Let Me Speak For You

This is for the individuals who can’t stand up for themselves, let me speak for you

For the person who sits in silence gazing out the window, let me speak for you

For the person who thinks they’re never enough, let me speak for you

For the person who thinks they’ll never make it as an artist, let me speak for you

For the person who thinks they’ll never be successful, let me speak for you

For the person who daydreams their life away while sitting at a 9-5 desk job, let me speak for you

To the person whose thoughts are filled with self doubt, let me speak for you

To the person who thinks their work will never pay off, let me speak for you

To the person who’s feeling defeated, let me speak for you

To the person who’s tired regardless of how many hours of rest they’ve gotten, let me speak for you

Let me speak for you, because I know these feelings all too well. I’m just trying to be the person I needed to speak for me.

Anime and Streetwear Collide

When did anime start becoming associated with streetwear culture? I’m not opposed to it one bit, in fact; I embrace every piece of it. However; my gripe is how much I was teased when I was younger for watching it, but now I’m being asked for recommendations. No matter though, today I would just like to talk about how anime had gotten incorporated with the streetwear culture.

Image result for goku throwing spirit bomb gif

Speaking of modern world, lets talk about how anime otaku culture has began to make it’s way into the wardrobes of young streetwear enthusiasts. The DBZ aesthetic has been around for years now. Floating around early social media days on sites like: Asianavenue, Xanga, Tumblr, etc. In more recent years – DBZ had their first collab with a shoe giant, Adidas. Now, I’m not going to lie; that collab was terrible and Adidas did it totally wrong with every shoe except for maybe the exception of Goku’s zx 700 and the Shenron EQT pairs that dropped. But anything else, was definitely enough to turn a blind eye.

Image result for goku bomber jacket

I think for me, it was setting my eyes on a bomber jacket with a young Kid Goku throwing up the peace sign with some shades on. This jacket wasn’t actually the one that was released but it’s damn near close to it. This one actually looks like a pretty good photoshop. The one I had purchased had a smaller graphic on the back and had the same graphic on the front as a left chest logo. It was this jacket that I began to notice just how many others of my kind (sneakerheads) would begin to incorporate Dragonball into their wardrobe.

I’ve pondered the thought for a long long time, will anime actually finally have a place in this sneaker culture? Will anime otaku and sneaker otaku finally collide and coincide with one another? Of course not. Why? Because the two cultures are completely different. A lot of the times, the die hard anime fans will be your typical run of the mill. And I don’t mean this with any disrespect, but it’s the same song sung over and over at every anime convention I’ve been to. “Put some deodorant on!” And I think that’s my only gripe with anime otaku culture, the bad hygiene is just what kills it for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an anime head till I die but it’s always nice to practice good hygiene skills, those around you will thank you for it.

While on the other hand – you have the streetwear enthusiasts who do their best to always dress to impress when they leave the house. Throwing on their most expensive kicks (depending on the weather) while doing their best to make their outfit flow with their kicks and throwing on whatever gold accessories they have. Yknow, just trying to make yourself look presentable at any and every occasion. At least that’s how I do things.

Am I saying that die hard otaku and sneakerhead otaku will never collide? No, because I am one of them. It’s tough to see the gray line between these two opposite ends of the spectrum but it’s there for sure. With customizers such as Sophiesophs banging out Dragonball Sk8 Hi Vans, and Vanimesoles with his crazy attention to detail on every single pair he pushes out. I’m sure it’ll bring out the die hard anime otaku out of all of us. It’s crazy to see just how different but how much these two cultures go hand in hand. Sneakerhead and anime culture are a thing that just belong together.

Now was this whole article pretty contradicting? Probably. But I just wanted to write about two of my favorite things is all. Thanks for reading! Stay Wholesome.

A New Chapter

Hi Everyone,

This is my introduction to the blogging world. I guess reintroduction since I’ve last run a blog back in 2013. I don’t really have a motive for this other than wanting a place to share my thoughts without any form of judgement. A place where I can sit down, unwind, and just write away to escape from the everyday things of life. Recently, I’ve been thinking about how mortality is so limited within the human world and I guess you can say I just want a place where I can relive memories. Death is the only thing that’s guaranteed in life and I just want my loved ones to be able to relive memories we had together. Kind of like a memorial of my life in a way. I know this all sounds morbid and whatever but I just want a place to exist when I do pass away. In other words, I just want to get shit off my mind and relive memories with my family and homies. In this blog series I’ll cover a numerous amount of things that may come to mind. streetwear, anime, music, photography, trips, etc.

Image result for blue laser air jordan 4 sample

First things first, my name is Darrot Bun. I’ve been into streetwear since 2004. Sneaker culture was just taking off. It was still a subculture at the time, and who knew just how much it was going to blow up in the next decade? I remember being on forums such as ISS to get away from the school work and get lost in all the different sub forums they had on there. It was one hell of a time to be alive. You would always catch me in the Jordan forum mainly. Stacking up my knowledge on OG’s and retros. I remember distinctly on this thread about the coveted sample blue laser 4’s that had surfaced. With my naive mind, I was quick to say they were fake. I was wrong.

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That was the start of the sneakerhead culture for me. I wanted to know it all so I searched high and low for any info I could find about any Jordans. Back then, it was cool to have sneakers nobody had because they were rare, but nonetheless – they were yours. Sneakerhead culture had always been about exclusivity. I guess you could say we were just kids trying to find our own aesthetic. Doing what we could so we could stunt on the next guy. If you think about it, it’s kind of weird to say because we were all just dudes (with the occasional female sneakerhead) trying to impress each other. But it was ok, because we were this tight knit community of sneaker otakus. This is how we evolved our styles over the years. Looking at pictures of other people and seeing how their outfit flowed and other things of that nature. This is what made us, the sneakerhead community.

Image result for ijapino jordan

Outside of the “What did you wear today?” (WDYWT) thread there were numerous other threads that you could venture out into as well. The collections thread was filled with OG’s and newbies alike. The OG sneakerheads always had the most fire collections. Ijapino, MJO23DAN had an insane DS OG collection, Bri4n had an insane Air Jordan 4 collection, the list goes on. It was also always riddled with kids my age at the time (13) with the opening sentence going something along the lines of “my parents didn’t help me with any of these shoes”. As ridiculous it is to say – it was something we teenagers could be proud to say. Do you know how many lunches I had to skip to save up for a pair of beaters?!

The lounge was another sub forum you could catch me in too. This one had tons of threads that you could go through. Topics of discussion would range anywhere from “What’s your favorite food?” to “Team Misa Campo”. It was strange to think that these models had such a following that people were willing to make teams for them. I actually made a thread that I would say was pretty successful. The topic was “ISS CONFESSIONS PT. 2 LETS HEAR EM!” The point of the thread was to be able to say something with no judgement. Now you had your trolls that didn’t take the thread serious then you had those people who just wanted a place to get shit off their chest, so you could say there were regulars in this thread. I remember distinctly one of the regulars had mentioned he was having suicidal thoughts, and some how, some way with my 14 year old mind I was able to veer him off to a better mentality. That was the point of the thread – I just wanted to help people.

I guess for now this is where I’ll end at. I’ll see you guys next time! Stay wholesome.

Fighting Back

For the first time in years, I purchased a book. The book is titled “This Is Not A T-Shirt” published by the author Bobby Hundreds of the famous clothing line “The Hundreds”. When I was younger I didn’t really pay attention to brands, I normally just bought things that I thought looked cool to me. My very first and only shirt from The Hundreds brand is the HIP-HOP IS DEAD t-shirt. I bought it because of the pure nostalgic era of music it had illustrated on the backside of the shirt. These guys were legends in the music industry. 2pac, Eazy E, Big Pun, Biggie, etc. This tee had dropped right when Nas had dropped the track “Hiphop is dead” which sent the music industry in a total frenzy.

Image result for the hundreds hip hop is dead

But I’m not here to talk about old music legends, I’m here to talk about a chapter of the book I literally just read seconds ago titled “FIGHTING BACK”. This chapter inspired me a lot to write this article because I think the lesson behind it is truly empowering. The chapter starts off with Bobby and his business partner; Ben, getting a tweet from one of his fans on twitter asking if The Hundreds did a collab with American Eagle. You know, the brand that caters to fraternity boys and jocks alike. Where you walk past the store and you immediately need to put a respirator on because of the strong fumes of brohood coming from the store. Yeah, that store.

Image result for adam bomb the hundreds

Anyways, Bobby wasn’t sure what the fan was talking about until the fan sends him a picture of some boxers with The Hundreds iconc mascot on it, Adam Bomb. Bobby immediately knew it was their illustration because of just how alike the shorts looked. Actually, now that I’m looking at the photo they actually did steal the picture of it (See below for boxers that American Eagle had for sale in stores).

Image result for american eagle with adam bomb boxers

So you may be asking yourself “exactly why am I reading an article about a pair of boxers for and exactly why would this make me feel empowered?” Just hear me out for a second. Bobby and Ben go into this huge legal battle in which they go back and forth with AE’s 9 lawyers vs. just the two of them. Before The Hundreds existed – Bobby and Ben went to law school so they knew a thing or two about legality issues. They weren’t well equipped with knowledge, but they damn sure weren’t going to go down without a fight.

During this battle Bobby and Ben are thinking of just how small they are compared to a company that just raked in 3 million dollars that year alone. They doubt themselves. They say “maybe we’re just going to lose”. They say so many things to put themselves down but then remembered that they have nothing to lose, but everything to gain. So with their lawyer stricken minds shaking off the cobwebs they continue to fight the battle with them. It wasn’t until AE said they were going to license the Adam Bomb so they could continue selling. Bobby was infuriated with this idea, not only did they say they were going to license it, they didn’t even ask. They were the one calling the shots on this issue.

Now I don’t really want to spoil the chapter all in itself in hopes that you will go out and buy the book to read about his journey. But I’m going to give away the good part of this chapter anyhow. 3 lawyers from AE call Bobby and Ben and say they’re willing to give them a percentage of sales from the boxers. Bobby and Ben thought at the time they were crazy to go against it, but with perseverance comes results. Bobby said hell to the no to this agreement. He then states he has already written a blog (The Hundreds brand actually revolves around more around the blog rather than the actual t-shirts. With the blog, you can actually visit it and see the inspiration behind the designs) about the issue and then states his influence in the streetwear fashion industry. He literally has millions of people reading his blogs, from rappers, sports athletes, to fans alike.

Then, AE finally backs down from the legal fight and says “we will discontinue and recall all the boxers if The Hundreds guarantees that there was no wrongdoing in regards of this issue and we will send the boxers to a charity we work with in Africa.” Bobby and Ben agree to these conditions and then shoots out a tweet to his “bomb squad” for everyone to check out the American Eagle retail stores to ensure that the boxers are no longer on display. It’s confirmed and Bobby and Ben win the fight.

So exactly why did any of this match to empowerment? I think it matches quite well because of just how much they realized they could do. They went against this goliath of a business vs just two dudes with streetwear dreams. They didn’t think they could even pull this fight off but they kept to their guns and kept their chests out because they knew what was right and didn’t want their art stolen. Also when Bobby had his bomb squad go out and scout the malls to ensure that no more boxers were being sold, shows just how much strength comes in numbers. If we could work together in unison as a community, just think of how many other things we can accomplish if we all got together as a family?

Anyways, I’m going to end it here. If you wish to purchase the book, feel free to visit your local Barnes and Nobles or it is also available on amazon, the link is right here.

I am no way sponsored by Bobby or by The Hundreds brand. I simply just want you to be inspired enough to pick it up to see how it is to read about the highs and lows of starting a brand. Catch you next time! Stay Wholesome.

Growing Up

When I was growing up, it was cool to have Jordans. But when you grow up poor, it’s tough to acquire a pair for yourself. I remember my very first pair of Jordans – a trashed pair of 2001 columbia XI’s. The soles were piss yellow, soles were separating from the midsoles, oxidation already happening on the patent leather although it had only been 3 years since they had released, but due to the not so ideal weather of Seattle, WA that sped up the aging process significantly. I wish I still had my pair to show you guys how trashed they were. No matter how trashed those shoes were; they were my first pair of Jordans, and I was happy to wear them.

Not my actual pair. Did a quick google search to give you guys a visual representation of them

When I was growing up, Supreme was this super exclusive brand that no one could really get other than if you had someone cop it for you in LA or New York. I still don’t understand the hype on this brand, but if you like it then cop what you want. I just can’t justify spending $600 on an american apparel tee with the red box logo “SUPREME” slapped on to it. It’s crazy to see just how long this brand has been standing and it’s still one of the most hyped brands out there. I ain’t mad ya if it’s your steeze, it’s just not mines.

When I was growing up, A Bathing Ape had died out in the US during this time of the sneaker culture but was still alive and well over in places such as Japan, London, Thailand, and such. I remember Soulja Boy was rocking a pair of Bapestas on “Crank Dat”. That was the very first time I was exposed to the brand. At the time I could only think “WHO THE HELL WOULD BUY THESE AIR FORCE 1 RIPOFFS?!” Well … little did I know, a lot of people did.

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But maybe I was too young to understand the Bathing Ape culture nor did I think anyone had that kind of money to drop on an article of clothing from them. Fast forward to about 2015 and Keith Ape comes out with the music video “IT G MA REMIX” and that remix took the world by storm. It wasn’t until this music video dropped was when I would finally dive into the culture of the Bathing Ape community. I bought my first Bape jacket from Pondon. An old school, but reputable; company that supplies legit Bape articles at some reasonable prices. Of course shipping is about $35 to the US on top of what you’re already paying. But if you’re buying anything related to Bape, then I’m sure you have money to cover the shipping costs.

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When I was growing up, Lifted Research Group (LRG) had just come out with their dead serious hoodies. You could find these on a lot of celebrities back then such as Kanye West, Wale, I think Lupe Fiasco might’ve even rocked one at one point as well? For some reason the resell value on these were crazy. I think at the time it was $300 market price and from a quick google search it looks to be fetching about $100 – $200. I just want to be dead serious and say this was an ugly hoodie. I’m glad this trend didn’t last for too long.

 

Image result for dead serious kanye west

Image result for dead serious kanye west

 

And with that, I think I’m going to end it there! Thanks for reading, stay wholesome.