“87-88” tickets sold at the door at Back Bar on Market Street. Extremely limited pre-sale exclusively at the Snow Beach Café Shop. Limited to 10. The show is one night only at Back Bar across Market Street from the San Jose Convention Center.

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Event Flyer
Tickets available for pickup at the #SneakerNet booth inside Sneaker Con and at Back Bar beginning at 9pm.

Before and After 1987

The keynote conversation hosted by MC AJ x @Kicks at Sneaker Con Saturday on the Sneaker Conversations Stage at 4:30pm, Saturday, July 13 in the San Jose Convention Center features:

Shafari aka @wafflelyfe (IG) from start-up Oakland fashion house Lace Attire (homepage). Livestream below at Snow Beach Café for a bi-coastal, multi-generational, interdisciplinary conversation about past, present, and future.  San Jose creative catalyst Demone Carter (@lifeafterhiphop) sets the scene:

We humans like to organize history into neat ten year blocks. For every decade of the 20th century we have a compressed collective memory that places disasters, fashion styles, and fads into categories like the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. But as any student of history (or sneaker culture) can tell you the pages of history do not always turn on years ending in zero. 

No one understands the relation between space, time, and trends better than culture maven Bobbito Garcia. The groundbreaking DJ, ball player, radio personality and sneaker guru, known to some as Kool Bob Love, has his identified a clear line of demarcation in the arch of footwear history.  In his book “Where’d You Get Those? New York City Sneaker Culture 1960-1987” Bobbitto explains how the year 1987 was the end of the world (as he knew it): 

“From 1960-1987, the goal in New York was to assert your individuality in a collective frame. The spirit was competitive and progressive, and biting was frowned upon.” 

“The game changed after 1987…..In 87 Nike, launched a $20 million campaign for the (Michael Jordan’s)  Air line. Television advertisement for sneakers barely existed before the mid 80’s. Television advertising proved to be effective for sales however, as did the endorsement of the greatest ball player ever” 

Nike’s sneaker hegemony which coincides with the explosion of mass media marketing, lifestyle branding, and globalization, has gone on uninterrupted ever since. 

So now in 2019 as we watch the supposed death of mono-culture and the mutation of niche markets we can only speculate on what the future of sneaker culture will be. Who better to lead us in to the next phase than footwear futurist Bobbito Garcia?  

Demone Carter, @lifeafterhiphop, July 9, 2019, San Jose, California

Welcome to San Jose

This is a guide to sneaker culture events in Downtown San Jose Friday July 12 – Sunday July 14. All events are within easy walking distance of one another and Caltrain, and Amtrak, at Diridon Station. Events are centered in the San Jose Convention Center and Back Bar on Market Street.

Friday, July 12, #SneakerNet

Saturday, July 13, Sneaker Con

Sunday, July 14, Heatwave 🔥🌊

Needle to the Groove

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.


  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.”


  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.”


  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’?”


  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.

DJ Jahbaz Summer Jump Off Extravaganza

DJ Jahbaz played Fern Bar Saturday, June 15. He closed the all vinyl set featuring Mac Dre and Sex Pistols with rare records from personal friends. Hear

  • DJs Ticklah and Spinna remix Les Nubians’ “Makeda” on promo-only red vinyl (1998) (eBay, Discogs),
  • MC White Owl’s “Pickle Juice” from Born Yesterday (2018) limited to 250 copies on green vinyl (available at Fat Beats),
  • Justice System and Jason Famous Beats opening to “87-88” as a preview of the forthcoming summer single release (July 2019).

Learn More

BBE Music

ORIGAMI MC White Owl and Smooth B of Nice & Smooth. Produced by Bombeardo.

Sneaker Con Saturday

  • The World’s Greatest Sneaker Show, Brooklyn’s Sneaker Con, opens at the San Jose Convention Center in Downtown San Jose celebrating 10 years of a never-ending world tour. For sneakerheads visiting Sneaker Con on foot and skateboards, the Convention Center is served by VTA Convention Center Station and surrounded by iconic San Jose landmarks from the Circle of Palms Plaza to Circle-A Skateboards & Coffee. Below is a weekend program co-produced with #SneakerNet.
  • 4:30p Mr. Demone Carter brings Mr. Will DeBord and Mr. Bobbito Garcia to the Sneaker Conversations stage to unlace 1987 as a cultural pivot to new points of demand in NYC sneaker culture. Writing in 2003, Garcia said simply, “the game changed after 87”. A legendary NYC innovator in athletics, music, fashion, and media, Bobbito’s critically-acclaimed history “Where’d You Get Those?: New York City Sneaker Culture, 1960-1987” about of a wave that receded as Nike, Jordan 2, Air Rev, and Air Max tsunami flooded global marketplaces in 1987.
  • 5:00p Director Bobbito García screens his autobiographical “Rock Rubber 45s” at Sneaker Conversations Stage inside the San Jose Convention Center to close Day 1 Sneaker Con Bay Area.
  • 9pm Doors Open: Snow Beach Cafe presents DJs Bobbito and Jahbaz for the 21+ at Bar Bar directly across the street from the San Jose Convention Center. Hear sets organized around one of the most innovative places and eras of all time: New York City in the Eighties, particularly 87-88.

J Balvin Plays SAP Center

This week, Colombia’s J Balvin announced 25 North America tour dates this Fall including Thursday, October 17 at San Jose‘s SAP Center and teased a collaborative album with Puerto Rico’s Bad Bunny. Variety Magazine headlined their review of Balvin’s April 2019 Coachella set, which featured a Bad Bunny effigy on the first Weekend One and Bad Bunny himself on Weekend Two thus: “J Balvin Schools Coachella on Latin Music With Astonishing, Surreal Set” (Variety).

Snow Beach Cafe Poster for Spring 2019. March 27, 2019, covered J Balvin’s festival calendar in the first half of 2019. Twitter