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Q&A w/ Mark Gallegos (1st & 26th)

Here is a brand that is literally everywhere. The AZ Hip Hop Fest, the Gldn Artist party in Tucson - you name the dope party and the crew is there. They produce dope shirts for artists like DeLa Preme and I-Dee. The #AZWayTooActive shirts - yep, that was them as well. 1st & 26th put on for the AZ rap scene. No doubt. Here's a Q&A we did with creator, Mark Gallegos. A link to their website is at the bottom. Check it out.

Where does the name 1st & 26th come from?

The name 1st & 26th came to me when I was working in the corporate world doing data entry at University of Phoenix, something I was not passionate about at all, getting bye surfing / listening to hip hop and being inspired by Lupe Fiasco's 1st & 15th.

Bringing attention to everyone in the scene is a goal of ours, and you guys do that on some level. You have everyone from Jezuz from 98.3 to Benjamin Fly to DJ Madd Rich to Bootleg Kev rocking your gear (and many others), what are your goals and how has the hip hop community helped you accomplish those goals?

I grew tired of seeing people in AZ with no scene of civic pride. So our initial goal was to provide a sense of street wear culture in AZ that people would be proud to represent. The Hip-Hop community is helping me achieve this goal by recognizing our efforts in pushing the culture forward and rewarding us with their support. Our track record speaks for itself and has afforded us the opportunity to partner up with artist such as Benjamin Fly to help curate and develop the merchandise / design's for #AZwaytooactive (logo developed and printed by FTS). Our goal now is to utilize our platform and services as a catalyst for artists we feel have the talent and potential to break through to the next level.

The logos you've created for artists like Teek Hall, De La Preme, I-Dee, and others are dope. What is the process like for creating an artist logo? How much, if any, collaboration between you and the artist is involved?

Thank you I appreciate that. With logos, it varies from artist to artist. If it's a job I have been contracted to do I ask for any references they could provide to help me see their vision, which also saves me time and energy. If it's an artist I work with on a day to day basis, such as I-Dee or Dela Preme, the process is a little more fluid. I have graphics catered to them just tucked away. To be honest that's how we went about developing Dela Preme's "GlendAlien" line and I-Dees "Sound wave Surfer" line.

Who is the squad and who does what cause you guys are doing a bunch of stuff from clothing to logos to track artwork to dope photos?

The squad consists of my cousin AJ Chavez (@AJ.126) and myself, Mark Gallegos (@GWIZ126). I handle the day to day operations, artwork, and clothing aspects while AJ curates beats and keeps his finger on the pulse of pop culture to help us stay on top of the latest styles and trends. Shout out to the photographers we work with also (Token, Sheldon Banks, Dylan Toon) who play a major role in making us look good.

I dig your art because you reference a lot of pop culture like Bart Simpson and Mars Attack and history like Pancho Villa in your art? What about your life or experiences has led you to these influences?

My pops retired after 20 years of military service in 2007 so we were moving around every 4 years. During my pops military service, I lived on the east coast (Fayetville, NC), the west coast (Monterrey CA), and over seas in Germany during my formative years. I've been influenced and inspired by comics, cartoons, the different places I've been, people I met, and my cultural roots as well.

What's in store for the 1st & 26th in the future?

Pop-up Shops / More fire merch / Flagship store.

Click Picture for link to 1st & 26th website:

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