Dying To Be The Most Delicious

pic by Kwaku Gyanteh

So I got myself into a weird position where I’m in a sneaker store every weekend leading up to a Sneaker Expo in my city. This is weird because I’m not the guy to ask when it comes to that. No doubt I have good taste, or at least I think I do, but I don’t actively seek out kicks or obsess over the latest. Sneakers are important to the Hip Hop culture, that’s not even a question. Songs like Run DMC’s My Adidas, the Nas verse on The World Is Yours “Suede Timbs on my feet make my cipher complete” which Mac Miller looped on his song Nikes On My Feet and many other examples gives you a sense of how looking fresh is important for the culture.

Broke Boys Get No Love

When I was younger we didn’t have that much because whatever we got went into basic needs and paying for our ridiculously expensive private school fees. From early on we knew certain things were out of our reach and that included sneakers. When we went out with my mom for a new wardrobe, we got the practical (read: cheap) sneaks so we didn’t even look at the name brand shelf. I was heavy into sports when I was young, I think I played all of them and even making the school team for everything from softball, football, badminton, cricket etc. To play these, I picked a sneaker that was well-made and could withstand any wear and tear throughout for the entire school year. I settled for Weinbrenners, Asics, North Stars etc which were basically tekkies.

Ball On These Suckers

pic by Kwaku Gyanteh

When we reached our teens I would marvel at the kicks worn by the other wealthy kids in my class especially the basketball players. The need to look fresh took such a turn that at our primary school leavers party at my town’s golf estate, my best friend and I borrowed pairs of kicks from our neighbors just so we could stunt. We took a risk of us being found out cos Lobatse, the town we lived in, was so small everyone practically knew each other. Luckily we weren’t found out and made an impression that day. When I reached secondary school, at 13, everything changed and my appetite for a fresh clean pair grew. I got my favourite pair of kicks over the years since then.

Got My Weight Up Homie

In 2004 having the freshest pair was everything and rappers who were popping at the time like Jay Z and G-Unit were putting out collections and clothing lines so you had to be fresh all the way. My first “high end” sneakers were the Adidas Grand Prix. They were comfortable and practical and had enough cushioning for any movement cos I was playing Badminton at the time. It could easily transition between stunting sneaks and takkies so I really messed with them heavily.

I Was A Pick And Roll, You Were More Like An Alley Oop

My next pair was the Nike Dunk Lows, the navy blue and white colourway which I bought it in 2007 just before leaving high school. I liked them for the practicality of course but also because I looked official in them. The Dunks are sneakers that stick to the typical Nike design that is easily identifiable and iconic. I picked them out mainly because of nostalgia because I remember seeing them, or a similar version, in rap videos circa 2004. I had a love/hate relationship with them cos scuffing their soles meant I had to spend a great amount of time getting the dirt off. I love them still.

Everything Went Well, I’m Eating Steak No More Soup

In 2013 I got the Adidas Roundhouse Mids with the suede. They are more of a basketball type sneaker but can still pass off as high-end kick which I loved. I can’t lie to you, I’ve worn these almost every single day because they are so comfortable. The other thing that’s dope about them is the support on the heel which places the foot at an angle. When you slide your foot in and walk you automatically get that bounce. That is so cool to me! Since getting them I haven’t bought a new pair of sneakers for some reason. Maybe I’ve found the one.

Couture Level Flow

Around the same time I got these cool Aldo Faulkners which I don’t even know are classified as sneakers. I got them cos I hate formal shoes so these could be worn for meetings and still not stray too far from my normal alphet (fitted jeans/pants and high tops).

I have no idea where the sneaker culture is headed, what the classics are beyond Air force Ones, Superstars, Chucks etc so it’s an on-going process to try to learn. The upcoming Sneaker Expo that’s coming up will give me that opportunity to really sink my teeth in and see some rare kicks and learn the game so that’s what I’m going to do.

I might not be the guy with freshest kicks -I’ve never been- but I know I’ll be good as long as them sneakers white.

If you like this, please share and click the heart to recommend this too people.

I’m on the Twitter @KwakusNotAmused