Tokyo Mike is back! He’s taken my previous subject of older sneakerheads complaining and added about 5 cups of coffee to it. Love the music analogy – perfect! Give him a follow on Instagram (@_tokyomike_) if you haven’t already. – SG
I can’t help but put my own personal spin on the subject of “seasoned sneakerheads who simply won’t shut the f*ck up and realize it’s not 1993 anymore.” It’s impossible. Hang on tight because I’m probably gonna let loose this time around.
I’m far from young. I don’t like naps, I NEED them. I’m in the age category where if I felt like taking a dump on the younger generation of sneaker heads for all the usual reasons, I could do it and I’d get a pass from all my brothers and sisters in the game who are in the same age category as me, aka all the old farts who need to hurry up and die.
I saw Michael Jordan play on actual television, not just Youtube highlight clips uploaded a few weeks ago. I bought some of the most sought after sneakers straight off of store shelves during busy weekends in the malls across America with no line ups, raffles, or any of the craziness associated with almost any released in the past 5 years, and then rode home in a car with no seat belts lacing them up so I could play in them the second mom pulled into the driveway. Remember when Boyz II Men wore Original Concord 11’s to The Grammy’s? I do. Remember when Air Max boxes were small and narrow? Or even when a collaboration was so rare it shocked people who were into kicks because So-And-So working with Brand X on a shoe was almost unheard of? I remember that stuff like it was yesterday.
I can cherry pick sneaker history while flashing my tattered birth certificate in a bunch of shiny acne free infant faces, while at the same time making the typical old man hater comments, all in an attempt to get the kiddies to admit they’re somehow second best, and don’t stack up to me, and no matter what they say, today’s simply not as good as yesterday.
I could do that, but here’s the issue. Doing that, without question, only does one thing.
It proves that I’m an asshole.
We’re talking about SNEAKERS here. Nobody should be dividing everyone up into the smallest groups possible, then giving watery reasons why one group’s better than the other. That’s absolutely ridiculous. Now, I’m not saying reminiscing and drawing comparisons is a bad thing. I live for a good conversation about certain older shoes and all that old man stuff. What I’m attacking here is Team Fiber One’s constant picking on Team Yeezy Boost.
Here’s a fun fact for the Wu Wear hoodie/jean shorts/Vintage Dunks crowd. Age doesn’t automatically make you or me correct, guilt free, or place us in any type of positional authority so to speak. I was born in 1974 and because of that, I got to walk into the store after watching Bo Jackson run Brian Bosworth over, buy a pair of his trainers, toss the box into the garbage can, and then sprint home knocking down as many old people as possible while screaming “BO KNOWS!!!!” Guess what? That’s pure luck. I didn’t choose to be born back then, the same way nobody else gets to choose the year they’re born in and conversely, what the sneaker landscape will be like when they’re at an age where footwear choices mean something to them and their peers. I don’t have the right to be a prick to you just because some of Nike’s better stuff came out when I was young. Nobody does. If you’re old and think being born before 1980 gives you some magical Sneakerhead Credit, stop it already.
Let’s bounce back to the “good old days” and take it as far as possible time wise….let’s go from the 80’s to Niketalk days…… and have a real honest talk about just how amazing it was. I was working chest and shoulders the day Nelly’s “Air Force 1’s” came on the radio in the gym. When it came on two days later in the same gym, I sang the SHIT outta that song. I owned Greedy Genius sneakers. My boy almost bought a pair of Yums. I survived the Jordan Fusion Campaign and was awarded a Purple Heart from bravery after putting on a pair of Fusion 12’s I received as a birthday gift from my wife and lived to tell you people about it right now. There are people I opted to stay friends with who used to wear 5XL t-shirts with baggy jeans and Ice Cream’s. I could keep going but it’s getting hard to type these things while gagging and trying to view my computer screen through watery eyes so I’ll stop with the examples. My point is, our generation wasn’t perfect. We had a BILLION eye sores as far as sneaker releases, and what a huge number of us looked at as acceptable conduct back then. YET, a lot of times we’re on social media trying to convince the kiddies that if it happened before 2004, it was God’s Work. It was perfect, nothing that came out wasn’t short of amazing, and ever since our best days ended, everything’s been downhill from there.
To kind of wrap things up, the last point I’ll make is this. Old guys, think this through. Think about us having had Twitter and Instagram back in, let’s say, 1993. Let’s say it was attached to our Sony Sport Walkmans or Gameboy’s, whatever works here.
Think about how our childhood would’ve been had, every single time we posted a picture of our brand new Air Max, made out of leather so supple Jesus H Christ himself couldn’t describe it in words….think about how absolutely SHITTY our childhood would’ve been if 25,000 polyester slacks wearing old farts would’ve hit us with comments like “you stupid kids have no idea, the last good leather they used on shoes was in 1950.” Or, “Nice try, but I was wearing the original version of those when the Beatles played in London 2 decades ago, you lose!” We’d have collectively lost our goddamn minds. 90% of our childhood memories would’ve been based around senseless, bitter arguments with what amounts to irrelevant people saying irrelevant things for no other reason than to take a little tiny shit on a person in the hopes that it makes them feel better about themselves in some really pathetic way.
Well, that’s exactly what some of us are doing. If you’re near the age of 40 and won’t shut the f**k up about Niketalk, Dunk leather in 1999, and/or how bad Yeezy’s are, you’re without question, THE worst aspect in sneakerhead culture right now. It’s 2016. Everything is SUPPOSED to be way different. Yeezy’s with leather joggers, posted on IG for no other reason than likes, has yet to cause cancer in infants. It’s not hurting anyone. Just like our wearing leather Africa medallions while painting the side of our Superstars to look like a graffiti covered wall wasn’t hurting anyone back in our day. Let the kids have their goddamn childhood.
If you think about it as if we’re talking about music vice sneakers, it’s really easy to understand. Do I like Lil Uzi Vert? No. But the fact of the matter is, some 14yr old kid’s gonna lose his virginity to his high school sweetheart, on a pile of dirty laundry in his basement, while that guy’s “rapping” and that song’s gonna mean a LOT to him for the rest of his life, the same way certain shitty songs I love from back in my day mean a lot to me. Sneakers are no different. We need to just let this generation of sneaker heads enjoy things the way they are today.
Stick to Myspace if every time you hit the enter button, the comment on the screen waiting to be seen by everyone is nothing but reasons why 2016 sneaker culture sucks.