Kanye’s Louis Vuitton Dons: Ibn Jasper

Crazy as it is, I actually write for money sometimes. As such, here’s an interview I did with Kanye’s image consultant and hair stylist, Ibn Jasper. He told me some cool stories about getting on with Kanye’s GOOD Music crew, how he got his nickname Ferrari Murakami and even has a new Louis Vuitton shoes named after him.
Kanye West may be the master of mixing hip-hop and high fashion, but he’s nothing without his homeboys. So much so, West dedicated his three new luxury collaborative sneakers with Louis Vuitton to his close friends and collaborators, Don C, Mr. Hudson and Ibn Jasper.
To kick off the “Kanye’s Louis Vuitton Dons” series, StreetLevel.com spoke to 33-year-old Jasper a.k.a. Ferrari Murakami, ‘Ye’s personal barber and image consultant to figure out how we can dress to impress, be meticulous like the Japanese and get a Louis Vuitton shoe named after us.

Check the rest out after the jump!


How did you start cutting hair? How’d you end up being Kanye’s personal barber and image consultant?

I started cutting my own hair at 14 years old, then I started cutting professionally at 17 as a senior in high school. I could always dress. Don C, Kanye’s current road manager, and John Monopoly had their promotion company, Hustle Period, and they were Chicago’s top party promoters. I was always in the best salons in the city, and thought about my business as a lifestyle. My salons and barber shops were [like] the daytime clubs. Don had really long hair then, he used to get braids, and I cut his hair off. That was 1995, I was 19 years old, Don was 18, and I’ve been their barber since then. This is also when they started managing Kanye, and he kept asking them “who’s giving you these perfect hair-cuts?” Back then my cuts were $20, so getting a haircut from me was one of things Kanye aspired to.

kanye-fendi-240-2Then Don and John brought Kanye in my shop and, at the time, I was making beats for Bump J, a local Chicago artist signed to Atlantic records. Kanye brought his beats to my shop, give me pointers and then I’d cut his hair. He was a prodigy, the first young dude in Chicago to sell beats to signed artists. At 17 years old, he did Gravity’s whole album,[who was] another local artist.

What made you leave your clientele in Chicago to be Kanye’s personal barber?

Kanye moved to New York and started with Roc-a-fella, but never liked his haircuts. Like in the movie “Fade To Black,” he always wore an orange hat, which he called his “haircut hat” because when he’d get his haircut in New York, he never liked it, and put the hat on right after. ‘Ye kept telling me “You HAVE to move out here!” but I wouldn’t because I was already established in Chicago. Why leave and go somewhere else? I told him, ‘If you could match what I make I’ll come.’ Then he got his record deal with Def Jam, asked me how much I made and had his mom set up my bank account.’ Then we went on tour “School Spirit” tour in 2004.

Read the rest at Streetlevel.com!

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