Alongside the Muska pants-bunch, shoelace belts and Limpies, one of skateboarding’s most enduring and important contributions to fashion surely must be the “Listen To __” t-shirt, kind of an everydude’s version of the power tie. As in, I know what you should do and I/my pre-shrunk cotton shirt will tell you to do it. There have been many versions of the shirt. My first recollection is a Big Brother-backed “Listen To Black Sabbath” that was on the racks around the time Tim O’Connor became a pro. Element’s follow-up “Listen To Bob Marley” was a little too on-the-nose for a company that was rapidly climbing the corporate rungs but DNA’s “Listen To Alien Workshop,” made famous in blue by Ryan Gee’s Love Park fountain jump in “Chomp,” put an entertaining meta twist on the increasingly tired idea. I believe Deluxe did “Listen to Skateboarding” and Baker (I think) made one not so long ago along the lines of “Listen To Those Shirts That Tell You What To Listen To.”
That previous Larry Perkins entry overlooked the fact that the SPOT overlords have bestowed upon him his own version of the shirt that you can actually buy here, which is kind of a milestone all by itself. But then the other day, I was watching the MTV Jams channel, and Lil Wayne has this new video full of poorly lit bros ollieing trash cans and in the middle of everything else he’s wearing around a “Listen To Lil Wayne” shirt, not properly formatted as far as the font and everything, but still. With Lil Wayne being the most important and expensive artist of our time, has the “Listen To” shirt broken into the mainstream? I submit to you that it has, and unless Heath Kirchart pops up in the Emerica video wearing a shirt that says only “Listen To”, companies should maybe think long and hard before reviving the concept again.