What do you get when you combine music, clothing, graphic design and doing whatever the hell you want all in one? The answer is Real Bad Man. Founded by Adam Weissman, the ex-artistic director for brands such as Stüssy, Union and Undefeated, and Artist Noah Butkus, RBM is more of an artistic collective than anything else.
At first, they found their footing through creating unofficial merch for up-and-coming artists who didn’t yet have products or reprinting vintage band merch, but they’ve grown so much since those days.
Initially, the idea behind Real Bad Man was for Adam to have his own project where nobody could tell him no. No board members to make the final decisions, no approvals for designs, just straight creative freedom. That didn’t mean all by himself though, as Noah, his friend and colleague of over 15 years, would join him.
With Weissman spitting ideas and Butkus bringing those ideas to life, the pair riff off each other to bring their satirical ideas to life. Their visions feed off of both of their love for music and the culture surrounding it, whether it be hardcore and skate culture, or hip-hop and deejay culture. Collectively, they both try to bring designs together from their shared interests in comedy, movies, and drug related culture.
Aside from their own personal ideas, RBM operates similarly to how the music industry does in regards to sampling. When creating a hip-hop track, the process includes finding tons of inspiration and sampling that influence to create a new unique sound. Adam and Noah carry out the same process, though instead of sampling sounds, they sample album covers, old music ads, and posters amongst many other things.
This procedure is also where RBM gets their name and their logo from. Their idea of sampling and repurposing almost feels a little bit mischievous, hence calling themselves “Bad”. The bad guy attitude fit with their logo, a criminal selling counterfeit watches, which consequently led to the full name Real Bad Man.
Feeding off of their love for music, RBM isn’t just inspired by music, they also create their own records. When we said what do you get when you combine everything, we weren’t joking. The tight knit collective boasts DJs, illustrators, music artists and more. Hell, even Adam went to film school before becoming a designer and creative director. The array of creative talent is what leads them to be able to accomplish anything they want, whether it be creating clothing collections or creating albums.