Archive for November, 2012

Outfit Architecture…

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Levels of layering is how you move in the northeast during the winter.

I’m all about this classic Gore-Tex NorthFace Mountain jacket with a Nike AW77 hoody as my median layer.

Under the Polo anniversary knit is a Nike DRI-Fit longsleeve and still a cotton t-shirt baselayer under that.

I gotta give you the whole structure which has the Air Jordan 2012 Year Of The Dragon on my feet once again. I am O.D. for these Jordan 2012s.

The NorthFace Mountain jacket and this Nike hoody complement each other so perfectly that I actually store them together. I won’t wear one without the other.

I’ll be putting outfits together like this one all winter long. Layering wools and cottons and high-tech fabrics to insure I retain my body heat. AND my style heat.

Mandatory Brunch Meetings With Meyhem Lauren…

Friday, November 30th, 2012

I first met Meyhem Lauren on Jamaica Avenue while I was shopping for sneakers. Actually it was on the Colloseum mall strip 164th Street. We began building on some Polo Ralph Lauren shit and plotting some deals since we were both big dudes. 3X+ ‘Lo heads gotta stick together. That was over five years ago and I’m still in the 3X range but Meyhem Lauren has slimmed down to looking like a heavyweight boxer, or better yet, a professional linebacker. I still find it hard to believe Meyhem Lauren is a rapper.

Meyhem Lauren doesn’t OD with hubris in his raps. He’s clearly a student of the boom bap rap school which keeps both feet on the ground and both eyes open, checking for D’s undoubtedly. The cautionary humble tales of the street are what the game’s been missing. Everyone isn’t flying on private jets after all. If Sean Price has shown me anything its that there is space for an artist who might have to stick you up after the show. I wouldn’t exactly put that label on Meyhem Lauren, but I definitely wouldn’t put it past him.

On a recent trip with Meyhem to the recording studio I had a chance to preview his latest project on the Mishka imprint, ‘Mandatory Brunch Meetings’. Fresh on the heels of his late summer EP ‘Respect The Fly Shit’ on the same label, produced entirely by Harry Fraud and Tommy Mas we get this full length album. Where RTFS had a raw energy and, well, mayhem to its production, this latest project features Meyhem’s fully contemplated lyrical ability. Respect The Fly Shit was a shotgun blast. Mandatory Brunch Meetings is an open heart surgery performed with a Rambo knife. The opening track produced by ATG has the drums and horns to let you know its time to listen up. Meyhem Lauren gives some of the hardest rhymes your earholes will hear in 2012. This shit goes HARD.

The majority of tracks on Mandatory Brunch Meetings were produced by the unheralded ATG. He provided a diverse soundbed to allow Meyhem to display his entire skillset. Harry Fraud music is on this album too. You may have already heard ’10 Dollar Lap Dances’. Mike Finito from the Das Racist Greedhead godhead puts in a few tracks and the omnipresent savior of boom bap rap, The Alchemist, has one of my favorite beats on this tape. The usual Meyhem Lauren suspects appear throughout like the charismatic Action Bronson and the enigmatic AG da Coroner. Maffew Ragazino features as well as Heems and Lakutis from Das Racist just to show that Meyhem Lauren even has a weirdo rap chamber. Who is this Gabbie Giftsz chick? She can rap.

Meyhem Lauren is part of a boom bap rap renaissance with the epicenter being somewhere near where the Grand Central Parkway and the Long Island Expressway intersect. There could be something special in the water in Queens so make sure you ask for the tap water when you go to this brunch meeting. Your attendance is mandatory.

The Boot Camp Clique Chronicles…

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

resize gif here

Timberland’s 40th anniversary will be next year and I’m getting myself all hyped in advance by visiting some of the classic stores where I’ve bought Timbs over the years. When I worked for the architects on 14th Street I used to visit Paragon and David Z like I was still in high school.

I studied boot releases back then like heads study sneaker releases nowadays. As you might imagine, the winter WAS the season to put your sneakers back in the box and put on your chukkas or better still, your Forty’s. I can’t wait to see what the 4oth anniversary 40 Below looks like. But I digress…

Walk with me los Internetos as I take a look at what’s hot in the streets and fresh for your feets…

Don’t sleep on Burlington Coat Factory. They have the distressed leather classic contractor boots (with Anti-Fatigue insoles) for only $80. Plus they have the Vibram outsole Timberland Cadion hikers for the cheap as well.

My next stop was the venerable Paragon Sporting Goods at the northwest end on Union Square. Paragon is simply a halcyon spot of freshness since I ever stepped foot in that space. They sport all kinds of official gear for outdoorsmen or whatever activity floats your motorboat. I bought my first Tag-Heuer timepiece at Paragon. More importantly I bought my first pair of Forty Belows from Paragon.

The Timberland section at Paragon was pretty basic for what is available in most shops and even in the Timberland flagship locations, but I did see a boot I HAVE to put in my archives. The Pathrock High is a clean looking hiker with a rugged, aggressive outsole. I also like the Timberland shitkickers for when I want to go with a refined shitkicking look. Who knew Vasque was still making boots? What the FUX are those?!?

Next I floated thru David Z which is one of my honeycomb hideouts for New Balance swag on clearance. David Z also kept it 100 with the Timberland stock too. They were a good spot to copp some Beef and Broc field boots in a pinch. They have some styles on sale as we speak…

Oh snap! The suede 7-eye moccasins for $50? Copped. For the second time. LOL. I’m such an addict. David Z even had their Wallabees on sale for a nice price. I’m prA’Li going back to score a pair of low cut moccasins for $40.

40 is the magic number. Get hype with me for Timberland’s 40th.

Support My Lifestyle…

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Instead of dropping off some of your allowance to my prA’Li movement, you can help me keep my lights on over here by clicking this link…

Ralph Lauren Rewinding & Remixing Classic Pieces, Polo Bear Sweater Returning [PHOTOS]

Thanks for your support

The Almighty Allure of Polo by Ralph Lauren…

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

I can remember the first day I ever WANTED to wear a piece of Ralph Lauren clothing. I was with a group of friends on the subway heading to Manhattan one morning on the way to high school. I spotted a teenager in the car next to ours wearing a color-blocked windbreaker. The vibrant colors of the jacket resembled the packaging from the Lifesavers candy roll. Everything else in my eyesight turned to grayscale as I went into hunter mode to acquire the jacket.

When the R train pulled into Lexington Avenue I went after the dude like a wild animal. I ran down the morning rush hour platform with reckless abandon, people screaming in my wake as they were almost pushed onto the train tracks. I chased dude up the escalator, nearly knocking people over the edge as I pursued him relentlessly. The kid in the windbreaker jacket disappeared from me at the landing, but my obsession with Polo by Ralph Lauren has stayed with me since.

This was in 1986 and here I stand 25 years later with over 1000 pieces of Polo by Ralph Lauren clothing and gear in my archives. What made me give over half of my life (and frankly, over half my net wealth) to the loyalty of this brand? It is more than Ralph Lauren’s slick marketing efforts which describe his Polo brand as the ultimate in luxury lifestyle apparel. It is that kid’s efforts, and mine, and all Black kid’s efforts to RETAIN the Polo pieces they wore on their backs. This was the New York City I grew up in.

There are plenty of pleasant things to remember about growing up in the 1980’s inside of the world’s greatest city. The New York Knicks drafted Patrick Ewing and he even had a dope signature sneaker, by adidas. The Metropolitans baseball team won a world title. The Cosby Show described Black excellence, in Brooklyn no less. Copping tags on the subway was too risky, but you could bomb every streetlight base or sidewalk surface until your heart was content. Crack cocaine dominated the police blotters and the newsreels, but that could be avoided.

In the mid-1980s New York City had two(2) Hip-Hop performance clubs where I spent my weekends partying with friends. Union Square was a dance hall located at the north end of the venerable park of the same name, and the Latin Quarter, which was no longer the hotspot for big bands and tango dancing but for Red Alert, rap music, and kids doing the Wop.

On those nights you wore your best clothing to the ball. Polo rugbys, knits shirts and windbreakers were the height of fashion, as were Guess denim and leather suits and Fila tracksuits crafted in velour. But Polo by Ralph Lauren clothing was the most vibrant and eye-catching of them all. The materials used for the royal blues, racer reds and nautical yellows seemed to carry their own electricity, and in turn were an invitation for others to attempt to take them from you through horrible violence.

I was never ‘stripped’ of my clothing as some of party goers experienced routinely in the clubs or, more likely, on the streets outside of the clubs. Times Square was no joke back then and most kids my age rolled deep to protect one another and to also take advantage of someone who might not have the numbers, but have the items, we wanted to possess. I now realize how so much of my idea of manhood was intertwined with the things I wore. Like the Gucci jacket I bought from the flagship store on 5th Avenue with two(2) entire checks from my little messenger gig.

The attention I received at the clubs or in the streets when I wore that Gucci jacket made it worth the money — and trust me I was mob deep when I had it on my back — but it was part of the way I defined myself as a cut above my working class lot. This was the Polo by Ralph Lauren slick marketing I referred to earlier. Polo was portrayed as the clothing worn by people who did recreational activities like skiing, sailing, horseback riding, or played polo. I didn’t know shit about any of that, but I wanted to look like I did. We all wanted to look like our lives were greater than they were.

Having a piece of Polo by Ralph Lauren clothing on your back was how Black teenagers communicated to one another that we had greater aspirations for our lives than the present crack/cocaine-filled conditions. Wearing Polo by Ralph Lauren was a mark that you had faith and belief in yourself there would be a better day in front you — so you went about acquiring pieces by any means necessary.

As soon as Black kids had determined that Polo was the significant brand for their lifestyle they developed methods of acquiring pieces wholesale. And by wholesale I mean for NO MONEY at all. Boosting gear was profitable but it wasn’t the endgame. The real goal was retention. We formed alliances with one another to protect ourselves from people who coveted the look and thought they could take it from us the way we took it from others. If you kept your gear, you kept your belief in yourself and you maintained your aspirations for getting your ass out of the ghetto. Or so we thought.