Just like you, J Cole gets his sneakers from resellers… kind of. The born sinner isn’t fazed by coughing up a little extra, but he’s not about to go get the pairs himself. Instead, like a lot of rappers, he has a sneaker stylist.
His personal shopper features in a New York Times video, where she’s spotted in Stadium Goods buying J Cole ‘really cool’ Air Jordan 1s for an upcoming show. The NYT article isn’t about Cole; rather, it’s a medium-depth dive into the resale market — another explainer for anyone wondering why kids are spend so damn much on shoes.
The piece is good; you should read it. What might not be good, though, are Cole’s Jays. The pair his stylist grabs are the ‘Top 3’ Jordan 1s from 2016. And while they’re not bad by normal standards, they’re not really ‘rapper cool’, are they. The ‘Bred’ or ‘Black Toe’ colourways they’re derived from definitely fit the bill, but a rehashed hybrid colourway worth half a rack don’t size up.
Cole is one of the most maligned rappers on the internet. Whether deserving or not, he’s treated like hip hop’s Nickelback and slandered for delivering music the youth don’t vibe with. He’s ‘real hip hop’ as opposed to ‘mumble rap’, Jordans with NT denim as opposed to Yeezys with Calabasas joggers. Don’t confuse this with an inability to put up big numbers when he drops an album: KOD, his most recent, broke apple music’s first-day streaming record in the States. But still, do ‘Top 3’ Jordans befit a musician who went platinum with no features?
The popularity of basketball sneakers is plummeting. The Financial Times reported recently that declining sales of ball shoes were eating into Foot Locker’s bottom line. Nike and Under Armour have experience similar troubles since 2016, and adidas famously jumped over the Jumpman in 2017.
J Cole and the Jumpman are alike in that they have an image problem. And while we’re not saying he should stop wearing them — we love Jordan Brand as much as the next person — c’mon,at least get the guy some Off-Whites.