Back in 2011 True Clothing went up in flames. The two-alarm fire claimed the shop itself, a lot of merchandise as well as a lot of memories. Out of the ash and rubble, a few of those memories survived.
This one was a little bizarre. We carried an old school SF Giants jacket back then. People came in and out as they do and somewhere in there one of those people was Mos Def. He skated up to the shop and absolutely needed that jacket. He came in, threw it on the counter and paid full price. A lot of famous people that roll through to the shop expect a hookup or free shit. Mos was different. That moment was bizarre in that it all happened so fast: he pulled up on the skateboard, B-lined to the jacket, threw it on the counter, paid for it, said peace, then hopped on his skateboard and floated out. Mos wasn’t a stranger to the shop though. He and a select group of others would routinely but randomly pop up throughout the years. If you check out the video for 1998’s “Travellin’ Man,” about a minute in, Mos is seen wearing one of the original True tees while fixing himself in the mirror.
Since it opened in ’96, the shop and Hip Hop have had a close and thorough relationship with one another. This is a beacon of small business in SF and somehow someway it survived a lot, including both a gutting of everything we know and associate with the city as well as the literal elements. In dedication to this idea of small business, perseverance, and lasting memories, I’ve got 42 polaroids in the chamber and 42 stories attached to them. Stay tuned for more surprises.
Shoutouts to Josh for the story!