Chasing Youth Culture: Your Boy Trippy

Our 3rd cover is an ode to youth culture by the twenty-six-year-old documentary photographer based in Egypt

Chasing Youth Culture: Your Boy Trippy
Rusty Beukes

Adam Omar, aka Your Boy Trippy, thinks of his photographs as a time capsule. His work attempts to, on some level, give visibility to a population of kids who formed their identities in opposition to a conformist mainstream way of living. “For me, it’s finding the perfect still-life scene or person that I think represents that time and moment,” tells Omar. “Whether it’s a person or an exciting scene, I believe that person or place was significant at that moment.” You may not know him yet, but soon you will – take note. The twenty-six-year-old impressed us with his vivid, gritty film photographs that capture the youthful energy of the underground scene in Egypt and the cast of characters that make up the entire community.

He moved from Toronto, Canada, to Alexandria, Egypt, when he was sixteen. He was a little bit of a rebel child, he tells, and that’s all he is willing to say. “At first, it was hard to adapt, but it became much easier later on,” says Omar. “I started working at this call centre. And I met this kid who did tattoos. We decided to open a shop. I would manage it while he does the tattoos.” Things started to blow up for the two of them and soon, they moved to Cairo. The real reason for his move was to finish up college and law school. “It wasn’t happening. I was hanging out with bad kids,” he admits. But eventually, he finished his education. He then founded his new partner, which formed a part of a collective called Droogs, an underground community pushing culture forward.

Omar and his partner continue to pursue the underground scene, finding “weird” kids that are true to themselves to document – something that he feels is missing in the endless scrolls of images on social media representing youth in the Middle East and Africa.

What is Droogs?

Droogs is the vanguard for the experimental, the radical and the unorthodox. It is a place where pop culture, underground and art intersect. Its individual tone and aesthetic give a fresh outtake on young Egyptian contemporary culture. We aim to redefine conventional taste and the populous mindset by giving you a taste of what’s coming down the pipe of young, up and coming artists, creatives, stylists and designers on the scene. Our community are those searching for what’s beyond the confines of the conventional and the ordinary in the art scene.

What’s the scene underground like in Egypt?

It’s where a bunch of weird kids come together and hang out. Whether it’s an underground bar or a warehouse party, it’s where people are just themselves. Many emerging artists hang out on the scene before becoming significant and prominent. No one is chasing clout, everyone does it themselves. The more you are yourself, the more you’re accepted.

How did you end up with photography as your storytelling medium?

My friend, who I found Droogs with, was shooting a gig, ‘Play for Palestine’. I wanted to get in for free, and the only way was to hold a camera and act as if I was photographing with him. He gave me a film camera and some rolls. I ended up shooting some friends of mine and people I liked and it blew up on social media. He told me that the shots were great and that I should pursue photography. The rest is history.

Tell me about the people in your photographs. Are they people you know personally?

Usually, I end up knowing them. The underground culture scene in Egypt it’s pretty tiny. So everyone knows everyone. Either you know of them, or they know of you.

Where do you want this to lead? What’s the ultimate goal for Your Boy Trippy?
I want to keep documenting culture. I want to continue to do so underground. But at the same time, I want to be on billboards with brands that drive culture like Adidas and Nike. I want them to hit me up and say, “Yo, we’ve got some underground urban stuff that needs to be shot.”

What would that look like?

I will probably shoot it somewhat in, like, a warehouse-style with many creatives I like and add them into the mix. Something where I’m supporting everyone trying to push the culture forward, you know?

What inspired the name Your Boy Trippy?

I was listening to a song by Juicy J and he kept on saying ‘Your Boy Trippy’ and at the time I thought I was real smart and quickly ran to Instagram to change my name to Your Boy Trippy. It just stuck by me. It speaks to you.

Photography: Your Boy Trippy