Words by Eddie STATS Houghton
Soon-come press announcements about dancehall virtuoso Busy Signal moving into street apparel with his own Turf Gear line of tees have been circulating for a minute now–but without any tangible fabric behind the headlines. So I was pleasantly surprised this morning to wake up to the sight of official Busy-approved pieces rubbing up against our favorite tees from RepJA on the top-sellers roll over at ReggaeMerch.com!
And Turf Gear does not disappoint. Like Busy himself, his label stands out from the reggae pack with a distinctive cocktail of third world ruggedness, first world (hell, zero world) quality and a progressive, hipsterized aesthetic. You could make an argument, in fact, that the tees are like physical manifestations of Busy mp3s–sometimes literally; the “Echo” logo is as minimal as Busy’s one-handed keyboard line from “Cool Baby,” the “One More Night” design is as gal-friendly as the song of the same name.
Also couldn’t help but notice that other top sellers included tees from Gramps Morgan and soca-hall star Bunji Garlin. The move of numerous West Indian artists into the lanewear game just underscores the 2010 proverb that our boy Fubz recites at almost every LargeUp editorial meeting: “You can’t download T-shirts yet, kids!” Check more Turf gear designs/variations after the jump…