A TRIBUTE TO GORE-TEX

Agh, these blog posts just keep on lacking brevity. I can only blame a terminal case of verbal diarrhea and misplaced enthusiasm  for it. GORE-TEX is on a premium, waterproofed pedestal with me for some reason. The mundane reality that the name is merely a hyphenated mix of a Mr. Gore and son’s surname and the word ‘textile’ is conveniently forgotten whenever someone hands me a product that employs the material on the lining. How does a breathable fabric become such a mark-of-quality, and more importantly, confer the otherwise passable to a taped-seam must-have? Why does that name still carry such clout?

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LORD FINESSE’S AF1s

Once again, there’s no real modus operandi behind this blog, but even though I’ve got sufficient outlets for athletic footwear and hip-hop, I still thought I’d make it the topic of discussion today. I’ve been pondering Lord Finesse’s attire over the years alongside the beat and lyrical battle between him and Extra P to solidify an answer on the best producer on the mic debate. Today, Finesse. Tomorrow William Paul Mitchell. Like many of my boom-bap pensioner associates (I’m 31 – rap is a young man’s game), I gave up trying a while back.

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BOXING POSTERS OF THE ’80s

A blog entry that’s purely visual today because I’m lazy like that. Plus it allows a follow-up of sorts to my last entry, which seemed 60% preoccupied with ’80s boxing without this site becoming little more than a bunch of disperate pugilism-themed missives. It’s easy to deify the matter-of-fact main event and undercard listings of fight posters from earlier in the 20th century, with their densely columned mass of names, prices and occasional boasts of prowess, plus some killer typography, but I was raised in the Don King and Frank Warren ruled time when the heavyweights like Tyson, Berbick and Holmes, and middleweights as powerful as Duran and Hagler entertained.

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DEAR SUMMER…

…please stop offing my idols. This Summer has been pretty piss-poor thus far. That doesn’t just apply to the inclement weather – in Britain, that’s a given. There’s been too many high-profile passings these last few months. Beyond the obvious departees, boxers Alexis Arguello, Arturo Gatti and Vernon Forrest were found dead in suspicious circumstances from gunshot wounds. Gatti’s career had come to a conclusion, Arguello’s was long over and Forrest was on the comeback trail. While premature death places all three in the amber capture of eternal cultdom among fight fans, it’s been a brutal and unnecessary time.

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COMMODIFICATION OF CULTDOM

I’ve got the post work ‘do’ fatigue, so my blog game is weak today. Still, with Quentin’s new opus set to drop, I was pondering just how overlooked ‘Grindouse’ is in its three hour plus cut…mock-trailers play their part there, and Edgar Wright’s ‘Don’t’ is still my number one. Growing up, I was the one hollering at anyone who dared hit the fast forward during trailers prior to a birthday sleepover video viewing. Especially if it was a Vestron or Medusa release – optimum exposure to madcap gems with those logos on the VHS spine fo’ sho’.

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PEN & PIXEL – AN APPRECIATION

Recycle of old work. This was originally written for all-round good bloke Mr. Nick Schonberger and ‘Words, Beats & Life’ earlier last year. It  feels more relevant after I made my first legitimate MP3 purchase (the new Alchemist) last week. It was then truly I realised that e-sleevenotes and artwork are no substitute for the real thing, but when was the last time I ever got excited about rap album art?  The late ’90s.

First things first…check this interview with Shawn Brauch.  19,000 covers.

Image is everything. Pen & Pixel’s dominance on shelves in the late ’90s harks back to a time when Southern rap was still taboo – a baffling cottage (mansion?) industry that swerved away from the bookshop owning Muslim MCs or canary yellow Uptowns and shiny suits. Somehow tied in, yet operating like a rogue agent, from the burgeoning Bentley and Jacob jewels East Coasters – bear in mind B.G. coined the term bling, like a rap snob food chain, Jansport wielders could scowl at Harlem World who in turn could chuckle at their country cousins behind their backs. In the rise of indie vinyl a mere razor logo and Staple or Rollins layout could assert identity – for major labels, a moody photo with a Cey Adams rehaul – and for the new breed of entrepreneurs signing heavy distro deals with the big guns? The sky was the limit.
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I MISSED THE OLD NEW YORK…

I used to be terrified of New York City. Admittedly Just Ice and Kool G Rap’s crime rhymes didn’t help my perceptions, gleefully painting a picture of an urban hell in the ’80s, but the picture above was the true scaremonger for me. I mean look at it – isn’t that some guy being mugged at gunpoint on the subway? And the attacker’s so bolshy in the act that he’s unphased by a photographer snapping away? Now that’s gully. Actually, after years with this brutal image etched into my psyche as a textbook example of how hardcore New Yorkers can be, the reality behind the photo proved a little more benign. Still gritty, but hardly the brazen act that had me shook way back in the day.

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