Lawrence Parker is a busy dude. Between running his own shoe boutique, Traffic, making music, and promoting events like Streetwear Sundays and the Sneaker Fiend Expo, you should be glad he took time out to give us an interview. I caught up with him late last weekend, and he showed me a portrait of someone with tons of pride, big goals, and the inititative to accomplish those goals. Check it...
T5: You've been in the scene here in New Orleans for a good while. How'd you get started, and who'd you come up with?
LAW: I started out as an artist, and I was never satisfied with the production so I started producing. I started a record label called All-Star Records & CrackTracks Productions. I started out producing for a few No Limit & Cash Money artists. Then I started producing for Soulja Slim, BG, Magnolia Chop, Sqad-up, Raw Dizzy, VL Mike, C-Murder, Choppa City Boys, really I've produced for 95% of New Orleans artists.
T5: Damn, that's pretty much a who's who of New Orleans legends right there... I don't know if you remember, but we actually met for the first time about 8 months ago in front of Re:Fresh... You had on those black/cement AJ III's. It's no secret that the sneaker culture and hip hop are completely intertwined, so on that note, how Traffic come about??
LAW: Traffic came about from a lifetime of being into the culture of fashion, music and drawing. I'm good at all three. After Katrina, I moved to Dallas, NYC, then to Atlanta. I surrounded myself with people who live the lifestyle everyday in an area called Little Five Points.
I use to shop in Wish, one of the hottest boutiques in the US, so I wanted to open one in Atlanta, but it was smarter to open in New Orleans. So I rushed down and opened Traffic within 2 months. The FIRST Streetwear Boutique in New Orleans.
The Traffic Skate Team
T5: It seems like Katrina was a curse and a blessing. I don't really wanna get caught up too much on the storm, but it seems like it really brought the best out of some people. It also seems to have brought out a new sense of local pride and a spirit of togetherness that the city hasn't seen in a very long time. Care to comment on that?
LAW: It has to be all about getting together now. There's been to much hate in New Orleans for too long. We should have more than one artist representing the city. So now its time to put all our resources together to make shit happen down here. Yes, the storm pushed people
out the city, but it showed us how other cities are getting things done.
T5: Yeah, you mentioned living in Atlanta... A whole lot of artists are surviving off of their art in ATL. Is that why you started Streetwear Sundays?
LAW: Yes. And it's growing because most of what's going around the world started here in New Orleans. So it only right to bring it back home. I just want to build an avenue for our young artists, designers, musicians, whatever it maybe to have a spot to display what they're doing.
The very first Streetwear Sunday...
T5: Yeah, I give you mad props for promoting local cats. Speaking of local cats what's your connection with Curren$y??
LAW: Curren$y is cool. I produced "look up to the jets" on his album as a hidden track. FIRE! I'm also working on a few other mixtapes with him that's droppin' real soon.
T5: Oh, shit... I didn't know about that hidden track. You caught me sleepin'. So back to Traffic... What's up with the Dallas store?? Is that your baby also??
LAW: Yessir!!! Shots out to my partner Corey for holdin it down out there. New Orleans to Dallas and now to Atlanta in September. And hopefully NYC next year.
Curren$y and Law
T5: Hell yeah! Mad props! This is the kind of forward thinking this city needs... So what brands are popping off right now in Traffic?? What releases are you looking forward to?
LAW: the hottest brands to the people on the streets are Play Cloths, Crooks & Castles, Married to the Mob, 3rd I.D. 10 Deep, Supra Mnwka, and always our local designers.. And im looking forward to the release of my brand "Life of Luxury" (L.o.L.) this fall...
T5: A lot of hype has been surrounding Kanye and his place in haute couture... What do you think about it?? And what do you think of the term hipster??
LAW: I think its cool to see someone make a move from music to being one of the biggest names in the fashion industry.. 500.00 for air yeezy's. He has his own LV (Louis Vuitton) sneakers.. Wow! That means if I stay focused and make the right moves I can do the same thing. Now the term of hipster can go both ways, but some kids are taking it way to far. And I really don't like how people are just getting down with the movement just because it's popular. Just because you wear a backpack that dont make you fresh. That's wack and if you're doing that you're a fake hipster. lmao...
T5: Well put. Do what you feel, like what you like, but do it for you. I'm with it. So sounds like you've got one helluva 5 year plan... You gotta keep me up to date on the ATL store opening, the NYC store opening and your clothing line... Any parting words for the people?? Shout outs?
LAW: oh, here are my shout outs! GOD first always, the entire Supreme Street Team, the Traffic Boutique Family, J-roc, Team Finale, Justin & Kenneth, Dj Spin, Force Feed, Cracktracks all the locals Dj's, all the local artists, all the streetwear designers in New Orleans, and you, thanks for keeping the dj vibe alive down here. Uptown 4 Life!
Y'all can catch up with Law at Traffic Boutique (of course), and don't forget to add http://www.myspace.com/trafficboutique and he's got a Streetwear Sundays blog http://streetwearsundays.blogspot.com/ and just wrapped on the first "Sneaker Fiend Expo" yesterday, which was a super hot event. I think we are going to be hearing big things from Law in the future so y'all should keep up with him. You can also follow @trafficboutique on twitter to keep up to date with new drops and sales...