Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Levi's Vintage Collection

In the past couple years Levi's has really stepped up their demin game. For me personally, they have made their way from the back of my closet to the weekly rotation. For now its just bottoms but with the release of their new vintage collection, that may soon change. The Levi's Brand has always been synonymous with classic style. They are keeping to that tradition by mixing the old with a little bit of the new in this collection. The line draws inspiration from the Levi's archives and its pretty impressive. Nautical themed striped shirts, heavy knit navy sweaters, and classic tees made from premium cotton. All of which I can definitely dig. The line has been released in limited supply and is now available online at End Clothing.
-D. Griff

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Album Review: Big Boi - Sir Lucious Left Foot: Son of Chico Dusty

Its been a long time since we had some Outkast in our lives. I say that because the Idlewild Movie Soundtrack was years ago and not technically a group album. We were long overdue for some southernplayalisticcadillacmuzik and Big Boi's first solo LP definitely served up a plate full. Delay after delay keep us eagerly waiting for quite a while. Boi's former label Jive Records had this project first but never released it due to creative differences and commercial concerns. So, Big Boi jumped ship to Def Jam so his voice could be heard.

Antwan "Andre" Pattton aka Big Boi shines bright in his first solo effort, Sir Lucious Left Foot: Son of Chico Dusty. The album starts off with "Daddy Fat Sax" which definitely sets the tone for the entire record. Big Boi brags of being lyrically superior to any other while making sure everyone knows the current hip hop artists are not his equal. Track after track Big Boi makes those remarks astoundingly clear. Standout records like "Tangerine", "General Patton", "Turn Me On", and the lead single "Shutterbugg", all have the signature Outkast sound (mainly because Big Boi lent his talents to the production) we have grown to love. Outkast has always been the best at mixing futuristic sounds with funk. The track "For Ya Sorrows" featuring funklord himself George Clinton and Too Short reminds me of the Outkast gems from the 1990's that made us fall in love with the ATLiens to begin with.

The consistency of this album is the most impressive thing to me. Just about any song on this album could be a potential single. No filler tracks. Big Boi loaded the album with features which was to be expected considering he has been working on the project for 4 years. However, the one cameo we were all looking forward to was notably absent. Unfortunately Jive records would not clear two INCREDIBLE tracks featuring partner in rhyme Andre 3000, "Royal Flush" and "Lookin 4 Ya". If those two songs make the record I say its perfect. For now I just say its the best hip hop record of 2010 thus far. Trust me when I say this will be one of the most slept on records of the next 5 years. I don't think anyone really knows how good this record is. The sound is so progressive and innovative while the lyricism is beyond stellar. Big Boi, good work sir.


-D. Griff

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Prime Time

Its extremely weird but I remember my school days by the women I dated and the shoes that came out. I can't explain it, that's just the way my mind works. That being said, 1993 was a dope year. My first year in middle school, dating Diana (and Angie), and rockin the first pair of signature shoes by sports icon Deion "Prime Time" Sanders. The original Nike Air Diamond Turf was, and still is, one of my favorite pair of shoes of all time. Everyone wanted them, everyone had them, and everyone bought each colorway that dropped. Thanks to the good folks over at Nike they are back!!! All the OG sneakerheads couldn't be more excited to see these kicks re-released from the Nike vault. I plan on picking up a pair this weekend for my collection and to heed the words of Souls of Mischief, "93 Til Infinity".

-D. Griff

Friday, July 9, 2010

The King of South Beach

Long gone are the days when Cuban men with slick back hair, colorful silk shirts, and alligator shoes run the city of Miami. Nowadays, 6-8 black men with multi million dollar salaries dominant the bottom of the map. In case you haven’t turned on the tv, radio, or even walked outside your house in the past 24 hours, you know the new resident to South Beach is none other than Lebron James. After roughly 3 years of constant chatter and speculation we now know where James will play basketball for the next 5 years or so, along side D-Wade and Chris Bosh with the Miami Heat.

The highly publicized 1 hour special entitled “The Decision” aired last night on ESPN as the entire world watched in anticipation. This was a forum for James to announce his decision to the world and most importantly the 6 NBA franchises that are in dire need of his services. About 20-25 minutes into the program James announced he would play for the Miami Heat. Numerous stories broke earlier that day that this would be his decision unless he had a late change of heart and returned to his team of 7 years and hometown favorite, Cleveland Cavaliers.

I will start by saying I was not a fan of the ESPN special. The publicity surrounding this “decision” was not good press at all. James could have taken a page out of Kevin Durant’s book and done things quietly and still caused quite a stir just because of whom he is. Not to mention somewhat making a mockery of The Boys and Girls Club. There are much better ways to generate revenue and build awareness for charitable organizations than an hour long special that mentioned the charity once in the last minute of the broadcast. Nonetheless, after all of the backlash and scrutiny leading up to his decision, I find myself with a much different opinion about James than I thought I would. I was under the impression that I would feel he betrayed the city of Cleveland and his fans. That his decision would be about nothing more than becoming a billionaire (which he declared years ago was his ultimate goal). Today, after all is said and done, I don’t feel that way at all. I think what James did was rather heroic and selfless.

Lets consider the facts shall we? James stood to make the most money in either Cleveland or New York. Whether it was the max contract with the Cavs or the notoriety and endorsement deals in the Big Apple, James literally left well over 30 million in guaranteed money on the table. Additionally, much has been made of his huge ego so for James to go to a place who already has one superstar and another rising star (note the fact I do not consider Bosh a superstar) was shocking. Playing for a team where me may very well be a second option made little sense for the supposed egomaniac. So essentially, James past on millions to go play for a team who literally has three good players and no one else. Seriously, the Heat don’t even have a full roster under contract at the moment. Hmmm…

All this leads me to believe one very important fact. That fact is Lebron is maturing. He has been given a great gift to play the game of basketball. Those gifts gave the Cavaliers franchise its best years. Arguably the most exciting years in Cleveland sports history. Needless to say it was the most profitable. Leaving Cleveland was the obvious choice for James. He would have NEVER won a championship in Cleveland because no one in their right mind would play there unless they had no choice. The only reason they acquired James is because they were so bad they landed the number one pick in the NBA draft and he was the best player available. Bottom line, James does not owe the City of Cleveland anything. He gave the city and team everything he had. For example, if I make it big one day the city of Houston wont be responsible for my success. The people close to me in that city maybe, but not the city itself. Its absolutely ridiculous for fans to burn jerseys and make public threats because he is moving on with his life and doing what’s best for him. What people need to recognize is that this was the best basketball decision he could have made. Great players want to win and Miami gives him the best opportunity to win. Bottom line, winning championships is what this decision is about. Not money, not friends, and definitely not about fans that wouldn’t give a damn about him if he got hurt and never played another game.

Lebron came out of this situation as a leader in my mind. He didn’t do what everyone wanted him to do but made a decision based on what he wanted to do. In my personal opinion, he would have been more of a follower had he went back to Cleveland and did things the conventional way. Stay the course and ended up 30 years old with the body of a 40 year old and no championships, similar to Charles Barkley, one of his biggest critics surprisingly. He led by example in the fact that he walked a path he knew he would be hated for. A leader doesn’t care how he is viewed because he/she sees the bigger picture. More importantly they never compromise their vision or goals for general acceptance. Who are we to judge Lebron for wanting to play ball with his boys who he forged a bond with in the Olympics? I mean the guy is only 25 years old. What people are forgetting is that basketball is a team sport. It’s admirable that James wants to win with a team and build something special with a great group of guys. Not teammates that allegedly sleep with his mom.

It will be extremely exciting to see what the Heat do next year. I predict they win 3 championships over the next 5 years. If they can get the right role players around them maybe 4 rings are in their future. Another thing I predict is when they start playing great basketball, which they will, many of the people who absolutely hate James right now will love him. That’s the way it is and always will be. The media will twist the minds of the weak and make them feel how they want them to. Real sports fans just want to see great basketball and that’s what I want more than anything. The Heat will bring it next year and ohhh what a spectacle it will be!
-D. Griff

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Flagship Apple Store in Paris

Another day and yet another reason why I desperately need to take a trip to Paris. The latest attraction is the new flagship Apple Store located in the heart of one of the worlds greatest cities. The store sits almost directly across the street from the famous Opera de Paris. That in mind, the modern look most are use to doesn't exist in this Apple location. Wooden stairs, iron railings, and a immaculate mosaic floor, this store blends very well with the environment that surrounds it. While opening just in time for the iPhone 4 release the store was jam packed with appleheads! Line around the block! Not a bad place to wait around for a few hours if you ask me.
-D. Griff

Monday, July 5, 2010

The 4th BBQ at Nice Kicks

We swung through Nice Kicks for their 4th of July weekend bbq on Saturday. Matt, Allison and the crew showed that hospitality the south is known for with free burgers, chips and drinks while BRMG DJ's Mike Swing & Protege held it down on the music tip. People streamed in and out all day and many-myslef inlcuded-took advantage of their surprise sale. Protege pimped out his custom logo piece carved & stained out of wood along with his custom Nike ID's, making folks jealous lol. It was all in all a good time.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Black Rainbow Pop-Up Shop In Paris

I'd be lying if I said I didn't think the idea of pop-up shops wasn't the coolest concept ever. Probably one of the reasons I can't go a month without a post about one. The latest and greatest is the creative collective Black Rainbow's shop in their native Paris. The shop actually doubles as an art gallery and offers a wide range of products. Of course you can find the collectives label along with other designer apparel, shoes, magazines, toys, and accessories. Something unique about the shop is the quaint sense of humor throughout. Most notably the toilets that serve as chairs for customers to try on kicks. Pretty ill place. If you are in the area its more than worth checking out. Yet another reason on the long list of reasons why Paris may be the next stamp on my passport.
-D. Griff