This past Saturday, I described a fieldtrip to the Brooklyn Flea Market and my encounter vintage apparel extraordinare Patrick Matamoros. I also stated that there was a shirt I purchased that I was not ready to talk about.
Three days have passed and I’m finally ready to talk about it. The thing is, many of you aren’t ready for what I’m about to say.
How it Happened
Patrick starts showing me his old-school hip-hop/r&b t-shirt collection (Sade, Gladys Knight, LL Cool J, among others). Each one is awesome, but none really fit. Sensing that he was about to give up on me, I started to walk out of his booth. Then, he goes, “Wait, I’ve got one more, I almost forgot about it.” He takes a shirt out of a pile on the floor and shows me this:
Patrick immediately had my attention. I love a good Blackstreet quote as much as anyone, and the airbrush of the 4 couples freaking each other reminded me of an early 90s version of Ernie Barnes’ Sugar Shack painting popularized on the “Good Times” opening credits/Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You” album cover/Camp Lo’s “Uptown Saturday Night” album cover.
I try it on, mainly to be polite, but it ended up fitting like a charm. Patrick is telling me that it looks great, and then says, “Wait, you haven’t even seen the back.” I hadn’t, and then he looks at me and says the quote of the year:
“Have You Ever Heard Of Freaknik?”
I’m not exactly sure what the look on my face was, but I must have been a mixture of extreme curiosity, excitement, and disbelief. I ripped the shirt off, turned it around, and…
I don’t know if I full out cried, but I definitely got a full set of chills, was very short of breath, and had to take a seat in a chair. Being extremely emotional and a horrible negotiator, I offered him $1,000,000 dollars for the shirt. He laughed, I didn’t, and then proceeded to have a 7 minute rant about being from Atlanta, collecting Atlanta gear, having a good friend, Bradley, who had a Freaknik t-shirt and was forever cooler than me, and the time my mom and I were trapped in her office for over 10 hours because 250,000 Black college kids decided to bumrush the neighborhood.
He threw a high initial price out there, which I completely understood, but the more and more I gushed and gushed over this shirt, the lower and lower the price became.
I see this shirt as an investment not only for me, but for all of my friends. Everyone that feels the same way I do about Atlanta, Freaknik, and all things slightly ignorant should have the privlege of wearing this a few times. I don’t know how I’m going to facilitate this, but I’ll figure it out.
Also, before I finish this up, lets not gloss over that Top 10 list. As a frequent maker of what I believe to be semi-clever Top 10 lists, I can do nothing but bow down to whomever wrote this.
For one, all you abusers of exclamation marks, THIS is an appropriate way to use them. I don’t know if you fully understand what is being done here, but exclamation marks are used on things to be excited about w/ regards to Freaknik: “To Do the Bankhead Bounce!”, “When I Dip, You Dip, We Dip!!!” and cleverly not used on things that you’ll ultimately end up doing at Freaknik but aren’t too excited for: “Hanging out with the Mayor”, “To Park My Car on Peachtree St.”
Also, at first glance it’s hard to date this shirt, but after taking a longer glance at this list, I will confidently bet any amount of money that it’s from Spring Break 1997. Why, you ask?
“Lookin’ For Biggie and Tupac” is obviously a reference to them not really being dead. Biggie died in March 1997, Tupac in Sept. 1996.
“I got a Booty Call” is most likely a reference to early-1997’s Booty Call, starring Ms. Fox & Mr. Foxx.
“To Show You the Money” is probably a Jerry Maguire reference, which also came out late-1996
“When I Dip, You Dip, We Dip!!!” is a lyric from 1996’s “Da Dip”, probably my 19th favorite song by the greatest rapper of all time, Freak Nasty.
“To Do The Bankhead Bounce!” is a reference to the dance that got big in 1995. Wait, what was that? You have know idea what the Bankhead Bounce is?
Diamond and D-Roc (yes, that D-Roc, from Ying Yang Twins) – “Bankhead Bounce”
Outkast – “Benz or Beemer”
(Watch from 4:08 to the end for the most bouncing of the Bankhead persuasion)
So, in conclusion, the takeaway points from this glorious story:
- I have a Freaknik Shirt.
- I’ll need 10 Freaknik shirts to be as cool as Bradley.
- Yes, that’s Bobby V. playing Sega in the beginning of the “Bankhead Bounce” video.
- If you’re nice to me, maybe you’ll get a 2-week lease.
- If you are given the Freaknik shirt, and something were to happen to it, you will immediately put yourself in the witness protection program.
- Both Freaknik and The Bankhead Bounce have Wikipedia pages.