Saturday, November 28, 2009

2009 Recap

You know the drill. Me saying "Bests&Worsts" is solely my opinion&an exaggeration since I haven't heard or seen everything. Feel free to disagree and make suggestions, don't send emails with "add this to the list."

Best Brand Of 09- Staple
Me saying Staple is just the best brand of 09 is an understatement. Its influence can't be measured on a imaginable scale. For starters, the NYC Pigeon SB's are the most sought after dunks. Notice the period after dunks. Then they have the Pigeon New Balance, the most iconic new balance. The irony of their fame; they are stocked in the same retailers as The Hundreds, Crooks&Castles and such brands, yet hype never catches their drift as hard.
They keep their buzz within the community to a moderate speck on the radar type of level while still being able to get their sales in. Mainly because hype's destructive eye is too ignorant to see the real quality in true conceptual creativity. I've noticed, people who let streetwear wear them will never see quality in Staple but people who wear streetwear will.
This could be the most influential brands to go down in urban culture.
Staple Design - Infamous White T - ShirtStaple Design - A=3mC Biggie Black T - Shirt
My two favorite Staple products of the year.

Best Tee Of 09-10Deep (We Don't Play)
The best brand is Staple also because of its consistency, and since it'd be silly of me to use the same brand twice. I'm going to give it to 10Deep. Yeah, I said 10Deep. I know that 10Deep's hype is off the charts right now, they sold themselves to Zumiez. Stooping down to the LRG level. But I gotta hand it to them, as inconsistent and stupid as they can be sometimes they have good product. Some of my favorite pieces in the past have been 10Deep, its either I love their product or I hate it. Right now the way that their hype is pointing I wouldn't buy anymore 10Deep but I'd appreciate it for what thought has been put into it. Its either you hate this tee or love it.
10 Deep-The We Don't Play Tee
Runner Up: Cmonwealth (Freedom)
This is another one of those things that I really dig, and y'all probably really don't.

Best Denim Of 09- Naked&Famous
To be honest, I have never in my high school years so far been able to buy jeans other than Levi's. Prices are insane. Naked&Famous run for $130 for a basic pair of jeans but considering the more popular denim such as APC's and Nudie's $130 is considered to be a steal to a LOT of denim heads. ( :O, price shock, I know.) Anyway, for this category I can't go on since I haven't ever been taken by premium denim, I think its insane at this stage in my life. But like every other kid if I had bills to drop, I would get a pair of raw Naked&Famous denim! Haha.
SlimGuy - Super-Thick Indigo Selvedge - front

Best Upcoming Brand Of 09- effulgence (Website to be running soon!)
Stephen Hung, creator of effulgence, described his brand for us below.
""effulgence", a noun, meaning radiant splendor – brilliance. It’s human nature to have the urge to keep wanting. To be better than the best. To be greater than the greatest. Even when we reach a goal, we make goals upon goals as we all struggle and face obstacles along the way. We simply always seek to be at the state of effulgence, to shine, to be brilliant, to be great.
effulgence is a bay area based t-shirt brand started by 16 year old Stephen Hung (effustephen). Being influenced by the “streetwear” culture and discovering the unique word in middle school, he had ideas of starting his own brand one day calling it effulgence. Always thinking of making t-shirts from iron-ons, paints, markers or printers, he never followed through not knowing what direction to take. Interests soon developed in graphic designing and business, as the ideas soon became reality.
November 10th 2009 marked the day of the first official effulgence t-shirt. Standard font printed gray on black reads effulgence. Simply, clean as status, stories and background of the brand start to rise.
The apparel is mainly inspired by California, hip-hop and sport cultures, but also has influence from others like skateboarding and history. The brand currently only consist of t-shirts, but there’re plans on expanding into full collections. So be a part of the effu crew as we all seek for effulgence…"
Okay okay, so Stephen is a friend which is why I was able to get him to do this small summary. But coming from a personal aspect, I truly believe effulgence is it. I know Stephen, and his drive for creativity will fuel this project to a bright future. Last year I predicted the brand Adapt as the up and comer. And congrats to the dude Evan, Adapt is stocked at in4mation. The point of the story? I'm already 1 for 1. Trust me now? effulgence is only rolling uphill. I know you're feenin' for some effulgence now. So contact Stephen to cop!
effulgence logo tee
"This is Wilson Wallace, derived from Wilson sporting goods and Christopher Wallace. effulgence designs are mainly based on music and sports, hence the basketball and headphones. Wilson Wallace's rugged look represents the brand as a whole as we always struggle to reach the state of effulgence."-Stephen

effulgence text logo tee

Best Dressed Rapper Of 09- Kid Cudi
Cudi's had a huge year music wise. With the dark, "Man On The Moon" drop he's setting his own definition of sound. His wardrobe also has his own definition. This is his Martian type steez. And we embrace Cudi's martian look! For those of you that want the "All up on Cudi's nuts" steez, he usually wears APC New Cures, 501's (Shrink To Fit Style) for denim. Jordan 3's or Bape's for kicks. A leather jacket or bape jacket you can never get. Tees from 10deep and The Hundreds, Bape. And King Stampede or baseball fitteds. That's what I've been able to spot. I apologize for the scattered listing method.

Worst Trend Of 09- Fading Raw Denim (The no wash, all wear method.)
As irrational as buying raw denim is at my age people still manage to buy $150+ jeans. And the immaturity clearly shows when people wear raw denim for 6 months straight 3-5 times a week with absolutely no wash. You know whats worse? To make it "hygienic" they end up doing crazy things to get that repulsive odor off the denim.
So to clean your jeans without washing them,
You stick them in the freezer overnight and it kills the smell. I feel bad for anybody's parents who have to bear witness to this. If my Moms went into the freezer at 7 in the AM to get some ready made food and saw jeans all up in there, I would have a rude awakening. Let's just leave it at that. But there are the people that like to get rid of the smell in a natural way, so they spray Febreze because it kills 99.9% of the germs and smells fresh! When you see somebody with raw denim smelling lets say a Febreze scent of "Cranberries&frost" you know whats going on. Pictures of a faded raw denim project below. These used to look nice.
This guy, in 6months just 1wash. I thought the best part about raw denim was how dark it was. Not to try to make fades and make them look like regular jeans again. To whoever does this, from me to you. Y'all some sick fucks.

Worst Tee's Of 09 (ALL TIME)- Supreme Box Logo's
Hold on a second, the word Supreme means $100+ to some people?! Supreme has some intricate designs on tees that I dig but I never can and never will be able to understand the box logo hype. On new era's its coo cause it defines the brand. But the word Supreme on a tee or hoodie should never be worth as much as it is. I have a sad confession to make. This summer, dudes wanted Supreme junk. We made our own box logos out of transfer paper. Fooled dudes with it. Even got offered a bill for one but I have morals and didn't sell. I considered it a social experiment.
I took a hanes tee. Put the word Supreme on it, and made it a $100 dollar Supreme tee. Call me jacked up. But there is no difference from what I did to what Supreme does. I encourage you to make your own box logos. You can make 20 for the price of one!
The word Supreme isn't all that, don't even give in. Do you know whats way doper? Adapt's Wupreme! It actually has a concept that makes sense.

Worst Dressed Rapper Of 09- Far far far far to many.
Fail. I picked Soulja Boy because I hate him most. But realistically speaking, too many rappers don't know how to dress.
It hurt to google anymore pictures of rappers like Soulja Boy, etc. So I let it be. Nobody should wear a 3XL.

Worst Trend Pt2-Matching Your Group
I just had to do a part two because there are so many bad trends out there right now. True Religion Jeans, Ed Hardy, Etc. But the worst I've seen is matching your group. You see a bunch of kids wearing teal together. They look like they're wearing some sort of uniform. Its beyond stupid. No guys should match other guys period. Exceptions? Going for a basketball game. Oh and I'd like to add, no sagging your pants so you start to walk like penguins straight out of Happy Feet. Especially when you start walking like penguins in your group, we don't want to see March Of The Penguins either.


Best Album Of 09 (Mainstream): Kid Cudi- Man On The Moon
To me, it was a amazing debut. His goal was to create an album that was like a dream, and he did a pretty good job. Sure it was dark, it was a lot of emotion and not a lot of rapping. Some people didn't feel that, I understand where they're coming from. But you have to give the man credit. He spoke his mind, his dreams for a whole album not caring about the image it would give him. That already made me respect the album. Plus, after Pursuit Of Happiness it is going to be almost impossible to get another hit song on the radio off that album since they're all on a extremely serious note. What Cudi created was what he shot for, an album reflecting a dream. And for that, you gotta give the man some respect and cut the "he's a softie" talk out.

Best Album Of 09 (Indie): Fashawn- Boy Meets World
Fash's debut album was possibly one of the most powerful entrances to hip-hop in the modern day. I read a comparison on how similar this was to Nas's illmatic. Sounds crazy right? In fact, you can call me crazy, but I think I agree. Pondering upon the cover notice his cover and Nas's cover are somewhat alike. Both have tremendous lyrical capabilities displaying in their early youth, Fash just turned 21 in October. Nas was 20 when he made illmatic. Apart from having a debut classic Fash definitely has undeniable similarities to Nas. He displays raw talent as his rhymes reflect life beyond the cliche street life and enter a more reflective mode. Productions are on point with Exile on the beats. If you're familiar with Exile's productions you should know everything out of his lab is fire. Fash's debut made half the vets this year just look silly. At 21, Fash has achieved more than most rappers do in a lifetime with his mixtapes and solid debut, there's no telling whats next.

Best Mixtape Of 09: Chiddy Bang- The Swelly Express
As a brand, I don't respect Crooks&Castles as much as I used to. They sold themselves out big time. But they have sponsored some of the best artists of this year, Chiddy Bang being one of them. Along with Diz Gibran. Anyway, coming back to the point. Chiddy Bang provides a electro-hip-hop feel and pulls it off cleanly. Many fail at this attempt. Although, the lyrical abilities weren't jaw-dropping but enough to get the job done. The overall mood of the mixtape made up for all that was lacking in lyrics.
Chiddy Bang, The Swelly Express Mixtape Premiere feature

Biggest Disappointment Of 09: Dr.Dre
Dre isn't just the biggest disappointment of 09. He's been the biggest upset since 04. Detox has been in the works for 5 years now, soon to be 6 with delays on the release dates. Now Dre has announced Detox is complete but he needs to decide the right tracks for the album. C'mon now really? He claims its worth the wait. I say he needs to get his stoner ass straight for a week so he can finalize. 10 years without an album, and he still claims to be in the game? He should have stuck with the retiring-comeback stunt. But instead he feels the need to leak music on Dr.Pepper ads.

Best Live Shows Of 09: Hopie SpitsHard, Blu.
Okay, so I haven't seen many live shows in 09. In fact, I haven't seen many live shows at all aside from these. Spending over half my sophomore year at home allowed me to see just this much by sheer luck. The fact that I haven't seen very many live performances makes you wonder, "This guy has no idea what a good live show is."
People, there are live snippets all over the internet! And believe it or not, there are people like me desperate enough to see a concert over the internet! Due to this innovation, I have witnessed hundreds of snippets live over this year and believe I can tell when a show is poppin or not. After all, I have a better view than all the real attendees. :P. Haha. On a more serious note, it's just a feeling you get when you see a artist killin' the stage. My ability to retain that feeling with all these artists was there, and you just have to trust the fact that I have no life and watch enough live shows on the internet to differ from the good and bad shows. Haha. Anyway, with no more ranting, here's my verdicts.
Hopie SpitsHard: She's dope. Once again notice the period after dope! Haha. I had the opportunity of seeing her perform two times. The crowd was far too lackluster because it wasn't a full fledged concert and their idiots for not doing research prior to attending any event! Quite honestly, I was no exception to the lacking crowd because I'm far too shy in a new environment. Timidness is a detestable habit I carry. I never even got the opportunity to go see a full show of her's. But through the circumstances, she was able to work with the dull crowd and create sparks. The rapper before her at DXC sucked. People neglected him because he didn't deserve to even be on the stage. He killed the mood. But as soon as she stepped on and the "Hopie Spitter" track was played, murmurs were heard, heads started to bob and people stopped the desperate attempts to sell their shoes. That's how you know talent exists. She was able to figuratively freeze time to get everyone to stop whatever they were doing and take a minute to absorb mind boggling rhymes. As Hopie won't be performing anymore shows in 09, set your calenders so you can catch one in '10. It's a show you won't want to miss.
Blu: Blu is describes himself as herfavcolor. I'll make an attempt to interpret that. Most girls don't dig a lot of the same rap guys do in this era. Why? Oh you can blame songs like Hotel Room Service. It's because rap has no backbone on the radio. And when it does, a lot of it comes out as aggressive. Well, this is the common bullshit stereotype. For a minute I'm stepping into the stereotype. Blu has raps that both males and females can dig. In his own words he simply "sugar quote my quotes so they won't seem raw." And that's what people dig. Some of his tales are clearly street, but he makes them seem like he's painting a picture rather than shooting guns. I got to see him kill it at People's Park in Berkeley. It was INSANE. If I were to go on describing my experience it would go on for thousands of pages. This isn't intended to be gay! But Blu's myfavcolor.

Picture I pulled of Hopie SpitsHard at DXC. Mybad, I was new to the SLR back then. Auto mode&Auto focus FTL! Haha.

Moment Of 09: Kanye West Taylor Swift.
Imma let you finish, but Beyonce had the best video ever! Kanye has really lost his common sense. Well it's been lost. But damn, spare the poor girl! It was her first VMA. He ruined it. I actually dig Kanye's music aside from his last autotune album. And all these stunts he's pulling in public is slowly dragging him into the "dick" category. This moment probably hurt his image so horridly that I doubt his image in the public will ever be the same again. But it gave everybody a month of "imma let you finish comments". Imagine if the picture below was a pop up. Oh god.
Best Video Of 09: P.O.S-Purexed

It's simply beautiful. I was having trouble choosing between this and P.O.S's optimist.

Best Song Of 09: Gift Of Gab- Dreamin' Featuring Del & Brother Ali

Dreamin (feat. Del The Funky Homosapien & Brother Ali) - Gift of Gab
Verses on this are unbelievable. This is the type of combo we need to see more of.

One Day... - Cyne
I'm a CYNE fan. They tore up lyrics even more than usual. Crazy.

&that's all.
I wish everyone a superduper Christmas and a Happy New Year! Stay safe and be easy.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pick Ups.

This one is possibly my favorite tee aside from the Blu x Abstraxx collabo. As many of you don't know I don't just buy tees cause they say stuff on 'em. This holds a significant interest to me. This is a Supreme "City Of God" tee. Which is one of my personal favorites because its so in touch with reality. I've been hunting for this I don't even know how long now.
I recall the first time I saw the movie a few years back with my cousin during Christmas. It's been his favorite for a while. The first time I saw it quite honestly I didn't care for it. I saw it as a movie full of graphic violence which isn't my thing. Next time I saw it during Christmas time as well. My opinion didn't budge. Then when I started to explore myself more, I ended up seeing it once again during Christmas time of last year and I felt like an idiot. This is the movie I neglected to take interest in for so long. Its good to see reality being portrayed, in America you don't see realistic movies often.
Lil Ze is the kid on the tee. He plays the antagonist and has a raging role within the film. This is the one exception I will ever make to wear a pink shirt!
Finally, I can say I found it. Been looking for this ManikxGhostface Killah tee for far too long. When I found a DS one it was too good to pass up. Now that I have it I don't think I will ever wear it because I'm afraid of cracking! Haha. Supa GFK finally!