce connects people from different cultures and backgrounds. “It never occurred to me that our hot sauce could get so much attention and acceptance from different people," said Tran. Today, Tran oversees a hot sauce empire, but he comes from humble beginnings. He arrived in the United States from Vietnam 40 years ago as a refugee. So how did the founder of Huy Fong Foods turn his fresh, homemade hot sauce into an internationally-recognized brand and household staple? We visited his factory in Irwindale, California, to learn the secret to his sauce.
Khule Ngubane is a skateboarder from Durban, South Africa. From a poor neighborhood of the Zulu community, ever since he was young, he followed a different path through skateboarding that changed his life. Now he travels the world and inspires kids from his home country via the Indigo Skate Camp.
We drove to Santa Cruz, California for a tour of the NHS Distribution facility - home of Santa Cruz Skateboards, Independent Trucks, Creature, Flip, Ricta, Mob, Krux, OJ's, Nor Cal, Strange Notes and more. In this first video, Dave Freil gives us a tour of the graphics printing processes that have been used to create millions of the most classic boards and wheels in skateboarding history. Watch and learn.
LA-based artist Matt McCormick, who designed the cover artwork for the issue, evokes this struggle to reconnect through his paintings of American heroes and cowboys. “It’s kind of like painting the world that I want to live in,” says McCormick. “It’s all based around getting to this place of mental freedom; it’s a series of so many pieces to get to that feeling of the quietness which for several years I took the shortcut with the drugs to do that…This is my way to feel at peace.”
When his career progressed beyond being a celebrity tattoo artist, McCormick’s style reflected his interest in classic American icons and the environments they inhabited. Far from a surface-level portrayal of these Old West figures, the artist’s personal experiences with substance abuse constantly impact his work. “I’m sober for a reason. I was a heroin addict for several years and the thing with heroin, and you know opiates and all that, in general, is that the state quiets everything … the reason I bring that up is because of the feeling that I’m chasing with all these different pieces,” he says.
We connected with McCormick at his studio in Downtown Los Angeles for the latest installment of HYPEBEAST Impressions. Watch the video above to see the entire visit with the artist.
In 2012, while living in China, longtime e-waste recycler Eric Lundgren manufactured 28,000 PC restore discs to be used in refurbished computers sold in the United States. The shipment of discs, exact copies of Dell-branded Microsoft Windows CDs, immediately raised suspicions with U.S. Customs officers, beginning a chain of events that would alter Lundgren’s life for the next seven years.