Rockers NYC 'Dopethrone' Interview
For those who aren’t familiar with the history of Rockers, when did it start and who’s behind the brand?
SR: Yes yes world, Marcus Burrowes, our Creative Director, started RockersNYC in 2002. I came on board as the Cultural Engineer a little while later, after I returned from living in London.
The last few years have seen a huge climb in popularity of the brand, what do you put this down to?
SR: Wow thanx bruv! On the real, we started smoking the best 4:20…Nah, I’m just joking! As a brand and as humans we are growing…the hard work & love from our Operations Manager, Meghan, and our printer, Vector, has really helped us and given our company the infrastructure we need to grow. Also, our Japanese cut & sew wouldn’t be what it is without Kota and Chizuru from OWN magazine. From the design tip Marcus is really finding his voice & it seems that the heads are listening to it. I can’t front, I’m a total nerd – I’m really into the internet as a tool to spread the energy of RockersNYC. Also, our brand may be based in America, but our goal is to be a part of the global community. Our European tour really helped us connect with our customers out there, and we plan to visit all the countries we sell in. Marcus and I are both very passionate about what we do & what we create, and in the end this translates into the aesthetic of our brand.
Rockers is one brand that really encompasses the lifestyle of the company and people behind it, what’s the main philosophy behind Rockers the brand and lifestyle?
SR & MB: RockersNYC is the clashing of the 7s.
1977 was the epicenter of the youth rebellion that continues today.
In Jamaica, it started with the Rasta movement…
In the UK, it started with the Punk movement…
Don Letts brought the two together, DJing dub in punk clubs.
Kool Herc brought Jamaica to the Bronx and Hip Hop was born.
Reggae and Punk came together in Bob Marley’s "Punky Reggae Party,"
RockersNYC connects Reggae, Punk Rock, Speed Metal, Hip Hop & Rasta because these cultures inspire us with their rebelliousness and intelligence.
RockersNYC is about being organic and being ourselves.
Recently you have partnered with Swagger in Japan, can you tell us a little about this partnership?
SR: Yes yes…it all happened in an organic way. I was over in Japan working with Chizuru on our Fall 2007 production, and one day I was like, yo, I really would like to meet the Swagger heads because we really respect their steez. So I emailed my boy Hawaii Mike in NYC, and he arranged a sit down meeting with Swagger in Tokyo. Once I met the Swagger crew it was pretty much magic. What was really epic was that none of us spoke the same language, besides Mitsuo, Johnny & I, but we all communicated on a mad cool level. RockersNYC is now for the most part only being sold at Swagger stores, plus a couple of our established Japanese accounts. It’s awesome being down with a brand like Swagger because they push the envelope. At the end of the day, passion transcends language…both brands share the spirit of creating stellar products.
Rockers Radio, Rockers Records, you can see in the designs of your product you are heavily inspired by Music, tell us more about Rockers Records?
SR: We started RockersNYC Records for a couple of reasons…firstly, like you said, music is a very important part of our lives & of the brand! Plus I create music in a band called A GUN CALLED TENSION (with Dann Gallucci) & we were finished our new LP, so I was like why go to a label when we could start one? With RockersNYC Records it’s really going to be internet-driven because I believe traditional labels are dying. We also have a lot of talented homies, so having a record company gives us a platform to put out our homies’ creations. Big-up to RockersNYC’s mix-master Rico Uno…stay tuned for PICK UP THE ROCKERS MIXTAPE VOL.s 2&3.
Your recent Rockers TV Interviews have been great… what was behind this idea and have you got more planned for the future?
SR: The spirit of D.I.Y. reigns supreme! While we were on the Rebellion tour last summer, we were like yo, it’s time to start a TV show. The thing about RockersNYC TV is it isn’t just about our brand, it’s about the global experience of streetwear culture. We really enjoy giving another brands shine because we are all in this together! Plus, we have a blast doing them…it gives people a chance to see another side of our brand. Stay tuned, we have some real special episodes in the pipeline!
What are your feelings behind the development of cut and sew for Rockers, you have touched on certain items and have done this extremely well with Japanese manufacturing and more, what does the future hold for the complete line?
SR: We are going to continue down the path of making all of our cut & sew in Japan (we love the quality of Japanese production). We will also be expanding our line slowly with more cut & sew. It sounds cliché, but we are totally down with quality over quantity. All snaps, the Fall/Winter 2007 cut & sew pieces are off the chain styles!!! The Dopethrone has ascended!!!
RNYC: All those who rock Rockers NYC big! All the Rockers NYC vendors worldwide, big up! Our famlee worldwide by blood and universe. Supastar Meghan MacRae for holding it down, everyone @ seeds you rock!!! lower east side massive: big Desi ( k.v.k. creative star), Aaron the LES Supadon, SIMON & NICK Seanbear, Cindy Green, Keeva, Surface To Air, Tino, Merly, Lizzy, Shelly, Carrie, Ben Cho, Brian Degraw, SSUR, fucking awesome, All the O.G. Supreme heads, A.R.E . Weapons, Dash, Leo, Matt D, Shannon, Irak, verte, neckface, redtops, arik roper,77klsh,the swabys, Anita Darinmal, Uli, Harry, Anita, Air Borne Audio, Beans, Libertine, dave chappelle,Gang Starr Wu fam: Dreddy, Killah Priest, Genius Special Ed, redman, dead prez, mixmaster rico uno, Slick Rick, Supa Cat, The Fader, Author, Complex, i-D Seattle massive: Blood Brothers, Pretty Girls Make Graves, MCD, The Cha Crew, A Gun Called Tension, Seattle Crustie Punx, actual pain, The Gossip, Big Business, Trevor & Travis, Big Gabe, Gia, 746-Hero, Modest Mouse crew, Vitamin D, Jen Ghetto…Big up to the Japanese massive: Kota and Chiz from OWN magazine, the whole Swagger crew, AUX & Loveless…UK massive & famlee: Petra, Roots Manuva (AKA black Frank Sintra & fam), The Beta Band, The Free Association, Kevin Shields, The Kills, Lewis Parker, Skitz & Rodney P, Abashanti Sound, Don Letts, Maharishi, Crass, Subhumans, Skinnyman, Bricklayers pub, The Dub Syndicate, Si & The Verve, Mani & Primal Scream, the London parks,SANNA Dee, UK Mcs big up- keep it grime! Westside Connection Hold it down: Union LA, Hiero, Freestyle Fellowship, The Liks, King Tee, O.G. Rollin 20s, OG Venice sho-line, V13, Cypress Hill (do your thang Muggs), MC Eiht, Dilated Peeps, all my cuzzos, nephews & nieces, Venice sunsets! O.G. Z-boyz polar bear, Froggy, Solo, Blockhead, the bros Jackson, Natas, FTC, Mark Gonzales, The Jaks, Rip City Skates, Jordan, all southern Cali 80’s hardcore bands, DREWSTYLES, Tuma, Pep, Digital Underground, Tupac, 2 Short, E-40. All yardie massive inna & outernational: Pablo, Yami Bolo, Blacka T, Jr. Delgado, Ras Pie, D. Brown, Sista Judy, Ini Kamoze, Jr. Reid, Black Uhuru, All O.G. Sounds: Killamajaro, Stone Love, Africa Love, African Star, Stereo’s Mars, Skeng Don, Jr. Cat, Baby Wayne, Bounty Killa, Mr. Kartel, Pan Head, I-Wayne, UK sound massive Saxon sound! Give the Almighty thanks to Jah Rastafari for the guidance. The Theocratic Government Nyabinghi, Twelve Tribes, Bobo Dreads, Coptics, Ethiopian Orthodox.