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“where my killa tape at…?”
I’m an old head. In this day and age of mp3’s and cd’s, I actually kinda miss cassette tapes. I mean they’re inconvenient if you wanna hear a particular song, but as far as a tangible music source, I dig em.
A few years back, one of my first reconstructed sneakers was the “Purple Tape AF1”, based on Raekwons Only Built 4 Cuban Linx cassette tape. Aside from being a certifiable classic, I always thought it was dope that the tape was purple, and I wanted to pay homage.
Thing is, the craftsmanship wasn’t the best. The concept was there, but I needed more practice. Fast Forward to 2011, I was asked to recreate them, and a pair based on Nas’ Illmatic cassette as well. With my reconstruction skills up to snuff, I was ready for the task.
Both pair feature lined paper graphics with song lyrics from each respective tape. On top of that, there’s actual cassette tape strewn across for added realism. “…one love keep it real yo…” The mid panels are transparent images of the actual tapes and are topped with transparent swooshes to boot.
When Nike developed a series of LA-centric Kobe VI’s (3D’s, Orange County/Sunsets, East La)
in relation to the NBA all-star game being in LA, I decided I wanted to make a few of my own LA themed Kobe’s, since I’d be in LA for the festivities.
The 1st pair I did was based on the LA smog…you can see those here:
Once I saw the “Glass Blue” VI’s,
I felt they’d be a perfect base shoe for my next concept…Venice Beach!
Ever since I saw the movie White Men Can’t Jump, I’ve wanted to play at Venice Beach. The idea of hooping right off the ocean was so dope to me, so Venice has always held a special place in my heart.
But Nike threw me a curve ball and didn’t release the Glass Blues in time for my LA trip. I was still determined to make this shoe a reality, so when I hit LA, I visited Venice, and was able to bring back some sand with me. I held onto it till I was able to get my hands on the base shoes…
This is also my “response” to the Lebron 8 “South Beach” shoes,
but in keeping with my need for “realism” or authenticity in my work (see Magneto AF1 with magnetic swoosh, tennis ball customs made of felt, Hardwood Classics with genuine basketball rubber, etc), I wanted to go further than a colorway and actually incorporate sand…and sand from Venice Beach no less. These shoes feature sand colored paint work, with sand on each individual scale. The glass blue midsole, and glitter filled outsole, perfectly represent the Pacific Ocean. To finish them off, I dyed the tongues and liner black and painted the swooshes black as well.
Destroy to Create. That’s the tagline Nike came up with for their Destroyer Jacket line. It’s a phrase that is so fitting for what I do…break a shoe down (destroy) to make a completely new shoe (create).
I was contacted to come up with a UCONN inspired shoe on a Lebron 8 base. At the time, the Destroyer Jackets were getting a lot of pub and I’ve always been a fan of lettermen jackets. The contrast of the wool body with the leather sleeves, and the chenille patches appeal to me, and I decided to apply this to a pair of shoes.
I came with the dark navy melton wool and dark navy kid leather. The base shoes already had a bright red tongue which fit perfectly within the UCONN color scheme. A white chenille swoosh made the shoe complete.
To go the extra mile, I made the box resemble a lettermen jacket as well. Wrapped in the same melton wool, red snaps and chenille letters, the box compliments the shoes, and makes what I feel is a pretty awesome package lol
Check the video to see some of the construction process
I guess you COULD say I’m a poser. I mean who makes a 4/20 shoe, but doesn’t even smoke? Me, that’s who. Although, to be honest, these shoes are less about the cannabis, and more about the container it comes in when bought legally. That little amber bottle.
The green suede liner with sparse purple stitching, reference the bottles contents, while the upper itself is done up entirely in a transparent orange vinyl. The white patent leather heel tab represents the bottles cap, and the purple sole reveals the strain of choice.
This shoe almost didn’t get made. There were at least 420 setbacks; flu like symptoms, material inflexibility, the midsole being the wrong shade of orange, and a slew of technical difficulties; but with rumors of the “Cheech and Chong” dunk being cancelled, I felt the need to rep for my friends that do use….for medicinal purposes only of course.