Forget the tired Workout vs Powerphase/Jet/Magic (and whatever other names it went by) what-came-first debates (incidentally Reebok did that design aesthetic first), and let’s celebrate the stranger side of that aesthetic. I just want to know who was creating the blank panelled custom knockoffs that brands as disparate as Luther Campbell’s Luke Records and Slush Puppie were using in the late 1980s and very early 1990s (those Apple ones were a little more advanced). SNKR INC took a trip to legendary Newport box reappopriator, creative mind and artist Ari Saal Forman‘s shoe stash for an interesting chat that touches on Philly-centric styles, old favourites and the Burger King shoes they used to equip some staff with. Give it three minutes of your time.
It goes without saying that a book compilation of the best of/every issue of On The Go is very needed. We’ll just have to keep wishing in the meantime though. Steven “ESPO” Powers and Ari Saal Forman’s graffiti/hip-hop/lifestyle magazine went from ‘zine to glossy between 1989 and 1997 — a Tower Records necessity alongside Ego Trip and Stress in its heyday — before vanishing from shelves and is always in need of a good retrospective. Like any good graffiti publication, they put out some videos too — 1993’s Eyeshocker Express is on YouTube via helio215 and — at time of writing — the follow-up, Repeat Offender has vanished from the internet again after a copy surfaced eight years ago. Some good music, excellent Philly footage and history from local legends like Cornbread makes Eyeshocker a great accompaniment to the magazine. Once upon a time, it would set you back $16.50, plus postage fees and an eight week wait, so it’s good to have it for free.