Make Mine Blacker Than Huey Newton
It was… ‘83? ‘87? Man, it was so long ago. All I remember is that we were still feuding with Ice Tea.
Me and Bourbon, we thought we were so fresh brewed. He had this box, he’d crank that thing and I’d do some mad tricks on a piece of cardboard. Headspin, pop-and-lock, one of those leaves made out of froth, I had it all figured out. We used to go to this big open space, it was like a park, but not really a park. It was just empty. It was ours, mostly, because nobody else cared about it. After a while, we met Maragogype and these two twins from Ethopia, and we had a crew. Of course I always said I was the leader when they weren’t around, but they never let me get away with that if they were all there. “Typica, you full’a cream and sugar!” they’d say. And we’d all laugh, because that was just what life was all about back then. We were just young and hot.
Then, one day, we went to the place, and there were boards all over, keeping us out. Green boards. We all know what that means now but we didn’t know back then. Some guy from Seattle was buying real estate, serving bad coffee right where we used to hang. Acting like he knew the game, serving up a big glass of hot fudge cake with some Italian name on it, fooling people. Put some big mermaid right where we used to spray-paint our names. We couldn’t let him get away with that, no, sir. We threw down our cardboard and grabbed that box and we went at it. And I mean we went at it! That no-flavor burn monger, peeking out the window, when we started the Percolator, we saw his jaw drop.
Wish we could say we won in the end, but… well, say it was a moral victory. What can you do, you know? Public just has no taste sometimes. They’d rather a name they know than something that actually tastes good. That Whorebucks took over the whole dang block, and they even hired a security guard so we couldn’t come back.
Last I heard the twins were working at some art theater, and that’s pretty cool. Maragogype met some chick named Charrieriana, way too young for him, but they seem to have it figured out. Me and Bourbon, we ended up starting a design firm, but we try to keep it real as best we can. And I still go out of my way to walk past the old place now and then. I stay on the other side of the street so I don’t get in trouble, but I know that dude can see me through the windows. I always give him the nod, you know, and he always looks away like he didn’t see me. And I know he did, and I know why he always looks away. Because coffee ain’t about a rack full of Billy Joel CDs next to the point-of-purchase. Coffee’s about taste, and talent. And when the chips were down, homeboy got himself served.
Or maybe it was ‘96? After a while, it all kinda blurs together.
Wear this shirt: to your local independent coffee place. You’ll hear better music and taste better beans.
Don’t wear this shirt: after about four in the afternoon, or you might be up all night.
This shirt tells the world: “They call my baby coffee cause he grinds so good!”
We call this color: Breakin’ 2: Electric Babyblue
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