If you know me, you know I'm a big fan of Podcast radio shows. I even started one myself called Dabeeside, so this interview right here is so dope to me. Premium Pete of The Combat Jack Show isn’t just a sneaker consigliere, the man does it all. I talked with him for about an hour and it felt like we’d known each other for years (pause). Check out this interview and get to know the man behind so many businesses.
You’re Italian and grew up in Brooklyn in the 80s/90s. What’s the biggest difference between OLD BK and new BK?
Growing up Italian, you get a sense of family and togetherness. My father was tough on me but I was a knucklehead. I love the Italian culture but I wasn’t like Jersey Shore or anything. I grew up different from that. As far as the old Brooklyn, besides the obvious with drugs and guns and stuff, I just remember kids playing stickball and kids being outside. New Brooklyn, with all the gentrification and internet, these kids stay in the house more and don’t come out as much. It’s just a different feel. I still love Brooklyn, but it’s a different feel in a different era.
Before all the other businesses you got into, everybody knew you for sneakers. I’ve never heard you call yourself a sneakerhead, but more of a consigliere for dope sneaks. How do you feel about the term sneakerhead?
It’s funny you say that. I was never a fan of the term sneakerhead. I’m more of a sneaker lover. The thing is, I wear my sneakers. Of course I have multiple pairs of some sneakers that I stash, but for the most part I wear my sneakers. I’m more of a sneaker consigliere. Of course my favorite sneakers of all time are the Cement 3’s.
You created Sneakertube.tv, what was the thought process behind the site?
Sneakertube.tv was something I created for people who love sneakers like I do – to have a platform where they can show them to the world. Over 60 thousand users have recorded and uploaded videos. I’m proud of this. It’s something that I enjoy and it’s something that I do to move the culture forward. In 2011, I was voted one of the “Top 25 Sneaker Influencers” by Complex Magazine.
You also created another outlet on the internet. This one with the Legendary Bun B. Tell us about yougottaeatthis.com?
First off, I want to say that Bun B is a stand up dude. One of the best dudes in the world (pause). We built a friendship over the years and realized that we had a lot in common. One thing being sneakers, and also a love for good food. We decided to come up with this website not only to showcase our love for food, but also highlight food places across the country. The site features different recipes, snacks, pizzas and sandwiches. We encourage people to take, and upload pictures to the site also. We’ve had renowned chefs and culinary artists contribute to the blog too.
Switching gears, tell us how important being a father is to you?
I got divorced when my daughter was real young and knew that I wanted to be more than a weekend father. Again, being Italian I already have that strong sense of family, so I try to spend as much free time with her as possible. Tuesday is pizza day. We sit down and talk. It’s just about spending that time as much as possible and letting them know that you are there. I’ve also got a baby boy on the way and I’m gonna be there every step of the way. It’s a beautiful thing. My motto is “Presence Over Presents” and that’s what I live by.
I read that you speak to inmates and that’s very important. Tell us a little about that and how that came about?
I was a knucklehead and it landed me in prison so I understand the situation. It goes back to presence over presents. I want them to know when they come home, they can stay home. When you go to jail/prison you’re not the only one that has to deal with it. Your family goes through it also. I just want to encourage the inmates and show them that they need to have a plan and focus once they come home and to make sure they stay home. The food isn’t good in prison and neither are the women (laughs).
How did you meet Combat Jack?
I met Combat Jack through Dallas Penn. I’ve known Dallas for a long time and always said we would be co-defendants if we had a case together. Dallas and I have a lot of things in common and he asked me to come to The Combat Jack Show with him to talk about sneakertube.tv. The funny thing is, like, I became part of the room. I went once and came back a couple more times, started speaking on the microphone, then I became a regular. Reggie (Combat Jack) and I didn’t get along at first. Once we were around each other for extended periods of time, the chemistry started to work and we found our way. Four years later we’re still going strong.
What’s your favorite episode of the Combat Jack Show?
I have so many. I love the ones with the legends like Big Daddy Kane and Chuck D. I love the one with Kevin Gates and the penitentiary rules. The White Toure show was classic also when we got into a debate about race. I think my favorite show was with the therapist. We had Dr. Maya Pettiford on the show and she helped us deal with the tension and the stress from each other and the show. It felt good to release that tension (pause) and finally get everything on the table. That was part of the chemistry building I was talking about earlier. I learned a lot about myself and the others. It’s good to learn about family so you know what can help them in the future. I would advise people to go back and check out old episodes. That one was raw and uncut.
What’s next for Premium Pete?
Again, I have a baby boy on the way and I’m excited about that. I’m also doing consultant work so if you have some ideas and brands, we can build about that and see how we can help each other. I’m thinking about working on a book. Not a autobiographical or anything but something about the food culture. That will fall in line with yougottaeatthis.com. Of course we would like to take The Combat Jack Show on the road this year. I’m all about pushing the culture forward in the right way.
Man listen, I just want to thank you for taking the time out of your day to do this. Very dope and great building with you. Any shout outs, and how can the people contact you?
Shouts out to my family and friends. Contact me on Twitter and Instagram @PremiumPete And remember “Presence Over Presents”.