So, yeah..2016…what a year, huh? It’s almost funny saying that. We witnessed meaningless memes, legends passing on, El Chapo’s third capture, the Zika Virus, the Olympics, nuclear testing scares, social media frenzies, hashtag revolutionaries, more meaningless memes, true colors being exposed, fall-outs with our friends over our political views, rampant police brutality, racial tension, protests, riots, a comical and super stressful presidential race (to say the least), legalization of marijuana, and of course….Pokemon Go. Yikes. We all FOUGHT our way through this one, dammit. Pat yourself on the back!
Now that we covered all that, Fatbol had quite the year in our own respect. We broke a lot of ground, from designs to new music, collaborations, tours, and shout outs. The Fatbol brand found its way all across the map.
I, (Hiway), was brought on board and employed as the primary blogging presence of the company, which has been an honor. We released many fresh new designs, including our tribute to the Golden State Warriors. We worked closely with the amazing artist Sam Farrand, who’s visionary art brought a beautiful depth and intricacy to our brick and mortar store in Arcata. This was also the year we partnered up with Matt O’Brien and launched his very unique SkullFace project, which gave nods to a plethora of historical events, current world issues, and caricatures of celebrities.
Some great albums were released this year, such as Mr. Garth Culti-Vader’s “Digital Dabs”, Nac One’s “The Writer”, “Rebel Soul Vol. 2” by Winstrong, the double disc “Disgruntled Employees’ Association” by yours truly (Hiway), and the debut album of Object Heavy (self-titled). B Swizlo, Damon Cooper, Pete Ciotti, Drew Mohr, and Johnny Fiya have been killing it. They have been consistently touring, building their name in cities like Eugene, Portland and Seattle, while brushing shoulders with some big names as well. For example, playing alongside the legendary John Popper with DJ Logic. Cold Blue Water toured with Duane Betts and Pedro Arevalo. And our badass homie DJ Zone of the Chicharones repped tough for us as he toured with Macklemore and Aesop Rock.
Our artists and our brand also made appearances in some big festivals and concerts. Northern Nights, Reggae On The River, and Symbiosis to name a couple. Nac One and I also traveled to the hip hop mecca Brooklyn for the MUNY festival during the summer and repped tough. Oh yeah, and we can’t forget the epic Cheech And Chong show held at Blue Lake Casino. Myself and Object Heavy opened up, we rocked our booth, and Tommy Chong himself proudly sported his Fatbol gear throughout the day. Good looking out, OG!
Our monthly Fatbol cyphers continued on strong, growing in attendance and proving to be a valued gesture for the local scene thanks largely in part to the general Nac One and DJM. It also just celebrated its 2nd year anniversary.
Deep Groove Society held down the classic Sundaze every week at The Jambalaya, as well as appearances at other shows such as the Fusion Festival and Stanton Warriors.
Our dude Myster DL stayed busy as usual; releasing new music and doing videos for other artists. Edo G, Eric Bobo, and B Real of Cypress Hill all had Fatbol as part of their wardrobe thanks to him.
We had some other dope shout-outs too. Abstract Rude was seen sporting our hoody in a video with Slug and Brother Ali. Murs was also rocking our gear on stage.
We finished the year strong with a nice five day tour of Object Heavy’s, in which the boys did it big at the Emerald Cup afterparty with none other than Chali 2na himself. B Swizlo will be jamming in his hometown Chicago for New Year’s Eve. There are also some projects to look out for from Ray White, Roister, and from Cold Blue Water.
Yes, what a year indeed. As a country we bring 2016 to a close with our hearts, heads and spirits somewhat bruised. We have definitely been put through the wringer, and are antsy to put everything behind us. I think I speak for just about everyone when I give 2016 a VERY vigorous “Bye Felicia”. But all jokes aside, there’s also a feeling of comradery in having survived it all together. The turmoil seems to have awakened us, as we have been forced to both look ourselves in the mirror and look out for our neighbors.
We welcome the new year, whatever it may bring, with open arms. And somewhere in the midst of all of the goings on, a little clothing company from Humboldt County has been filling and refilling its spiritual generator, so it may continue to shine abroad.
Welcome to the Future. Congrats, cheers, and remember–Hustle With Integrity, homies.