The newly crowned prince of Brooklyn, Joey Bada$$ has been creating musical shockwaves across the planet with his Pro Era crew over the last couple of years. Recently on a tour of the mighty land Down under, SNKR FRKR caught a couple of hot minutes with the Badmon to talk all things sneakers, touring and life.
You have quite the arsenal of burners in that sneaker collection of yours, Mr. Bada$$, but tell us about where it all started. What was that one sneaker you always remember from back in the day?
Since a young kid, my mother always kept me looking super fly! I always had mad Jordans and shit like that. There is an old picture of me when I was younger where I’m rockin’ ‘Flu Game’ Jordan twelves. Since I was two-years-old – sneaker history for me goes way back to when I started walking.
Air Jordan was a big part of your childhood, then, like many kids from the 90s. Now that you're a little older, more mature, do you have a go-to brand?
I’m a real spontaneous dude, I don’t have any hard preferences. I like Jordans, Nike and adidas. I love the adidas Stan Smith, I love the Nike Huaraches, I love the Jordan 12s. It doesn’t really matter though – they're just material!
Nowadays we see a lot of younger kids coming up hard on the sneaker game, dropping some serious cash money on brands like Jordan, without really even knowing the story of Michael Jordan. How do you feel about how the sneaker game has changed since your early days?
Just the tide of today! It’s always going to be like that. Like the last generation in the nineties, there were things that they were not aware of that parents knew was hip, and they be like, ‘How you don’t know about this, how do you not know who that is?’ There is always going to be a repeat in history. As the generations keep going, there is always going to be things that another generation above them is going to be hip to that they won’t be. For example, just the other day, Kanye West dropped that song with Paul McCartney. I saw the comments kids were making, like ‘Oh, I love how Kanye West makes music with independent artists’ – these kids don’t even know who Paul McCartney is.
Shout out to Paul McCartney – you the real MVP! Where do you look for influence in style? Purely just observing people on the street? Sports, or simply the neighbourhood code?
It started with my mum raising me through the nineties. Anything that was hip in the nineties, that was what my mum was buying m. Then as I got older, I keep that trend up.
Your style is on-point for Melbourne tonight. We spotted that Nike TN running hat and those sleek Triple Black Huaraches on your feet – very Melbourne choice of footwear, sir!
ALL BLACK, YA FEEL ME!?
You're an NY kid with a strong voice that has been sending vibrations across all corners of the globe – how do you feel the response has been Down Under?
It' definitely getting bigger! I can feel the surge of energy down here. Next year I expect when I come out here for it to be much bigger and multiply – Australia’s a pretty big place.
Standard interview question to a foreign traveller – what’s your favourite part of the country so far? You have just come from Sydney?
I love Melbourne! Sydney was cool too, but something about Melbourne, it has reminded me the most of being back home. It has got the rural, urban type of vibes – where I found Sydney to be a bit more high class.
You always travel with fire on the mic and fire on your feet but what about your own sneaker collection – we rarely see you in the same shoe twice, we talking one or two rooms full yet?
Nah, but I should count. I don’t wear half of my collection, I get through a lot of product so my feet always changing.
From what we can gather you’re a single man, but we want to talk about the future Mrs. Bada$$ for a minute. Tell us, Joey’s dream girl is she a heels or sneakers type of girl?
I like sneakers. When it calls for the heels it calls for the heels, but me, I really love a girl in sneakers – and of course she be matching me!
Finally we know you’re about to hit the stage, but is there that one shoe – that Holy Grail of sneakers that you are still desperately searching for? Nahhhhhh – pretty much got those! I got all the ones I wanted so bad as a kid. Then after a while it just didn’t matter to me anymore. Anything that is fly and that I like on my feet, it’s gonna be what it is.
Blessed travels, Badmon!
Joey Badass' debut album, B4.DA.$$ is due to drop on January 20th.