It’s been a minute since I bought a regular rap magazine, but I’m still buying hip-hop related books like a fiend. Scarface’s recent autobiography was an ultra-downbeat read, but a worthy one (I was pleased to see that have hated the cover art to Geto Boys’ Da Good da Bad & da Ugly as much as I did) that’s a fine accompaniment to Prodigy’s book (still the ultimate hip-hop bio) and the Q-Tip, Lil’ Kim and Benzino memoirs seem to have vanished from the release schedules after a on-off wait of almost Rawkus Kool G or Heltah Skeltah-like levels. The one that I’m ultra hyped for is the Nas autobiography, It Ain’t Hard to Tell: A Memoir, which, according to Amazon and the publisher, Simon and Schuster, drops later this year, on November 10th — four years after its announcement caused some brief blog fuss. Rap books get delayed even harder than the damn albums, but if Nasir Jones opts to make like P and pull no punches, it’s going to be a classic. In the interim, I’ll probably pick up the Luther Campbell, Buck 65 and Kevin Powell books in coming months, but there’s one extra volume with some serious potential — Rap Tees: A Collection of Hip Hop T-Shirts 1980-2000 by collector and connoisseur DJ Ross One, which drops on Powerhouse in October. Promising hundreds of promo, bootleg and concert shirts representing Sugarhill, EPMD, the Wu, BDP, 2Pac and everyone else, the Screen Stars style cover art has me sold on it already. This kind of archive is my idea of heaven — if somebody gathers the rap promo sticker collection of an OG like Jules Gayton and publishes it, I’ll be in heaven. On the Scarface front, the impending existence of a 33 1/3 book completely dedicated to The Geto Boys, thanks to travel writer and New Yorker contributor Rolf Potts, is something to celebrate too.
I botched this blog entry. Earlier this week I wrote a piece on Run-D.M.C. and their relationship with adidas, their sweatshirts and the Fleetwood/Eldorado/Brougham/Ultrastar release. Then I got annoyed because I didn’t get any shelltoes in the post so I shelved it and upped something else. I decided to chuck it on here tonight and I found that I deleted it rather than saving it as a draft. 1,200 words — gone (but images saved). So that’s that. Is there a moral there? I’m not sure there is. Instead, here’s the cover image from the Ghetto Boys’ overlooked Be Down single that Mr. Dan Greenpeace kindly forwarded me for its heavy Champion content. Before they dropped the ‘H’ they repped the big ‘C’. This was the 1988 Geto Boys lineup that lacks Scarface and Willie D, but Bushwick was there (not the star of the show as he would be a year or so later) — orange Champion tees were a big look, but Bill’s black shirt, tracksuit bottoms and matching Champion shoes hint at a boom for the brand in Houston at the time. Incredible.