Kick back at Sole DXB

Hip-hop leg­end Gar­cia drops the mic at Sole DXB

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - glaiza@7days.ae

S ole DXB goes out of the box again this week­end to cel­e­brate the sneaker and street cul­ture. The ur­ban life­style fair is at D3, and will have a jam-packed lineup of mu­si­cal per­for­mances, ex­pert talks, spe­cial screen­ings and, of course, footwear.

Among the re­turn­ing guests this year is, Bob­bito Gar­cia, AKA Kool Bob Love. In the early 90s, he co-hosted the New York hiphop ra­dio, The Stretch Arm­strong and Bob­bito Show, which played demos and in­ter­viewed the likes of Jay Z, Busta Rhymes and the Wu-Tang Clan, who were then still un­signed rap­pers.

He re­vis­ited those days in his doc­u­men­tary last year, Stretch & Bob­bito: Ra­dio That Changed Lives, which is avail­able on Net­flix.

“I hadn’t seen Nas, Jay, Busta, Eminem, etc since the 90s,” says Gar­cia.

“It was a thrill to re­unite with them af­ter all these years. I’m very proud of what they all have done. I highly rec­om­mend it to any­one in­ter­ested mu­sic, not just hip-hop.”

At Sole DXB, Gar­cia will do an on-site ra­dio pro­gramme with Stretch and host a talk about his doc­u­men­tary on street bas­ket­ball called Doin It In The Park. He added: “Co-di­rec­tor Kevin Cou­liau and I will be shar­ing images from the film while dis­cussing the be­hind the scenes and his­tory be­hind each. I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to this as we’ve ex­hib­ited our work, but never have been asked to do a slide show pre­sen­ta­tion while speak­ing.” The ‘sneak­er­head’ (or shoe fan) cul­ture is cur­rently on the rise, and the au­thor of the Where’d You Get Those? New York City’s Sneaker Cul­ture: 1960-1987, ex­plains why. Gar­cia says: “What ‘heads’ are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing now is rooted in decades of his­tory, and be­ing a cul­ture of its own is most cer­tainly not a re­cent phe­nom­ena. “The main dif­fer­ence of now – com­pared to the past – is that con­sumers can mon­e­tise their prized pos­ses­sions in a com­pletely open global mar­ket (‘re­sellers’).

“This is un­prece­dented, how­ever more to do with econ­omy than art and cul­ture, mixed with pas­sion for sneak­ers.”

He says his in­ter­est is in the de­sign and how peo­ple de­cide to wear shoes as an out­ward ex­pres­sion of in­di­vid­u­al­ity.

Gar­cia has col­lab­o­rated with big brands like Adi­das, Nike, Puma, Pro-Keds and more.

He says: “I al­ways try to cre­ate some­thing that is au­then­tic to my tastes, as in I only make some­thing I’d wear; my com­mu­nity and the cul­ture. I don’t con­cern my­self with the brand’s agenda or the in­dus­try's trends. I trust my eye for what’s good as I’ve been do­ing this longer than most.”

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