There are only a handful of names in the Breakin’ that carry as much weight as Ken Swift. An undeniable Breakin’ icon, there are few people who can claim to have contributed as much to Hip Hop culture as him. In the Breakin’ community he is called a legend and one of the greatest of all time and we at Spin Control wanted to highlight one of the many reasons why. Of his many innovations in the dance, one of the most iconic is the Air Baby, a freeze that has since become a foundational move for all breakers. We teamed up with Ken Swift himself as well as fellow breaker and designer, Mighty Wealthy to commemorate his innovation with our limited Air Baby Collaboration Tee. To do the collaboration justice, we sat down with Ken to get the full story on how he brought the Air Baby as we know it into existence:
So much of breaking culture is intangible. It’s something that you feel, see, and experience but it’s not something that you can hold in a physical way. With this collaboration, we wanted to create a piece of Breakin’ culture and history that people could hold and collect. The collaboration had to be meaningful and pay homage to something that all breakers could connect with and understand. Ken Swift’s Air Baby was the perfect subject because it represents what all breakers endeavor to do with their art form: create something original that leaves a legacy.
With the subject of the collaboration in mind, we needed an artist who could bring the concept to life. Cue breaker and digital designer, Mighty Wealthy, who has been making art centered around Breakin’ with his ‘one liners.’ The one liner concept is a form of line art that highlights the forms that we see in Breakin’. Wealthy uses one continuous line to trace the shape of breakers at specific moments in their dance. For the concept of enshrining part of breaking history in a physical form, Wealthy’s one liner concept was the perfect medium.
The base of Wealthy’s one liner’s is always a photograph and when we reached out to Ken to find an authentic photo of him executing an Air Baby, we ran into an issue. He didn’t have the rights to any photos that he really loved of him performing the Air Baby around the time that he made it so he pointed us to photographer, Ben Dowden. Ben had made a trip to New York and snapped a super quality black and white photo of Ken Swift doing his Air Baby during that time period. Ben was a super cool guy and was kind enough to let us use his photo for this collaboration piece. His photo is now included in the collectible card that comes with the Air Baby Collaboration Tee.
With photo in hand, Wealthy was able to complete the Air Baby one liner design that lives on the back of the collaboration tee. To give the collaboration that extra level of authenticity, we added Ken Swift’s personally written signature under Wealthy’s design because what could be fresher than adding Ken Swift’s signature under his signature? Get it? You can also find Ken’s hand style on the front of the packaging box of the collaboration.
If the collaboration tee wasn’t enough, to add some serious icing to the cake, Ken has personally signed each collectible numbered collaboration card in gold ink next to Wealthy’s Air Baby one liner artwork. Check out what comes in the full Air Baby Collaboration Package below:
- Limited Collaboration Tee (Limited to 100):
- Front: Embroidered Spin Control and Mighty Wealthy logos
- Back: Ken Swift Air Baby One Liner & Ken Swift Hand Style
- Collectible Numbered Collaboration Card (1~100):
- Front: Ben Dowden Air Baby Photo
- Back: Wealthy One Liner Artwork Signed by Ken Swift
- Customized Collaboration Box
- Spin Control Stickers
Needless to say, we are super excited to release this product scheduled to drop on June 30, 2022 at 10 AM. This collaboration has been a blast. We were able to connect with a hip hop pioneer and bring him together with one of the freshest artists that the Breakin’ community has to offer, Mighty Wealthy. It would not have been possible without the cooperation of Ben Dowden and Ken Swift’s Manager Yarrow Lutz so we at Spin Control want to send a huge thank you their way. We have created something truly unique and special that enshrines Breakin’ history and we hope that everyone in the culture appreciates it.
Spin Control Team