The HUSTLE: Black Southern Culture Documentarian

Updated: May 26, 2021

A word. An inspiration.

What if your story has already been told? What if there are no more words to describe you, the artist?


Why tell your story as a Black artist?

“Black people should tell Black stories”

Where are the teachers of Black art? The forefathers capturing the essence of Black culture?

Phillip Loken,‘King Phill’ , one of our BlkArthouse artist, has vowed to use his art to capture present day for tomorrow. A digital photographer. A video artist. A curator of the streets of North Carolina.

A Historian.

A Documentarian to Black Southern Culture.

The stories of our culture, encouraged to rummage through the crates of American History. Books written by the oppressor rather than the oppressed. Volumes of books line the shelves of our Black schools, titled ‘Slavery’ or ‘Great Migration.’

Many forced to accept the stories of Black people in the South as nothing more than HISTORY.


I have decided I will not tell the 'traditional story' of Phillip the Great, excuse me Phillip Loken better known as‘King Phill’.

The story has been told. The beauty of history.

I will take a moment in space to amplify and introduce the Black Art community to one of the new leaders, an innovator in the Black Art Movement of the South.

King Phill.

A Black man who has used his love for his people

to capture the freedom, the pain, the joy...

that tells the stories of Black life in the South.

Its Soul.

One word to describe the journey of King Phill.


Remember the record by Cassidy in 2005 ‘Ima Hustla’

I'm a hustler, I'm a, I'm a hustler, homey, yeah

I'm a hustler, I'm a, I'm a hustler, homey, yeah

Nigga, ask, nigga, nigga, ask about me, yeah

Nigga, ask, nigga, nigga, ask about me, yeah

Follow me.



Black Power.Hostile. Hopeful. Energetic. Proud. Pain. Respect. 

#BreakTheInternet IV, Sadder Daze XXIV

Digital Photograph, 2015

Exhibition of NC Always, “Don’t Wait Til It’s Cool’ traveling photography archive

North Carolina’s Museum of History in 2019

“Im just happy to be here”

The Beginning.

King Phill recalls the story of him playing the drums in church. A true jam session.

Later teaming up with a high school friend to start a clothing brand fast forwarding his love for fashion and dope threads, started his own streetwear blog called Cool&WellDressed. One of the brands Phillip interviewed, went on to be featured in British GQ and another had a pop-up shop in Tokyo.

Attending the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, he found his love for fashion to be best captured by the curator himself. He picked up his first used camera. Watched the art he admired, brought to life in front of his lens.



U: Unbothered

King Phill is defining his art in spaces where his appreciation for Black people and his camera are taking up space.

Power. Peace. Positivity.

Who Inspired Your Work?

Kamoinge Workshop, a collective of Black photographers established in New York City in 1963.

They boldly and inventively depicted their communities as they saw and participated in them, rather than as they were often portrayed. - Whitney Museum of American Art

Inspired by Kamoinge-Black photographers of the 1960s & 70s

“My only critique is that there were no women. Wait, there was one.”



S: Self-Worth

“Always trusting in myself. This is what I want to do...I see this coming together.”

King Phill self-published photobook commercial. How the Little Black Book Happened.

“My work is centered around Black people. I support Black people. I am not shouting out white places and spaces.”



T: Tempo

'You see past the doors that aren't even open yet,' I found ringing in my ears while listening to King Phill share the stories of spaces and places he has occupied as a visual artist and photographer.

He has captured the rhythm that is the South. The Pulse.

Making sure to connect the dots for it is a "Privilege...identifying spaces to connect and support our work"

King Phill sways to his own beat.

If you take a closer look at his work, you can hear...

The Heartbeat of His People.

Untitled IV, Thurz Daze XV

Digital Photograph, 2020

He admits that the journey of a Black artist has not been easy for it has required balance, maturity, and life s***.

Phillip became his own curator. Own narrator to his story. His contribution to the visual arts community has allowed him to own his space! Grabbing the attention of varied social platforms in support of Black artists such as Voyage ATL, Curated Tolerance, The Artist Corner.

Character Study: Kendra II, Twos Daze XXVI

Digital Photograph, 2020



L: Legalize the South


'Tapping back into the indigenous spiritual practices' as he describes the importance of Black art and its rebellion in the South.

King Phill empowers other creatives to join the movement.



E: Elevation of Black Excellence

“Inspiring people to understand you can be yourself and chase your interest. And make money off of that.”

King Phill is working closely with other Black creatives and entrepreneurs.

“They understand my work”

He has worked diligently in crafting his team including BlkArthouse (@blkarthouse), Chela Mitchell (@chelamitchellart), and Chanel Nestor (@NCalways) who are working alongside King Phill in uplifting and defining himself as a craftsman behind the lens.

Digital Photograph, 2020 - 2021

“I am now in a space where I can execute it...understanding the hard work that comes along with it.”



What’s Next for King Phill?

Phillip is in the process of curating original pieces, and working alongside a Black film company in NYC. He is currently working full time doing what he loves.

“Ideas and creativity has gotten me into places.”

He continues to commit to Black stories and Black spaces. Black voices are an important part of his creative process.

Untitled VII, Sun Daze XXI

Digital Photograph, 2021

“I dont want to be grouped in with people. I want to remain in ‘SELF’

The words of a true HUSTLE(R)

To have the courage, self belief, confidence and determination to put yourself out there and work hard to achieve your goals, overcoming difficult obstacles along the way


Phillip Loken is truly Taking Up Space w/BlkArthouse. Unapologetically using his art to tell the stories of Black people through digital and analog photography and video art. He is constantly pushing through the doors that appear to be locked for Black artists.

Follow @kingphill_ for new projects, artwork, and conversation as he continues to stand boldly and proudly in his Blackness in the Black art community!

Excited for his next project!


Creative Director, BlkArthouse

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