There are few things that all humans have in common. The first two, tool usage and the capacity for higher reason are widely known, but the third- the love of The Simpsons, is rarely recognized. And now that we know that higher order primates are capable of tool usage and dolphins are said to be capable of higher reasoning, we can really say that the only thing that separates us from the animals is our near universal love of The Simpsons – and in particular, Bart Simpson.

One of the more interesting ways this love manifests itself is through bootleg Bart shirts. If you’re not familiar with Bootleg Bart shirts, seriously where the fuck have you been? If you ever went to a flea market, a truck stop or really any place that sold cheap ass t-shirts during the 90’s you must have seen one at least once. You might have seen one and not known it was bootleg, and frankly the shirts that mirror the originals, albeit entertaining at times, pale in comparison to the crazy bootlegs from the hood and around the world, especially countries with lots of black folks. There’s an entire facebook page devoted to these bootlegs.

Bootleg Bart was prevalent in all sorts of countercultural movements, but really he came to shine in the black community. The idea was to take a popular cultural phenomena and integrate it with The Simpsons, hence we get afro-centric Black Bart quoting Malcolm X and threatening to blast whitey.

As the folks at Egotripland explain,

“People could relate to him, and so, they adopted him. Bart’s anti-establishment stance fused easily with the burgeoning Afrocentric, knowledge-of-self movement that was overtaking hip-hop, which expressed itself in the clothing that we wore. If you didn’t wear some kind of “Black and Proud” statement on your person, whether it be in the form of leather Africa medallions, a “Negro League” baseball jersey, an “African American College Alliance” sweatshirt, or an oversized tee with some other “I’m Black” affirmation on it meant, well, you just weren’t down for the cause, G.”

In a weird way, Black Bart helped me to connect with my own culture. When I was a little kid my parents would take me to Jamaica to visit our relatives. They were from Kingston and not the nice part (is there really a nice part?), but THE. HOOD. The suburb of Newark where I was born and raised seemed relatively cushy compared to Kingston. 8pm curfews, gunshots lulling us to sleep. The neighborhood kids disregarded my Osh-Kosh wearing ass so I’d make friends with the animals roaming the neighborhood, only to find out the next day that my family had eaten them (fairly certain this might have inspired my vegetarianism).

My parents didn’t want us spoiled American punks to go home with a bad impression of the place, so they’d take us to the touristy parts (aka where the white people were). Usually around the landmarks there’d be these corny-ass flea markets appealing to tourists. They had the typical junk found in any touristy flea market in the Caribbean, sculptures made of puka shells, purses made of coconut shells, wide-brimmed hats for the old folks to preserve their precious white skin, etc. But it was here, at these lame-ass markets, that I had my first experience with Rasta-Bart. Once I saw my culture integrated with something I was familiar with, I came to realize the people of my parent’s homeland weren’t so different from me. We had at least one thing in common- our love of The Simpsons. And when I went back to Kingston and the neighborhood kids complimented us on our awesome Bootleg Bart shirts, my siblings and I were no longer those sheltered American brats, we were one of them. This is the kind of power these shirts have- the power to bring cultures together. If there’s one thing I regret most in life, it’s not keeping my Rasta-bart shirt. Granted, that shirt would probably only fit over about half my titties, but still. Now trying to find these shirts is like tracking a mothafucking unicorn. And when I have found these shirts to buy, folks are trying to sell them for bookoo bucks (really can I blame them?).

In the name of cultural understanding, I really want to demand these shirts come back BUT, if I were to wake up one day only to see these shirts at Urban Outfitters or some shit, I know a huge piece of my soul would die. So maybe these shirts are gonna have to be an endangered species we don’t want to preserve. Like the Dodo of t-shirts or some shit. Think about it. Random factoid of the day: the Dodo are in the same family as pigeons. If that shit were around now we’d just know it as the bigger version of those rats with wings. Let’s be content with celebrating the retrospective allure these shirts possess, so they too don’t become giant rats with wings.

GOOSEBUMPS “SCARED TO SEE A DOCTOR” RECORD RELEASE SHOW AT 538 JOHNSON (FULL SETS FROM GOOSEBUMPS, AJAX, MERCENARY, LIBYANS, AND LA MISMA)

Like an episode of Jerry Springer, but with more fireworks.

FIGHT CLUB: THE BEST OF FRIDAY NIGHT THROWDOWN

Following the news of Throwdown’s return at SXSW this year with a Texas vs. NYC event, it seems only appropriate to take a look back at the history of Friday Night Throwdown, and the coverage we’ve had of it here on Superchief over the years. For the uninitiated; Friday Night Throwdown wasn’t just NYC’s best underground boxing event, it was NYC’s best underground party.

TEXAS VS. NYC: THROWDOWN RETURNS AT SXSW THIS YEAR

The organization that brought Ford models, Marines and Bloods together for New York’s best underground party is bringing their business to Austin, and bringing with them a Texas vs. NYC event…and Superchief will be covering the whole thing, from start to finish.

THIS APRIL: SUPERCHIEF GALLERY NYC PRESENTS JOHN FELIX ARNOLD III’S “EXCORRIGIA | THE SCOURGE”

From the world of UNSTOPPABLE TOMORROW, Superchief Gallery NYC returns this spring with John Felix Arnold III’s EXCORRIGIA | THE SCOURGE, an exhibition of new works in painting, drawing, mixed media, installation, and sound. The exhibition will run from April 3 through April 13, and there will be an opening reception on Thursday, April 3 from 6-10pm at CultureFix on 9 Clinton Street.

HIGH ON HUNGER: JANE CHARDIET

“High on Hunger” is Jane Chardiet’s new zine, featuring personal essay, photography and interviews with 12 artists, including some of our favorites, about their 2013 and their artistic goals in the new year, along with photographs of each licking fire. It’s good stuff, so I asked Jane about her 2013, because turnabout’s fair play and that’s how the game works.

12 O’ CLOCK BOYS (BALTIMORE STREETBIKE REALNESS)

Whatever your city is doing, what the homies out in B-More are doing is 10x as crazy. 12 O’ Clock Boys is one of the hardest movies we’ve seen in a long time, hands down, exploring a city and a culture that just doesn’t give a fuck (and featuring Baltimore himies like Schwarz on the soundtrack) the film gets more done in it’s 75 minutes than most documentaries do in twice that.

TAPE BAG #1: I HAVEN’T GOTTEN OFF MY COUCH IN DAYS.

Talking shit on random tapes cuz I wanna. Round one: Mongrel, Skinny Puppy, Madonna, Gowanus Mutant Kommandos, Temple of the Dog and MORE.

R.I.P RICKY LUANDA OF CHAIN GANG

Ricky Luanda of the experimental NYC punk band Chain Gang, one of the coolest bands ever, passed away earlier this week from esophogeal cancer. Watch 10 minutes of the bands’ rare, legendary, batshit crazy 1980′s film “MONDO MANHATTAN” right here.

ALWAYS KEEP THE CAMERA RUNNING: MAKS SUSKI’S VIDEOS OF THE NYC MUSIC SCENE

Maks Suski has been hard at work documenting live music in NYC on video for the last 4 years; we asked him to compile a list of some of his favorite videos that he’s shot, a list that includes Japanther, Action Bronson, Death Grips, Culo, Crystal Castles, Limp Wrist, Black Pus and more.

THERE IS A TINY LEG A QUARTER OF AN INCH BELOW YOUR TENTH RIB.

“Although Tiny Leg’s sound owes much of it’s inspiration to the Oakland glucose and thumbtrack scenes of the mid-nineties, and has been called by HotFridge magazine ‘a thumbcore homage to the sound of Velvet Curtis and Taco’ and ‘a slick-stale, neo-juicy, post-hipster alchemy, somewhere in between gluke-wave and puke-base’ by PeckerwoodsToday, those sentences are too journalistic and not souague enough, if one may permit my french.”

DAWN OF HUMANS, HANK WOOD & THE HAMMERHEADS, AND PHARMAKON PLAYED PS1 SATURDAY NIGHT (FULL SETS)

PUNK NOT ART NOISE NOT MUSIC ACK ACK ACK ACK

TOD SEELIE’S “BRIGHT NIGHTS” BOOK RELEASE & PHOTO SHOW AT SUPERCHIEF GALLERY AT CULTUREFIX (VIDEO)

Tod Seelie’s book release and photo show at Superchief Gallery at CultureFix was a celebration of the last 15 years of New York’s underground, for sure; but it also kept an eye on the future.

FUCKED UP CLOSED OUT 285 KENT’S LAST SHOW (FULL SET)

285 Kent finished it’s run last Sunday night; check out full video of Fucked Up’s headlining set right here.

SUPERCHIEF GALLERY AT MIAMI ART BASEL 2013: WILL SMITH CAN SUCK IT.

Superchief Gallery’s showing at Select Fair 2013 is even bigger, better and more batshit crazy than our 2012 showing was – check out photos here, and for homies in Miami, we’ll be at the Catalina Hotel all this week!

STACY KRANITZ’S SKATOPIA (50+ Photos From a Burnout’s Paradise)

Photographer Stacy Kranitz recently journeyed to Skatopia, a famed 88 acre skate park/commune in Ohio which was founded in 1995, documented in the 2010 film of the same name, and once described by writer Kevin Duffel as “a demented mess that meets halfway between an anarchistic Mad Maxian Thunderdome and a utopian skateboard society.” Goddamn if it isn’t one of the best things we’ve ever seen.