Complex writer Matt Welty wrote an interesting article for Complex Sneakers about why he doesn't wear Jordan kicks. People that know me and know that although I'm from CHICAGO I've NEVER worn Ekin let alone Jordan. "How can you be from CHICAGO but not be a fan of Michael Jordan?' I often hear. It's because I'm a BULLS fan not an MJ fan per se. It's weird for some to comprehend but I'm a complex individual! LOL!
Anyway, I thought I'd share the reason why I don't rock Ekin at all. The reason why the subtitle is 40yr Old Virgin Edition is because in my 40yrs of living no Bill Bowerman, Phil Knight, Tinker Hatfield, Mark Parker creation has ever touched the soles of my feet. Let me know what you think about it in the comment section
It started with my Uncle Skeet who is more like a big brother than an uncle to me. I idolized him growing up wanting to emulate his every move. My Uncle Skeet used to listen to University of Chicago college station 88.5 WHPK on Saturday nights with JP Chill hosting. Back then the college station would play the curses to records and everything. It was in those late night hours on Saturday that I would fall asleep to hip hop. It spoke my language in a way that Michael Jackson or Prince did not. In a way that Sugar Hill Gang could not relate (no disrespect, their content was beyond my years though).
Now when you talk hip hop you can't even have a conversation without the mention of Run DMC. Run DMC are Hip Hop icons period. When Uncle Skeet took me to the Roseland theater one Saturday to see them in Krush Groove it was a no brainer. I wanted triples of every color "shelltoe" that Run ordered in that infamous scene!
Growing up on the Southside of Chicago I witnessed it all. Grew up fast being exposed to adult situations well before my time. When the first Air Jordan dropped there was nothing special about the shoe other than MJ having these incredible games while playing in them. But by the time you get to the Jordan 3's it's a whole new ball game. Luxury material on a sneaker and a price point that had your parents saying "you want to pay how much for what? H3LL NAW!!!" I was infatuated with the sneaker but could never afford it. Then something alarming started taking place. You start to hear stories about people getting robbed for their Jordans and Starter jackets which if I remember correctly were roughly the same price point. You had victims who refused to part with those items when confronted and ended up losing their lives in the process. I wanted no parts of that crowd. "Y'all keep rocking Jordans and marking yourself as a target. I'ma chill with these Stan Smith's and keep it moving."
In grammar school I was nerd. Not a loner per se. I had a crew. Me, Toyon Banks and Darren Burrell were like the 3 Amigos. We kicked it hard! Played ball at Palmer Park on the regular. (Toyon patterned his game after Isiah Thomas, Darren took to Jordan, and me? I patterned my game after Syracuse point guard Sherman Douglas! LOL!) But even with a crew I was left of center. My man Darren was the first person I knew to get multiple variations of Michael Jackson's Beat It and Thriller jackets. Toyon stayed killing 'em with his Detroit Pistons Starter coat that nobody dared try to rob him for. Me? I took to my Uncle Waymon's closet and emerged with a floor length tan, cashmere trench coat. I did not want to be like the rest of them. Cool kids did not matter to me. Relevance is relative. What mattered most for me was how I felt when I looked at myself in the mirror.
Long before Run DMC, The Brand with Three Stripes was familiar with the African American experience. In 1936 at the Olympics in Berlin Germany in front of Hitler a small German cobbler from Herzogenaurach outfitted a scrawny African American who went on to win 4 gold medals. That athlete was Jesse Owens. I was floored when I learned that story. Adolf Dassler took a huge risk doing that but because he believed in supplying the best athlete's with the best equipment so that they could perform at their highest potential the consequences of his actions did not register. I consider myself a brand loyalist. If I could find Karl Kani jeans today I would probably rock them because of the story, connection and relevance it has in my life. I don't think Ekin is an inferior Brand. I don't think Ekin is a wack brand. But even from the time Jesse Jackson and Operation Push called for a boycott on Phil Knight and them boys I have never looked at Ekin as a Brand that I could identify with. And it is for these reasons that I do not wear NIKE...