NaS Lost…

NaS was one of my favorite rap artists of all time because of his immense lyrical talent and the fact that he tries to portray all the sides of life from the highs to the lows.  He described the struggle to keep yourself free from the haters and his song ‘I Can’ is the most hardbody song in rap music over the last ten years.  That song speaks to empowerment and leadership which makes it 180 degrees different than any rap that talks about trends and fads.  One of the things I respected about NaS more than anything else was his stand on ownership of his brand.  NaS wasn’t the type to put a t-shirt on his back and a bottle of liquor in his hand and have his publicist tell us that he was the owner of these products.  NaS had more respect for the intelligence of the fans of Hip-Hop.  With all of these artists now signing their respective brands over to liquor companies and sody pop it’s not long before we totally associate Hip-Hop with only consumer goods.  Rap music will have become the equivalent of a gotdamned polyphonic jingle.

I was at Nah’Right the other day and I saw a post linking to the NaS deal with the Skechers people.  I got a migraine headache for a second because it just seemed like NaS was hustling backwards.  That’s when it hit me that the Joneses may be trying to keep up with the Joneses.  I imagined NaS and his wife at a dinner party with his new BFF Shawn Carter and his meatbag and while everyone discusses financial portfolios and holdings outside of rap music NaS starts to feel a kind of way.  This man has been in rap music for damn near twenty years and he doesn’t even have a malt liquor endorsement, not even sugar water.  Speaking of sugar water, have you tried that Tropical Fantasy Iced Tea?  Pancho sells that shit in the bodega at two bottles for a dollar and that shit is good as fuck.  Each 16oz bottle contains 3ozs of high fructose corn syrup.

I’m already not feeling NaS sneakers because they are coming from a company that makes sub par shit.  If any of you humps ever owned a pair of the FunkMaster Flex sneakers please stop reading this blog and go kill yourself.  Wearing ‘driving’ shoes and not even owning a car is the prime definition of hustling backwards.  The same company making NaS’ shoes makes the Gayme sneakers too which is all the more reason to not buy these shoes.  So what is a Hip-Hop fan to wear on their feet?  That is why we say that Billy Sunday is for the kids.  Here for your info inside of XXLMAG ot com is my official list of the all time greatest sneakers in Hip-Hop history.

Adidas ‘Superstar’ – The style that Run-D-M-C made popular.  Now that Adidas has reissued these joints like 100 times there’s no way you haven’t had a pair at least once.  It’s a clean shoe and definitely a classic.

Adidas ‘Stan Smith’ – The most classic tennis shoe evar.  I’ve never owned a pair and I would tell you that the classic K-Swiss or Tretorn are better shoes, but I can’t argue with the fact that Adidas has sold billions of these shits.

Nike ‘Air Force 1’ – Way before any rap dude bigged these shoes up they were a ‘hood classic.  I remember when Nike was focusing their product lines on shoes that had the visible air bubble.  The old style Air Force 1’s fell out of favor.  You could copp them up in Harlem for twenty dollars a pair.  Give credit to the ghetto for the way poor folks make poverty fabulous.  The little scramblers that worked on the block would take their money and buy three or four pairs of crispy AF1’s as well as a package of new white tee shirts.  NYC’s ubiquitous ghetto uniform went global when your favorite rappers put it to rhyme.

Nike ‘Dunk’ – Only sneaker heads know this shoes story, but cats like Kanye appreciate the flavor that the Dunks bring to the game.  They are cheaper than AF1’s on the average and they come in more colors.  Don’t get caught sleeping on these joints.

The S. Carters – When these shoes were first issued I was impressed by the design.  They were made to look like vintage Gucci training sneakers.  I went to buy a pair and when I saw that Reebok made the shoes I fell back.  I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but when I know a business is connected to the Klan I keep my money in my pocket.  Most of y’all don’t remember that Reebok was real cozy with South Africa and the South African government was killing Blacks for no money down up until 1992.  I fights the power with my wallet, ya’ dig me pigmeat?!?

G-Units – Where do they sell these shits?  The only people I have seen wearing these joints have been cats lining up at a methadone clinic in Harlem.

Timberland classic yellow suede construction boots – Yes, I know they aren’t sneakers, but tell that to dudes wearing them in the middle of the summer that don’t have jobs in the construction industry.  Them shits get worn down until they look like high top chancletas

The Air Jordan – After twenty years the Air Jordan is still the ultimate Hip-Hop dress shoe.  Even though they release a new colorway every month it doesn’t stop people from making this the most popular sneaker of all time.  No sneaker has such an intimate connection to Hip-Hop over this time.  Show respect to the king of the game when you see him on the streets.

  • Rizzop

    God forbid a nigga wants to leave money for his kids and his grandkids…Its just sneakers, it aint crunk juice or any other kind of food that contributes to obesity…..Why do people hate to see others get money? But you did suggest what the reader SHOULD buy….Hope they cut you a check.

  • Rizzop

    And since when does two grown men settling their differences to show an asshole generation its ok to settle your problems without killing each other considered soft? (i.e his BFF Shawn Carter)

  • che

    what you need are a pair of ‘church’s shoes’ or ‘loakes’. google it. the day of sneakers is dead.

  • weezybaby

    first and i rock all them except gunit’s

  • thatdukeSuave

    laughin at your ‘subtle’ product placement, while denouncing the son Nas. Where that iced tea?

  • http://www.ohword.com Rafi

    I remember Nas doing ads for some fashion line back in like 95. But yeah he’s usually not out there shilling hard like many other rappers.

    He may have also hurt his brand with “You Owe Me” and “Oochie Wally-Wally” all those years back. But thats the business cycle. You usually have to move away from your core audience if you want to go for the big mass-market dollars. At that point you’ll lose some of the people who love you and who were championing you in the first place.

    “Are you black girl lost or are you owe me for ice?”

    But in terms of music Nas has smartened up and put aside the corny club joints. Gone back to his core as it were. And still he’s been able to reach a wide audience on singles that are sentimental (I Can, that new one) instead of sleazy.

  • NSW

    Damn that nas for wanting to do something different and branch into sommething new to him, who does he think he is trying to make money and survive? Come on it’s not like he promoin liquor which he said he would never do a long ass time ago and has still stuck to his word, Nas is an influence whether his shoes suck or not.

  • Were Read 2 Def

    Do people rock wallabees anymore?? Rae & Ghost were you at?

  • http://xxlmag.com Billy X. Sunday

    When creative types reach out for that mass market payoff they usually end up ruining their brand. Let’s hope this isn’t the case in all situations.

    No product placement here, just a blog post that reminisces on NaS and the rest of Hip-Hop being on sale at a shelf in my supermercado. And some of the most popular sneakers in Hip-Hop history. Get in where you fit in biatches.

  • mannyworld33

    GOOD POST SUNDAY!

    CO-SIGN THE JORDANS AND AF1′S!
    I GOT ALL THESE JAWNS EXCEPT THE G-UNITS(NO G UNIT) AND THE DUNKS CAUSE I CAN NEVER FIND THEM IN MY SIZE.

    JORDAN V & VII 4 LIFE!

  • E AKA THE REAL NORIEAGA

    The only place I’ve ever seen G-Unit or S. Carter shoes are at Marshals(no Rey). Dunks, Vans, and AF1, Chuck Taylors, Timbalands those are the shoes to rock.

  • http://xxlmag.com Billy X. Sunday

    I should have given some respect to the west coast by mentioning Chucks, but Vans have always been for trendies and fagbwoys so I left them out.

  • thoreauly77

    i never really liked white sneakers, so you can count me out of damn near all of those. white sneaks always reminded me of clown shoes. also, being a poor white kid in california, i got one pair of shoes at the beginning of the school year, and my mom was partial to the vans sidewalk sale where i could get some checkered slip-ons for 12 bucks!

    nowadays its all about DC skate shoes- great styles, colors, comfort and half the price of all of those above.

    = my two.

  • http://xxlmag.com houston’s finest

    i keep fresh pair of adidas, cause air force ones got worn and dirty way too quickly. you can keep a pair of adidas 100 times longer than a pair of g-nikes

  • http://www.myspace.com/16kingz da’realestwritin’

    GREAT POST BUT DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE PRO-WINGS MY DUDE. OR THE ATTACK FORCE FROM PAY-LESS. ONLY REAL BROKE NIGGAS KNOW WHAT I’M TALKIN BOUT!

  • Airjordan

    I’m Buying the Disiciples flat out. Billy U disapoint me really I was just starting to Dig your blogs.

    Billy LOST

  • yung ceasa

    nas sold out, he was respected cause he was tha only rapper without a shoe, a record label or watever else (i.e. a line of furs) any way another thing is that tha timbs are connected to tha kkk too, that thing about rbk bein connected to them is new knowledge to me…….

    oh and 1 more thing (no amerie)
    that comment you made about paul wall and bein “bitchmade” yesterday and which i didnt know about until i read tara’s blog, was extremely out-of-pocket. you know you aint strike me as a dude who is sexist or hypocritical, until you tried to urge us black dudes to pay more attention to black women and then put a fuckin microsoft 360 and go shyt on those same women. basically sayin that women are not capable of raisin a child by theirselves, as a dude who was raised up by both my mother and grandmother, i aint appreciate that comment. your mother must have not shown you a lot of love while you was comin up, cause from tha way you talked females yesterday you came off soundin kinda pissed-off and left out. bein as i was raised by two women, two strong black women at that who made honest livings offended me, how you just played in to tha stereotypes and half true statistics. im a nigga who was taught to not run but knuckle up and fight when i had problem, so wat you said yesterday couldnt be further from tha truth.

  • http://yahoo.com quin_c813

    DONT SLEEP ON THE DUNKS!!!!!

  • sk

    negro u forgot about the AIR MAX’S,all the hustlers in NYC rocked those shits especially the lime green and dark grey joints,now the hoods in(nyc) made the nike boots mad popular so they jacked up the price them shits used 2 be $60 for adult sizes now them shits is $70 just 4 kids sizes.

  • Atl’s own

    personlly don’t fuck wit jordans or any other sneaker over a bill!

    check keep to my A-town classic Filas, shell toe addidas, and a pair of 1′s!

  • EReal

    Firstly, Billy are you pissed at Polow Da Don for this comment? lol.

    “I’m the ‘King of the White Girls. My boys would give me junk about it, but [the white girls'] head game is on a different level.”

    - Polow Da Don, Complex

    _____________________________

    Anyway,

    Mann.. 310 motoring shoes blow donkey nutsacks from what I hear.
    I’ve owned all those above, But Ive also owned dope ass Avirex Shoes and Boots. Ive gotten away from the athletic shoes really. Im rockin DVS’s and DC’s right now. They have sick color combos and you dont hafta lace em tight cause they have the elastic that holds your foot, the phatty comfortable tounges, and stash pockets in the tounges too.. if need be. heh. I still got tons of shoes tho, I went thru a huge phase where it was white on whites that I either dyed or graffed on. I still got some of those. Im gettin more into the Steve Maddens and shite like that, for work, but knock around and dancin and all that, im into the DVS, DC or Snuex. Right now that is. The disciples looked dope, which are surprising because the hurricanes were gar’bage.. but I did hear they’re made shitty. Timbos are dope.
    Fuck a Lugz (No Bol’s Homoirony)

    1 hunned.

  • MarcusGarvey

    I respected Nas for not putting his ass out on Madison Ave for the whole world to use him.Really i dont know how i feel about the shoes. I remember on his MTV diary, Coors called him and asked him to do an ad for them and him turning them down, i distinctly remember the guy say, but NaS we’ll pay u a lot of money.

    When its all said and done a mans got to eat, but at what cost

  • dj K-Nyce

    BILLY, tell me you aint never put a pair of k-swiss on your feet. If so ill never read this rag of a blog again. and your wrong on average dunks cost more than af1′s but only my real sneakerfiends know about that.

  • John Brown

    JORDANS 3 and JORDANS 12 will always be my fav.

    YO, BILLY I heard that the Timbs are also connected to the klan. something bout that the tree symbolize the hanging of slave. don’t know if its true but maybe you can give some info if it is or if it aint.

    HALLELUJAH…HOLLA BACK

  • rec

    personally i’m partial to the discount rack Air Gordon’s

  • Rizzop

    “fagbwoys?”- You should do stand up man……….If we as fathers aint living for our kids to be successful, what the hells the point. Im tryin to leave my little dude some cake so he aint gotta do the water in cereal shit. Cant knock god’s son. He still had the best album last year.

  • YOUKNOWWHATITIS

    how come they didnt mention the game’s HURRICANES?

  • Incilin

    Well assocaiting hip hop with shoes (especailly jordans) is what will lead to that polyphonic jingle u speak of. But i will say i got my timbos on right now, and i refuse to pay 175 dollars for basketball shoes. and the the s dots and g unit shoes are just a joke. dont get me started on the game or nas shoe. and how come ur post skips out on chucks? them real classics.

  • thatwhitedude

    i rock sb dunks and bapes (not fapes…)

  • John Brown

    i rock shaq’s…LOL…

    HALLELUJAH…HOLLA BACK

  • Hurricane Game

    AF1′s used to be Gully but then Crackety Suburban kids started rocking them and I dont fucks with them no more. I still rock the classic chucks in the Black. And I Own bout 8 pairs of Jordans.

  • Fuck the Nigga Who Wrote This Article

    I guess Nas can’t make one move without some faggot ass nigga saying “Nas lost” or some hoe shit like that. Must everybody anaylze every fucking move this nigga makes. If he wants to make more money, let the man make more money, what difference is it to you? Niggas is obssessed with Nas.

  • John Brown

    I think Chucks got played out when rockers or punk rockers started rocking them.

  • John Brown

    HALLELUJAH…HOLLA BACK

  • http://myspace.com/wskdesign WSK

    wtf! u mean by gayme!

  • Cuban Link

    lol co-sign with all the sneaker brands u named.G-Units are hot no matter if u hate them or not.Footlocker used to have like a cajillion pairs of GUnits but not anymore.But, the white Reeboks with the Met sign on the side are pretty hot, and only $40.

  • http://xxlmag.com Billy X. Sunday

    SK,
    Dayum you sonned me for not mentioning Air Maxes. How could I leave them shits out?

    Imagine if someone said that they were gonna sell you air? You’d laugh at them in their face and tell them to go kill themselves.

    How gangsta is Nike for replacing rubber/material with air and charging you double?

  • Hurricane Game

    Billy Billy Billy.
    Ive said it before but I seriously Want to Kufi Smack U then follow it it with a Bizness Hand To Ur Bol lookalike Face

  • john cochran

    I wear shit that I like. I dont care who’s name is stitched on the side. I fuck with adidas and trees, of course, but the rest of that shit is suspect. Jordans cost too much, I stopped wearin Air 1′s and Dunks when everybody else started to, and G-units and S. dots, stop playin. You obviously dont got your eye on whats really going on in the streets, or you wouldda put the Nike ACGs, air max’s, and NBs on there. Every brotha in my hood got like 4 pairs of NBs.

  • http://dahshyt.blogspot.com dahshyt.blogspot.com

    -Dont fuck with H.F. corn syrup…its wat make shyt addictive

    - U forgot about Saucony’z NIGGA!

    HOoD niggaZ know whatz up..with the fat laces..lol

  • 6-100

    Billy said:
    “NaS wasn’t the type to put a t-shirt on his back and a bottle of liquor in his hand and have his publicist tell us that he was the owner of these products. NaS had more respect for the intelligence of the fans of Hip-Hop”

    I say:
    Have you forgotten about Nas’ “Esco” Fiasco(No Lupe’s autistic little brother)? The only people who wore that shit were fat dominican kids with coke bottle glasses and rat tail pony tails.

  • http://www.thursdayplantation.blogspot.com lar

    Willie Esco anyone?

  • CALIMOVEMENT

    Damn Billy you sound like a bitch. Nas making money of sneakers and your bitch ass is hating because it dont meet your broke ass quality standards????….black men hating on each others prosperity…what a surprise.

  • derfla the hus’la

    i rock sandals

  • xclan

    jordans and timbs….the rest of that list is garbage

  • AJ from DC

    Its all about VANS and Nike Boots. Only DC niggas rock nike Boots so i better not see you NY gumps wearin em’.

  • Real Recognize Real

    There’s nothing like a fresh pair of white/black Forces

  • Rizzop

    Willie esco wasnt nas’s shit folks, On god’s son he said he would never rock the shit (Zone out)

  • Combat Jack

    ^ “G-Units – Where do they sell these shits?”
    The only cats I see rocking these are the Mexicans in the restaurant industry.

  • beat a nigga brainless

    why the fuck do NY niggas thank they invented everything. First off othan addidas and Timbs yall didnt make shit popular. Niggas been on that shit down south and in the west way before NY put that shit in Videos. White tees was made popular by Cash money hate it or not the shit is the truth. Youtube all the old cash money videos and see niggas been rocking white tees rees and AF1s. Niggas in the west Coast been on white tees before that. I know coming from both places. Niggas in new york wasnt known for no gangsta shit. Yall was rocking kangos, and sweat pants and shit. And the price of AF1s went up after nelly made that song hot. NY fall the fuck back. You fuckin lames may have started hip hop but thats it. The greatest rapper came from the west.

  • sk

    @aj from dc r u out ya left mind you dc niggas swagger jack all nyc shit(ya’ll our little cousins) all the time come 2 nyc u prolly can’t go five blocks without cing them shits(nike boots).
    Or did u read my post(up top) and then put the nike boots in yours. LAME. LMAO(Step ya game up)

  • http://fallanarchists.blogspot.com Gordon Gustafson

    You’ve done it again! Amazing writing!

  • http://agiagronomical.blogspot.com Cherry Currie

    You’ve done it once more! Incredible read!

  • http://www.scrapcarz.co.uk/free-collection/staffordshire/quarry-hill William

    I wrote about this very subject myself recently, and it was a pleasure to read your take on it Billy.