Abdul debuted a previously unseen sample of the West Indies AF1 for us and gave us some insight on what this series means to him.
What is the cultural significance of the AF1 'West Indies' series?
I am West African so I can I cant speak on what it means for West Indians but speaking as an immigrant who came to America at 14 I think more than anything, it would give me a sense of inclusion. Seeing my country's or in this case my region's name on an iconic shoe like the Air Force 1 has to be a great feeling. I have attended the West Indian Day parade in Brooklyn since I was a teenager. My only issue with this shoe was while Guyana, Belize, and Panama are not technically part of the West Indies, they should have been represented on this shoe because of how strong of a presence they have on the streets of Brooklyn during that Labor Day Parade. The shoe was made specifically for the West Indian day parade in Brooklyn and you cannot go anywhere in that parade without seeing flags from those 3 nations. They should have gotten a 'honorable mention" LOL
What is your favorite pair from the series?
I have 2 favorites. The first one is the unreleased sample from 2005 which is the one year the shoe was skipped. Out of the released pairs I would say the 2004 with the yellow swoosh with a red sockliner and outsole.
What is it about West Indian culture that drives you to embrace it and have such a great deal of respect for it?
My best friends are from Jamaica and Trinidad and outside of the numerous great qualities they have, the one thing I think everyone can agree on is West Indians are very inviting and have a great deal of love and respect for family. Being from Sierra Leone and growing up with those same morals and values, it has always been easy for me to connect with people from the Caribbean.
Fondest memory of carnival in DC or anywhere else?
Kingston JA has always been one of my favorite places to be at, but Carnival down there is a lot of fun. You gotta be ready to party for like 4 days straight though. You go from jourvert all night straight to a breakfast party, leave that around 1 p.m. come back to the crib shower change and hit another party that goes on pretty much all day and night then the road march is the next day. S/O to all my family in Kingston, Jonas/Sean/Duncan/Glen and everyone else BIGUP YUHSELF!!!!
Whats your favorite West Indian Food, any spots you'd recommend?
Maan I got a few spots I frequent depending what I am in the mood for. I run over to Spice on Georgia and Shephard if I want some curry goat, I run over to Teddy's Roti Shop uptown if i want some doubles or buss up shut with some channa. I can do Crowns Caribbean Bakery on Georgia Ave and grab everything from there, and you know I still hit the old school classic Negril on Howard Univ's Campus and get some jerk wings or even a jerk chicken sandwich (S/O to the owner Miss Chin, I have known her for a long time). I also do CANE on H street for a fine Trinidadian sitdown dinner with my wife.
What is 2IslandBwoyz?
2IslandBwoyz is a catering company started by 2 of my closest friends Mario Hoo and Hisham Gomes in 2003 who are from Jamaica and Trinidad. They are 2 of the most amazing chefs I have ever met in my life and while they had other careers, their passion for cooking led to them starting this catering company in the DC area. They cheff'd up this hot peppa sauce that they would give it to their clients just as a side order, and made their own bbq sauce grill chicken with and honestly I have never had anything better in my life. I have been bugging them for over 15 years that they needed to bottle these items and share it with the world and finally over the pandemic we convinced each other it needs to happen and we started working on getting the hot sauce, bbq sauce, and a wet seasoning out to the world. Go cop from 2islandbwoyz.net
What is The List and how can we get in on it?
THE LIST really started out as a joke between myself, DJ Clark Kent and a few of our other friends. It was a running joke between us about getting seeded sneakers or having access to sneakers. Think about someone who walks up to a huge crowd waiting to get into a club, walks up to the front and gets himself and all his people in without having to wait for anything. That is essentially how THE LIST works. While I never had any issues with getting into night spots in DC, I did have problems getting sneakers. Actually the only person who is really on THE LIST is Clark and we just kind of ask him to help us out, so thank you to my brother DJ Clark Kent LOL. Now about getting on THE LIST, I think thats something we will have to discuss internally and get back to you..