“Ima addict for sneakers, twenties of Buddha and bitches with beepers
In the streets I can greet ya, about blunts I teach ya
Inhale deep like the words of my breath
I never sleep, ’cause sleep is the cousin of death
I lay puzzle as I backtrack to earlier times
Nothing’s equivalent, to the New York State of Mind” — Nas, N.Y. State of Mind (Illamatic Album)
Good ole Nas setting the vibe for us for this old school piece. We’ll get back to him in a little while. Headed down to Hype DC QV, Melbourne I wasn’t quite sure if there would be a huge turn out for our speaker tonight. For you see his name doesn’t quite resonate with today’s Jerry’s, Don C’s, Virgil’s and so on and so forth. For about a minute or two, I thought I was right. The line was 10 deep with familiar faces I use run with back in the day. OGs? It still is a name I struggle with. But for the sake of argument let’s just say lads and ladettes who had mad love for the scene before it started blowin’ up. 5 minutes to start time and the line began to swell up. It warmed my heart in this cold winter night to see that the “OGs” have suddenly become outnumbered by fresh faces in the scene. Maybe I was wrong. I hope I am wrong. Maybe our speaker tonight has transcended the generational gap between sneakerheads? And the youngin’s are finally paying attention to history? One could only hope.
Robert ‘Bobbito’ Garcia aka DJ Cucumber Slice, Kool Bob Love and Bobby Door Knob, is an American Author, DJ, Street Baller, Producer, Director, Professional Basketball player, Coach, Podcaster, Entrepreneur, Humanitarian and the OGs of the OGs when it comes to the sneaker culture!
Let’s jump straight into some of the highlights.
Bobbito describes the Adidas Shell Toes as being one of the 3 transformative sneakers during the 70s era. It was the first low top leather sneaker that Rucker Park playground legend Joe Hammond to used to rock. Ball heads and Hip Hop heads took their cue from the legend and the rest is cult history.
The Puma Clydes was worn by another New York NBA legend, Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier. The $25 price tag was a steep price to pay for during the 70s but if you wanted swag like Clyde and wanted the association with the style, the Rolls Royce and the fedoras you had to have em.
However, it was the clunky almost hiking boots like Air Force 1 that captured the heart and feet of Bobbito. The non-vis air made the sneaker more comfortable for the asphalt courts and the thick leather uppers made them more durable than its more popular predecessors. It drastically changed his life and made him feel better after balling. However, it would be many more years till the street culture found them sexy.
As for modern ball kicks. Kool Bob Love has fondness to a couple of Nike signature sneakers. Not only just in terms of overall performers, but more of their personal ties to him. The Kyrie 2s were an homage to Kyrie’s dad, his NBA Summer League teammate durings the 90s.
The Kobe IVs meanwhile, well Kobe and him share the same Alma Mater, Lower Merion High. Nuff said!
It’s not all fun and games for Bobbito though. He is a regular supporter and contributor to Hoops 4 Hope Zimbabwe. The organization helps educate and give necessary life skills to thousands of kids through music, basketball and kicks.
As for the present state of the scene?
He leaves us with these thoughts.
“It’s the golden era of sneakers!!! You can practically get any sneaker you want at your fingertips. You don’t have to travel. However, when the rare becomes the coveted, and everyone including their mum is wearing the same kicks, they become the common. Same with fashion. Same with music.
There is still that ‘make your day’ kinda feeling, when a kid on the street eyeballs you rocking something he’s never seen before and asks you where did you get them from.”
Much love and respect to Hype DC QV and The Weekly Drop and their awesome staff!!! Once again, you guys have outdone yourself in this awesome event!!! Already looking forward to the next one!
Full video coverage can be found at The Week Drop’s Youtube channel.
For more on Bobbito and his upcoming projects you can check out the info here: Rock Rubber 45.
Nearly forgot, regarding that Nas verse and the whole context to this write-up, DJ Cucumber Slice claims that the GOAT rap album is Illmatic. Agree? Disagree? Let’s make it easy on you. How about your top 5 GOAT rap album of all time?