A Quick Intermission: Ben Baller

Just who is Ben Baller you ask? Let me give you a brief rundown before we get into the questions..

If you're serious at all about sneakers or have been in the shoe game for a while you've probably heard the name once or twice. Him alongside fellow sneakerheads DJ Homicide, world renowned customizer Methamphibian, and the late great DJ AM made up the 'Air Mack'$ Crew' which pretty much ran the game back in the day before the whole sneaker craze really gained some buzz. Not only does Ben hold the record for most expensive shoe collection sold on eBay ($229,00) but also the most expensive single shoe auction which reached an astounding $33,100 for a pair of Air Force 1 Lows customized by Methamphibian. That was the past tho. Ben eventually grew tired of the sneaker game and sought a new business venture.

Sneakers are nice and all but how about some jewelry? Not only is he well recognized in the shoe game but he also happens to be one of the top jewelers in the country. You know those crazy ass chains and pendants you see on rappers and athletes these days? Well they were most likely made by Ben and his talented team at Icee Fresh & Co.

But enough with the bio... here's A Quick Intermission with Ben Baller...

M: You've had your hand in the music biz, entertainment biz, sports, etc.. so what made you want to pursue a career in jewelry?
BB: in short? I was bored…. was just roaming the streets on my motorcycle and ferrari acting a fool, wasting money and time, trying to find myself…. this was something I found I could do for a long time. I had nothing else going on.

M: What's the most ridiculous piece of jewelry you've had to make for a client?
BB: ridiculous and most expensive are 2 different things….. now with that said… we made this 1 guy: a diamond chopstick, diamond toothbrush, diamond cigarette holder and diamond coke bullet. I said, damn dude!

M: What's one client you've had where you asked yourself "Am I really working with this person?"
BB: Michael Jackson

M: How are things with LRG? Are we ever going to see another Ben Baller x LRG collaboration?
BB: My contract ended with LRG in april of 2010, I just wanted to do something else. it's been really nice. but I have no idea what those cats are doing

M: What sort of influence do you think music have on fashion? Or vice versa?
BB: eh, I don't know… maybe a little to a key audience of my blog readers. I just know what I like each season and I'll speak on it, you can tell when I'm just "pushing product/music" or when I'm actually in love with it.

M: Are there any new or up-and-coming artists that you're really feeling? From the West Coast or wherever
BB: Frank Ocean… the Weeknd, those 2 cats right there are giving me a 2nd chance to like music again

M: Somebody who travels as much as you must have a lot of crazy stories from the road, what's one place you can't wait to go back to and why?
BB: Monte Carlo/Monaco/St. Tropez…. basically the entire south of France, because my money didn't grow up til recently…. and I haven't had time to enjoy it there, I loved it, but it was on someone else's watch really. I mean, I had hood bread, but they play with big dollars on everything…. even orange juice is not a game out there

M: How many pairs of sneakers do you currently own? What do you wear the most?
BB: maybe 30, I don't know… I wear my crooks n castles "ISA" VERY VERY OFTEN…. as well as plain black Vans' "Authentics" or "eras"

M: Any projects from you we can look forward to seeing this year?
BB: I don't know, it's memorial day weekend, shit just pops up randomly…. I know there's a diamond supply co & IF and Co. collab soon and a g-shock collab, nothing much….. I'm boring these days. BUT I'm also a lot further ahead of the game then these bozo's who are in my craft…. I could, (said "COULD") fall asleep for the next year and still be ahead, but I'll come out and play just to use the restroom on these cats….

You heard him folks.. Be sure to follow Ben on Twitter @BENBALLER as well as his blog www.IFandCO.com

I do not own rights to the pictures used in this post. Pics via Ben Baller & UpscaleHype