Join Us in Celebrating How Tony Touch and the Mixtape Era Changed Music Forever
Before SoundCloud, before the internet, and before radio was playing the iconic rap music we know and love, there were mixtapes. Tony Touch flooded the streets of New York with these hand-picked sonic curations throughout the ‘90s and quickly became one of the biggest mixtape DJs in the five boroughs. In 2000, after hundreds of mixtapes, he inked a deal with Tommy Boy to release a now iconic album: The Piece Maker. Now, Ewing Athletics has partnered with Tony Touch to celebrate the album with an equally classic sneaker: the 33 HI.
“The Piece Maker was one of the highlights of my career,” says Tony Touch. “First major release, working with my favorite artists...I went from mixtapes to an album – it felt like I graduated.” The album was full of rhymes and production from Tony and featured legendary guest artists including Wu-Tang Clan, Cypress Hill, and Gang Starr. “These producers and groups were my comrades, my friends,” says Tony. “I don't think any of us realized the impact we would have on the world...and that it would last this long – we were just doing what felt right and it was all organic.”
The Piece Maker was an incredible moment for the mixtape era and fundamentally changed the music industry forever. “There was no internet and hardly any radio play for this music,” recalls Tony. “The mixtape broke down barriers and set the blueprint for the way we listen to music today: the playlist.” Drawing from the album’s cover, Ewing Athletics has created a bold tumbled leather 33 HI that proudly honors Tony’s contribution to music and The Piece Maker – from the turntables on the tongues to the lettering at the heels.
Look out for Tony’s upcoming Universal film MIXTAPE, which documents the impact, relevance, success, and demise of the key players involved in the mixtape era, this summer. Def Jam will release an album Tony Touch produced to accompany the film.
The Tony Touch Ewing 33 HI is available now exclusively at EwingAthletics.com in sizes 5-16.
Photography by Marcus Stevens / Words by Noah Goldowitz