The “?uest” for Sneakers (and other dumb shit)

Rikard Larma/Metro)

(Photo: Rikard Larma/Metro)

The Roots drummer, ?uestlove, designed and recently released his own style of Nike Air Force Ones (major props to ?uest.  Someone should’ve given this talented brotha an endorsement deal years ago).  Air Force Ones have always been a staple in hiphop culture way before Nelly’s non rapping cohorts rapped about them.  They’re relatively inexpensive, comfortable, and the white and black ones basically go with any and everything (-sidenote- Does anyone know if those St. Lunatic idiots got paid by Nike for dedicating a song to Air Force Ones?  If not, they’re going up on the Tom Wall of Fame for their free advertising. Then again, I guess that’s no different from Cassidy big upping Patron, or every rapper shouting out their favorite drink.  IDIOTS!).  The ?uestlove designed Air Force ones are indeed different.  So different, that morons from as far away as Virginia camped out in front of a Philadelphia store to be the first on their block to rock the sneakers.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love a fresh pair of sneakers.  I’m a product of the hiphop generation.  I’ve owned quite a few pairs of Jordans, Air Force Ones, Shell Top Adidas, & Top Tens.  Shoot, I even rocked the old school Lotto’s (the ones with the detachable velcro signs), & Ellesse’s.  I’ve never waited in line for days for them though.  According to the Philadelphia Metro, people have camped out last Tuesday for the Friday release of the sneakers which are priced at $235.

This is crazy on so many levels.  I won’t get into buying over priced items made in sweat shops.  I won’t go nuts discussing how people in Bangladesh are getting paid peanuts to make an item that retails for over $200.  I won’t discuss our addiction to materialism.  I will however mention my generations utter apathy toward politics and social issues in general.  How is it, folks have a million and one excuses why they can’t vote, but they can sit in line for hours on Black Friday for a sale, wait over night in line for an iPhone, or camp out in front of a sneaker store for a pair of Air Force Ones.  How folks can say “I ain’t voting because my vote doesn’t matter,” yet not understand how much their dollar actually matters is beyond me.  I wish brothas would line up down the street to take SAT prep courses the same way we do to get into the club.  How many dead beat dads own iPods, iPhones, Playstation 3s, and the latest sneakers?  How many women own Prada bags while their child doesn’t have a computer? How many people will not vote on November 4th, 2008 for our next President, but will stand in line later in the month on Black Friday to get a bargain at Best Buy?

“Niggas can’t make it to ballots to choose leadership,

But we can make it to Jacob’s and to the dealership”

– Kanye West, “Never Let You Down”


8 Responses to “The “?uest” for Sneakers (and other dumb shit)”

  1. THANK YOU for writing this! I was so disappointed when I saw this article this morning. AND they had the nerve to make it front page news with a big ol’ picture that distracted from the article about Mayor Nutter cussin out DHS. Not to knock anyone’s hustle, especially ?uestlove, but what is wrong with people? Four days sleeping on the street for shoes????????? But you can’t find 15 minutes out of an entire day once every 4 years to decide the person that essentially decides your freedom to buy them damn sneakers in the first place! RIDICULOUS! This is actually depressing to me. Ask someone to do Camp Out for Hunger and they ask why? Tell them there’s a new iPhone and they’re there 3 days in advance, no questions asked. Ask someone to do the AIDS Walk and it’s too long of a walk. Tell them to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge for cheesecake for the opportunity to be a rapper and they do it in a heartbeat. Damn shame!

  2. Ummm… you answered your own question. It’s the hiphop generation! They are capable of thinking and approaching life from a different perspective. However, this generation chooses not to do that sometimes due to ignorance and sometimes due their obsessive desire to compete for the best gear because to them, it’s “cool”. But in defense of hiphop, in general, we are living in a materialist driven society. Wake up and smell the roses!

  3. PrincesTrina Says:

    I can’t front like I haven’t given Hermes several of my hard earned dollars.
    The Africans a few hundred every month to keep my braids “fresh”.
    I’m thirty so I don’t have the “brighest” watches but the “right” watches.
    I certainly won’t sit here like when I’m getting my hustle on (in the board room.. don’t knock mine I won’t know yours) I won’t have on the latest Jimmy Choo’s or Marc Jacob’s heels.
    I won’t front like my two daughter’s don’t have the lastest and greatest that my money can buy.
    Am I any different than the folks who would pay for what they want? Even if they are sneakers?
    I might have a degree or too, and a mortgage with a few rentals which have positive cash flow.
    Does that make me different or in the position to judge?


    Would I stand in like for a pair of shoes on Black Friday or the flat screen in my family room I got for 65% off or the tennis bracelet I bought for my mom on 8th Street for pennies on the dollar?


    AND.. I would do it again, on Red Monday, Blue Tuesday, Green Wednesday etc.

    Would I stand in line and vote for a candidate that I not only don’t agree with, but I felt wasnt qualified?

    Our ancestors died so that we may have choice and just because you might be a Demorcrat (or whatever party u may belong to) if I don’t agree with your brand of politics I wont vote for you.

    However in this upcomig election, I hope I’m first in line.

  4. From the Beach Says:

    Nice write up – I wish ya’ll wrote more often. I look forward to the topical articles and your slant on whats up. As far as this one, I never spend any money. Mine has a contract, not just a job but I dont forget being homeless as a child so Im wicked tight with money, and carefully dont purchase the “flash”. Priorities.

  5. So instead of getting these kicks *that I sincerely wanted from a collector’s standpoint*, I spent the day with my cousin that’s about to go to Turkey for 15 months. Damn you ?love!!!

  6. I have officially arrived to leave a comment – yes, I’m here =) lol jk

    this is a rather interesting piece. I must 1st say that I don’t know what negros plan to do on Nov 4th BUT I do commend the negros who have taken the time to PREPARE for Nov 4th. Lost?

    I personally registered over 300 people to vote, filled out cards w/ them and personally took it from them and dropped it in the mail box myself. Please keep in mind that half of them were my age (28) or older and weren’t ashamed to say that it was their 1st time EVER voting. I’m certain they have their cards by now and Im certain half of them have probably lost em and/or don’t know what to do with them BUT I am proud of them taking the first step.

    I think voting proceedures should have been something that is taught in schools so that people know its importance. Yanno, just how we learned 2+2=4, we should have been taught why our voice counts when we think it doesn’t. It’s not something that is talked about until the time comes to vote and people lack the knowledge of the importance of doing so. Hell, maybe it should be something mandatory like how registering to be in the ARMED forces when you hit 18. Lock negros up for not making it to the polls. LOL

    Ok, thats a bit drastic but I guess I’m trying to say that with the lack of education this generation (even my own) has on it, you have to give them SOME credit. With meeting them halfway you’re teaching something. Todays youth grew up in an era where Bush some how won when clearly Gore had the votes – in the back of their mind they feel their voice doesn’t count. Not to mention the old hag got 2 terms :/.

    Obama has made a change already – even if he doesn’t win, the changes that have been made by him running need to be reconized. If they are overlooked, when he does win, people are going to be expecting TOO much of him. I swear thats how it is going to be anyway. This man CANNOT live up to the expectations of those voting for him “because he is black” and see him as a savior. He is a democrat who will raise taxes for the rich – the rich blk folk will hate him. He is a democrat who has to answer to a bunch of people before passing his changes – the poor blk folk will hate him. HE CANNOT WIN!!

    OK – Im done rambling – I would like to share a link tho. A sports blogger that I follow on a regular, was priviledged to interview ?uest during his event in NY – and yes there is video =) Game Time w/ AG.


  7. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

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