kanye west

TIME HONORS THE DUPLICATE

TIME HONORS THE DUPLICATE


JORDAN 1s and a host of counterfeits.

JORDAN 1s and a host of counterfeits.


I was on instagram the other day and Grailed was doing a feature on Air Jordan I counterfeits. Jordan I counterfeits have become a collector’s item because of its limited supply. 

“In September 1985 the original Nike Air Jordan 1 released and with it came some notable counterfeit versions by brands such as Sang, Pro-Joggs and Honors Sports. Over time these fakes have become just as, if not more, valuable than the originals themselves.”

It made me think how over time the duplicate gets honored by consumers. Duplicate may not be the exact word to use but it will be used today to sort of exaggerate the eerie similarities in the products discussed today.

First, I remember when the BAPESTA sneaker by A Bathing Ape came out. The sneaker modeled itself after the Air Force 1. When that shoe first debuted people scoffed and mocked it like they were getting paid for it.

Actually people couldn’t even acknowledge the BAPESTA has its own sneakers. People thought it was a fake Air Force 1. The only noticeable difference a star is on the side of the shoe instead of the swoosh. And the word “ape” is on the midsole instead of the word “air”.

AIR FORCE 1

AIR FORCE 1

KANYE WEST X BAPE

KANYE WEST X BAPE

KAWS X BAPE

KAWS X BAPE

Despite these extreme similarities and mockeries, BAPESTAs went on to become streetwear classics. This is due to collaborations w/ visual artist, KAWS, and Kanye West. And being propelled by the Hip Hop community, BAPESTAs was something you could no longer mock.

More recently one could look at REVENGEXSTORM, a streetwear brand founded by Ian Connor known for its shoes. The shoes are almost an exact replica of the classics VANS shoe.  Once again the only difference is with the logo , which sports a Lightning Bolt instead of Vans’ classic logo.

REVENGEXSTORM

REVENGEXSTORM

VANS OLD SKOOL

VANS OLD SKOOL

Like BAPE, RevengexStorm  faced much criticism. Even articles was created informing readers NOT to buy a single pair. When faced with the burning questions regarding originality he simply refuted that NIGO® did the same thing with BAPESTA.

Because I like shoes and shoes are the hardest part to do. I like the Vans silhouette, so I wanted to do what Nigo did with BAPE, basically, as far as footwear.

After withstanding the criticism, the RevengexStorm sneakers are unmarked much higher than the VANS olds kool sneaker and are being regarded as grails.

Much like anything that get cool, RevengexStorm also got it hip hop stamp.

Lightning Bolt Diamonds cuz I want Revenge” - Gunna

As time progress people seem to overlook the lack of “originality” because the factors of status, validation, scarcity, and simplicity make the product worth acquiring and at times could be worth more than the original.


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NIKE AND THE ILLUSION OF PARTNERSHIP

NIKE AND THE ILLUSION OF PARTNERSHIP

KAWHI’s “KLAW” logo

KAWHI’s “KLAW” logo


Recently Kawhi Leonard filed a lawsuit  against Nike over his “Klaw “ logo. For those unaware, Kawhi Leonard is a basketball player that currently plays for the Toronto Raptors. 

Photo of Kawhi’s formal complaint

Photo of Kawhi’s formal complaint

According to Sports Illustrated, Leonard alleged that NIKE filed a copyright registration without the permission of Leonard. 

Photo of Kawhi’s formal complaint

Photo of Kawhi’s formal complaint

Leonard was adamant about the logo used by Nike was an original creation of his and was conceptualized way back during his college days.

      He insisted that he only allowed NIKE to use his logo on products on a permissive basis. NIKE was to acknowledge they had no ownership of the logo just limited uses that required Leonard’s permission. 

Kawhi’s Logo on a pair of Air Jordan V.

Kawhi’s Logo on a pair of Air Jordan V.

       This is where Kawhi went wrong. Kawhi is learning what previous collaborators learned the hard way. NIKE is always gonna look out for NIKE first.

Air Yeezy 1

Air Yeezy 1

       It’s like when Kanye was frustrated doing his “partnership” with NIKE because he wasn’t receiving royalties for his shoes & his collaborations was limited to a pair of sneakers every two years. 

        When NIKE was finished with Kanye they took his colorways applied them to other shoes with no afterthought about Kanye.

A pair Sean Wotherspoon’s “Air Max 97/1”

A pair Sean Wotherspoon’s “Air Max 97/1”

Same with Sean Wotherspoon, who is the owner of ROUND TWO, a vintage store with flagships in Virginia, Miami, NY, and LA. 

After, they were released, soon after Sean started teasing samples of what to come next.

First peek at the second wave! Still early on the sample process, and there’s a lot that’s going to change! I’m thinking add some color to the sole, make that air bubble infrared, gotta change the sock liner to yellow, maybe a new color insole?!, fix the denim on the tabs, and do a gradient from light to dark blue instead of all light blue?!? What new patches should I include with this pair?! I couldn’t be happier holding these babies in my hand, can’t wait to see the final sample! So much more dope Nike shit to talk about, can’t wait to tell everyone! 🌊🌊🌊🌊 @nikesportswear @nike

- Sean Wotherspoon

He thought that next was going to come but Nike went “NOPE”. No official explanation given, just the end of a partnership.

However, he did have this to say.

"I’ve been done working with [Nike], at least on another SW collab, for a while. Still lots of good friends there. I help when asked, but being able to spread my wings again is the best feeling ever," 

Well, its best to interpret that as NIKE gave him the boot and instead of being salty about it he took the bigger road to ensure no bridges were burnt. 

Wotherspoon wearing yeezys with no care in the world

Wotherspoon wearing yeezys with no care in the world

People were concerned with the partnership when he posted a picture of him in a pair of YEEZY DESERT RAT 500’s.

Who knows what his contract entailed but if Nike let a pair of yeezys stopped them from capitalizing more on the hype from those Sean Wotherspoon sneakers, shame on them.

Moving along, I would like to offer up this quote from Parent-Athlete and master wordsmith, Lavar Ball.

“NO NO CHECK THIS OUT NIKE GAVE THEM… THEY CAN’T TAKE THEY BRAND WITH THEM..”

“IF LEBRON AND KOBE LEAVE NIKE THEY WON’T LET THEM TAKE THE DESIGN”

“THATS THE BRAND NIKE MADE FOR THEM”

Lavar, didn’t tell a single lie. Recently Kobe launched one of his post-retirement ventures, Mamba Sports Academy. The sports academy offers a variety of training programs to Youth and Adults and isn’t limited to Basketball. Its all about embracing the “Mamba Mentality” Kobe possessed on the court. Its the mentality credited for getting Kobe 5 NBA Championships and many other accolades.

This new venture is all built off Kobe likeness and image. People will literally sign up for this camp because Kobe is attached to it. So It was kinda odd, when I saw the new merchandise for the Mamba Sports Academy. 

On Eastbay, the items aren’t even listed with Kobe name on them. The first word you see is Nike. It’s clear the sponsorship is with Nike so obviously you will see their name but one word doesn’t feature “Kobe” or at the very least “MAMBA”. 

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That was a clear sign to me that when it come to these partnerships, NIKE will be prioritized first and if you’re not willing to do that they will easily find someone that will.

Hopefully, Kawhi recovers his Intellectual Property and doesn’t make the same mistake with New Balance. Hopefully there will be clauses in his contract to ensure the proper uses with his logo and that He’ll never have to battle a Corporate Giant again and just focus on his Legacy.


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ALBUM CREDITS AND WHY THEY’RE IMPORTANT

ALBUM CREDITS and WHY THEY’RE IMPORTANT


new kanye west album out now , “YE”,  https://tidal.com/album/89768255

new kanye west album out now , “YE”, https://tidal.com/album/89768255

 Today a new Kanye album has released and it sparked something in me about album credits. Being that I heard the album during a livestream it made me wonder about who produced what, who’s featured, what are the name of these samples??!


 Gone are the days of flipping through that CD book admiring the fresh photo shoot, reading the thank you note, and of course the album credits(which sometime featured lyrics).


 Album credits are essential to an album because you can see everyone who contributed to the sound that are pleasing to your ears.


 For example, Kanye West’s All of The Lights from his 2010 album “MY BEAUTIFUL DARK TWISTED FANTASY”. It was like a thousand people on that song and without the credits it would hard to identify everyone who was apart of that song.

1. everyone’s voice wasn’t distinguishable

2. Every person behind each instrument/lyric cannot be identified.

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My album. FIRST OF HIS NAME, out now , go to the music tab to listen. Also on all streaming platforms.

My album. FIRST OF HIS NAME, out now , go to the music tab to listen. Also on all streaming platforms.

 Album credits add to the excitement of the album. Even with my own album, if you check the iTunes info you can see the names of people I went to school with and samples I’ve used that may not be identifiable. It makes people wanna listen even more when they can identify with something so close to them like seeing they’re on name or hearing themselves.

 

 With the digital takeover, the CD collector has been at a disadvantage with fully capturing the moment of purchasing a new album.

 But thanks to Platforms like TIDAL that include the credits, users can get a sense of the old times once more.

 

 

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