The brand spirit of BERLYN is just as versatile as one of the most tolerant metropolises in the world. Those who are from Berlin or who have lived here for an extended period of time, know the feeling: „Im Sommer tust Du gut und im Winter tut´s weh.“

One evening in 1999, Sascha aka Diet, which is his sprayer name, and Pat were sitting together with their buddies and were chilling. All in their early 20’s and all grew up in West Berlin. Back then, it was a difference if you were in East or West Berlin. Today, only the native Berliner may notice the difference, but otherwise the neighborhoods are only rarely distinguishable in the East and West.

Our clique consisted of the typical HipHop kids of the golden era of the 90’s. Some did graffiti’s, the legitimate kind, nothing like going out at night and bomb trains and run from the cops. This is the crowd Diet belonged to. The others were music freaks who were collecting vinyl’s – downloads, streaming and smartphones were not even science fiction yet. Then there were the players, fitness nuts and dealers. Smoking pot was the norm. Our environment was shaped by the hip hop scene. The DJ’s Smolface and Perez, “Beathoavenz” today, created with DJ Desue the trio “Triple X” and were together with the rappers from “KMC” at the beginning of their careers as producers. Around the corner in Wedding, the break dancers “Flying Steps” won the “Battle of the Year” awards several times and Patrice was the host on “MTV Fett”. Every one of them were buddies from our area, who motivated and influenced guys like us. Fresh out of high school and nobody exactly knew what the future holds – something with music, something with graphic design.

Back to the evening of 1999. A joint is being passed around and a mix tape -yes, a tape, is running. The conversations revolve around taking over the world, girls, parties and living on credit. Diet is scribbling with a pencil and a piece of paper and is pushing over a drawing. Berlin with a Y and a swoosh underneath, just like Brooklyn, but BERLYN. Our blood shot eyes met and it clicked for both of us. This was followed by a typical talking blaze, but in contrary to other nights, the ideas still seemed plausible the next day – and still are to this day.

We printed 100 t-shirts and gave them to our friends. Unfortunately, we didn’t have more money to continue at that point. On the one hand we were dreamers and on the other hand we were taking it seriously. We had an offer to produce souvenir necklaces for the typical Berlin shops, but declined the offer. We were distracted at the time. Pat did an apprenticeship in marketing and landed at a music label as a product manager for HipHop compilations (Juice, Splash etc.). Diet was recruited by a company in Herzogenrauch and went from sprayer to graphic designer for shoes. Considering what the guys were doing in the past, these were the perfect jobs for them; from hanging out on the street to the relaxed middle class with the exact content they enjoyed doing.

In the 2000’s, HipHop turned mainstream and we were part of it in music and fashion. The idea of BERLYN was on hold for now. No time or money to really get it going. At least we trademarked the brand. Diet was now working for the company with the three stripes near Nürnberg. In addition, the electric scene started making history in Berlin. Parties in places like WMF or Cookies were it – great locations, stunning visuals, amazing DJ’s, long drinks, beautiful girls and never-ending evenings. This was the decade of Berlin’s “Wasted German Youth”.

Everything develops and Berlin is always to be renovated and restored, which means that natives can only afford housing in the outskirts of the city. Tecnologies progresses at lightning speeds and the music industry and its laws can’t keep up. Apple, Google & Co. are taking over.

HipHop has experienced several ups and downs and is as popular and broad as never before. Not surprising that the kids from back in the day are now parents and still enjoy listening to their goldies. Their children celebrate the oldies too, as well as the numerous new stuff. Mixtapes and compilations are a thing of the past. Replaced by streaming and playlists that are available anytime anywhere. Soon the young generation will no longer know what a CD is.

The only thing that’s irreplaceable by the digital industry is the live experience at a concert or at a dance floor in a club. Artists, producers and DJ’s who make the music will always be there and we can adapt fast to new sales channels. Now, what’s up with BERLYN?

Some friendships last forever. Some are just a phase and you lose touch; out of sight, out of mind. Some people just work as a means to an end. Others love what they do. Some are artists and others pretend to be somebody to themselves or their audience. Some of the old buddies still stay in touch with each other and have built a network. Some rose to positions in their careers where after they paid their hard-working dues, they now at the heights of their careers. This applies to creatives just as much as business people who have fine tuned their profession.

A quick glance at the contact list in the cellphone was enough. That’s how in 2014 the idea for got started. 15 years after the mentioned chill out. Since then, BOOK BERLYN has been a network for DJ-Bookings, artist advice, events and merchandise.

One could think, better late than never. In the meantime, everything has grown and the idea to make something with the brand has always been there. Unfortunately, Sascha is no longer with us. The sad farewell in 2015 came much too soon. The thoughts and his ideas are still valid because the brand BERLYN is keeping a philosophy alive. It is all about music and style. It’s about the experience of life. Just like this multifaceted city.

DIET stands for „Do It Every Time“.



© 1999