Archive for March, 2009

P Brothers “Digital BBoy” Video (Ft. Milano)

was browsing a few online stores yesterday, trying to convince myself i shouldnt be buying anymore vinyl in my current financial state, and while debating about whether i should purchase the P Brothers “The Gas'” EP i decided to check out youtube to see if i could find any of the p brothers tracks from this latest offering..

For anyone not familiar with the P brothers, Paul S and Ivory, They are two Nottingham (England) producers with a love of heavy drums and a love of hip hop.. just listen to their music, which describes them better than i ever could!..

see the video below for their dope ‘digital bboy’.. great track, great video.
go check out www.heavybronx.com for more.

Sneaker Tokyo Book

found this book and write up while browsing the net in a tired early morning, pre work, web session.. looks a real nice book, and no doubt a must for fellow sneaker freakers.. see below for more details..

The recently released Sneaker Tokyo book takes a comprehensive look into the current sneaker landscape in the once sneaker hotbed of Tokyo. The book outlines via both photography and interviews some interesting content and will surely provide some insightful points. The first few pages are laced with numerous images of iconic sneakers over the years, including some strong capsules from the likes of Supreme and HECTIC over the years. On the interview side of things, the number of pieces is staggering and much too large to list with some strong personalities involved. The legendary Hiroshi Fujiwara goes on the record to discuss the current events transpiring in the sneaker scene and the effects of the Internet on how things have progressed. A full excerpt of the interview can be seen below:

Sneaker Tokyo – Interview with Hiroshi Fujiwara

Any selection made by Hiroshi Fujiwara invariably becomes the subject of much attention, and every project he takes on becomes high profile. Fujiwara has had a profound influence on the sneaker scene. That said, though, Fujiwara himself does not have one pretentious bone in him. He is as natural as they come; not afraid to admit when something is good, and wearing whatever shoes that he wants to wear. There is no changing this style of his.

Hiroshi Fujiwara – you are trend setter in the Tokyo sneaker scene. It seems like you has been the owner of such a reputation for quite a while now, which begs the question, “How has the sneaker scene changed these past few years in your eyes?” Some say that “the sneaker boom has come to and end,” or that the “momentary boom has been lost,” but is this really the case?

What really happened is that the sneaker scene has been broken right open, rather than the boom being over. A long time ago, the picture that was depicted was that “sneakers were a sports brand.” Now however, many luxury brand manufacturers make sneakers; manufacturers of leather shoes even employ the same soles that are used to make sneakers comfortable. So in that respect, I guess we can say that all those things that came about thanks to the sneaker scene have made contributions in various other areas. Not only that, but recently the so-called “gyaruo” regularly wear classic and vintage sneakers, making the sneaker target that much greater than it was before.

Have your tastes changed with time?

No, they really haven’t.

Can you tell us in some detail what time of sneakers you like?

This isn’t just limited to sneakers, but in everything I like to feel a sense of personality in something. I also find myself drawn to things that have a sense of street to them somewhere deep inside. I also really like sneakers that are extremely light or extremely easy to wear. Basically, I guess anything that just has an “extreme” sense to it. As for which brands I like, of course I love Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Converse and visvim too. Since I’m not a contracted professional athlete, I don’t really have any particular bias when it comes to brands. As far as design is concerned, I like designs that are very simple. That said, though, at times I really get in the mood to wear these though high-tech sneakers.

Where does that desire stem from?

That’s a difficult question. Moods are moods, you know (he laughs).

Do you continue to search for certain sneakers?

I do, but certainly not as much as I used to. I’ll go to stores, or I’ll check the new product line-ups at homepages of brands like Nike. I also check Yahoo! Auction to see if there isn’t anything there that might interest me (he laughs).

So, I guess that the internet has become an essential element of the sneakers culture.

Well, the internet has its good points, but it has also made certain aspects a bit more dull. While it’s great that it’s now easier to get that particular pair of sneakers you want, on the other hand, that special excitement of treasure hunting has been lost.

That’s complicated, huh. Especially in the 90s when treasure hunting for sneakers was the best part.

That’s right. Back then it wasn’t about buying a pair, selling it and then making a profit. It was simpler then; it was just about being happy that you got the pair you wanted.

By the way, after developing a relationship with Nike, you went from “one of sneaker fan” to “manufacturer’s side.” When your position changed, did the way you view sneakers change along with it?

No, the way I feel about sneakers has not changed. What has changed, though, is that if there is a particular kind of sneakers that I want recreated I approach Nike and we get them back out there. Also, I get to wear those sneakers which I helped design and choose a color for quicker than anybody else (he laughs).

Is there something you want to say (or something you’d like to ask for) to the sneaker industry or to sneaker manufacturers?

Nowadays, no matter where you go you see the same sneakers in all the stores. I’d like to tell the industry that perhaps they should rethink this. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to bring out a bit more “local flavors” in sneakers? But that’s something I’ve been saying for quite a while now.

Is the globalization that is happening with sneakers making the sneaker culture less exciting?

This is not just limited to sneakers. It can be seen with all luxury brands. The Louis Vuitton Sprouse, for instance. If it were sold only in NY, then people who really want one would have to come all the way to NY to buy it. For sneakers it would be like saying that products thought up and sold in Japan’s ‘NSW STORE,’ would get offers from around the world saying things like, ‘hey, we want to sell this product too.’ But, I feel that to a certain extent this should be restricted, by answering that, ‘This is only for Japan. You should try to design your own products.’ Rather than working to make the company bigger, it would be far more interesting if, for instance, the relationship between Nike Japan and nike France had a bit more rivalry to it.

I agree

Well, yeah, then it would be sort of like a friendly rivalry with each of them independently making their own things. But then again, bringing out that local flavor is quite difficult. It’s not like just because the shoe is made in Japan, you would use kanji or hiragana (the Japanese alphabets). It’s also not about bringing out cheesy local qualities either.

One previous example of how local flavor was added to a product, I guess, is the HTM, which could not be purchased unless the person went to Head Porter and AD21. I think that’s what you mean about the fundamental excitement of sneakers treasure hunting.

Well, if something can only be purchased at a particular store, people will absolutely want to go all the way to the store, right. For instance, there are no plans to sell this yellow Footscape here (of which there are only samples at this point) in Japan. So if you want a pair, you need to go overseas.

So, it’s not sold in Japan, huh. I guess diehard sneaker-freaks love hearing these words (he laughs).

Personally, I also sometimes buy these ‘Not Sold in Japan’ sneakers when I’m overseas. Or even when I’m not really sure if they are actually sold in Japan, but I know that they are not very well known about here. Like the Hyperdunk, for example.

By the way, what about shops in Tokyo. The number of sneakers shops in Harajuku has decreased compared to a while ago. But on the other hand, mega shops such as ABC-MART and ASBee have emerged and are increasing their number of stores nationwide.

I go to ABC-MART, too. I recently bought a pair of Converse there – dark blue, hi-cut All Star Converse.

Hiroshi Fujiwara and ABC-MART – I just don’t see it

When it comes to these extremely basic sneakers like the All Star Converse you can be sure that ABC-MART will have some in stock. You sort of get that sense of reassurance, don’t you? These big shops like ABC-MART have something good about them that smaller shops – frequented by sneaker freaks – just dont have. By the way, last year I bought a pair of Nike Footsteps at the Ise JUCSO.

JUSCO? Hiroshi Fujiwara and JUSCO are another combination I never thought i’d hear (he laughs).

If you see products in places like this, you’re often more likely to get a new perspective on the whole thing. It was there that I first learned that the purple Footscapes had been release.”

That makes sense. So, you make these unusual discoveries in unusual places. Now, lastly I’d like to ask you what you see happening with the Tokyo sneaker culture – a mature culture.

I believe that the sneaker culture itself will continue. However, what style it will take on, is an entirely different matter.

Do you see any big waves being made like the Air Max 95?

No, I don’t think we’ll never see that again. That was a completely natural and spontaneous wave that the company was not expecting. Now you see companies trying to create such a wave, but this quite difficult as it needs to be something that takes hold in the streets. Such a street influence is extremely important to the sneaker culture. It’s less about which actor or musician is wearing the shoes, than it is about seeing a person on the street wearing them and thinking that they look cool and that you’d like to own a pair. This is how these waves slowly start to spread. I think that the fact these movements begin in the streets in very typical of Tokyo.

Chrome and Black – graf supplies

quick heads up for those with a creative mind and a love for the wonderful world of graffiti..

A new supplies store, chrome and Black, is soon to be opening up at the top of bethnal green road/bottom of brick lane (East london).. nearest station is probably bethnal green..

all things are go for a planned opening on the 2nd april, so make sure you go down and check out what the guys have to offer.. also housed in the space will be brightons rarekind gallery.. so another good reason to go down and see whats up.

dont sleep now..

check out the progress of the store by clicking here:
http://www.chromeandblack.blogspot.com/

CANVAS SALE!!..

just a few bits i’ve had lieing around the studio for a while.. seems i dont have enough walls for my artwork..

so i thought id offer up a few deals to you folks out there..

these are canvas prints, printed on the best quality canvas, and stretched over wooden frames by my own fair hands.. anyone interested should feel free to email me at ‘ info at strictlykings.co.uk ‘.. first come first served.. prices are as follows:

Dunk Pistachio – £25
Dunk Goldenrod – £25
Dunk Undefeated – £25
Air max 87 Amsterdam – £25
KRS One – £25


STRICTLYKINGS WEBSITE..

Fresh for 2009…!

as anyone who has typed in strictlykings.co.uk of late will have noticed a holding page.. we’re in the process of building the new, improved and long overdue strictlykings website.. the site was actually finished a few weeks back, but some un foreseen ‘FLASH’ problems stopped us from taking the site live.. flash being flash it took ages for the site to load and appear on screen.. so we’re now looking at how we can improve on that.. so hopefully in the next few weeks we’ll have something up for everyone to look at.. but in the meantime you can peek at this screenshot to see how its gonna look..

Blaq Poet – Aint nutin’ changed..

just thought id post up this youtube vid of the current 12″ out by screwball emcee blaq poet, entitled ‘Aint nutin’ changed’.. and produced by the ever fresh DJ Premier.. usual premier dopeness on the beats, enjoy..

12″ and album are out now!


www.strictlykings.co.uk

Check out the brand new website, with an online store and much, much more. www.strictlykings.co.uk.

New EP by Mr Fresh on superdeluxe records. 'Grandism'

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What we’re listening to..

1. Rock Creek Park LP - Odisee

2. C'mon wit dat git down - Artifacts

3. Chief Rocka - Lords of the underground

4. Daddy can swear - Gladys Knight

5. Kill or be Killed - Roughneck soldiers

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By mrfresh

Dont Sleep - Bristol