Remember 'How To Make It In America'?
It wasn't very good, was it? The only good things about that hipster half hour were Lake Bell, Luis Guzmán, Javier Nunez and that theme tune. Aloe Blacc might sound like a skincare product, but 'I Need a Dollar' was a big record and his work on Stones Throw is strong , plus he's a smart dresser and an excellent live performer too (some Stones Throw artists are less strong in a live setting — we remember literally falling asleep standing to the sounds of Madlib on the drums at Koko one time). Aloe was and still is also part of LA rap duo Emanon, who, in a situation akin to the Non Prophets and Non Phixion name similarities of the same era, led to some misunderstandings in indie rap strongholds like Mr Bongos. Whoever thought Jansport hip-hop could take it this far, eh? Aloe's been given an adidas
to rework, based on a favourite Olympic memory as part of the 'Your Story' pack's debut drop and he keeps it simple yet conceptual.
When it comes to a shoe, we think it needs to stand on its own merits and this take on a Decade — the 1984 basketball classic — does just that. The quality is even apparent through the pictures here when it comes to that leather on the upper, but while we saw a dressier boot style glistening through, we didn't understand the icy sole on it. It turns out that Aloe is a soul man who knows how to flip a sole too, referencing African soil with the deep red of the oxblood shade and theming the transluscent base on Ethiopean marathon legend Abebe Bikila who took gold at 1960's Olympic Games barefooted - an achievement that deserves to be immortalised and one that's well integrated here. Sometimes a brace of shoes created via visits, brief chats and email exchanges spits out a few duplicates, but each 'Your Story' shoe so far has its own identity. The personal branding inside the tongue is a nice touch. On the musical side, Muro and Aroe were decent picks and time will tell as to whether the latter's relationship with the brand elevates to B.O.B. levels. These go on sale this Saturday as part of the first 5 'Your Story' Consortium releases...