Getting over 80 million pairs of eyeballs to your website every month affords a man some luxuries in life, and World Star Hip Hop founder and CEO Q is a dude who definitely lives the lifestyle he sells. Sometimes all the bottle poppin' and globe trottin' catches up with you though, and when we catch him he's feeling pretty nasty sick in the wake of World Star parties in Adelaide and Melbourne. He probably shouldn't even leave his hotel room, but he pushes through the pain and meets up with Sneaker Freaker, telling us about how he became a Jordanhead. We quiz him on six sneakers that have been important in his life and his plans for the World Star brand...
1. The first sneaker I bought myself was... a Jordan IV.
I got them a long, long time ago. They were the original, the black and grey. I loved the universal colour.
2. My go-to sneaker brand is... Jordan.
It took me a while to get on the Jordan bandwagon ‘cos I’m a big Knicks fan. I used to hate Michael Jordan. Anyone that loves basketball knows the Knicks and Chicago rivalry, so Jordan was heartbreaking for me. But you just couldn’t deny it, the Jordan sneakers are amazing. It’s just something I had to do, it took me a little later to get on it but I love his kicks, man. They’re comfortable. The ones that are coming out now are looking great too.
3. My beaters are… Jordan 3s.
I got a lot of Jordan Threes. I like the soft cushion on the ankle. I like slip-ons, I don’t like to fight with my shoe. The Threes I can slip my feet right in and they stay there - I don’t even need to tie them. Threes are the best!
4. My show stopper shoes are… My McFlys!
They were $7500! They’re the most expensive sneakers I ever got. I picked ‘em last year at the Flight Club in New York. They had one left, my size, thank God. The price made me kinda hesitant but I was like, ‘I gotta get this’. It was because of the lights, no one had ever seen those. I remember seeing them on the movie when I was growing up and being like, ‘Wow, this is the future?’ I was amazed by it. Then to have Nike put it out was amazing! They’re really nice sneakers, and the lights stay on for over an hour. I wore them at the Melbourne show, I’ve worn them three times.
5. I love women who rock …. Jordan IV Breds.
I like chicks rocking the Fours. A lotta chicks are rocking the Breds right now. It looks good on them. It’s one of those kicks that look good on both sexes. Chicks look good ‘cos they look small in them. Breds are classic, people look at them and just comment. They’re a classic colour, especially with that red bottom. That’s the most beautiful sneaker as far as looks go.
6. My holy grail is… The Foamposite Paranorman
That’s the one I want to have. I love the Foamposites, I love the way they sit on my feet real low. I’ve got the Galaxies. I’ve tried to get the Paranormans, but they’re real hard to get. I had a pair almost, but something happened with PayPal. I’m gonna get those, they’re a nice summer kick. They’re selling for like four, five thousand though. I’m making calls. I hope there are people listening right now, contact me if you got them. I’m size 13!
SF: You’ve come out to Australia to host a series of World Star Hip Hop shows featuring Australian artists. What do you want to achieve here?
Q: We’re letting Australians know that World Star is for real – we’re real people, we’re approachable, they can come to us. I’m putting on these events to see local talent and let them be seen and heard. Perhaps we’ll put them on World Star in the future too, put their videos on the site.
We’ve seen a lot of artists perform at the last two events. They were pretty good. I told them to shoot their videos – do something basic around the area, just get their video out. That’s one way they can get in the broader scale and have fans all over the world.
We’ve never really had an Australian rapper with the outback accent succeed in America, it’s a pretty jarring sound to a lot of people. Do you think an Aussie can make it big overseas?
I think so. I look at UK artists, French artists, there’s ways to do it. Not every one speaks English either, it’s all about the swag and how you deliver. I think it can still sell and there’s an audience. Hip hop is worldwide. I believe that no matter how you sound or how you look, it’s all about the creativity and the swag. You gotta sell it, people can see it through the camera, you gotta bring it out there and deliver it. I think it can work.
You’re also shooting a video series while you’re out here. I’ve been told it’s going to be a bit like Anthony Bourdain...
Yeah, we’re also shooting a documentary, so people back home can see this beautiful country. We want to go see different parts of the world, Sydney is next then we’re on to Singapore and Thailand. We’re looking to put it on the web first, and then get picked up by the networks. No one’s really doing this – a young black successful man traveling the world showing off different landmarks, food, the people. Seeing this view right now, it’s amazing how beautiful the city is. We’ll bring more people here. A lot of people think Australia and they think of sand, beach, surfers – but there’s more too. People are gonna save up and make a trip to Australia, I think it’s a win-win for both sides.
You’re the new Oprah! What are your plans with World Star Hip Hop as a brand from now?
We’re going to do a gossip site, a sneaker site, and a straight rap hip hop site, that just focuses on hip hop blogs. It will all be under the umbrella of World Star. We’re gonna shoot videos and hire actors to create some original funny skits. We will be putting out original content, not just video streaming. We’re gonna start using our big audience to put out original stuff. We get four million people a day visiting, so we’re gonna show them World Star original shows.
The layout of the World Star home page seems very basic to a lot of people, but I’m sure it’s a very deliberate choice. Why do you keep it the way it is?
People know that World Star is going to bring out that realness. People don’t always look for sites with all the bells and whistles. I’ve been on the Internet since ’97, and some of the simplest sites get the most traffic. When Google came out it was just a search bar. A lot of people tend to gravitate to World Star because it has really good content but not much of the ‘show’ side. This just shows you that people love to see real things. Our site looks the same from ‘07, we haven’t given it a face lift and it still grows each year. We’re working on creating an enhanced version of World Star Hip Hop at the moment that will allow people to have profiles too, so we will be changing it up a bit soon.