When it comes to sneakers and fashion the Hip-Hop culture has long had an influence on what’s hot and what’s not out in these streets and over the decades some of the games biggest brands such as Nike and Adidas have found themselves not only assimilating and catering to what we like, but also teaming with Hip-Hop artists on exclusive collaborations and capsule collections.
Looking to educate the masses on the life long relationship between Hip-Hop and sneaker culture, OSD and A Thousand Words decided to throw up the From The Feet Up exhibit at the Port Authority Bus Terminal Art Gallery in midtown Manhattan and displays all kinds of retro footwear, apparel, and Hip-Hop related memorabilia.
In a press release for the exhibit that will be open to the public 24/7 from now until July 31st , Sean Williams of Obsessive Sneaker Disorder explained the why behind the creation of this exhibition.
“This exhibit was created to educate and celebrate Hip-Hop culture’s inseparable marriage to sneakers from the very beginning in the 1970’s. There have been a lot of false narratives about the popularity of the
sneaker industry being promoted that LEAVE OUT Hip-Hop’s crucial role in that. This exhibit is a way to appreciate, educate and combat the misinformation. The Port Authority Bus Terminalis a part of that history.”
In an effort to deepen the understanding behind the exhibition, Mr. Williams moderated a sneaker panel for, From The Feet Up, which featured some Hip-Hop culture OG’s from New York including DJ Tony Tone of the legendary Mighty Cold Crush Brothers, April Walker (Walker Wear), MC Milk Dee (Audio Two), James ‘Koe Rodriguez (A Thousand Words), and Blake “Keo Lethem.
In the lengthy round table panel each guest in attendance not only told of their own personal history, but also explained how Hip-Hop took the sneaker game and would remix sportswear into something more suitable to our own way of life.
“Hip-Hop was about doing it a little different and being the
opposite of what it was supposed to be,” April Walker
“Rod Lavers (Adidas) was my favorites but I wasn’t playing tennis. But we would have tennis outfits and be in the streets of Latin Quarters with the Rod Lavers.” But being fresh in the hood isn’t an easy feat and can leave
people with traumatic memories.
After being given the mic DJ Tony Tone reminisced about his struggle and told the story about how someone broke into his locker and housed (a term meaning to steal) his brand new red, black and green Pro-Keds. Not only did it affect his freshness, but it also affected his grades. “So I failed gym for
the next two years because I couldn’t go back to Skips (PF Flyers)… I wasn’t having it.”
These are just samples of the interesting and true to life stories that the panel got into to show and prove just how intertwined Hip-Hop culture and sneaker culture have been since the get-go.
The From The Feet Up exhibit itself is filled with pieces that will take the OG Hip-Hopper for a trip down memory lane and wonder “Where did the time go?”
Aside from the many sneaker jewels like the Run DMC autographed El Dorado Adidas and Nike Cortez displayed on a tagged up cardboard box (B-boys understand), the exhibit also features old school Hip-Hop culture staples such as a boom box, milk crates (a multipurpose item in the hood
if there ever was one), and cameras that just take pictures.
Check out the From The Feet Up panel discussion below
and peep pics of the exhibit after the jump.
Photos and video courtesy of Will Foskey of 78 Ways Studio