Photos by Ricky Powell
While growing up in Brooklyn I really started getting into hip hop and skateboarding in the late 80's, during the era when Run DMC and the Beastie Boys were at their peak. "Walk this Way" ft Aerosmith was a hit around that time.
Def Jam founders, Rick Rubin & Russell Simmons worked with so many legendary artists such as Public Enemy, Slayer, EPMD, and LL Cool J just to name a few.
"License to Ill" was my favorite Beastie Boys album and I was pretty much listening to it everyday. I think I was emulating my whole persona through their music and videos that I watched from them. Back then, PS 114 white walls on Farragut Road was a spot a handful of us would skate very often. It wasn't the Brooklyn Banks but many people came by from Mill Basin, Manhattan, Starret City and Canarsie to mark up the walls, skate the stairs and ledges.
Their early lifestyle was something to me. I wanted to party, hang out with girls, drink beers, wear dope gear and skate. This was my intro to Vision Street Wear, Budweiser and Fashion.
Saw this interesting article by Gary Warnett a few weeks ago in regards to their influence on athletic footwear and his take on the Beastie Boys.
"While most rappers were keeping their sneakers pristine, the Beasties always seemed to exist in a realm between worlds. Their fresh three-finger gold rings met scuffed sneakers, sometimes worn ultra loose in a b-boy style, but often strangled at the ankles. It was a party where Run-D.M.C., Minor Threat, and Slayer could co-exist, and the dress code reflected that. And the shoes were usually from Puma or Adidas." - GW
As the 90's came about I saw myself again being influenced by them when shopping at this store in LA called Xtra Large, which was owned by the Beastie Boys and was later to be where Girl/Chocolate first started. Ben Davis, X-Large zip up flannels, Adidas and Puma's were available at their store.
I remember Keenan Milton, Steven Cales and Gino Iannucci telling me about this store and to finally see it in person was such a big deal to me. The retail vibe was so much different than the usual places to shop.
This nostalgic encounters are the reason Mighty Healthy was born.
Note to self: I am going to wear Adidas Campus and Big Jeans tomorrow