Diadora High Tops With The Blue Rims

Jahbaz tells stories about the People, Places, Songs, and Sneakers behind Jason Famous Beats x Justice System’s Summer 2019 Single “87-88“. For example, Diadora High Tops With The Blue Rims.

Diadora high tops, with the blue rims
Village Voice talking ‘bout “Marley Marl spins”
Rebel Without A PauseDef Jam wins,
Little kids rocking construction-worker Timbs
P-Fine was wack, but we still listened 
Crack dealers rocked silver Volvo’s that glistened 
Wolfpacks attacked, ‘Go Stetsa’ was killing
and Mike Tyson effed up all competition,

Well, hmmm
I might have been young, but I was there
I was there, sneaking out, 
maybe Albee Square? Albee Square
But MSG concerts weren’t fair
Run-DMC bucking lasers in the air,

Snow Beach Café holds me down 
EA thank you 
Cause on the West Coast, dudes will yank U
Mars Blackmon sold us Jordan 3s
Word in no time,
Liked Jordana Bell, but she gave me no time 
This goes out to my sneakerheads,
rocking Keds, til we got bread,
or started boosting like we dodging feds
Adidas Ewings, Air Maxs and Ellesses,
Peace to Biz Mark and Shante,
Have a Nice Day

DJ Jahbaz “87-88”

Learn more about the People, Places, Songs, and Sneakers below.

People

  1. Roxanne Shante / “She had a very distinct voice. Extraordinarily distinct voice. Higher pitch, obviously, but really she’s just a slashing tongue. Smooth but slashing. She had this knife’s edge to her sound and what she said. She rode the beat so well, always rode the beat so well.”
  2. Run DMC / “One of the greatest if not the greatest – one of the most important if not the most important – bands of all time, any genre”.
  3. LL Cool J / “So let’s go back to 1985. Let’s go to LL Cool J’s debut album “Radio”. The cover of that album is a box. A big old boom box with a cassette deck. The back cover is LL wearing black and red Jordans. That set it off.”
  4. Michael Jordan / “Nike felt the need, like, “oh, Adidas is going out like this? Boom. We’re going to take Michael Jordan and now we’re going to make him. Because there’s a dilutive effect. It’s one thing to endorse Run DMC, the band, which is basically the imprimatur on hip hop, but you’re focusing on one individual, Michael Jordan. Thus, the cult of personality: the brand emphasis on one dude with effectively one pair of kicks that became this hyper-focused thing.”
  5. P-Fine / “Dude was corny. He didn’t hold a candle to Stretch and Bobbito. But he was a precursor. You gotta give respect to him, his DJ, and the people that were making it happen up there. Lyvio G. His DJ was Lyvio G.”

Places

  1. Beat Street / “I’m on a mission to get kicks nobody has. A black leather goose that I could afford: preferably the one that not too many people have or that no one else has. Trying to get some hats that no one else has. Get some records. Hit up Beat Street on Fordham Road. Get some vinyl. ”
  2. Fordham Road / “I’d go from where we lived in Greenburgh down to the Bronx, go to Fordham Road, boom, that’s where I’d get the stuff. Come back up and rock kicks that no one else had. And that was a very important thing.”
  3. Madison Square Garden / “(Run DMC) shooting lasers in air. Bucking lasers in the air. Yeah. The concert is in 87. ‘Raising Hell’ tour. With the Beasties opening for them and Davy DMX opening for them; Flavor Flav coming out, Mike Tyson coming out between the acts.”
  4. Georgetown / “You have a black head coach leading a predominantly black team to the NCAA Championship playing a style of basketball that was really amazing. Really incredible, it was, like, ‘wow’, you have to give it up to Georgetown. Everyone liked Georgetown. Unless you had family that went to Maryland or something.”
  5. Albee Square / “Brooklyn was a whole other planet. They call it ‘The Planet of Brooklyn’ for a reason.”

Songs

  1. Rebel Without a Pause / “In May of 1987 the first time that ‘Rebel Without a Pause’ , Public Enemy’s most important single in many respects, Def Jam’s most important single in many respects, I believe that debuted on the P-Fine show on WNYU.”
  2. Don’t Believe The Hype / “You gotta remember, 87-88, trying to listen to hip hop, it was not played in the day time at all. Chuck D. Public Enemy. ‘Don’t Believe The Hype’. ‘On the day time radio scared of me, because I’m mad, plus I’m the enemy, they can’t come on and play on prime time because I know the time'”.
  3. Cult of Personality / “The band was called Living Colour. Vernon Reid and Corey Glover. They had this song, ‘Cult of Personality’, which was in rotation on MTV. That was big.”
  4. Last Night / “Brooklyn had that reputation. Hip hop made it very clear. You have Kid ‘N Play singing that song, ‘Last Night’, they talk about, ‘Brooklyn, Brooklyn, terrorizing Union Square'”.
  5. I Know You Got Soul / “Going to 87-88. Going back to seeing this. Holding the Village Voice like “oh, crap” with 25 rappers and DJs on the cover. And seeing these articles about Eric B. What was the impression of other people when Eric B and Rakim came out with ‘I Know You Got Soul’?”

Sneakers

  1. Diadora High Tops / “Listen. You had to go to my high school. It was 7-12th grade so it was maybe 1200 kids. To rock kicks and get that reaction: it wasn’t just 2 or 3 people noticing. It was 25-40 people noticing with a half hour of me walking in the building. Dudes I didn’t know were like, “yo! yo! yo!”, and they’d stop their friend and they’d stop me so they could show their friend the kicks I got. Nobody had these joints.”
  2. Ellesse / “There were some tennis joints that had flavor. Diadora. Ellesse. These are like tennis and golf type joints, you know what I mean? Country club type stuff, I guess, I don’t know, I didn’t go to one, but they were different.”
  3. Adidas Ewing / “We called ’em ‘Ewing joints’, I forget what the real name is, ‘Terminator’ something like that. Incredible high tops: blue and orange on white joints that were hot for Adidas that Patrick Ewing was rocking for a minute”.
  4. Keds / “Firstly, it had to be dope. Growing up in the 70s and 80s, every kid I know had Keds at some point. It’s Skippies, you had Keds, Buster Brown joints, whatever. It harkens back to our childhood. I don’t care how tough your childhood was but there are some fun memories. Running around with your friends. And what are you wearing at the time? When you’re seven years old? You’re rocking Pro Keds”.
  5. Jordan 3s / “But when the Jordan 3s came out that was like a whole ‘nother rev.”
“87-88” Recording Session. Great Burro Studios. Sebastopol. CA. 2019.