26May/09190

I’ma Addict For Sneakers

Stream the track while reading…

Lexicon – Nikehead

For as long as any of us can remember, sneakers have been synonymous with hip-hop. It’s a perfect marriage and to this day both use one another for inspiration. Whether it was RUN-D.M.C. telling us about their Adidas or Nas’ confessions on his addiction or favorite brand, sneakers have always been prevalent within the hip-hop community. Today it’s common to hear cats like Fat Joe, Jadakiss, Rick Ross, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Bun B and T.I. to commonly reference sneakers. (Click all hyperlinks)

But out of all the sneakers, there is only one staple of the hip-hop community and that has to be the Air Jordans.


A few years back there was this preeminent documentary titled Just For Kicks. It was about the sneaker phenomena and the marriage of hip-hop. It featured the likes of Grandmaster Caz, D.M.C., Damon Dash, Bobbito Garcia & King Ad Rock spittin’ their favorite stores or dropping science on the birth of kicks like Nike Air Force Ones aka Uptowns.

I would strongly encourage those, like myself, who are indeed sneaker addicts to cop the movie at your local store, but for in the meantime definitely check out the full 82 minute video here.

It’s no secret that emcees influence many of us. It’s also no secret that those very emcees are influenced by their environment, so in essence we all play a role in this. A lot of stand in line for hours (some days) at places like Alife Rivington Club, Flight Club, Shoe Gallery or Ubiq just for the latest limited release, retro or exclusive colorway.

While sneaker companies go to great lengths at befriending rappers like Bun B, Kanye West, Fat Joe or Nelly in hopes of promoting their brands to millions, it’s ultimately us the consumers who dedicate what becomes the hot item. Because after all if it don’t make dollars it don’t make sense, right?

So next time you’re in line at Foot Locker and you happen to do a double take because you think you just saw your favorite album appear on a sneaker shirt, rest assure you’re the reason why. Jordan Brand is not run by Michael Jordan. It’s not even run by the HDIC, Gentry Humphrey, who after all is just a Jordan stan. No, It’s run by young guns scrambling to reconnect with you and take your dollars. The great MJ couldn’t name 5 A Tribe Called Quest tracks if his life depended on it. It’s the recent 20-something grad who his trying to appeal to the 30-something recovering addict. It’s not a coincidence that Jordan Brand just released 3 hip-hop related themed shirts that all happen to feature 3 bona fide classic albums covers.


So next time you pop in that Midnight Marauders album will you be rockin’ your Jordans to make the cipher complete? –Philaflava
Related Link:
Charles Barkley Limited Tees

Shout out to the folks at Nike Talk & KicksOnFire.

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204 Responses to “I’ma Addict For Sneakers”

  1. Robbie says:

    Those Jordan tee's are Bahamadia ugly.

  2. qnzgrimiest says:

    you defintely need to put raekwon's sneaker song from his second album, that song would defintely fit into this post, even though he talks not just about nikes, but other sneakers

  3. Philaflava says:

    I put Sneakers in a Divshare but because it was a mp4 file it didn't stream. Great track though. A Pete Rock banger.

  4. Apar says:

    Am I the only one who thought of Rae and host talking about the Illmatic cover being bit when they first saw the 23 shirt?

  5. hooks says:

    i ain't gonna mince my words FUCK sneakers/trainers a product that costs over one hundred dollars, pounds or thousands of yen that is produced in sweat shops by children and desperate mothers trying to feed their families on the miniscule wages that nike and adidas pay them ain't cool, any cat thinking he/she looks fly walking down the street wearing hideously over priced statements of imperialistic oppression is a fool of the highest order and it's small wonder we see our culture continually watered down by the ongoing chase for paper

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    Hooks – You rockin' sandals?

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