Recently whilst on an eBay treasure-quest, we chanced on a pair of custom Jordans done in a psychedelic Fresh Prince get-up. Sure, custom Jordans aren’t exactly the rarest nuggets, but in this case the details were so intricate our Spider senses started tingling. Turns out Rocket Boy Nift is the artist behind those crazy Js. We just had to find out more about his secret technique!
Hey Nift what’s going down? Tell us a little about yourself.
First off let me just say that it is an honor to do my first interview with such a major magazine and website such as Sneaker Freaker. But to answer your question, I was born and raised in Northwest Indiana to a father who was a musician and a mother who was an artist, so I can thank those two for the skills I’ve been blessed with.
Your Fresh Prince Jordan 5 custom received a great response, congratulations! The show first aired in 1990, the Jordan 5 dropped in 1990 and your eBay name is niftnif1990 - is there a connection here?
The connection is that it was a great year (laughs) I was born in January of 1990 so I grew up with shows like Fresh Prince and was always fascinated with the kicks and fashion from that era, the good ones anyway.
The customization was super intricate, can you tell us about your process?
I can’t speak on it too much, but it involves a lot of scanning and mapping out using certain computer programs, sorta like how they make characters in video games. It took years to get to the level I’m at now.
You’ve done another Jordan custom based on ‘A Different World’. Any plans to create other TV series-themed Js?
I just did a pair called “A Shoe About Nothing” based off the show Seinfeld. I’m just waiting for the right idea to come along. It becomes cheesy when you try too hard or try to do too much.
Agreed! Jordans lend themselves nicely to customisation, but tell us about your collection. Do you get into any other kicks?
I’m a very casual person so I stick to my plain ol’ retro Jays (usually the ones he wore on court) but I also keep some fresh Nikes, anything that looks good really. As far as shoes I’ve customised, I’ve done Foamposites & LeBrons. Back in ‘07 when I first started I used to customize AF1s since those were the go-to shoes.
After stalking you online and ending up on your YouTube page we discovered that you’re a multi-talented man. There’s a gang of tight tracks up there. Do you produce your own beats and make your own clips?
I produce, write, perform, direct videos and create the artwork for certain songs. I’ve got a couple of buddies who produce some amazing music, so you’ll hear a lot of their beats on my YouTube also.
We all know that “these hoes love to fly”, but are you seriously too scared to get on a plane? (see video below)
Haha! Well I do have a fear of heights, but that line was more about taking chances, seizing the opportunity before that plane takes off ya know?
Ah, that make sense. What’s next for Nift?
Well I’ll be releasing a new mixtape next week, working on my clothing line, mapping out some short films for early next year, and continuing to prove that I am one of the top guys when it comes to whipping’ up some fresh custom kicks.
Keep your eyes out for Nift’s website coming soon, but for now head over to his Tumblr page, check out his tracks on Youtube, download his latest mixtape here, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @rocketboynift