Last week we documented the athletes who have most influenced the sneaker culture. This week we will look at the rappers.
Stalley, the former ALIFE employee stays in fresh kicks. He brings a new freshness to the sneaker game and to the rap game. He represents the expansion of the sneaker culture and where it will go in the future. Stalley will be a major player in what we will be talking about in the next 10 years when it comes to sneakers.
LA’s spokesman Game has always made sneaker references in his rhymes as well having an extensive Jordan collection but his best sneaker moment came from his scuffle with rapper 40 Glocc. Game famously beats up 40 all while recording it on his iphone. In the end of the video Game notices 40 leaked blood on his “Olympic” Jordan 6’s. He was pissed to say the least.
Even though Kanye likes to say he and Don C were the first to start rocking old Jordan sneakers which ignited the retro movement, you have to put Fab in the conversation as well. During that era of the big shirts and huge throwback jerseys Fab would be spotted in several retros J’s. Check your youtube.
In the early 2000’s Nelly was a human flame, the multi-platinum artist made the hit “Air Force Ones” off the Nellyville album. It was catchy song channeling in on the popularity of the Nike Air Force One that was at the height of its new resurgence. After the video dropped, it was a rap. The Nike Air Force One was the most popular shoe of that era.
Widely known today as the sneakerhead representative in the rap game. Wale also can be credited for the resurgence of the Foamposites. People debate on his connect but its undeniable Wale is often spotted in the kicks months before they release. He is the leader of the new school movement when it comes to sneakers. People pay attention to what Wale is wearing. Oh, and he’s one the best rappers out.
5. Fat Joe
Joey Crack is legendary in the sneaker game and notoriously known for licking to bottom of his shoes to display the sneakers haven’t been worn. This has widely become a phenomenon on social media. With his huge collection and the stamp he’s left on the game Fat Joe makes our top 5.
Undoubtedly the best rapper alive, Hov is clearly a sneakerhead. Some argue that he’s pretty predictable in that area but we at Katalog Kicks encourage liking what you like. Jay is often seen in Jordan 1-4s and some occasional 12’s. He was also a part the pre-retro movement before Nike and Jordan Brand were releasing a lot of retros. Jay’s influence on the sneaker game alone puts him at the 4 spot.
3. Will Smith
Will’s love for the Jordan 5 during his early years in the taping of the hit sitcom “Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air” inspired the 2013 Jordan 5 “Bel-Air” release. Before Facebook, Twitter, or IG was thought of there were very few ways to see what sneakers the stars were rocking and then you had to really pay attention. The early 90’s sitcom was all about introducing main-stream to a urban flavor and for the first time the sneakers were on display. Famously, Will rocked mismatched white and black Jordan 5’s on the very first episode.
2. Run DMC
The sneaker game and culture isnt going anywhere. Its a billion dollar business. No better example of that is Run DMC. The first rap group to get a shoe deal setting the stage for guys like Rick Ross, 2-Chainz, and Tyga. Famously, in the early 80’s the group sold out a concert in the Madison Square Garden and asked the crowd to hold up their Adidas and the entire arena held up white Adidas with their shoe laces dangling. Classic moment which sealed the deal on their Adidas contract.
1. Kanye West
You may not like his rants or his antics. You may not like his albums or his style. The fact still remains that Kanye attracts attention. When Nike gave Ye his own shoe it created a buzz not even seen for Jordan releases. People camped for weeks to cop a pair. When the Yeezy 2 was released someone on Ebay bought a pair for 90k. The “Red Octobers” were so hyped Nike didnt even publicize the release date. Now that Kanye has moved on from Nike to Adidas it will interesting if he can keep his influence and stay on the top spot.
For some reason the reseller has gotten a bad rap when it comes to the sneaker game society. They definitely change the game but resellers certainly don’t ruin it. If you were born in the mid-late 90’s you may not understand the sneaker game today is what the 80’s generation calls the “HYPE”. The “HYPE” is the result of social media. The “HYPE” is when kids camp outside for kicks because they saw Kanye or Wale rock a pair of sneakers. In the 80’s of course, there was no Twitter or IG. We had no clue of what kinda sneakers Ice Cube or LL Cool J wore besides videos and album covers. Believe it or not, the reseller enables you to cop your favorite sneakers. If you have a job and don’t have the time to camp out or wait in lines then think of the reseller as the guy who does that for you, for a charge. If he wasnt there, your kicks would be copped and worn. Thank the reseller.
Phil was a calm and collected coach. The Zen master was rarely seen in a state of frustration or yelling at guy during a timeout. He made his players read books during the off-season and meditate. Coach Jackson also was a part of sneaker history as he was the first and only NBA coach to rock Jordans on the sideline. Would love to know how this came about…..
They go together.