Nike, SNKRS, ATLANTA: The Wait Is Over

As an avid shoe collector and overall connoisseur of sneakers, the time has finally come for ATL to get some real love from Nike. I am a resident of ATL as well so for me to even understand how Atlanta has been overlooked for their since of fashion, style and love of sneakers has been beyond me for the longest. And for Nike to have shown so much love to New York, Los Angeles and occasionally Chicago via SNKRS Pass etc., I’ll admit that I am happy as hell to be a resident of Atlanta right now and extremely happy that the city that brings so much when it comes to the trends being set in what people call the “Culture” gets the well deserved notoriety. This is without question long overdue.

On to the SNKRS pop-up! For about two months Nike has provided a SKRS pop up in Atlanta that will give sneaker enthusiasts and resellers as well a chance to get their hands on some of the hottest releases both past and present. The news about the pop-up for a few people were rather sudden, but for those in the know, it was expected. Either way, the crowd control was going to be tough to handle, especially with the Super Bowl being being in Atlanta this year. The opportunity to make some serious money is certainly there.

February and March are expected to be highly anticipated in the world of sneakers with the final installment of The Ten Off-White collab, NBA All-Star Weekend amongst other pairs. Scheduled to be in Atlanta until March 26th will give plenty of opportunities to stay A-1 in the sneaker game.

Lastly, I want to say it’s about to Nike and also I hope this isn’t a 1 stop shop. The city of Atlanta deserves more exclusives and special drops just like the before named cities. If you’re in the city and would like to stop by the SNKRS pop-up, the address is right below.

711 10th Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

LLC Out!!

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Mayhem in Miami

I find it pretty dope that sneakers and the sneaker culture has grown at a pace that is almost unreal. But here we are, sneakers are a part of everything and have made sure to celebrate the significance of several holidays and special occasions whether they be globally, country-side or even locally recognized.

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This takes us down to Miami where Art Basel was celebrated from December 5th to December 9th this year. When it comes to Art Basel and sneakers, the crowds come in capacity level numbers. Such numbers are brought not only because of the sneakers that are beautifully crafted often with a great story behind them, but just overall clean sneakers that will forever have a space in Art Basel history.

For the second straight year, an Air Jordan 1 was the center of attention. Last year for Art Basel, the Air Jordan 1 was presented in two different Artsy colorways that included one Rust Pink, and the other Igloo Blue with a color-block design that is in the mold of the OG Black Toes. As of December 2018, both of those shoes go for over $2,000 so you could see why this brings out the crowd for the 2018 version.

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This year, Miami based sneaker boutique SoleFly were called to bring to life their version of a classic Art Basel Air Jordan 1. Right away, the hype for the shoe was in full force when DJ Khaled and store owner Chino hit social media to let the people know what was coming! And from there, it was a race to Miami, not only did residents of Miami want these, but people all over the globe who are into sneaks.

Fast forward to the day of release, anticipation is of course all over the place for the limited shoe that was to be released at a secret location. Word was mistakenly leaked of the location before SoleFly was able to let the public know and all hell broke loose. Eventually the police were called and the release had to be cancelled as it was seen to have unsafe conditions. With people who wanted the shoes for the wear and others wanting them for the flip, mayhem was all but destined unfortunately. Truly does suck for the individuals who traveled to get these shoes for self though, but that is part of this culture, you can’t please everybody.

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Personally, I wanted these shoes as they brought back a special theme to myself, a kid from Michigan. The Jordan 1 with Miami Hurricane colors brought me back to the time I started watching football, college football in particular. It was the 2000 Miami Hurricane team that made me fall in love with the sport of football. Seeing that type of swagger on the football field was all I needed to be hooked on the sport. While I was not able to travel to Miami due to work, the cancellation of the Miami only release still bummed me a bit because I know the work it took for others. But like I said before, in this culture it is impossible to please everyone, Supply and Demand.

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The weekend comes and goes and many suspect a drop online for this special shoe, tons of us dreading this because of the possibility of bots eating up the drop. So Monday, without notice SoleFly dropped a raffle link via Google that opened at 3:05, the famous Miami area code that is also embossed on the backside of the tongue for the left shoe of this coveted pair. The raffle was a shock and ended in about 15-20 minutes but was at a capacity making it rather difficult for the people who caught the tweet to sign-up, luckily for me, I caught it right away and was able to sign up! Others were upset that they missed the raffle but I thought this was as fair as it could be considering the demand for these bad boys. Winners were to be notified throughout yesterday and even earlier Tuesday but in the between time, they released the clothing piece of the SoleFly x Art Basel x Air Jordan capsule. This too caused a commotion on the net as people hoped it would be the shoes, thankfully for the clothing piece, I was able to cop some pieces that I wanted, on the shoe tip I wasn’t so lucky but I knew I had a chance seeing as I entered the raffle. Salute to the owners of SoleFly for calling out to individuals and informing them of their winnings, that was a nice touch that is greatly appreciated. All in all, they did what they could to make sure this was a safe release and that is what matters, but this definitely will go down as an Art Basel classic!!

What Sneakers Mean To Me

What do sneakers mean to you?

If you ask that question, I’ll give you the most dramatic, but honest answer. That is, to me, sneakers mean everything, and I mean that. There isn’t a thing I cannot tie a certain sneaker to.

And I’m not saying that just to say that I truly mean it.  My earliest memories in life are of me as a toddler rocking Jordan 8s and being able to relate the design to Bugs Bunny.  I’m talking me at 4 years old fresh as hell in AJ8s.  It’s a wild image to remember because I truly don’t remember anything else at that age unless my mom recorded it.  But that image of me in a baby windbreaker and some Air Jordan 8s walking down the stairs at my Aunt and Uncles house for a family party will never leave.

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At that point, a monster was certainly created and my mom lets me know all the time she loves/hates that she built that in me lol.  Crazy thing is my mom has always had fresh shoes.  Not limited to just sneakers but she certainly had those to, so without question I got it honest as hell.  So like I said, for as long as I can remember she made sure that my kicks were fresh.

Growing up and going through school I always was the kid with nice shoes, at that time it was more so Jordan Brand of course but see, I’m a basketball connoisseur and have tremendous respect for the history of the game from the actual art of playing to the shoes, outfits that the players wore.  Outside of Jordan’s, you would certainly catch me in my favorite players shoes including Penny Hardaway, Allen Iverson, Pippen’s, hell Shaq’s, Barkley’s, Grant Hill’s and I could go on!  There was no doubt that my love for sneakers stemmed from my love for basketball.  And like that, before I could hold full conversations, I was engulfed into this passion for sneakers.  

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This passion continued to grow of course and at the time my fashion sense was more of full basketball outfits with the sneakers to match.  A much more basic approach lol.  But, the beauty of sneakers is it opens you up to a world of different things you had no idea about.  So via collabs and the early stages of the internet brought the introduction to the now more so prevalent streetwear culture.  Because my obsession with sneakers and wanting to know more about the what’s going on in sneakers, I was able to find out about these different streetwear brands.  My style definitely is built from the ground up, I start all of my outfits with shoes lol.  To some it may be a weird concept but like I said before, my shoes represent a lot more to me than just being fresh, they are actually my mood for the day.

The quests!  The long searches!  The building of bonds!  One of the more under-appreciated arts of sneakers and the craze to attain them is how they bring tons and tons of people together, all for a common theme.  It’s crazy the amount of people I’ve met and connections I’ve made with awesome individuals.  Having to look into sneaker releases and see when and where releases might take place are some of the more enjoyable moments for me.  Things are a lot easier to find out with social media and that part is love/hate because I remember you didn’t know unless you knew somebody.  It’s a bit different now with the bot evolution and resale of sneakers being mainstream but I still enjoy it.  And this quest never gives, no matter how rich you are or even your access I think there’s always a pair that you are hunting for and that’s the beauty of it all.

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Personal brand building from sneakers is also a great highlight. Building a brand of self happens whether you are a known reseller or a Shoetuber or just have been known to talk cash shit at big releases and/or are a source for release information etc. etc. etc. Individuals such as Foamer Simpson and HesKicks are the reason I started watching YouTube for shoe reviews and it has grown to these individuals having tons of opportunities outside of YouTube. They aren’t the only people I watch but they certainly changed how review videos go. A reseller such as 23Penny is someone who is well respected and it comes from the footwork he puts in and some of the most fair after-market prices that you will see. I enjoy this because what often ends up happening is they release merch or introduce me to different brands that otherwise I would have overlooked. Hell, I rock Asics because of Foamer and they are now one of my favorite shoes.

This sneaker game has come a long way, both good and bad but I’m happy to be a part of it and look forward to the continued growth.

LLC Out


PG2 Playstation

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As someone who plays basketball and who is certainly about their fashion, I have a great appreciation for bold collaborations that are executed beautifully.  The latest installment for that has come in the form of a collaboration between Nike and Sony.  Nike signature athlete Paul George of the NBA is the self-proclaimed biggest gamer in the league and his console of choice is the Playstation.  With Paul George coming off one of the hottest signature shoe introductions in a long time, Nike and PG-13 were certainly looking to bring out the new silhouette with a bang and by hooking up with Sony to break out the PG2, they did just that. 

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Now this release of the PG2 Playstation was extremely limited and only came out in just over a handful of locations.  Releasing on February 10 via Nike SNKRS App and a couple Foot Locker stores both by like of the draw style, chances were definitely slim.  As for me, I struck out just like the majority but then can another chances with the release at Nike ATL.  After entering an in-store draw and winning I was able to secure a pair.

Right off of the back I was highly impressed with the precision and smooth outcome of this pair.  The navy blue and black combo hits perfectly along with the Playstation details within the shoe.  Patent leather surrounds the heel of the shoe with signature Playstation controller triangles, circles, squares and Xs embroidered in.  4 Playstation color themed Nike checks are on the outside and inside of the midsoles of the shoe.  Also included on the outsole are glow-in-the-dark pods and a Playstation voucher with special Paul George themes on the heel tab.  Not to be outdone are the tongues on the show that light up with the press of a button.  While I'm not quite sure of the battery life within this feature I have heard around 150 hours.

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Overall I must say that the execution is top notch and actually am excited to see what is next between the trio.  As an owner of an off-white PS4, could that colorway be up next?

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Thank You Kobe

Kobe retired 2 different jersey numbers tonight.  Did y’all hear me?  I said Kobe just retired 2 different jersey numbers tonight.  That’s right, both #8 and #24 hang up high in Staples Center.  For twenty years of my life, I watched Kobe literally pour blood, sweat and tears into this game of basketball.  He did it with only the type of grit and grind that could be initiated by thee Kobe Bryant himself.  Coming up as a kid who played the sport of basketball myself, I remember watching Kobe come into the league as a rookie and wow the world with an awesome Dunk Contest championship.  Remember those airballs against the Jazz in the playoffs.  So many moments, so so many.  

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If I can be honest, and people think I am crazy but I still have not seen a basketball player like the #8 Kobe.  Fearless, athletic, fundamental and a straight up monster on the court.  There were no friends, there was no buddy ball, hell he didn’t even like his teammates lol.  The fact is, he was great though.  And not great because it was just God-given ability, but great because he worked at it.  Each season coming back with a different component added to his game.  Oh, and he managed to come up with 3 titles while playing with the great Shaq.  And if you say these were his Robin years, check the damn stats!!  With no Kobe, there were no rings and truth be told his intensity and push to be great pushed Shaq to stay on tip as well, it will never be said but I can guarantee it.

A little bit older, a lotta bit wiser, Kobe returns growing with the name “Mamba,” but this time he is wearing the number 24.  There is no Shaq, the winning seasons have lead to disappointments and early playoff exits and this is without question his team.  So what does a great do, he gets in the lab to work on his game, even past the physical, he knows its now mental.  The Mamba can see why the grind is so important, I mean a young Kobe has had championship success, but the challenge is now getting THIS roster to understand the grind.  A few changes to the roster but Kobe finds a way to challenge everyone on the roster from 1 to 15, in his way, the tough love way.  Killing teammates in practice so they go home and have to think about it.  Forcing them to compete at the highest of levels in practice only paid benefits when the Mamba got this team to add two more championships to his already legendary career.

In between these short paragraphs are a ton of details that are left out but I’ll leave that up to you all to read study and watch YouTube on.  Just know that if you got to watch Kobe Bryant compete, whether it be KB8 or The Mamba or maybe both, you watched one of the Greatest Of All Time.  And even more important, he did it his way.

 Thank you Mamba

 
 
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