Girth Radio Presents…
On May 14, 1990 Sports Illustrated didn’t feature an athlete on the cover; instead there was a bold headline: YOUR SNEAKERS OR YOUR LIFE. The ensuing article entitled Senseless documented the beginnings of an ugly phenomena known as Sneaker Pimps (think of em as a fence for Nikes). (The British band Sneaker Pimps are excellent…we like them!).
Black kids were shooting other black kids for their sneakers. That is a hard ugly reality to grapple with.
This ugly phenomena started with Air Jordans…and the rise of Nike’s marketing culture which heavily influence the youth in urban areas. (Wieden+Kennedy formed in 1982 the same year Nike started television advertising. Jordan of course was drafted in 84 and the iconic slogan Just Do It debuted in 87). As Jordan and Nike rose to prominence kids went from trading baseball cards with”got it, got it, want it” to “gimme your Air Jordans.”
From the SI article Senseless:
“But, of course, these assailants aren’t simply taking clothes from their victims. They’re taking status. Something is very wrong with a society that has created an underclass that is slipping into economic and moral oblivion, an underclass in which pieces of rubber and plastic held together by shoelaces are sometimes worth more than a human life. The shoe companies have played a direct role in this. With their million-dollar advertising campaigns, superstar spokesmen and over-designed, high-priced products aimed at impressionable young people, they are creating status from thin air to feed those who are starving for self-esteem.”
This idea of taking status is on clear display in Justin Tipping’s feature Kicks (Directorial Debut too!):
Those are some fresh Kicks. I really enjoyed Dope I recommend watching that before while you wait for Kicks which is coming September 9, 2016. Oh and David Kaplan is a Kicks producer…dude was a producer on It Follows!
Sammy’s Status: Yo that’s fresh! I’m so in. I dug Dope and Boyz n the Hood so I’m down for this one.