Archive for the ‘Grand Master’ Category


Saturday, June 12th, 2010


Sean P and I mostly agree on shit when it comes to kicks (other than New Balance). We both have hell’a Dunks and Air Max and not so much Jordan brand shit. So I was surprised the other day when P sent me an e-mail describing the latest shoes on his wish list along with the joints that were receiving his vaunted “Emphatically 14 15” designation.

For those of you keeping score at home, when Ruck says “14 15” he is speaking on the 14th and 15th letters in the alphabet. The N and O. Non Cipher for all of you cats who are still 5-percenters. Nyet for my dude Dmitry Vortman and any other Russian heads up here on DP dot com. An emphatic 14 15 means that he wouldn’t get pictured in that item. Think Ricky Rothchild rugbys and the what not.

The shoes that P is fuxing with are the Air Force 1 Foamposites.


I don’t typically fux with Forces at all. I can count all my pairs of Forces on one hand. The idea of a foam Force was executed better with the ‘Forceposite’ design. These Air Force 1 Foamposites look like Frankenstein boots.

The shoes getting the ‘Emphatic 14 15’ are the Air Jordan Alpha 1 Outdoors FTLOTG (For The Love Of The Game – for those of you keeping score at home). I’m mad now because I fux with these joints. The Air Jordan Alpha 1 is being slept on by the masses.

Alpha 1s

Props to

What do y’all Sneaker Fiends think? Are you fuxing with the Air Force 1 Foams? Are you shitting on the Air Jordan Alpha 1s? Is that powder blue colorway not the bomb. I’ma let y’all decide.


Thursday, April 8th, 2010

the holy grizzly

In Search of… The HOLY GRAIL.

Editor’s note: It’s been a minute since we featured a drop on someone’s holy grails. SFU Beijing/New Haven program director GrandMaster comes thru with this joint.



Not gon’ front – for a minute there I was hipstering out on y’all. Life got pretty real out there until a month ago I caught myself in Chuck Taylors, skinny pants, cardigan and a scarf walking down the Grand Concourse near 141st. Fortunately, I am a 5’6″ Asian cat so you know heads respected the kid. But it was close.

Anyhoo, it is Springtime now and all tru SFU northeast heads know the post-Easter period is the season for officially stunting on fools in these parts. The dope fiend lean Timbs are in the closet and now we are linking up with the first love again: more hot kicks than kung fu flicks.

The Good Book tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. Well today I am going to be bringing the joy up in the internets, if the blogs and twitters will give me a little minute to testify. It’s not every day that a brother finally links up to his Holy Grail.

gm sfu

For those who have been keeping track, you’ll already know that I am all about the Nike SB line, Beaverton’s in-house line of skateboarding-friendly shoes. While I am less than amateur when it comes to four wheels, best believe Grand Master knows how to (kick) flip a couple pairs of uber-padded, super-stable, classically-colored Dunks.

But Real Talk is that I am a young head in the game. Nike SB has been around as a corporate entity since 2002, but I only really started getting fresh like that around 2005-6. In other words, I got into the Nike SB game just as the glorious Pink/Purple SB box era was drawing to a close. I’m talking all the OG classics – Tiffanies, Michael Lau, Heineken dunks. The year right after the (in?)famous Pigeon Dunk riots in NYC.

That summer I was living/studying in Beijing and getting down with my rap/streetwear family in Beijing, the Bustout crew, and because of their affiliations stayed around serious some serious heat for the feet (no athlete’s foot). I’m talking Air Max 1 Kiss of Deaths, Visvim FBT’s, Adidas Consortium x Neighborhood Superstars, etc. I came up on 3 or 4 serious pairs (the story of carting a summer’s worth of gear back to the States is for another time), but there was one pair of kicks I had seen floating around that I slept on: the Nike SB Dunk Highs designed by Todd Bratrud, a skate art OG. The community nicknamed this aqua/black pair the “Send Help” highs due to the graphic on the insole.

gm sfu

One of my first real sharp sneaker memories is walking along the street in China behind some Korean cat rocking the life out of a pair of Send Helps. This was the first pair of high-tops that I ever really appreciated. The color blocking is iconic, the material – a fine suede – so fresh that it can only be rocked on the sunniest and clearest of days. At the time, I considered this a negative point. I was young.

What I learned in the years since is that kicks like the Send Helps are not something to be rocked on the regulack like that. My Dunk Low CL’s are the daily drivers – these are a corvette or high-level pro tuned import. They require certain surroundings to be used to the fullest – but when time & space come together in the right combination of all things, they out-perform those daily drivers by miles.

I fronted on the Send Helps in the summer, and by the time I came around in late 06, they had been out of stores for months already, secondhand mark-ups climbing as high as $300+. Those who know the SFU code know that this is unconscionable.

In early 08, Nike released a pair of mid-cut Dunk SB’s that supposedly echoed the high-top Send Help colorway – I looked forward to them eagerly and copped early, but the substitution of “aqua fuel” for “blue reef” in the colorway, not to mention the distinctly un-premium materials and disappointing dunk mid construction (ankle strap? really?) left me unfulfilled. The mids would tide me over, but I was still fiending – and hard.

gm sfu

With prices still in the mid-to-high $200 range, I had to still lean back on grabbing a pair of the true send helps. And with fewer and fewer pairs appearing on the market, as stock settled out from resale hands, I essentially resigned myself to taking an L. The months passed into years, and I realized that the Send Helps had taken on official Grail status in my playbook. For other SB collectors, the Dunk grail is a scarcer, more prestigious pair – UNKLEs, Parises, What The Dunks, etc. But fiddddduck a hype beast, the wearable-but-flashy Send Help highs were my dream team.

Anyways, as I mentioned previously, I had been chilling on the sneaker market recently, content to make moves in my more extended sartorial repertoire. But as late March arrived – and with it both Spring weather as well as my 24th born day – I felt that ol SFU itch kicking in fierce again. The “F” in SFU stands for fiend for a reason.

And so as a birthday present from me to me I hit up the eBay trail. Searching for “Nike Dunk SB” in my sizes (8 + 8.5) I came across two pair of reasonably legitimate-seeming send helps, both in the low $100 range. I won one auction for a little over $110, but didn’t hit the seller’s fugazi reserve price (ol two-positive-feedback shady lookin cat) so I kept it moving, especially since they were a half-size too large.

Truth is, I was almost going to pass up the second seller because of some suspect dealings on the stitching and fine details (fake dunk detection is a well documented art). However, doing my due diligence (googling “Send Help SB legit”) turned up some other internet kid’s “Legit Check” on where an expert gave the thumbs up to this pair. Having performed sufficient recon on the competition like that, I knew it was time to move in strong.

gm sfu

Having copped and received shipping confirmation (but no tracking number) I was a kid waiting for the postman every day for a week before the joints finally popped in to my apartment one Friday afternoon. I immediately ditched the pair of kicks I had been planning to rock that day, and dug into my new pair of Send Helps. The purple SB box was pristine, straight from the store, and apart from a slight toebox crease in the left shoe, the dunks were as fresh as any boxed pair I’ve ever seen. I pulled them out and strapped up, and for the rest of the day (and week) walked around town with my eyes glued to my feet.

Sneaker Fiends! It can happen. Dreams do come true. Grails do get copped. Fire does get rocked. It’s what we do.


Grand Master