Not too long ago there was a small, growing underground culture. Michael Jordan was forging a pathway for all future global sports stars and Sean Carter was still looking up at Biggie and Pac. Street wear was an exclusive club, synonymous with Hip-Hop, skateboarding and a shoe game second to none.
As we sit less than 72 hours from a coveted retro V release, I think about what street wear has migrated into, how big the culture has grown and how Hypebeasts have brought death (literally at times) to a once proud shoe game.
Whether it was Run DMC with the laceless Adidas Superstars, some kid on a clay court in his AJ5's getting buckets on a chain net or no net at all, or at a business park (we didn't have skate parks back then) where some kids navigating the concrete jungle were the only ones in 200 square miles that knew DC was not only a city but a soon to be popular shoe brand to. Dope ass sneakers were a way of life on the street and an absolute must in tying an outfit together. Sneakers were certainly about fashion back then. But they were also about much more than that... Sneakerheads were a growing group but still a select few. An exclusive club full of kids working at finish line to save a few smacks on their expensive habit. The game hasn't been the same since Nike's '09 Space Jam release. Gun shots, camping and $2000 Yeezy's are common place for Hypebeasts, who know no love for the shoe game... who only know the connection their cops have to 15 minutes of fame.
As we sit here less than 72 hours from the coveted Retro AJ5 "Laney" release I loathe the thought of battling all these Hypebeasts for a shoe that I'd love to see my daughter hoop in this winter. My daughter's name is Laney.