There are few things as frustrating as having something to say but nowhere to say it. For the first chapter of my young life, I was voiceless and unheard although my inner monologue was loud and effusive. In an immigrant household, I was spoken-to. In my neighborhood, I was invisible. So, I grew an entirely different person within. I was pregnant in my mind with a kaleidoscopic, colorful life that was starved for conversation and collaboration.
First albums are great for this reason. Musicians work on them for a lifetime and so they are sung with full hearts upon release. That’s how I felt when I published my personal blog decades ago. The covering of the Internet granted me the freedom to perform freely and honestly, like the turn-of-the-century motion-captures of pedestrians, oblivious to the film camera. I had no idea how much the Blog would shape me, as a storyteller, as a personality, and as a brand. I also never fathomed how it would curate my audience. Years later, when we started our streetwear brand The Hundreds, the Blog was fundamental for the brand narration, which in turn informed the brand’s identity and community.
The blogging landscape has been fractured and disrupted since the days of Wordpress. Over the last decade, centralized social networks have fragmented the discourse. Algorithms and ads have interrupted our connections. Blogs died and my writing was displaced and homeless once again. Every now and then, my thoughts would spill over into a bulky Instagram caption or a tweetchain, but I’ve felt apart from my readership for a time now. And then Substack reminded me that you’re still out there. Instead of expecting you to come to me, however, it makes a lot more sense to visit you. It is the year 2023.
Hi, my name is Bobby Kim aka Bobby Hundreds. For the last 20 years, I’ve built a global streetwear brand called The Hundreds here in Los Angeles with my friend Ben. Along the way, we’ve also founded a food festival called Family Style, minted a couple NFT collections called Adam Bomb Squad and Badam Bomb Squad, and filmed documentaries and produced TV shows. If you’re familiar with my content and style from tracking The Hundreds’ blog in the 2000s, following me on social media in the 2010s, and reading my books in the 2020s, you can expect a continuation ~ a progression ~ here.
If this is the first time we’re meeting, I have a lot to say on culture, brand-building, streetwear, collectibles, art and design, music, philosophy, literature, surfing and skateboarding, politics, and the human condition. I’m a new person every morning, having lived just that much more, so I may veer into topics of parenthood, religion, and tech. You might even get some short stories and poetry out of me. Substack is great because, beyond writing, it will allow me to also drop audio bites, quick podcasts, and even intimate vlogs that I’ve never done before. Substack’s biggest selling point for me was its participatory community features and means of facilitating relationships. I’m not entirely sure as to where I’m going, but I’d love to go together.
So, please subscribe! We’ll begin with free material and if things pick up, I will probably introduce some paid content down the road to keep the wheels turning. And if you like how this is feeling, please share Monologue with some of your bestest friends. I’d appreciate that.
Now, where were we?