issue 73

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7 13 Issue 73 / 2015 FASHION Crep Protect is the ultimate rain and stain repellent - the spray forms a protective barrier over your shoes, repelling liquids and reducing dirt deposits, making sure your creps stay box fresh. J2K, the brains behind Crep Protect, took some time out to tell us all about this sick new product. I'm here with J2K, the Roll Deep rapper and entrepreneurial mastermind behind the Crep Protect product. You've seen it everywhere on the high street, JD, Footasylum, Urban Outfitters, it's been endorsed by Wiley, Method Man, Redman, everyone is talking about this at the moment. So J2K, firstly I gotta ask, how are you today? Yeah I'm good thanks. Where did the idea for Crep Protect come from? It just came from a love of shoes, and more so maintaining them, I've always been someone that maintains my stuff, like even when I was a kid with my toys, I didn't break them. I just carry that kind of thing, and with my shoes, I like to keep them neat and tidy. I've just always been like that, I'm a bit OCD with it. So talking about love of trainers, how many pairs of creps do you own? I get asked this question man and I can't even start to think about how many I got. Loads man, there's too many, my yard is just a bit of a joke to be honest. It's everywhere, like it seeps into every room, every room's got my trainers in it. Have you got a favourite pair? I mean there's loads of favourites but one that does stand out is the ZX 8000s, because I remember them when they first came round when I was young and I couldn't get 'em. So yeah now obviously I'm of age and I can get whatever I like, you know as far as trainers [laughs]. So obviously I made sure I got those, but they're probably my favourite for that reason, they got more of a nostalgic feel to them. So that's favourite pair ever? Yeah I'd say I'd give it to that one for now, but there's loads that I do like for different reasons. If you could pick one person whose trainer collection you could have who would that be? There's loads man. I think Kish Kash's probably got a sick collection that I'd want, yeah I've seen bits and pieces of his. There's loads of people, but yeah I'd say him. Kanye's recently debuted his new Yeezys, what do you think of those? Nah I dunno man. I think he's thought too much about it, to be honest. I feel like he's overthought it, and he's gone a bit too left with it, I think he's gone too high fashion with it. For what people like the Yeezy for, he's just taken it somewhere else and I mean I get it, I get that you're trying to break barriers all the time and do new things, you don't wanna stay with that cause the Yeezys as they are now, he's probably off of that, he's head somewhere else, but yeah I just feel like the general feeling of his, he kinda let everyone down with them ones. I'm not really feeling them. Yeah I'd have to agree there, they're looking a bit like a moon boot. So Roll Deep, including former members and current members, who would you say has the best crep game and who has the deadest? [laughs] In Roll Deep, who would have the deadest collection? [laughs] The deadest collection would probably be, it might be Target you know, just cause his foot's too long man, and you when your foot's too long, your trainers tend to not look all that. Nah he's got bits but I dunno, Scratchy's got a bit of a weird taste. Yeah I'd toss it up between them too, Scratchy and Target. The best would probably be me, yeah I'd be the best, definitely. Collaborations, you've done work with Wiley, Ghetts, everyone else in music. If you could pick any brand to collaborate with on a trainer, who would that be? A trainer brand? Well it would have to be Adidas. I'm an Adidas wearer, I've always been an Adidas wearer, I followed the trend on from my uncles, who do that as well. That's just been my brand that I've stuck with for a long time, and obviously I've juggled a few brands innit, I juggle, but that's been my favourite. Yeah it would be an honour to do something with them. So who's the most famous person whose creps you've actually protected using your product? There's been a few you know, I know Nicole Scherzinger's protected her shoes, Chase & Status, Puff Daddy, nah I'm lying about that one! [laughs] Yeah you know a lot of people have been doing it, but I'd say them two off the top of my head. You've branched out into the US obviously with Nicole Scherzinger, how's that going over there? It's going well at the minute, you know we just started, so just dipping the toe in out there, it's in a lot of specialist retailers at the minute. We're in a good 40-50 stockists at the minute, the cool stores like BAIT, Extra Butter, stores like that. There's loads man, all over, but yeah now I'm gonna be making more frequent trips over there and doing some more business to get into some of the main chains. A couple little discussions happening at the minute, but I'm definitely happy with how it's going so far. Is there a main competitor over there? Not that I'm noticing, no [laughs]. How has your life changed in the three years since you first launched? I got a new car! [laughs] Nah it ain't changed much to be honest, cause really it's been all work and everyone's had their head down and really been working. No ones really been enjoying anything yet, it's been all work, so I wouldn't say anything has changed. Other than like the achievements that happened along the way like getting into a chain, like getting into the JD and then you get into the Footasylum, then the Foot Lockers, it's all building like that, so those things are nice. But my life hasn't changed, but I'm sure there'll be a day when I can maybe kick back and do some things, but I'm enjoying the work at the minute. So is there one standout moment, one surreal moment, where you thought, "this is ridiculous, I couldn't have seen this happening"? Meeting Method Man and Redman. Yeah, yeah, yeah, obviously when they endorsed the product with open arms and just backed it, that was definitely one of my best moments. Have you got a fashion idol or an inspiration, someone you look to? Nah, not for fashion because I'm pretty relaxed with it, whatever fits I just put it on [laughs]. Obviously there's people that do their thing, like I'll take inspiration from things, different things and loads of different people but there isn't one person who I would completely rate everything they do, they'll have aspects that I would like. And there's loads of people, you got the Kanye West's, you got the Pharrell's, you got my mates, just whoever really, so I kinda take bits from everyone. What about favourite music artist? Method Man and Redman, those are definitely two artists I grew up to. And then UK side, I get to mingle with the people I rate which is a blessing as well, the Wiley's the Ghetts', the Skepta's, Boy Better Know, anyone who's doing their stuff, I pretty much know, we work alongside and we've done things, so that's cool. So talking music, how's that going at the moment? Are you putting that off a bit to focus more on this product? You know what it is, it's not like I've purposefully put it off, it's just that I've been so busy with this that I've just had to concentrate and make sure it gets off the ground in the way that I want it to, and make sure its doing what it needs to do. It's achieved a lot in such a small time, and I don't ever want that to flop off, so it's focusing on that, so I ain't purposely not done music, but yeah I have been kinda slacking in the studio for a little while. But I plan to get in very soon and put out something cause I been itching, especially lately, you hear a lot of new artists and good artists and good things coming out so you just wanna get back in naturally. So there'll be some things coming hopefully, towards the end of the year. So if you had to pick one, would you say trainers or music are your first love? Ooh that's tricky you know. It's not even tricky cause music is my passion and it's nothing I'd ever stop doing. You know it's a mad one cause I'd never stop wearing trainers either, or wanting the latest either, so it's kinda hand in hand, it's almost the same thing. I cant pick for you, I'm sorry, I'm just gonna have both! I know you're also a big fan of football too. Am I right in thinking you used to play for Leyton Orient as a youngster? Yeah, yeah, yeah. At that time I was just knocking about everywhere really, going on a lot of trials at a lot of pro clubs and just trying to find my feet. You know you come from school, you play for the district, I captained the district team but yeah I played around in a couple teams and that. But I got injured, and I got a bit disheartened, and I stopped doing it for a little while, and then I came back and starting playing semi-pro for a little while. And then yeah just got fat, allow it! [laughs] So talking football, let's talk about Liverpool. Million-dollar question here, if Steven Gerrard was using Crep Protect, do you think he would have slipped? [laughs] Well nah if he was using it on his boots, you know what it's not really for your boots you know, but I would say if he was using the product, we definitely would have got that title last season. Talking about boots, is there anything lined up in that way? Sports specialist product? Like protection for boots maybe? You know what we're always kinda working on something and who knows. You never know, there's always ideas, but I mean we got the Cure Kit as well, the cleaner kit, so you can always use that on your boots if you need to clean. As far as protection, yeah that's for the future. Have you got any other business ventures planned? Like I said there's always ideas but nothing that I'm really pursuing like that, obviously I got enough on my plate with this, I don't really wanna mess anything up. Cheers for coming down today. All the best with Crep Protect, music, and everything. Bless, make sure you follow Crep Protect on all the social media, @CrepProtect and @j2klive, follow that as well.

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