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September 19, 2023 48 mins

The FUBU story continues! I'm back with part two of this raw, uncensored origin tale with my partners Carl and Keith. If you thought part one was wild, just wait - we're pulling the curtain all the way back on our come up in the 90s hip hop scene. From hustling to get our designs in music videos to befriending legends, we're sharing never-before-heard stories of how we leveraged relationships and authenticity to disrupt an industry.

Expect more hilarious memories of us sneaking Keith into studios with his "gifts," building a factory in our Queens house, and getting a surprise visit from ODB that left us shook. We're also keeping it real about beef between partners, underestimating Nelson Mandela, and why we passed on risky opportunities that could have ruined everything. From Puffy to Biggie, you'll hear how we won over giants despite the haters insisting we'd never make it in fashion.

It wasn't always glamorous, but we reflect on crazy moments that capture the essence of entrepreneurship - taking big risks, learning from failures, and staying true to your vision against all odds. Packed with inspiration and hard-earned wisdom from unlikely moguls, this is the unconventional blueprint for how four kids from Hollis built a global phenomenon that still resonates today. So tune in for part two of the unfiltered FUBU files and go behind the music with my brothers to experience our one-of-a-kind Cinderella story firsthand!

 

 

Host: Daymond John

 

Producers: Beau Dozier & Shanelle Collins; Ted Kingsbery, Chauncey Bell, & Taryn Loftus

 

For more info on how to take your life and business to the next level, check out DaymondJohn.com 

 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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Transcript

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
Previously on that moment with Damon John.

Speaker 2 (00:03):
The name is out there, It's known all over the world.

Speaker 3 (00:05):
Everybody said they did it first. We did it all
before they said they did it all. We did it first.

Speaker 2 (00:09):
People out there that really really loved the brand, you know,
they loved it back then. They still have a lot
of respect for it now.

Speaker 3 (00:15):
I'm on excuse to cut out hair.

Speaker 2 (00:17):
Frediro was actually one of the reasons we got the
deal and he.

Speaker 4 (00:20):
Got shot and the red shirt.

Speaker 2 (00:22):
No one called you back and it was like, I
see you guys still out there doing your thing. You know,
let's have another meeting. You definitely got to put the
work in.

Speaker 3 (00:29):
No tickets to the show, no social media, don't really
know what it would drop you off in LA with
a box full of shirts or send you to a
video set. They're kicking everybody off.

Speaker 2 (00:42):
For me, it's like making sure that you had the
right outfits and the right colors for that artist, to
make sure that you know, when they looked at it,
it really hyped about it. To see Drake thirty one
years later circle back and throw something on that we
didn't give him. We didn't give him. We didn't give him.

Speaker 1 (01:00):
And now part two of That Moment with Damon John's
episode The Unfiltered Fubu Files, presented by the Black Effect
Podcast Network and iHeartRadio.

Speaker 3 (01:13):
What If I told you there was more to the
story behind game changing events. Get ready for my new podcast,
That Moment with Damon John will jump into the personal
stories of some of the most influential people on the planet,
from business mobiles and celebrities to athletes and artists.

Speaker 5 (01:35):
But fortunately, and the crazy part was to shift those
CDs to the stores pre ordered with the genes, so
everybody got what they call a shelf talker with about
ten CDs in a case. We sit on the shelf
and retail in clothing stores, which is the first time
that I was ever done. So we actually went gold.

(01:55):
We didn't get the at that time. We couldn't get
the scale in Actually we shipped gold before we even
had the album come out.

Speaker 3 (02:04):
But you here here, here's what I did learn on that.
On that too, though we had a problem. We made
the money, we had a problem. You know what the
store said, the kids are all stealing the CDs out
of the gene because the normal didn't have a case
in the front. And we also got some kind of like, yo, man,

(02:25):
I got the gene, but what a fatty girl record
running out the store?

Speaker 2 (02:29):
Right, But that's happened.

Speaker 5 (02:30):
When you have someone's stealing your ship, man, that's they
gonna think that's gonna happen. So I think at that
time we were smart enough to we we had a
lot of leverage. Like we we were hot, so the
bottom lines, we had leverage universal. He was able to
do a deal that was unheard of at that time
for any kind of clothing company.

Speaker 4 (02:48):
And we use our leverage. We use our leverage once.
So I wanted to say, real quick, Keith, we ain't
kind of fatty girl.

Speaker 5 (02:55):
And it's it's relevant to what's going on now because
I see forrels with Who's with now?

Speaker 4 (03:01):
Is that Gucci movie of time?

Speaker 5 (03:03):
And at that time, our head designer Bobby told me, hey,
there's a.

Speaker 4 (03:10):
Kid named for Real.

Speaker 5 (03:10):
You to go check out Virginia And this is where
he was, like, you know, still wearing the truck and
stuff and.

Speaker 4 (03:16):
Not as known.

Speaker 5 (03:17):
But it's funny how our head designer was more aware
about for Real at that time that we were. So
I went out there and met with him, and that's
how Fatty really got rolling.

Speaker 4 (03:27):
Off for mouth designer.

Speaker 3 (03:31):
Now I want to tell everybody you know, but that
day on the set, and I still have that tape
locked away. Pike Wayam is a good friend and we
can talk about this stuff forever. We're on the set.
Luda Chris is wearing Keith. I'm gonna let you tell
the story. Ludacris is wearing a chain, and we get

(03:51):
a special guest on the said, you tell that story
and who he danced with, who put out a book,
and then I'll tell why we couldn't put that out.

Speaker 2 (04:05):
And it was that much had the uh he had
a I think it was platinum chained, but he had
handcuffs on it. And I remember, uh oh j Simpson
walked on the set of Fatty Girl and he looked
at his uh his change. He was like, oh, no

(04:25):
handcuffs and but it was crazy. It was just like
a surreal moment because he was on set. He was
cooler than the Colvin and was with him. Yeah, r
Neelle Simpson was with him. And this was after you know,
all that stuff had happened, and and then he was
dancing with Karen Stephen's and I know, you.

Speaker 3 (04:48):
Know, let's get let's let's get it straight. He said,
I know. He said, I know that those about and
I remember I was on the trail or something, and so.

Speaker 2 (04:57):
Yeah, it was O. J.

Speaker 3 (04:58):
Simpson. No, none of us, no, I don't even knew that.

Speaker 2 (05:03):
We knew.

Speaker 6 (05:03):
Now, come on the set, okay, the style of something.
He comes on set, he puts the chain on. Hype
William shoots him with Karen Stephen. What was her book.

Speaker 3 (05:18):
I don't know the name of.

Speaker 2 (05:22):
Video, something like that, but basically.

Speaker 3 (05:26):
All right, she's dancing with him, she's rubbing up on him.

Speaker 6 (05:30):
And then I'm going, okay, okay, Hype send, I send
the edit over.

Speaker 3 (05:40):
We play it in the office and then we all
said at the same time, what's the upside? The upside
to this should what's the upside right now? And we
show We showed it to our boy at that time.

(06:03):
Our guy was a ex army ranger. Thank you for
your service, Joey. He did. He never took Hal's advice,
and even he said, okay, so you can't sell.

Speaker 7 (06:25):
Now when the gosh, so I take that at it,
I lock it away.

Speaker 3 (06:36):
It is still I love doing so much and I
can't get to it. Because we knew that when you
think about keeping now somebody else would young man keep
it rare? That what was the time?

Speaker 2 (06:52):
It would have been all the way off, Yeah, the
wrong time to do anything. To read the room, you.

Speaker 4 (07:01):
Know, read the room.

Speaker 3 (07:06):
With always.

Speaker 2 (07:09):
Our brand and how we kept it. We always kept
our nose clean.

Speaker 3 (07:15):
You know.

Speaker 2 (07:16):
Now things happened, you know, it wasn't all rosie, but
for the public, we always we always kept our nose clean.
We always had a great image. You know, we wasn't
you know at that time. You remember, rappers are going
and they would go in and out of jail left
and right, and then you know, things are happening, and
we just we had a good clean image that we
didn't want to tarnish with anything that you know.

Speaker 3 (07:39):
Well people people were looking for some tarms that them
can remember, you know. And I want to get you know,
we may have to make this two parts, but I
want to get into I want to get into I
want to I want to cover a couple of things
really quick, and I want to get into another special moment.
But they were looking for us man, they were saying
for black men. There's a lot a lot of the
first we did was four African American men on the handtag.

(08:04):
Four African American men who weren't, you know, talking violence
and all that stuff. But we also got banned in
Georgia for a little while because they said, well, if
you're going to ban the Confederate flag that when they
were using that flag, they were saying, they were talking
about the empowerment or whatever it is, right KKK. Formed.
They were like, well, let's spand food. But now that's
the limited knowledge that pool was for everybody, right, they said,

(08:27):
we couldn't. They didn't want our hands. They asked us
to take our handtags off the clothing, but they want
to shootouts in their stores. Uh, because I faced on
the handtag and you guys were saying and we all said, noah, man,
we sell them to Montego Bay, doctor J. We were
selling to the people in the hood who cared about
these big stores, and they turned a guill in Atlanta

(08:48):
when they turned around and looked at those that store
there was once on the hood now had seven stores
in the hood because they were selling foobu. And then
more designers came up. They were like, oh no, no, no,
we can do this right, change again. Because what we
did we we concentrate on a small small business person
who cared about us too. But there's another moment. Kid.

(09:12):
I don't know who did it, but let's talk about
how did the old By jersey come about the most samous,
peacefully happy besides the FB.

Speaker 2 (09:32):
Yeah, right, shout out. My man sent me on Rice.
He was I think he was number ninety seven, but
every time he came to the office, he would have
on a football jersey with Mike big mic with Big Mike,
and I said, I said, Man, you got to give
me one of them jerseys and like that. He was like, oh,
no problem. And I think he sent all of us

(09:52):
to jerseys. But I wore the jersey I think more
than you guys are wearing a jersey. And I remember
Bruce coming up to me one time. He was like,
you're always wearing that jersey. I was like, yeah, we
need to do one. We do one of these jerseys,
put old five on it, and and then I know
we talked and the designers and all of that stuff.

Speaker 3 (10:11):
You see you let me down, We're gonna We're gonna
retake this one. Story.

Speaker 2 (10:23):
Stories is off bro.

Speaker 8 (10:25):
You you.

Speaker 3 (10:28):
I'm all right, well listen your car see I'm you
know I'm gonna keep this part of out of your car.
Here's my record, less of it. You was wearing it
for sure. James were in here and there, I was
were in here cars, we're here and there. We had
that damn water cooler right before you go down the hallway.
And one day all four of us walked up to

(10:52):
that water cooler and we all or three of us right,
all had on. You was wearing it more than all
of us. We all had on the jersey that day,
and back moment we all looked at each other and
we said.

Speaker 9 (11:09):
Yeah, now I don't remember who said this after that
one of you said this. After that, one of you said,
you know.

Speaker 3 (11:19):
Somebody who likes a Giants one or a Falcons one.
They have one two options. But there's no clothing record.
Remember we did see c N why jersey that they
put food back in the days right hockey.

Speaker 2 (11:35):
We said, what if we just.

Speaker 3 (11:39):
Do with jerseys. It's kind of sports affiliated, so we
can make a blue and red, blue and matter sneakers.
And then we did it. And then when the jersey
sales went down, all of a sudden, I was superstar.
We ain't even gonna get damn because we'll be on

(11:59):
that for ten ten hours. Our superstar was doing a
movie called Any Given Sunday, and we decided to tie
guy the jersey would have a tied eye. You know,
I don't want to listen to Jamaica. We'll have a
good time. We tied eye of that jersey and lllku

(12:19):
J does that video stand off the And that's also
remember the Jury in sync would wear it and everybody
was mad.

Speaker 2 (12:31):
I thought you were only for black people.

Speaker 3 (12:35):
And we had already done Barrier Boys and all. And
then in sink Water, Jersey. Remember the phone, Keith, because
you're in sail to remember that phone when it started
ringing in Kansas and Nebraska and it wasn't the hood,
And before they could even open the boxes in the store,
they were because jerseys.

Speaker 2 (12:56):
You know, it's funny, man, when you sit back and
remin this about and stuff.

Speaker 3 (13:00):
We touched a.

Speaker 2 (13:01):
Lot of people and a lot of people right and
back today and we see stuff we say we might
have seen fifty sixty percent of the.

Speaker 3 (13:13):
Pictures.

Speaker 2 (13:14):
There's so many, you know, so many other other pictures
or photos out there.

Speaker 4 (13:19):
The barbecues.

Speaker 2 (13:20):
And let me tell you, you know, I don't know
if you guys remember this story we was in We
had went to go through one of these stores in
the Midwest. We had a signing in the Midwest, and
they used to bring us in the store. We used
to sit in the store and sign autographs and all that.
And it was a break time and I went outside
to and this is our first time like really even

(13:41):
being in the mid well, my first time being in Midwest.
I don't know about you guys, but I walked out
and I saw a family of five, white family of five.
They had on fooble head to toe from the mother,
the father, and all the kids. And I just stood
there and it was the first time I've ever saw that,

(14:03):
and I was like, wow, like God's crazy, like we're
touching everybody. And that's when I realized that, you know,
this is this is really like this is gonna be
a long, a long thing going down the line, because
you know, you just didn't see that. You know, we
would be one time, one time, look at that one time,
but it was always our people or you know, someone

(14:23):
that we feel that would probably wear that. But when
you look at that or you see you know, even
calling not going over to to to Germany, Man people
was out there decked out in football. I'm like, wow,
like and that was our first time overseas to see that,
you know, to see people in different different countries.

Speaker 3 (14:44):
But real quick me okay, yeah, that call please man,
And you know, I want you to say, real quick,
I want you to say this, and I want you
to start you guys to start running down and we're
gonna close it out, but we're probably gonna get back
to a number two in a little bit. But I
want you to say it may maybe maybe we just
keep going, Carl. I want you to do that one time.
And I also want to say, think of some special moments.

(15:06):
Just rattle them off right like special mode. You just
think about what stats of facts about us does well?
I think, well ahead.

Speaker 4 (15:13):
Some great great moments.

Speaker 5 (15:14):
Not that what he said was when you look back
at Drake made a post that too long ago when
he drew a picture of an image with a hat
with a footbal hat. And that goes back to how
many people we touched that you have no idea of
who you communicating with, who's looking at your your position,

(15:35):
and you're using you as example so they can be
successful later on.

Speaker 4 (15:38):
But we, like you said, you said millions of goods,
you're going to touch people like that.

Speaker 5 (15:42):
But I think that one one thing that always stuck
in my hand, and I've been looking for this article,
dam and you may even have it. When we were
in the Craze magazine as the largest minority owned business
in New York City, just under Goya.

Speaker 4 (15:58):
You know what I'm saying.

Speaker 5 (15:59):
That that really made it impact for me because I
never thought in my life, coming from Queens and looking
at Manhattan from the outside, to think that one day
we'd be in the Empire State Building, you know, going
to work at our own company every day and think
of the articles day you're the largest black company in
New York City to be That's always made a huge

(16:19):
impact on me.

Speaker 3 (16:21):
Yeah, And when I think about some of these special
moments besides you know, music and content and software. Someone
you said food was still today is the number one
African American owned black export in the United States of
soft goods, right of our goods, whatever the case is.

(16:42):
A lot of special moments in my life. I think
about is when they had to close them all in
Saudi Arabia because we open a store and all the
men were in their haraths and the women, or the
special communities that support us from day one, like a
little little little a little company named cash Money.

Speaker 2 (17:05):
Who who started and it was always, you know, all
of them wearing all.

Speaker 3 (17:09):
The stuff they staying and stuff the articles we've gotten
when we started saying, I didn't realize I can own
my own bakery, or I can own my own you.

Speaker 10 (17:18):
Know this company, Or helping little emails every day, or
Spike Lee not even knowing having him sending a letter
even though he had forty acre as a mule and
said I see you.

Speaker 3 (17:31):
In a letter, or or other guys who who are
women who wore our stuff who started off like j
Prince calling us out to Texas to give us a
tour and show us love, or or all these kind
of really amazing moments in our lives. Or a young
a young, a young man running for presidency named Barack Obama.

(17:53):
He says, this country is for us, by us right,
or again, I want to I want to go moment
because there's a moment that I regret I will all
my time of life. And I had one special moment
we became partners with the greatest time Muhammad Ali. But
I was so and I was really busy, you know,
and you know, I was tired of take it. And
I tell you why I can't go to South Africa

(18:14):
because I heard you had to get two shots or
something like that in your stomach at the time. Right,
I'm not sure if it's true, but I heard something
about a shot in my stomach, a deal with my stomach,
and that wasn't good for me. But I want to
I want you to tell me, Kate, this story about
South Africa, because that's.

Speaker 2 (18:30):
The moment that I was, I think was I was.

Speaker 3 (18:42):
I was.

Speaker 4 (18:46):
Exactly and I was like.

Speaker 2 (18:51):
My mother and you and Leslie and j and I
was like cool. So we get out there and first thing,
you know, you get off the plane and everybody we
have like four or five securities. Everybody has tons of
guns on them and whatnot. And I'm walking with him
and I'm like is this necessary? And they're like, yeah,
it's just really bad out here. And you know, so

(19:14):
it was cool. It was something to get used to.
But then we're out there for a few days and
we're having a ball going around and they're doing parties
for us, and you know, I'm seeing things and it
looks just like America when you know, you only see
what you see on TV. It doesn't look Showcase, none
of that. So I'm out there baffled, but you know,

(19:36):
very happy to be out there. And I remember sitting
in the car one day going back from actually going
to the UH to the restaurant with our license see,
and he says, hey, I got Nelson Mandela wants you
to I heard him on the phone, but he was
speaking in his dialect, so I didn't know what he
was saying. And then he said, Nelson Mandela wants you

(19:57):
guys to come over to his house. He wants to
meet you. Excuse me, Now, I'm from Shadyville area, Hollish queen,
you shain't all this areas. So I'm looking like, man,
go ahead, man, what did you say? He said, Nelson Mandelson.
I said, how does Nelson Mandela know us? First of all,

(20:18):
I need to know. He said, it's because I give
his kids clothes all the time, so they wear food
all the time. So I was like, okay, so this
might be real. So I'm like, all right, cool, let's call.
I said, when does he want to When does he
want us to go? He says he actually wants us
to come there in about an hour or two or whatever.
So I'm like, all right, cool. So as we're going

(20:39):
over there, and we finished at the restaurant, we getting
the car to go over there, we get another call
like ten minutes away. Sorry, Nelson Mandela has to go
step out to meet the dignitary, fly out or something
to meet the dignitary. He's not gonna be able to
meet you guys. I was like, oh damn. We were
just close. So anyway, we finished doing our thing and
the next part of the tour was in Sun City.

(21:03):
We go to Sun City for like three days. The
second day we get a call. It's Nelson Mandela's people again.
He says, hey, Nelson Mandela's back and he would like
for you to meet meet with you guys. So the
license he is like, do you want to go tomorrow?
When we check out, I was like tomorrow, We're gonna
go right now. We're gonna get my badge right now.

(21:25):
And it was like a six seven hour It was
like a six seven hour drive and we drove back
and I swear to god, I only shook for two people.
That was Janet Jackson when she came into office, and
it was Nelson Mandela and I literally just stood then
in amazement. Bro it was it was so big. I

(21:46):
was shaking like a leap. I didn't know what to do.
I didn't know what to say. I was just and
if you see me in the pictures, I just like
I look like I'm I'm just happy and confused at
the same damn time. But I wish you would have been.

(22:19):
It would have been a great a great trip for
both of your guys to come here as well.

Speaker 3 (22:23):
One of the biggest regrets of my life in because obviously,
you know, when else in Mandela represents all of us
around the world regards of discipline and encourage and things
of that nature. Uh, you know, there's been a lot
of talk and you know a lot of a lot
of things that we sold the company and we did
this and that, and we never sold the company even

(22:43):
you know, it's just sweet. You know. I saw I
saw I don't know if it's recirculated something. I saw
something the other day. I think it was old and
and you know, I like the brother and I know
we've actually done some business here and there. And I
saw Jim Jones say that nobody Hallow ever wore fugle
and he said the cam and all war as a
check get a check? And I remember seeing posted up

(23:04):
camera on them where you know we love the brothers
and all you know, what do you say about all
the brothers? Because three or four of our top selling
stores was in Halem. Definitely one history right, and that
was when so many people came up in the Eastern Seaboard,
all the way they came to Harlem, right, is the

(23:24):
Hollywood of New York or Black New York? What do
you say to all these all these people who go
like I opened up with where is it at?

Speaker 2 (23:34):
Or you sold good?

Speaker 3 (23:35):
Or gym? I don't know what Jim was thinking.

Speaker 11 (23:37):
Man, they were looking get a jack?

Speaker 3 (23:40):
What do you say to the people, Because you know
everybody here will have a brand, a company, a store.
There will always be somebody who either is saying something
because they don't know any better, ignorance. How much tension
do you? And I respect Jim and that was his
that is that was his you know, that was his
thoughts in. Jim is very pro community investing in them,

(24:01):
you know, but I don't think he's actly about any
even gaming love. What do you say to people were
trying to strive right now? They got all these people
supporting them and given love. They got this small amount
of people who for whatever let's call it hate, for
whatever reason of ignorance, whatever case of jealousy or just
you know whatever, What do you say about all the
hate that the people receive and how do you either

(24:23):
win you dress ignore it with huge battles.

Speaker 5 (24:26):
I mean, the bottom line is if no one's everyone's
not gonna love you, I mean, you gotta fu You
gotta just just accept that from the jump, especially if
you have any kind of level of success. So you're
gonna have people that don't agree with what you're doing
or just find fault and what you're doing or critique it.
But as far as Jim Jones go, you're gonna have

(24:47):
people that just speak out of ignorance. I think my
biggest issue with Jim Jones I watched a whole interview,
was I've seen him in that office, you know what
I mean, I've seen him. I've seen keep entertaining him
and take care of him, make sure he had closed
whether it's football or koogie or whateverels and the umbrother.
But he he, he knows, he knows our company on
the on the on the level that a lot of

(25:08):
artists don't know it. So that kind of drew me off.
But it's his experience. If you felt that he didn't
wear it in Harlem, I mean ax Mace ax Puff
asked Camra.

Speaker 3 (25:21):
You know what I mean?

Speaker 5 (25:21):
We you know we like you said, go to one
forty fistreet as the storing is up there. Ask Jimmy
Jazz asks doctor James. When it was millions of dollarsand
business there and.

Speaker 3 (25:33):
You sad you saw the two sales?

Speaker 12 (25:35):
Yeah, sales, yeah, yeah, yeah yeah. So my my, my
understanding of him when he came into the office. Yeah,
he did come batter always for a check. We were
doing some other stuff.

Speaker 3 (25:46):
I can't say it that I addressed him, but but
I met him, meaning working on him way later, like
two thousand and two, two thousand and two thousand and
four five. But we're talking about camn all them coming up. Man,
I love them anyway, But again, it's crazy when.

Speaker 5 (26:05):
You as it's either you love it or you can't
stand it a love hate thing and want to compare.

Speaker 2 (26:17):
I'm sorry, go ahead, no, no, finish, I mean you
want to compare like.

Speaker 5 (26:20):
I guess a name that everyone's familiar with. They tend
to choose us because everyone knows the name. But even
to this day, you can't go in any part of
the world, and I've been on lots of parts in
this world.

Speaker 4 (26:34):
At this point in my life, everyone knows the brand Football,
and I.

Speaker 5 (26:38):
Think at this point there's no other black owned company
that can say that, you know what I mean. And
that's not bragging, that's just facts.

Speaker 3 (26:48):
Let me let me give some interesting stats or facts
or whatever case. We have the number one children's Better
Girl bed before bed bathroom beyond maybe years ago that
was sold in the market. We hare the number one
rented tuxedo in the country for three years straight. But
no way news a food. We took Seedo in various
other things. We were in twenty seven or twenty eight
countries till today. We still do really well in Germany,

(27:10):
North Africa, Manila, all over Europe. We made we made
form fitting, slender, skinny clothes in a lot of these
countries because we had to make it for smaller size
and other things, but we made the big clothes here.
We were the only brand to ever trademark and protect successfully.
The mark of five came out because we came out

(27:32):
with five before five existed, kind of like you can't
do three two three whatever cases of seven to two
to five for a BMW, and we successfully defended that
mark for many many years with the only brand to
come out and have an actually gold album and the
first to come out with a with an album of

(27:52):
sort of new artists and new songs and new distribution.
And we were the only brand to have the biggest
clue in advertising history. Shout out to l L cool
J with the Gap ad to spend thirty million dollars
on a Fooboo ad. We also did the Old five

(28:15):
because MTV started blurring logos like Buboo, but we knew
they would not blur numbers, so we were able to
freely product place in every brand we ever wanted to
because we were able to put the Old five in there.
A young man named Sean Trophy Combs one created brand
called Sean John, and we successfully went and headhunted and

(28:38):
found our brother Jeff Tweety, who was running Twism for
Shack and placed him over at Sean John and that
helped him secure his deal to create Sean John. We
also placed a guy named burnt On In over at
Fat at Baby Fat, and we also distributed Fat Farm

(29:00):
in Europe. We acquired other brands such as we licensed
Kappa Ted Baker. We gave those back, uh, and we
then acquired a brand called Kooji and Drunken Monkey. Drunk Monkey.
The partner was what Ether and crown Holder uh and

(29:23):
Etnics footwear.

Speaker 4 (29:27):
What I no, no, I mean, there's so many different points.

Speaker 3 (29:30):
You know, we dressed the champion Lennix Lewis throughout his
entire history, even though we tried to dress uh Mike
Tyson simultaneously. Mike got really mad at remember the day
that and I said on his podcast, We said, because
like yeah, and Mike Dansley, why you doing? He he

(29:55):
fell asleep next to me on a plane one day.
Didn't realize from the I spent the whole like trying
to spin in his drink because he was shivering right
next to me. Thank god I didn't. He told him
on his podcast and he was already demanding. But uh,
you know, so many great things.

Speaker 2 (30:12):
And but you know that was another fact.

Speaker 4 (30:14):
We talked about Harlem a lot.

Speaker 5 (30:15):
I really got a shout out the South, I mean
from Man to Houston to my South or they.

Speaker 3 (30:22):
Held me all and you can see us in every
video from them boat so all down.

Speaker 5 (30:30):
Yeah, they really embraced this man, you know, for the
retailers to the artists.

Speaker 3 (30:37):
Do you remember when fifty cents he used to try
to what used to stand outside of about clothes and
King Cone and all that stuff, and we you know,
he obviously came in. He was a young artist coming up, and.

Speaker 4 (30:47):
He gave us love, you know what I mean.

Speaker 3 (30:48):
And of course jore ruling all that one more time.
And we were in the middle of the East Coast
West coast beat because we were dressing everybody and.

Speaker 2 (30:55):
We had.

Speaker 13 (30:56):
Hotel room or something. But I didn't even I never
even heard that, dude. And uh, do you remember how
we went.

Speaker 3 (31:16):
Time? Remember how we said we went to change the
magic show and started bringing these people and throw these
events that people would never see before. And we totally
changed the whole way that the entire magic show was done.
Period or before they was viral. We would just go
into a city and buy out a club for the

(31:37):
bar and for three four hours and people would leave
out there pissing and and crapping on themselves, going.

Speaker 5 (31:44):
I remember this, I remember because you hit a conversation
with us and say, Yo, who were gonna hide from
the neighborhood. And I was like, YO, TOLDY, I don't
know what he do. We gotta figure out something for him,
will darn uh. We just we really went out of
our way to hire and give kids, guys, girls too,

(32:09):
opportunities that they probably would never had.

Speaker 3 (32:13):
That never they never had. And those those couple of
hundred black African Americans right would go off and be
in the industry now and have great jobs. But I
loved how was the U United Nations. We would have
all our beautiful Korean part our career partners and should

(32:33):
work for us. We would have the people who were
Russians were for us, the Indians, because we were dealing
with all countries, right of course, our our partners and
the Korean we have partners who Korean, We're partner of
the Jewish. We have Black Sees who are Australian and Latinos,
and and it was an Indians because we had to
be we had to work and think on a global scale.

Speaker 2 (32:54):
And even though we were.

Speaker 3 (32:55):
From the hood, somebody would come in and say, well,
in my country, you know what we would do with that?
We would add this and that.

Speaker 11 (33:01):
We were like like we put this with this.

Speaker 4 (33:05):
And you remember, we keep saying it was you remember
we still have distribution in Mexico.

Speaker 3 (33:11):
You're up.

Speaker 4 (33:13):
Yeah, I'm just thinking about the life. I don't want
people to hear the one more.

Speaker 5 (33:18):
If you're not a three hundred million dollar company, it's
nothing wrong with being a fifty million dollar company.

Speaker 3 (33:24):
One hundred million, right, No, there's nothing wrong with one
million dollar company. In college, I want you to shout
out our country.

Speaker 2 (33:31):
Is in our division because everything from anyway whatever.

Speaker 3 (33:33):
But one more interesting fact, you know what working on.
We've been saving it for a special day. We've seen
a lot of movies and we've seen a lot of things.
I know when I'm in Holly Williston, I'm in how
I know we're talking and we always talk to people.

Speaker 2 (33:46):
And I go, what are you ever going to do
a story on?

Speaker 3 (33:52):
Because I've seen all the stories and nothing wrong with it.
I've seen the empires, I've seen the ones and when
people come up from the music canness, they come on.

Speaker 14 (34:00):
From the drug world, and uh, you know fIF he
puts out the great story about b MP and I've
seen all those. How I sorry about four African Americans
who were raised by African American women who didn't have
an education and worked in a community with I really

(34:22):
did that why Jewelers, Korean and everybody else.

Speaker 3 (34:27):
And they took this culture and put out the number
one black exported uh product in the world. And we
never got shot.

Speaker 2 (34:35):
We never shot anybody with the break crack.

Speaker 3 (34:37):
And they're like, no, no, no, but but somebody's dope
f now right, No, no we're not.

Speaker 1 (34:44):
They're in jail.

Speaker 11 (34:45):
No he don't smack of course, no, no.

Speaker 3 (34:51):
No, he's not worth it.

Speaker 2 (34:54):
They wanted somebody to put it in drama. See what
they People don't really understand because we we just did
our business a certain way, like we experienced a lot
of drama. You didn't have social media, you didn't have
a lot of cameras around at that time that recorded
a lot of this stuff. But we went through some
really trying times that we got through. And you know,

(35:15):
we don't talk about anytime because we always say we
got to save it for the documentary. But maybe we
need to start talking about a little you know, putting
out there a little bit more because drama.

Speaker 4 (35:26):
Oh no, listen, all right, all right, you know what,
let me keep it.

Speaker 3 (35:29):
Let me keep it really real with your key. We
did this because if people know our story, our best friends.
We grew up in Queens where you see the movies
about Supreme Team. Our best friends were Supreme Team. One
of our friends Hype Away and made the movie Belly
about right, So those are our friends. We decided not

(35:52):
to take that route. We also decided once we got
past that point to get out of the hood. We
decided instead of slinging something that was a white substance,
we slung a different white substance. It's called cotton right,
and we got out of the hood. We got past
the clutches of the drug dealers. But before you know what,
they turned around. They saw, wait a minute, those guys

(36:13):
make along when they came after us. So we had
to make sure to stay away from them, and we
got with some really great executive protection and also certain
people in the hood loved us who kept them away.
We never had to do anything in any sense. But
then you get into a world where at that time
a lot of the mafia was in the world. You know,

(36:34):
the Yauza was over here in Japan and there than
these guys and girls.

Speaker 11 (36:40):
You know, you don't have.

Speaker 4 (36:41):
Yeah, you don't have a Yeah you don't have a store.

Speaker 3 (36:45):
Who's gonna somebody who's making one hundred and fifty thousand,
who got about ten million dollars with the goods than you,
and they don't want you to buy a house on
the side. And we had to keep it clean because
the minute.

Speaker 2 (36:54):
We didn't want everything we worked for.

Speaker 3 (36:59):
Yes, and everybody here is tempted to take a short cut,
not because they think that it's something that they need
to do, but there's somebody else. Always, the devil's always
sitting on your shoulder saying, if you only do this,
that would be much help you.

Speaker 2 (37:17):
But you know what, I wanted to just touch on
the point when you said earlier, you know about the
haters and stuff like that. You know, we never really
paid too much attention to none of that. But you guys, remember,
we never really got to respect from the fashion industry
because we weren't actually making clothes, and so it was

(37:39):
always were always we were. We were very popular, but
we were like an outcast in our own industry because
it was like, oh, those guys ain't designing this all
those but we were making tons of money. So we
always had some type of doubt or hate against us
even when we got out the hood. What they say
when we got out the hood, Oh, you ain't gonna

(37:59):
make it. You ain't gonna be no design he ain't
gonna have no store. You ain't gonna have this, You
ain't gonna have some of the same people that you know,
not the guys you were just talking about, but our
friends in the neighborhood was saying that. And then years
later it was up at the empire. They body like, yo,
shign put me on sign, and some of them I
think we did. We did give them opportunities. But you
know we've always had that that it was just always there.

Speaker 3 (38:26):
Whenever you and when you ever get there and all
these people watching, you're gonna get to hate. You know
how times I heard Puppy is not a producer because
they say he just walks and goes that's right. Well,
you know Puffy's doing all right, that's right. You know
what I'm saying. And you're not you're you're not you
are what you are. You don't have to be and
do I think uh Virgil and those designers are brilliant. Absolutely,

(38:51):
I can't none of us can sew us show a
suit like Tom Ford, right, none of us are vera
way and that and those designers are brilliant and should
be celebrated, right because you know they know technically how
to do something. And there's a lot of people who

(39:11):
know how to do something, but you know who we are.
We know why people do something, totally different because if
you know how do something, you'll always have a job.
If we you know why people do something, you'll always
be the boss, right and and and so everybody here
who feels intimidated because they don't have the skills, so

(39:33):
they're not respected by each other, by their peers. Michael
Dell created computers because he said, I don't understand all
this technology, but I know that I need to be
able to communicate through this simplified way and form so teeth.

Speaker 2 (39:52):
I think you bring it up and you if you
if you're out there.

Speaker 3 (39:54):
Always looking for acknowledging and stuff like that, you're not
going to get it by a lot of people.

Speaker 5 (40:00):
You have friends, friends or relatives or may never even
support you or buy your goods.

Speaker 4 (40:12):
But there's a whole world out there. I mean, we're
proofing that there's a world out there that.

Speaker 5 (40:16):
Will appreciate what you bring to the culture and bring
to the industry, and that's what you focus on.

Speaker 4 (40:22):
So yeah, you're gonna get people that doesn't doubt you.
That's and that wouldn't be mad at them.

Speaker 5 (40:26):
Like I said earlier in the conversation, they don't see
your vision, don't blame them.

Speaker 4 (40:34):
Focus on people that do see They.

Speaker 3 (40:37):
Don't see a vision. Also, it's a big world. A
lot of people don't know you. And when you get
you know, I take my half off the little upon
of Nikes and the people who've been able to create
these brands for years on people. So what if Foot
will go in here and there it went the same
area that Benetton went and leave out when came in
the market, leave out doing eighteen billion, they would be

(40:58):
down the three they're coming back up or what happens.
Don't take it personal.

Speaker 2 (41:02):
You're a kid.

Speaker 3 (41:02):
You got four years of fool but in your closet
in high school, when you go to college, you want
to try something new, you know, and when people are
doing all that chatter to worry about because in the
great words of the visionary name, because this just happens
to me in public and public platform, all the stuff
we're talking about all the good that we have tried
to do. We made some mistakes, of course, right, everybody, Right,

(41:25):
all my years, somebody had sent recently on social media,
Damon tried to do this to me. Guess what. Most
people didn't pay attention to it. But it went onto
that platform when people singing and dance and they just
reading titles. Right, no problem, right, it's easy to share.
A lot of these people don't know who I am.
And I remember the great words of a guy named

(41:47):
David Chappelle, and he said, I'm gonna do an imitation.
I don't care what you do when you do the
hearing about it.

Speaker 8 (42:00):
Even you didn't do it, I don't care how old
is today, tomorrow, last year, twenty years ago.

Speaker 11 (42:07):
Even if you did do it, I'm.

Speaker 8 (42:09):
Gonna bur I'm gonna hold you youty for it, and
I'm gonna never let you go.

Speaker 11 (42:14):
And he was like, who is that?

Speaker 3 (42:15):
And everybody's like the government, the government.

Speaker 11 (42:17):
He was like, no, that's yo, oh my yess youth.

Speaker 15 (42:40):
You know.

Speaker 3 (42:40):
And the bottom line is that do it for the
right reasons. You may or may not get acknowledgment, man,
but if you having fun, do for the special people
you're connecting with and I think we had a great
time down this path, and I really want this to
be about everybody listening and how can they take our
experiences because we're we're there with football. Now we're half way.

(43:04):
You know, people thinking foogle and they're doing it, and
they're using it.

Speaker 16 (43:08):
In their own ways and their own forms and the
power in their communities and and they're not necessarily selling goods,
but they're using it as an acronym for empowerment of
whoever they are.

Speaker 3 (43:18):
And we never tell them to take that down.

Speaker 11 (43:20):
We love.

Speaker 5 (43:21):
This is definitely bigger than the the what we It's
bigger than clothing, you know. We always have always felt
that way. However, like you said, we just scratched the surface.
I believe I think that it's only been You've only
been in business thirty years. You look at these big brands,
they've been in business for fifty one hundred, two hundred years.

Speaker 4 (43:42):
Uh, Louis Vuitton was Napoleon. You know, we still have
but we just scratched the surface.

Speaker 17 (43:49):
And I think that we have a long way to
go and a lot more just a lot more growth
to go, a lot more things to do, you know.

Speaker 3 (44:00):
I've gotten healthier in my life. And I always tell
people that if I decided that we want to make
plant based, low sodium soul food frozen dishes or caribbean infuse,
that is healthy where it's not as much of the
sodium for blood pressure, but you enjoy the flavors and

(44:21):
the taste for that super soul food. What's wrong? We
have food Hotel keep sitting in front of foodgal Radio.
If you want to listen to all you know beautiful
after American music where they went from a beautiful time,
or we was talking about love and fun with a
woman and y'all check out my sneakers.

Speaker 4 (44:40):
That's why you piece here.

Speaker 3 (44:45):
That ain't a love that.

Speaker 2 (44:48):
You want usen to Jigantar.

Speaker 3 (44:49):
You want listen to Gigon Let's get married.

Speaker 4 (44:54):
See wholesome.

Speaker 5 (44:56):
We have a history, we have a we have a
we have a story in that I think that a
lot of people even to this day can gravitate to that.

Speaker 2 (45:03):
Yeah, and I like the fact that we're now kind
of diversifying. Well, we've been trying to do it for
a while, but you know, we have other things going on.
We've we've took the brand to another level where you know,
we're tapping into media, We're tapping into real estate and hotels,
we're tapping into TV, you know, doing different things.

Speaker 3 (45:24):
So you know the.

Speaker 2 (45:26):
Skies and limit and you know ten years from them,
you know two ten years from now football radio or
you know for us by his network, or you know
football hotel might be Oh.

Speaker 3 (45:39):
You know what somebody right now who is a direct
DTC expert and they want to say, Man, I want
to take fouble what I want to do? I want
to do. I want to do pantone color acrylic paints
made from Fullboo call us hit us on the d
M with so thank you guys. Man, I love you man,

(46:01):
And you know these things are usually thirty five forty minutes.
I might make two or three parts of these things.
I we even talking about myself. I love you well.

Speaker 5 (46:10):
We didn't even talk, you.

Speaker 18 (46:11):
Know, man, we did not talk about the same mark
the man taking out, you know, stealing the clothes he
couldn't go, and their.

Speaker 4 (46:24):
Blocking Tina Turner.

Speaker 3 (46:27):
Actually what a young man, a guy that I just
interviewed the other day. Uh, what's the name geezuh uh,
I'll tell you bro. Then he's actually the focus.

Speaker 15 (46:38):
He said, you were the largest something like the largest
gathering of African American celebrities outside of the United States.

Speaker 3 (46:50):
Uh pack a.

Speaker 11 (46:52):
Guy name Yeah?

Speaker 3 (46:54):
I mean I did an interview with guy named Paxton,
who I didn't realize was behind so much other stuff.
And we didn't talk about first Ball helping launch Live
magazine and the number one Black advertiser and by magazine
source and the number one Black advertiser in de t
and helping them.

Speaker 2 (47:10):
But I was talking to a guy named Packs.

Speaker 3 (47:12):
Another Daniel is absolutely another another brother like oh, people
that you don't know owns five a portion of five
usually sports teams, and one is in.

Speaker 2 (47:27):
Europe.

Speaker 3 (47:28):
He said, I was the producer of that show.

Speaker 15 (47:30):
You were the largest gathering of African American celebrities outside
of the United States.

Speaker 3 (47:37):
You know what before they all said that they did
it first, or before they all said they did it all,
we we did it first. Whatever, however you want to
do it. Man, you guys peace man. That Moment with
Damon John is a production of the Black Effect Podcast Network.
For more podcasts from the Black Effect Podcast Network, visit
the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to

(48:01):
your favorite show and don't forget to subscribe to and
rate the show, and of course you can all connect
with me on any of my social media platforms. At
the Shark, Damon spelt like Raymond, but what a d
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