DISSENT

The last few days have had a faintly apocalyptic feel — not so much in the acts of a few kids liberating some adidas PTs, but in what it’s going to unleash in terms of a crackdown on day-to-day life. One minute you’re in the park eating a Taste the Difference sandwich with three colleagues and the next you’ll be sent sprawling by a hose blast for your unlawful gathering. Banging on the door to wake your housemates at 3am? Rubber bullet to the chest. You can thank the youth posing solemnly for phonecam glory with the bumper bag of Tesco’s Value Basmati rice for that when you’re spluttering on the floor, being booted in the ribs. There’s dissent elsewhere too.

My buddy Philip at Madbury Club (a site that makes most other sites out there look weak) stood calm in the face of being hacked and losing a wealth of excellent content a few months back and just started again. Already, Madbury’s better than the rest and he let me write some stream-of-consciousness nonsense about ‘Watch the Throne’ during a third listen. I liked that album a lot — not as much as I loved ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ (which at the halfway point turns into a monkey prison flick) in the hype that delivers stakes, so I don’t understand the backlash.

But then I also don’t understand how people could be so moved by it that they Tweeted about it for 24 hours, will probably return to babbling on about it at the end of the week, collating reactions to it like the craze of filming yourself reacting to some women eating each other’s shit (an apt metaphor for something or other), then gather tearfully every August the 8th to commemorate the day that two men rapping about fancy slacks and art galleries changed their lives. If the media’s looking to point the finger at rap for Britain’s troubles, ‘Watch the Throne’ would be a shoddy scapegoat. If the youth were corrupted by this, they’d have been grabbing unpronounceable brands and priceless paintings. Anyway, ‘Ye and Jay had that scapegoat skinned a long time ago to make some luxurious driving shoes.

My favourite discovery online today was that whiny-voiced-yet-prolific mixtape maker (whose ultra-zooted ‘Ride Around Slow’ I’ve had on rotation for a while) Rich Hil has been dissing Supreme in the New York Observer. Dan Duray’s profile of the rapper ends with,

“Later in the night everyone ordered Indian food and after the five chicken tikka masalas arrived, Rich began to rail against the clothing label Supreme, which he used to wear regularly, until they started “fucking with Odd Future,” a West Coast rap group.

Now he wants to kidnap Odd Future frontman Tyler the Creator and make a music video where an attractive woman takes a duffel bag of Supreme out to the middle of the desert and burns it. He didn’t say for which song.”

That’s doubly amusing in the knowledge that Rich Hil is Tommy Hilfiger’s son. Two of my favourite clothing empires collide in those closing quotes. His output isn’t Chilly Tee level, but some of the drug dealer boasts (despite that documented bust) seem a little unnecessary given the options available. On the Hilfiger subject, I loved Diamond D’s revelation that, “Tommy Hilfiger or his brother Andy came over to the video shoot in person in a big body 600…and opened up the trunk and said ‘Back up, this is all for Puba” during the ‘Watch the Sound’ shoot in the Complex piece recently.

Rich was merrily Tweeting about Supreme until a couple of months ago too. I thought it was just kids who got into Supreme in 2008 sitting on message boards moaning that it’s “mainstream now” but it appears even the Rapidshare rappers out there are getting restless. I tried to calculate as to whether there’s a direct trajectory between how annoying a white rapper is and how many tattoos they’ve got, but Lil Wyte, Paul Wall and Yelawolf all disproved my theory with an abundance of ink. Machine Gun Kelly and Mac Miller are prone to pulling some annoying expressions, but at least white rappers have stopped trying to out psycho each other by rapping about bumming their own mums and stuff – they seem to have substituted that with game of who can amass full sleeves and a neck piece the fastest. Oh, and media coverage claiming that Rich is the best ever rapper from Connecticut are forgetting that Stezo, and — on the melanin-deficient front — Apathy, are a lot better.

This is my ‘Save the Elephant’ appeal. I’m a Nikehead. If you read this blog regularly you’ll know that. But just as that guy from GoDaddy caused trouble by shooting an elephant dead a while back, my beloved elephant print’s appeal has been slaughtered. On the Air Jordan III, it was amazing. I saw glimpses of it on Windrunners, some Airliner Cortez, Pegasus and an Air Trainer 1 from around the same time. The Air Force IV/STS worked it in nicely in 1989. Seven years later it showed up on the Air Jordan XI IE Lows in style — a nice throwback to the previous decade on a Jordan that still maintains a certain mystique.

When Supreme dropped their Dunk Low SB in October 2002, the resurrection of that pattern and reference to a 1988 aesthetic was indicative of Supreme’s knack for nailing a theme, and it seemed like a coup to fuse a Jordan aesthetic with a Dunk. How naive we were, but that duo of makeups is still classic. It’s quaint to think that seeing it on a Parisian b-boy’s custom Doublegoose seemed so unfeasibly fresh a few years back.

Chris Hall’s one-off Air Force 1 Hi makeup from 2005 and those unreleased Courir Air Flight 89 from 2003 aside, the magic’s been eroded during the last decade. Nine silhouettes (including the AJIII) carried it superbly. The last five years of abuses are proof that this classic pattern needs to be kept in a vault for outings that justify such a prestigious application. This mistreatment of a noble animal (print) must stop.