Takin' It Back To '82

  • by aled
  • posted Mar 24, 2007

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Comrade Corey

Run DMC is cool as hell and all, but with the skeletons it just reminds me a bit too much of Jam Master Jay being dead and well, frankly that's just kind of sad...


ditto. maybe if they were geriatric and old but not dead. Something like grandpa hip hop

artdrops profile pic Alumni

How do you get your subs up so quick. Wasn't this just in critiques? Very Nice! $5

aled profile pic Alumni

Thanks guys. FYI - It's not intended to be Run DMC - although I have clearly borrowed from their 'look'. Instead its meant to be more like a bunch of generic B-Boys (for whom Run DMC would have been a fashion influence!) - hence the tracksuits and shirts and crouching B-Boy pose. Also responding to Phillyphobic - Banksy did a piece called 'Old Skool' which had a bunch of B-boys in zimmer-frames, so that idea would have been too similar and someone would have berated me for it. Besides, skeletons are pretty bad ass, while remaining race-neutral!


damn. love it. $5. and nice skeleton kangaroo too.

FRICKINAWESOME profile pic Alumni

I hear where you are coming from fatheed, but mty first thought after seering this awesome drawing was "well, i dont wanna wear something that seems mildly disrespectful to Jam Master Jay." Even though you didn't mean for this, I think several of us had a similiar first reaction. I'm still giving this a 3 because it is a gorgeous drawing and good idea (love the gold ink for their gigantor necklaces), and maybe if you changed the skeleton's clothes on the right a bit more (i think the reason everyone thinks this is run-dmc is because of that skeleton's appearance obviously modeled after Run) i would get it. Still, awesome job.

aled profile pic Alumni

Yeah - It's Rev Runs outfit. And last time I checked - he was alive and well (see Run's House, MTV) - the other two are generically dressed. I don't think this is in anyway disrespectful to an persons - living or dead. Infact, it's a homage.

I emailed Run, and he was like 'I'd wear it fo' sure, that ain't disrespec'ful'.

FRICKINAWESOME profile pic Alumni

I'm not disputing the fact that you intentionally made this as disrespectful to Jam Master Jay, or disputing that Rev Run is alive...i AM stating, however, that giving off the appearance of Rev Run is what tips the mind into thinking this is the entire group of skeletons from RUN-DMC, hence giving bad memories of one of its already harshly slain members. Capish, Fatheed? I love your stuff, so please don't take this as me trying to diminish your works...it's just what comes to mind when i look at it. And i appreciate the invite, but I'd prefer not to see Run's House or MTV. lol.

aled profile pic Alumni

I'm not disputing the fact that you intentionally made this as disrespectful to Jam Master Jay

It's not a fact! It's the opposite to a fact! :)

I appreciate your ongoing support - There's nothing in this design that mocks or makes light of JMJ's murder. Although, I can accept if you feel it is close to the bone (no pun intended) and you wouldn't feel comfortable wearing it. Some might accuse you of being over-sensitive, but I wont :)

FYI: Run's House is sometimes quite funny. Is it scripted? Is is spontaneous? Who knows?!

aled profile pic Alumni

PS: Guns 'n' Roses branded themselves as skeletons - and not just because they're badass. The skeleton is a metaphor for immortality - a sense that they will be outlived by what they do (hip-hop and breakdancing in this context) and that they continue to live (by reputation) after death because what they do is important. It also fits in with the notion of 'hip-hop til I die'. Just some snacks for thought.

PSS: This is not just for the benefit of FA! This is for everyone who cares to read it :)

herky profile pic Alumni

great illustration and large print size, very nice.

FRICKINAWESOME profile pic Alumni

So, Fatheed, what you are saying is that you are mocking Jam Master Jay and want to dig up his bones, dress him in his former glory garb, and mock him some more? Thanks for the explanation!

I keed, I keed my new favorite Threadless designer! I see where you are coming from, and I'm glad that we accept each others acceptance of our viewpoints. Aint polite debate grand?

In short, I won't be wearing this design, but i hope it gets printed b/c it's quite awesome. Piece!


Great job! You're on a roll.


Another great sub fatheed, the gold is a nice touch and the colour choices are fabulous! You must surely be in line for a print soon - or I'll be having stern words with those threadless chaps! $5


Keep them coming - you rock!! $5


awesome sub, would love to get this on a hoodie, fingers crossed!



awesome stuff $5 i like very much


anoter 5
i swear you are gonna have sooo man prints in a row.


Honestly, my first thought was 'poor Jam Master Jay' also. Maybe if you added another skeleton or derevrunned the right skeleton it wouldn't be most peoples first thought.

Having said that....the drawing is off the heezy and the gold ink is tight, if this joint was printed yo I'd buy it tonite!


Those skeletons sure have meaty legs.


I just wish they were rockin Adidas Superstars...

BlameTheSuburbs profile pic Alumni

you are crazy fatheed. What happened at about "rhinos hunt in packs" in your life?


So what if there were 4 of them? Them the RunDMC comparison wouldn't be as easily made? I often consider when purchasing threadless tee...I get the explanation, the designer understands their process but what does the kid on the subway see....DEAD HIP HOP ICONS. little wreckless. maybe it's a geographic thing. I'm an American urbanite. This would be a great shirt for a Saturday at Walmart or if I lived somewhere where people pretended to love hip hop once it became hip and pop.

aled profile pic Alumni

If there were 4 of them, I wouldn't be able to achieve the composition I was after and I didn't want to compromise the design just because someone might misunderstand it. Too bad you come from somewhere where everyone loves Hip-Hop... I guess I come from somewhere where everyone pretends to like it. FYI - You were born in 1981, right? I was born in 1982. Hip-Hop had become a commercially popular, mainstream music genre by 1979 so don't convince yourself that you liked Hip-Hop before it became widely popular! Also, I don't think its fair to assume people pretend to like Hip-Hop just because they don't live in an urban area. Anyway, it's not very gangsta, spending your Saturdays in Wallmart! :)


They don't really look 80's to me. These guys could be from...yesterday. Or today, for that matter. Also the 80's isn't really far back enough to be represented by skeletons...I was born in '84 and I'm still kicking, as are all my 80's-born friends...

Sorry to be such a downer. I don't think the design is bad, I just don't think it necessarily conveys, "kickin' it old skool."


Anyway it's not very gansta, spending Saturdays in Wallmart You're missing my point. It's not about who's gangsta or who's really hip hop. It's about a social responsibility. I come from a place and community where Jay's death meant something. I acknowledge that the gen pop (general population) doesn't see this the way I do and I am expressing that. Love most of your other work and would love this if it wasn't what it is. I'm saying this sub may not go over well with a population of people (people who think that three skeletons that look like Run DMC is f'ed up and disrespectful). But have as long as the masses love it later for the minority, right? Everyone in Philadelphia loves Hip Hop? I don't get it. Good luck with this sub.


I see a lot of respectful people trying to give a helpful piece of advice, and they are all saying the same thing: skeletons plus Run-DMC homage equals uncomfortable.

Edword profile pic Alumni

verilien- how isn't this 80's? they are wearing 80's b-boy gear and standing in a b-boy stance.

I don't see this as a slam on jam master jay, it's a statment that the good old days of hip hop are gone and have been replaced by gangsta rap and P diddy type shit. Not that the artist are dead.

TheArtRobot profile pic Alumni

Skeletons aren't animated like that either. I mean, they are skeletons, not people.
No, I'm just kidding.
I think I agree with Edword about this shirt representing more of the "Death of Hip-hop" rather than Jam Master Jay. Everyone has their own interpretation and opinion though. Either way, you are the one who emailed Rev Run and got a response back! That's insane. I'm giving this a 5$ just for that.

Noah Logan

the bottom one is a homage to ll cool j??


i am totally getting this tee when it prints.
I love this
totally five


Fatheed, I have much love for your designs, but I agree with an earlier comment... because of current trends, this doesn't really convey "kicking it old skool" all that well... it could be present day. I like the design itself, it just doesn't work with the theme for me.

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