Bulletproof undies, anyone?
Hey, snicker if you want, but in the wake of the murders of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G., more and more hip-hop stars are sporting customized bulletproof street gear, Julie Taraska reports in the December issue of Spin.
For prices ranging from $300 to $13,000, rap stars are ordering everything from sneakers to leather jackets to mink coats -- even bras -- lined with Kevlar, a lightweight fabric that can stop a slug from a .357 Magnum. It's such a booming business there are now shops that exclusively sell the latest Kevlar fashions, such as Darryl Barnes' New Jersey-based Urban Body Armor. That company has sold items to Bad Boy Entertainment and Death Row Records, the labels of Biggie and Tupac, respectively. Most folks are mum about wearing the gear, but Busta Rhymes, never at a loss for words, thinks rappers are foolish if they don't wear it, "especially in this chaotic climate. Do the safe thing, not the sorry thing."
Bjork, everyone's favorite beat-crazy elf-woman from Iceland, graces the issue's cover. She talks to writer Jonathan Van Meter about such wacky recent events as her fisticuffs with an aggressive TV reporter ("Hard Copy" ran the video for days); and the intercepted mail bomb sent by a deranged fan who later killed himself. Bjork also sets the world straight on electronica, because she was doing cool things with electronic dance beats years ago.
Volunteers on the edge
Would you risk your life to find a cure for AIDS? Would you be a human guinea pig for an HIV vaccine? John Gallagher of the Advocate talks to several people who have volunteered to be injected with a weakened, or attenuated, version of HIV so that a potential vaccine could be tested on them. They range from Helen Miramontes, a 66-year-old grandmother of 10, to 28-year-old Jose Zuniga, a gay man who was selected the Army's soldier of the year. Like Miramontes, most of the volunteers are medical professionals. But they are also fueled by personal reasons. "I am well aware of the dangers of a live attenuated vaccine, but I felt it was right for me because this is something I've been pushing for a long time," said Miramontes. "Two of my six children are gay, and I have a son who has AIDS."
Pub Date: 11/30/97