Jeen-Yuhs Part 2: The Sneakers Kanye West Would Be Wearing
Kicking off in 2002, the second part of the Netflix docuseries Jeen-Yuhs depicts a truly life-changing era for Kanye West. Enduring an almost fatal car accident in LA, this instalment reveals how West overcame his injuries, which famously includes his broken jaw, to eventually fulfil his dreams of landing an album. Exploring how the making of The College Dropout was West’s own form of healing, his journey as an artist is nothing short of inspiring. Check out the sneakers he would have been wearing below.
2002 - adidas Marathon TR
The next big phase of Kanye West's career kicks off with the aspiring artist locking down a record deal with Roc-A-Fella. But despite that, it's clear that he's still very much in the producer category that he wants to break free from. 'It means nothing to be the best rapper-producer,' Ye explains to Big Face Gary. ’I ain’t trying to compete against no producers.’ Still very much a fan of the Three Stripes, West can be seen rocking adi in early promotional shots, including on the cover of his Get Well Soon mixtape. The tags still on his adidas Marathon TRs? Of course.
2002 – adidas Rod Laver
With West still yet to jump over many hurdles in his career, 2002 would be the year that he would face his biggest one yet. Whilst producing an album in LA for label-mate Peedi Crakk, West would endure a life-threatening and near fatal car accident driving home from the studio. Consequently he broke his jaw in three places and would have his mouth wired shut. West's pure determination didn't stop him from rapping and it was in these months that he would create the song 'Through The Wire'. A sneaker for the Y2K era? The adidas Rod Laver,.
2002 – adidas Forum Low
Not letting the accident get in his way, West continues his quest in becoming an artist. While still producing – including working with JAY-Z on The Blueprint 2 – West secures a feature on the album. Not losing sights on his own music, he collaborates with a number of other artists while putting together his debut album. It's these moments that West begins finding his feet as a rapper and in turn, gaining the recognition of other artists who had no idea that he could rap. That includes Pharrell who repeatedly exclaims, 'I had no idea!' These moments inspired Coodie and West to create a music video for 'Through The Wire'. Combining his love for Timbs and adidas, West easily could've been on these 'Camel' adidas Forum Lows.
2003 – Reebok S. Carter
Hitting up Chike Ozah, West and Coodie were on a mission to build hype for the track which had been so positively received by everyone who had heard it. While he always struggled to get the recognition of his superiors at the label, West always had a lot of support thrown behind him and that was evident in the huge 200-guest turnout for the video's release party. That same year in the month of April, JAY-Z launched his very first sneaker with Reebok – the S. Carter. With West's affinity for white kicks and tennis shoes, there's no way he wasn't rocking a pair of these!
2004 – All-White BAPE STA
On February 9, 2004 West finally got to the point he had his sights on for years: the release of his first album The College Dropout. With his career about to soar to unpredicted heights, West's fashion would prepare to take off too. With BAPE having already been popular amongst the fashion-savvy of the era, West had also been known to rock the Japanese label, which we even see in some footage from Jeen-Yuhs. His love affair with BAPE wouldn't majorly kick off until a few years down the track, with his own colab to ensue as well. Given that the brand had launched their New York store in 2004, this was the perfect time for Ye to be rocking the classic Air Force 1 riff, an all white pair of BAPE STAs.