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It was the summer of 1996. Hip-Hop was a mess. We were slowly losing the sound of classic hip-hop music at this time. Stakes were high. The east coast / west coast feud had reached the boiling point, with Death Row Records and Bad Boy Entertainment at the center of it. Biggie and Tupac were still alive, both with tempers flaring. Dr. Dre had chosen to disassociate himself with the negativity surrounding Death Row by leaving the label – and leaving his masters with it. Dre shocked us all in that Source Magazine interview, where he revealed that he started a new label called Aftermath Entertainment, and would be working with artists like KRS-One and Nas. At the height of the controversy, an artist like Dre, who pretty much built his career around negative images of gangsta rap, came out and suggested he would begin working with “conscious” rappers. It was a shock to the system. Yes, the greatest producer of all time would team with the greatest rappers of all time in the construction of his new label.

I was a budding deejay at the time, just out of high school, and co-hosting the Word Up Show with Warren Peace on KUNV. This was just before the time that HipHopSite.Com had started. Dre launched the Aftermath label with Interscope, and to celebrate the launch, the label sent out promotional packages to deejays which included the “East Coast, West Coast Killas” single by Group Therapy (B-Real, RBX, KRS-One, Nas) as well as these incredible Aftermath Entertainment promotional t-shirts. (This was not the shirt as shown above, that’s just an Ebay bootleg.) The actual shirt was black, and had the Dr. Dre Presents The Aftermath album cover on the right breast, featuring that now famous mushroom cloud explosion. The back listed the label’s roster in a white, stamped military font, including all of the artists signed to the label. Of course, none of us had heard of people like Hands-On and Bud’da, but we trusted in Dr. Dre, and knew there were good things to come, even if it wasn’t from any of the artists listed on the back of this t-shirt.

This was one of two promotional pieces of clothing I rocked the shit out of at the time. The other was an incredibly dope Adidas x Pharcyde b-boy jacket in navy blue, which was sent out to honor the release of Labcabincalifornia one year earlier. You could often find this young deejay rocking these two items in tandem, making sure the world knew this kid was was hip-hop, and definitely repping the west coast. I literally wore these two items to death.

The Pharcyde jacket was cheaply produced, and the print ended up wearing off eventually, turning it into a regular old Adidas item. But the Aftermath t-shirt suffered a far worse fate. I was dating a girl that ended up leaving town for college that year, so before the long-distance relationship thing fizzled out, I would jump on a plane to visit her every couple of weeks.

So there I am, freshly dipped, coming off the plane, Aftermath t-shirt and Pharcyde jacket, feeling all kinds of cool. She met me at the gate (back when you could still do so) and I knew once we got back to her dorm room it was on. Her roommate was there, so we were waiting for her to leave so we could consummate our ridiculous excuse for a relationship. So eventually, the roommate goes to class or something, and it’s on. This chick was weird though. She loved to give BJ’s, but never liked to finish the job. She’d always leap out of the way towards the end, like the worst kind of porn star.

So there I am, pants on the ground, enjoying the services provided by my girlfriend, that I had waited weeks for. Suddenly, like the Aftermath logo itself, I felt a huge explosion from the bottom of my soul – and like always, she freaked out and dodged the oncoming blast. After the euphoric sensation was over, I looked down. I had Peter Northed my Aftermath t-shirt. My most prized article of clothing was now reduced to nothing more than an aftersex clean up rag. In defeat, I looked down at the soiled shirt and realized there was no hope, folded it up into a ball, and threw it away. Needless to say, the relationship did not last.

Rest In Peace, my Aftermath promotional t-shirt.

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6 Responses to "R.I.P. My Aftermath Promotional T-Shirt (NSFW) (*sticky*)"
  • jack in the box says:

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Andrew says:

    i’m grimey
    should’ve just soaked it and washed it

  • d-bo says:

    I woulda rocked that shit after throwin it in the wash. Was she hot at least?

  • d-bo says:

    If it was my load that is.

  • sam says:

    yeah, you couldn’t have just cleaned it? i defiled a shirt the same way and went out later wearing it and one of my friends thought it was toothpaste.

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