Today is part 4 in the history #SDK. So far I have talked about how most of us met each other and some of the very beginnings. Now I want to talk about how Stompdown & Ephin joined forces.
From 2003 to 2005 the group of us from the skate park had been living pretty wild lives and built quite a reputation in our area. All we did was party and live dangerously with not a care for the future at all. We were mostly located in Langley British Columbia, Canada which shares a border with the notorious Canadian city known as Surrey, BC. Some of us grew up in Surrey and like myself we had a lot of family out there. A group of high school friends from Surrey formed a clothing/music company called EPHIN in 2002. One of the founders named Ryan “Vision” Wiese was very interested in meeting me because he thought my group of hooligans had great potential in the business world. Shortly after I heard about this I headed out to his shop with my brother Label.
Right away we could see there were very strong similarities between our two groups and we kept in contact with each other over the next few months. There was one famous night when my group was invited to a house party in Surrey that they were hosting. Like a scene out of the movie Mad Max we left the skate park in a convoy of dirt bikes, stolen vehicles and uninsured cars. It was an epic night and shortly after we decided to join forces into what is known today as EPHIN SDK.
Most people might not realize this but I honestly believe if I had not met Vision we would all be dead or in jail today and there would be no #stompdownkillaz. We were too wild to operate a day-to-day business and the thought of working every day sounded like the worst thing in the world to a group of guys who partied 24/7.
We later created a DVD series named after our lifestyle called “Die Slow”. And that was exactly how we were living, slowly dying. But it was the camaraderie and the power of friendship that made it all seem appealing for some reason. Vision opened our eyes to the reality we were facing, by becoming a legitimate business we were able to avoid a lot of legal problems and possibly make money for once. Vision was also fearless just like us, we were a perfect match. I could go on for days about how much this guy has done for myself and everyone else included. He turned out to be one of my best friends years later, and once he saved me from going to jail for many years in Montreal when I was denied bail for aggravated assault. But that is a story for another day, what I want to make clear today is that without this man you would not be reading this story today. Immediately the value of my team was evident, one example is the music video by Caspian “Rock It” (YouTube) we did the graffiti for the video and added some colourful characters to the shoot. It was an unbelievably exciting time and it was very strange to suddenly have a retail store.
The Ephin boys/girls were a wild bunch and we got along great, continuing the party lifestyle in a business setting, which is not always the best idea. Surrey was only one city away from the skate park but it seemed like an entirely different country, we now had rappers on our team! I never would have thought we would have musicians in our group. We were mostly graffiti and they were clothing & music, The elements of hip-hop were being represented to the fullest now. Quickly the graffiti/music combination led to my first YouTube video series where we painted and I edited music videos using our artists music. These graffiti music videos got the attention of a legendary local graffiti artist, recently turned rapper, named #snaktheripper. Snak was already very well known for his cross country vandalism and now that he was a graffiti rapper he decided to contact us because that’s exactly what we were doing. I will continue from here next week.
As I continue to write the stories I realize there is going to be some back-and-forth and these are not going to be in any perfect order but I’m doing my best and I thank you for reading along each week. I will continue the story next week with part 5 “ The birth of a movement”. Have a great day and keep your head up, life is war, each day is a battle!