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.