Bobbito Garcia is a hip-hop polymath and a true influencer. He's a sneaker fashion connoisseur, an author, a barber, a legendary playground basketball missionary, a film-maker and a radio host. He is equally a DJ, a writer and the individual that every single sneakerhead on the planet has to thank for kickstarting the trend of sneaker boutiques with 'floodlights and wooden shelves'. He did all of this by simply following his feelings.
With his article in The Source magazine entitled 'Confessions of a Sneaker Addict' he was THE FIRST person to write about basketball sneakers and the culture of collecting [and putting shoes 'on ice']. That was way back in 1991, that's almost 30 years ago!! He released records on his own labels, he opened up his own store selling kicks, clothing and music (Bobbito's Footwork) and in his latest documentary, Bobbito (Bobby 'Nice') traces these roots, his family, home, education and his exhaustive work life.His career path spans from working as A&R at Def Jam Recordings in the 80s, to MCing club nights at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in the late-90s, to standing alongside Stevie Wonder and DJing on stage with DJ Spinna at their Stevie Wonder-themed club night Wonder-Full.
In Rock Rubber 45s you'll discover where the very first sneaker boutique was located, he'll disclose some of his favourite 'grips' and THE pair of shoes that brings him most joy. You'll also learn the name of the first record he owned at seven years old. His schools and scholarships are discussed, he talks about how he 'sucked' at basketball and explains the importance of WKCR and the award-winning radio show he co-presented with his legendary long-time broadcasting partner DJ Stretch Armstrong. You'll learn that Michael Jordan doesn't like rap, and never did, and you'll find out how sneakers became more than just sports-footwear for people that played sports, all because of the energy and passion he had for basketball, basketball shoes and hip hop.
He is the subject, the producer, director and music supervisor of this fantastic documentary, and whether he’s expressing himself directly to the camera with some old school hip-hop anecdotes, or sat alongside some of his friends and family, Kool Bob Love displays a personable and contagious charm. As his third documentary, Rock Rubber 45s also adds a refreshingly intimate and unlikley emotional angle to his career and personal life. This film pinpoints just how and when sneaker culture really became big business, and how Bobbito Garcia became, as DJ Clark Kent explains, 'The guy that changed the way you look'.
You can watch the film via Vimeo.