TheLegendsLeague

Toronto, Canada
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Some (other) shit I wrote on July 16.14

I’ll be the first to say I wanna be the last to speak and promise habits for days that won’t last a week since my projection of self is covered in filth. Seems we praise the sanity of those who think to stay the same because we’d rather swim in piss than surf a wave of change until somebody else assures us there aren’t sharks. It’s owner’s bright but my apartments dark cus even a candle melts away when it’s too burnt out. And I’ve been too burnt out as I’ve been getting older and been drinking whisky like it’s poured directly from the fountain of youth. And smoking cigarettes really since no fire in me still smolders as I avoid a mountain of tasks I’m still yet to do. Including “Improve”. I’m losing my mind from the centrifugal force of staying in the exact same place with my thoughts spinning about. Or maybe I’m just trying to turn myself around and haven’t figured out which direction I need to face before I finally stop. I would give everything to just have it all and know that nothing isn’t all that I’ve got. At this point nothing is still a helluva lot.

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Some shit I wrote on July 16.14

On a mission for motivation I think of everyone I miss and listen to music that makes me think I’m on the wrong side of living. My bones withering in the grass often slithered and I’m in the gravest need to shed my skin at the risk of biting on poison fruit. I mustn’t become a token stat. But a bushel and bale has burned my barn, left ablaze since straw broke my back. And I cannot move. Or maybe I refuse to budge. My hands are two, but what use when I hold so bold a grudge? I’m a family man, they said. A man of family. Longing to hug a wife and still hang on to sanity when most women I meet are vain. Those who can’t adapt die quickly or alone. I remind myself on my search for Home.

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Some shit I wrote on July 14.14

It’s just a series of distractions that turns a moment to a minute. The pain in debts made denser by the ways I waste my days. Every knew idea, every thought to do To-Do’s is a plot to stop my motions in a movie that rarely moves. And it doesn’t want to end. It rarely does begin. But it loops and leaps about as I jump around to fake my friends. A King can’t claim His throne if he declines to leave his seat. And a beaten heart won’t break me but this broken heart still beats.

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The Art of Subtraction in Life and Design

If in my work I’ve learned anything it’s that effective design is a result of subtraction rather than addition. My most easily communicated works are simple ideas that can be felt immediately upon first read or reception. They don’t need a lengthy description or poetic caption. They only need to be seen to be understood in full.

If in my life I’ve remembered one lesson it is that sometimes the space that an object occupies is worth more than the object that is occupying the space. This too illustrates the value of subtracting from your day to day creation of the rest of your life.

What am I then but a result of my loss? My pain in loving and losing, in wanting and being weary, in needing and being neglected has chipped my shoulders but also molded my frame. In creating I have learned to rid myself of the elements which I do not need. In life too I must learn to make beauty of the things I want but have been unwillingly subtracted from the design of my being.

I’m often asked what my “style” is. In both creation and existence it is pain done beautifully and beauty done painfully. By choice or otherwise.

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Selling Out and Losing Integrity

There are plenty of people who create art for the love with no intention of creating for business. It’s the difference between wanting to be a professional and wanting to be a hobbyist. The purpose of business is to sell a product at a profit, so it’s important to remember that there is no selling out without first being able to sell. But the concept of selling out is not based on who buys your product, the volume at which you produce it or the vehicles you use to sell it. Selling out is about sacrificing the integrity of your art strictly for the sake of making money. And only the artist can control that.

The best way to gauge whether you’re on the path to selling out or risking your creative integrity is to ask, “When all I wanted was to do this for the love, would I be doing what I’m doing right now for the money?”. If the answer is no, it’s a good time to reconsider your motivations.

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Some shit I wrote on May 23.14

I’ve been doing this for a long time. And by “this” I mean contributing to Toronto’s creative class as a b-boy, designer, artist or clothing line for collectively over 20 years now. In that time I’ve learned more about other people than I’ve learned about myself. But I’m okay with that. I have the rest of my life to figure me out. What I’ve seen most is that peoples perception of reality is terribly skewed. They lie through their teeth, down talk those they’ll later be partying with and push to be seen as monetarily successful or socially popular rather than find a level of gratification in their way of living that makes them a success at being an honest, respectable human being. All the while they call themselves, “real”, “authentic”, “genuine”. I’m not gonna get on too hectic a rant on how ridiculous this all is to me. I’ve seen it a billion and a half times. I’m old, remember? And I’m still around, paying my own bills. Some people from the scene I came up in are not. Some are and are struggling. Some are just getting into the scene over the past 5-10 years and show intense signs of being contributors to this social epidemic. But none of that will change because thirsty wo/men will still be attracted to the lies, blind trust fund kids will still contribute to the pot in order to stay relevant and buzz words and slang will be buzz words and slang to people who get a rise out of using or hearing that shit as a marker for coolness. All I can say is this: I’m not impressed by big talk and I’m not one to read fiction for pleasure. Take that for what it is. And be careful out there. The world is disgusting.

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Some shit I wrote on May 21.14

With every passing minute I’m reminded that nothing makes me feel young again. Nothing is fun and everything gets old very fast. Me included, fads and every new thing written. Complacency is the period to our sentence in laziness and somehow women still want babies. Girls still want attention for more than their pictures but their biographies call them “bad bitches”. I wonder sometimes if they’re your sister while we gawk at pass-byers, mock some high-risers for wearing pants at small sizes then complain we don’t have enough to buy a next pack of smokes. So who provokes laughter and who is the joke?

Do you remember excitement and the adrenaline age? 15 or 16 on minimum wage and maximum sex, make outs and movies and relaxing and laughter? Maybe that was our life, this is the bittersweet hereafter, the neatly tucked linens and loosely fucked women and dudes who don’t show compassion because men are indifferent and being different is no longer cool.

I’m very disturbed. I’m disrupted by racket, noise from the street, people who seem to have fun and etcetera. Life could really get no more medium. No more luke warm torn in a goldilocks tale. And with age my bones just get that much frailer. Skin that much more pale and beer that much more needed. I’d have a goal if I knew I could just somehow exceed it but I once shot for a star and murdered an angel. And hell rained down on me hail as her halo.

I don’t mean to be cold but I’m done being cool or even remotely considered as either of the two since I’m so warm blooded I sweat bullets when touched. The delusional perception is that a wheelchair is the lazy mans crutch but both are a lot harder than walking or lifts. I’m the only one at the bar who declines when he’s offered advice or some tips and I still refuse to leave any of the three.

Maybe in time this all gets easy. And I’m already tired of writing this shit.

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NIKE vs KRINK: Air Max Series

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The idea to merge 2 of my favorite brands came after I saw that KRINK has a Tiffany coloured K-60 marker. I picked it up and as soon as I got home I tried to draw a Tiffany Dunk Low on a piece of cardboard I found in my garbage. The result was okay, but it was too illustrative and obvious so I did another version that was just the stripped down aspects of the shoes colour blocking. Although the shape wasn’t true to form, the idea was clear. The cardboard scrap turned out to be perfect for both blacks and whites to pop off of so I did a couple more silhouettes at different sizes trying to find the right combination of scale, simplifying the colour blocking of the silhouette, dripping the ink and maintaining the integrity of the structure of the shoe. After completing a few tests I found that going too simple meant the shoe didn’t look right, but being too complicated meant the ink pooled up onto itself and the result looked like a melted cake. I also found that the bigger the canvas I had the better the composition looked for overall size to drip pattern ratio. Still working on perfecting this, but here’s Series 1 of my NIKE vs. KRINK project.

Big thank you to KRINK NYC and NIKE Canada for their support and involvement in this personal project of mine.

NIKE vs KRINK: Series 1 – Air Max 1 / Air Max 90 / Air Max 95

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Searching for Lois Lane

I’m no hero nor man of steel.
Not caped not capable of flying skills.
I can’t will kids to know my name
Or rid worlds of societal ills.

I feel like sinking in a desk for filing clerks
To find my worth through blinding work
And maybe pay off a pile of bills.
And maybe win me a Lois Lane.

Under a mask
She wouldn’t know my name.
And I’d be no hero
All the same.

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Toronto: The Screwface Capital

I’m from The Screwface Capital. That’s different than the current Toronto climate and it’s different than the internet world and it’s different than the I-share-your-work-if-you-share-mine power of “social media”. The 30-something’s I came up with in the game as an active hip-hop fan, as a party goer, b-boy, graphic designer for every rapper, event and start up company you can imagine know the truth and sincerity behind the name that Theo 3 so brilliantly gave us too many years ago. “The Screwface Capital”. Where we boo out of towners, where we rarely showed love for anyone, even our own, unless they were exceptionally good at this hip-hop shit. We’ve all seen people get jumped, bottled, beat down for being bullshit at their craft and trying to act like they were ill. There was no other platform to show your skills before but to come out to the events and show & prove in person. That’s how we came up. You couldn’t be trash or you’d get treated like Dead Fish. (If Dead Fish sees this, I apologize for using you as an example but you were shit). The climate is different now and people have changed. The world is smaller. The sharing is easier. The garbage is more rampant, but we can filter it to our liking with a greater sense of ease, at the same time being bombarded with the curses of self publishing dimwits. But what drove me as a 12 year old to start b-boying, to start drawing and start designing was the sincerity of the critics and those who stood up for a level of quality in our city that they wouldn’t let go tarnished. 20 years later I’m still involved in the Toronto creative landscape. My contribution in this space is far different than it was years ago, but I still do everything I can to hold true to the old fashioned mentality that garbage belongs in the trash. My latest project with Rich Kidd, Adam Bomb and Tona (Naturally Born Strangers) does something that I think is very important. It combines the worlds of creative minds who were PARTICIPANTS in the old Screwface Capital scene with the world of new sharing, spreading social communication. I can only speak for myself when I say this, but I hope it rings true with everyone that I’ve met from 1994 to present day in this Toronto Hip-Hop shit – You do not have to do anything that you don’t want to. You don’t have to go to shows, buy merchandise, support peoples art, clothing lines, mixtapes, youth lead initiatives, charities or pages on Facebook for all that matters. You shouldn’t if you don’t feel it. If there is something you find dope, worthwhile and worth sharing, support THAT. That’s called filtering your own sense of quality and curating what you choose to distinguish as great from garbage in the public and quickly global eye. The Screwface Capital mentality is necessary. Champion the good and ignore the filler. That’s how Toronto will stay winning without being on some kumbaya, hand holding two-step weird shit. Change soon come for some. Thanks to everyone for their support.