Jamel Shabazz: Back in the Days Remixed

I remember when I first got a copy of the original Back in the Days 10 years ago. It took me right into my childhood, a childhood where I longed to be the guy with the pressed Lees and Pumas with fat laces macking on the Ave as “Rock Box” blared from my boom box. Unfortunately the Hip Hop uniform didn’t happen in the suburbs, although my Nike and Adidas collection back then was pretty tight, having got some sweet hand me down Nike Blazers and baby blue striped shell toes from my Aunt, and stepping up to Jordan 1’s and the Barkley’s later on, as well as a slew of other Nike (Oceania, Cortez, John McEnroe cross trainers and those hideous Agassi pink, black, and white 3/4’s among others) . In high school, we even got Kareem Abdul-Jabar Adidas with his face on the tongue as part of our hoops uniform (bad colorway: natural stripes on white). Around my town, there were a few break dancers I tried to get in with who had the whole Turbo thing going. It helped that the house we were living in at the time was attached to a dance studio. I got my cardboard and linoleum, but unfortunately, my break dance career was cut short by my obsession with basketball and skateboarding and the whole Hip Hop fashion/lifestyle was something I heard about on Power 99 out of Philly or saw later on Yo! MTV Raps (I did have that damn original white tee). I didn’t get a name plate belt til my early 20’s. Bummer I know. Maybe I caught some styles on Soul Train, but not much more in a South Jersey town almost 3 hours from NYC. That’s why this original book was so good to me, preserving a place in time where the whole world changed. Hip Hop was born, and all of us were never the same. Now what’s there to say that hasn’t already been said about Shabazz and how he captured NYC street culture, and the beginning of Hip Hop culture through these images? Not much else, other than, the book was dope, and I am certain that this release of the Remix is going to be just as. With an introduction by Fab 5 Freddy, an essay by Carlton Usher, Ph.D. (A Rhyme is a Terrible Thing to Waste), and an interview by Jeff Chang, this looks to be another winner. FMF approved. Go to Powerhouse to get your copy. Keep Diggin’!

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