We spent a wet weekend hunting heat at Sneaker Pimps, ‘The World’s Largest Traveling Sneaker Show’ presented by Collective Minds Asia and Singapore’s very own, Sole Superior.
Hype did not disappoint, but something else stood out glaringly.
Nike Dunk Low SB ‘De La Soul’
‘De La who?’ We’ll get there in a minute.
This force of nature for feet beckoned us with its attitude green, BBQ brown colourway; mutated with classic elephant prints and vinyl holographic uppers – rightfully so, as we were about to be schooled on the influence of music on the hippiest looking Nike Dunks at the event.
Enter: Benjamin Lim, owner (and ‘Shoe Doctor’) of SneakersClinic – one of Singapore’s lethally trustworthy sources for authentic footwear, shoe customization and restoration needs (with stellar service to boot).
This would be Sneakeractual’s third time shopping at his clinic. Our last spree consisted of the Air Jordan 3 ‘Black Cement’ (personalized delivery in 2018) and Air Jordan 11 Low ‘Breds’ (booth at Sole Superior 2015). To learn more about Benjamin’s business, check out his UWeekly interview.
But we digress.
After picking out the freakish slime tone shoes and ready to pay, he warmly invited us to sit at his booth and asked: ‘Do you know the story behind these sneakers?’
Big ups to Benjamin for taking time during his busy pop up to tend to our curiosity and enlighten us about the roots of Nike Dunk Low SB ‘De La Soul’.
–Long Island, New York natives; Kelvin ‘Pos’ Mercer, David ‘Trugoy’ Jolicoeur and Vincent ‘Maseo’ Mason are members of alt-rap trio, De La Soul
–Known for their innovative sampling, suburban quirkiness and relentless positive rhymes; they were purveyors of ‘hopeful optimism for hip-hop’s potential back in the late 80s.’
–Their debut album ‘3 Feet High and Rising’ (1989) was selected by the Library of Congress as a 2010 addition to the National Recording Registry, which selects recordings annually that are culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant
-Nike SB collaborators were commonly influential skateboarders, street brands and graffiti legends. De La Soul were the first hip-hop artists to crossover into the SB sneaker realm, thanks to their contributions to the evolution of jazz rap, alt hip hop subgenres and (of course) their influence on early ’90s skate culture
‘3 Feet High and Rising’ a hip-hop masterpiece:
“Producer and visionary “Prince Paul” Huston once told “Rolling Stone” that there would come a time in hip hop when you wouldn’t be able to blind the kids with flash, when hopefully we’d all choose mind-expanding substance over generic thug posing and pointless arrogance. If that revolution ever comes, Prince Paul and De La Soul’s masterpiece may finally get its due. ”
– Scott Serilla, The Michigan Daily (September 11, 2002)
As a huge punk rock kid who grew up with new jack swing and embracing the skateboarding wave all at once, nostalgia was the truth…and the discovery of a new-old band through good ol’ storytelling gave me goosebumps.
Listen to ‘3 Feet High and Rising’: here.
(our fav. tracks include ‘A Little Bit of Soap’ and ‘The Magic Number’)
[ Warning ]: Side effects include severe flashbacks, incessant grooving and a earworm you can’t sweat out.