Skateboarding and Graffiti have a history. Before my time in the Dogtown, Venice beach days, where modern skateboarding took a turn away from goofy handstands and multiple 360’s, there was The Zefer team. I don’t need to re-hash the history, but I think this is where Skateboarding, Graffiti, Punk rock, and hip hop all started to mix. With Rat Bones logos looking spray painted, and The classic gangster fonts of Dogtown, to Glen E. Friedman taking famous pics of the pro skaters at Dogbowl, then Suicidal Tendencies, Public Enemy, and The Beastie Boys just to name a few. I think that was the cross over point, late 70’s into the early 80’s.
Having said that, its good to know it all still has a history, and there’s places like The Kanek in Newark where it lives and thrives. Please support these guys as part of the Neighborhood Love Family, and read as 4SAKN chops it up with the boys of Kanek. Enjoy.
Neighborhood Love 1. What neighborhood is the Kanek from and in currently?
Kanek Skate Shop
The Kanek is currently operating as a pop up shop inside The Metropolitan located at 260 Washington St. Downtown Newark. We are growing our web presence to make products more available. We started out in Downtown Newark but our “connects” reach eveywhere. We really want this brand to represent any KANEK, in every hood… you must have the Kanek =)
Neighborhood Love 2 You guys got your hands in a lot of things, like skate demos, art shows and parties, what is the Kanek about?
The Kanek brand is … the hidden element connecting us to what we desire; Person, Place, or Thing. One can either be the connect or share the connect. We are a pay-it-forward brand unlike any contemporary. We promote and encourage subculture lifestyle in a positive way. We’ve always been committed to the community in the form of supporting one another but its pretty much a “Big Brother” type thing… we’d never steer our people wrong.
How did you come up with the name and who is apart of the Kanek?
Haha, well.. that name is a play on the term used in loosely in an urban environment, “CONNECT”.. spin the spelling and we have KANEK. It virtually means to have the direct or indirect resource to whatever is needed. The whole thing came about over time really. First came an abstract logo with no direction, then came a name (KANEK GARBO was originally clothing only) KANEK, then came a whole bunch of effort and error and highs and lows, lol. Finally, KANEK found a home inside the walls of downtown Newark, NJ. Those part of The Kanek brand have been around for a while but really there is only one person working side-by-side with me everyday and that Ngu Asongwed. We acquire many “kaneks” along the way and some people have really been pitching in; interns to architects to twerk dancers, we’ve been getting A LOT of support. It means everything.
Neighborhood Love 4. What are immediate goals and future goals for you and your team?
Our immediate goal is to create superior quality brand products and promote that to the our audience via cool videos and the website. Secondly, The Kanek is looking for a new, more permanent home in Newark and we’ll be reaching out to the City of Newark for assistance. The whole Kanek squad is on some entrepreneur shit.. Glory Wheel Company, Panacea (Organic farming n food), and Budinq (Design & Branding) are just a few of the startups. We encourage self made moves and that dont mean you aint supposed to have a “regular” job, it just mean you better have a plan or you’ll always be “J.ust O.ver B.roke” punching that clock
Neighborhood Love 5. What seperates the Kanek from other skateshops and brands?
We do this shit for the people… point blank period. We do this shit cuz the youth and creative minds of the city need this outlet. Just like the old school heads did it back in the day… they made something for themselves virtually out of nothing then they gave back to communities best they knew how.
Neighborhood Love 6. What are some the products that you carry produce for the Kanek?
We carry graf supply, markers, you get… get busy tools lol. Also skateboarding hard goods, decks, footwear and apparel. Bustin board longboards is our latest brand pick up, they make some smooth rides. Many of our core buyers know us for carrying local works from collectives like POORKINGZ, SHINDIG, or LOSTALOT. We try to spread it around and keep some il shit like Acapulco Gold or 10Deep but mixed with an array of other products from big to small distribution. Our biggest collabo to date has been this KRTxKNK “KINGS RUNNIN THINGS” Crew tee we did with Adam COST known from his legendary days busting COST & REVS rollers and slaps. Did a limited run of 144pcs on that… couple left… holla at dat website www.THEKANEK.com
Neighborhood Love 7. Any new events of limited prints coming soon?
Well.. by accident we’ve built this space called The Metropolitan. Its a 2500sq foot loft and we’ve been holding events with sick djs like our THREAD homies. Spin magazine did a feature on them including photos from our space here in downtown Newark. Basically, this his become a beacon for new minds and creative thinkers so naturally the party and events have blossomed into a very unique place for new music and arts. Its all just starting but look for a calendar of events to be online soon. Until then.. stay on our IG page for event updates, @TheMetropolitanNWK @TheKanek
Neighborhood Love 8. Any last words shout out?
SHOUT THE FUCK OUT TIME… @BLAZEGLORIOUS Ngu “Goo” Asongwed, All ou skaters Romell, Eli, Alik, Niriq, Eddie.. Big Up @VandalNYC @CostKRT @CassiusFouler @Big_Ant_LTD… Big Up @LittleDaveyWagner @ShindigSkateboards @HiChewUSA Big Up All our Supporters near and far… shit means everything. I know Im forgettn cats but yall know… #WEOUTHERE #MUSTHAVEKANEKS #IGOTTHEKANEK ..Last but not least, GOODLOOKS @4Sakn doing the interview with us and bringing the good vibe! #LETSWORK