Meet NYC-based queer MC and producer F. Virtue, whose latest creation, a virtual reality video set to his new track "Orange Juice," brings together some of our favorite things: great hip-hop, high fashion, and The Sims (as you've never seen them before.) The three-and-a-half minute clip features Sim "cameos" from some of our favorite names in fashion: Shayne Oliver (HBA), Mike the Ruler, and Asspizza, as well as digital pieces by Nasir Mazhar, Moschino, Versace, and Balmain, to name a few. Check out the trippy film below.
F. Virtue's arc as a queer member of the hip-hop scene has not always been easy. "Growing up as an obsessive hip-hop fan who was closeted, I felt very isolated. The MCs I idolized and studied didn't speak for me, and oftentimes would just straight up put gay people down. So I decided I didn't want other kids to feel the way I did, I wanted to be a voice for them, to let them know things will be okay."
He released an electrifying video in 2013, where through rap and his passion for music he came out to the public. Since then, things have started looking up.
"Now that I'm happily out and married (and that marriage is legal in the US) the inspiration behind my art is shifting towards a new age of self discovery. Of course there is still a lot to be done for human rights around the globe, but now my biggest influence is day-to-day life. It's more fluid. But what exactly it is, I'm still figuring out. All in all, my main goal as an artist is both to connect with people, and myself."
He has also released a video with footage of his adorable and elegant wedding, set to another of his potent hip-hop tunes, "Growing Old."
F. Virtue cites fashion as a major source of inspiration in his work, and with the "cameos" in his latest video and New York Men's Fashion Week well underway, we asked him to tell us more about personal style can mix with other art forms.
"Well, fashion is a way of being. It's like matter, a fabric that runs through and connects everything. It's not just getting dressed or serving a look, it's an essence of life. The same way that art is. And that music is. It's all the same. That sounds heavy but it's actually light. A positive feeling in doing something aesthetically compelling that also represents you, and that's where fashion gets its true power, when it becomes an embodiment of the wearer's soul. So when I think of clothing and accessories, I think of them as extensions of me. And because I'm not a designer, those who create pieces I relate to become inspiration to me, giving fashion as big of a role in my music as the kicks and snares."
Check out his new album A Single Green Light, available for free download, on BandCamp.