MNR: Sneakers, Part 1
“It’s what you keep spending your money on.”
Who wear it all? I’m a Foam freak…
I still remember my first pair of Nikes. It was a pair of white Air Force 2 (yes, Air Force 2 – look ‘em up). White with the blue check (swoosh). The year was 1986. Shareon sent me out to Bridgehampton to complete third grade with Mrs. Curreri, the same lady who taught my Uncle Alan and Aunt Cynthia. It wasn’t a big deal to me. It wasn’t the first time my mom sent me to live with my grandparents, and it wasn’t the last. My home situation was absurd. But anyways…my nana and pop made sure that I started day one off with a fresh pair of steps (those two really were the greatest). They took me to the shoe store and told me to pick out the pair of my choice. I saw those AF2 on the shelf and it was love at first sight. It was the day I fell in love with Nike. Obviously, I’ve been in a committed situation ever since.
Fourth grade began with a pair of white and silver Sky Jordan. Tyrone sent me a pair of white Air Jordan 2 to begin fifth grade. Shit, I figured I’d always keep a fresh pair of suntin’ on my feet. Boy was I wrong. Shareon didn’t believe in spending money on clothes and sneakers. She was err umm – a bit frugal. I hit my all-time low in sixth grade when she bought me a pair of Jordache sneakers. If you’re a certain age, I already know what you’re thinking. But this wasn’t the early 80s and I’m not talking about a pair of jeans. Well, it goes without saying that the lil bit of confidence I’d accrued over the years was done for. I mean, how in TF was I supposed to approach Mary Canada and tell her that I was deeply in love with her – in a pair of damn Jordache sneakers fresh out the department store? Trust, I wore the pair of Nikes I already had until they began to converse with me (you’ll figure it out) – until Shareon told me to throw them in the trash and take those “J’s” up out the box. I’ll never forget my dear old friend Nikki Inge consoling me the first morning I wore them to Project IDEA. I was quite thankful for his compassion, but it didn’t help. The shame I inevitably felt made me the sneakerhead I am to this day.
Thankfully, Shareon never sent me to school in another pair of slims. My sneakers always had a swoosh on ‘em…they just never had “Air” under the swoosh. I didn’t complain. I was thankful because I knew that even though Shareon didn’t have the budget to send me to school in $100 kix, she wanted me to be happy. Realizing this, I quit pestering her over expensive shoes and began working with Halifax County Recreation at age 13 (she got me the job). From then on, I spent the majority of all my checks on sneakers and loud. I was able to keep a fresh pair of kix on my feet throughout high school (strong arm emoji). Summers meant coming back home up top to #BXNYC and working with my Aunt San, and that meant multiple sneakers to begin the year. Shit, I thought I was a sneaker Don until I entered VUU and met Aaron Joseph Baker (Jab). My brother had about 30 pairs under the bed. I tried to emulate Jab, but my pockets weren’t that deep. Even though I fell a bit short of Jab’s mark, I was known for keeping a clean pair or three in the stash. Nike dropped the Jordan 5 retro for the first time during my senior year. And, of course, I didn’t have the bread on deck to cop the black pair. I almost entered a mini depression until my big bro George Saidu (DPG) spotted me the cash top cop a pair the same day he copped his pair. He didn’t have to do that. But that’s true brotherhood that exists to this very day.
My hunger for more and more kix hasn’t waned over the years (needless to say). They say the first step is admitting that you have a problem. Hi. My name is Ty Monday Thompson, and I am a sneaker addict. Sheeit. I’m a full-blown junkie. And, if there were ever a moment that I sipped hater juice and began to feel ashamed that I’m a 42-year-old sneaker fanatic, I’d just take a trip home to the westside of Harlem and watch the flow for a few minutes. That’s a guarantee to see at least 50 men much older than I, all fresh from toenail to hair follicle. I’m talmbout fresh Nikes or Adidas with a fly ass sweatsuit and fitted/snapback/Kangol hat to match. I basically said all that to show love to my old heads in those 100 Blocks because I’ve never felt any type of shame for dressing the way I do, especially with the sneaker game. I’ve been doing this shit my entire life. Why would I change?
Through all the ups and downs of my life, two things have remained consistent: my affinity for potent trees and fly kix. Some days are better than others, and at times the cash flow isn’t conducive to a new purchase. That’s cool. I can’t dance every dance. And the good Lord knows that bots have driven us dedicated sneaker addicts to near insanity. The Nike Sneakers app is a miss-and-hit go-to at best. The other apps are so overloaded with traffic on release dates/times that you can’t even access the site until after every pair is smooth sold out. It’s truly a bitch to know that if you really want a pair of sneakers and you don’t have ultimate “luck” or a plug at a sneaker store, your only real option is to bite the bullet and pay way over retail price. StockX is the best option these days, as GOAT has gone to shit in the past year or so. Regardless, the game is nasty right now, and there’s no end in sight. Shoe companies and retailers could give a fuck about bots. They’re getting their bread either way. To be concise, it’s doing us a double disservice. Y’all don’t think Nike and Kanye see these resell prices? They do. Logic says that if you’re willing to pay $400 resell for a $190 pair of sneakers, you’ll pay $220 directly to Nike or Adidas. It’s a shitty game, but it’s the only one we’re left to play.
The Crew UnB shop has all types of apparel to match up with your newest and most fly steps. Head to the front page after you finish reading this blog and drop a few coins on elite threads. You’ll love the compliments you receive from admirers as you walk down the avenue in your UnB and #MNR merch that you matched up perfectly with your kix. Thank me later. Love to the world.
tymonday.com; @tymonday on Twitter & IG
crewunb.com; @crewunB on Twitter & @theunberarablescrew on IG