Thursday, 20 January 2011

Kicks and Caps: The Importance of Colour and More...

Any street cat will tell you that running a colour code from head to toe is all part of the game. Yet the importance of colour combinations has become a staple on the streets worldwide and thoroughly undisputed but kicks can reflect subtler references of one's fresh game. Model, name and date of first release is knowledge that needs to be appreciated in any kicks and cap set up. Let these examples explain:


New Era & Alife collaboration with the Wu Tang Clan
Nike Waffle CRS
The 1993 Nike Waffle CRS which is a much later version of the famous Nike Waffle 
series, though has nothing to do with the real old school waffle sole design of Nike in the 70's and 80's, has got the all important red and white colouration that is mirrored on the cap. The inclusion of the yellow on the highlights on the sole, the embroidery on heel and tongue and visible on the leather Nike tick isn't superfluous detailing due to the lack of yellow on the cap. The shoe's 1993 release coincides with the release date of Wu Tang Clans debut solo album 'Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers)'. At this time the Nike running models such as the Waffle CRS, which were commercially less of a success, was the footwear most abundant and practical when worn by the stick up kids of the housing projects all across New York City throughout the early 90's. Only by referring this model of running shoe with the Wu Tang logo on the cap would such a specific cultural reference be drawn out. The yellow in a current contextual reading would be referential to the Wu Tang Clans more recent creative output of 2002, Wu Tang Killa Beez and their album 'Sting' which is adorned exclusively with black and yellow text and imagery. So on the canvass of just this one shoe, both past and present are seamlessly quoted and crucial for making the cap & kicks combo hold tight.


Nike Air Max 1 Urawa Dragons
These were inspired by a Japanese football team called Urawa Dragons. This may not seem to be of any significance but then again we have to address the Wu Tang Clan element present on the cap. We would be covering old ground again if we were to go through the colour similarities between this kick and the cap but the extra inclusion of black lacing and hint of yellow on the eyelets follows much of the same observations made over the Nike Waffle CRS. The point of interest beyond the colour similarities is the Japanese story line. The Wu's association with Japan is long lasting, with one of their earliest influences coming from the film 'Shaolin and Wu Tang' from which they eventually took their name from. Also RZA's pupil teacher relationship with SIFU SHI YAN MING (34th generation shaolin temple warrior monk) means the influences of Japan and the Orient are never too far away from the creative output of the Wu. Continual referencing of the 'Slums of Shaolin' and excerpts from Samurai films riddled throughout the Wu's lyrics and beats means that these Air Max 1's with their own Japanese influences, elevates these kicks above any others to be partnered with a red and white Wu Tang Clan cap.   


Air Jordan V - Raging Bull


Sometimes there is nothing more to it than just an unbelievably fresh pair of kicks to go with that cap. Proves an exception to be found to every rule in the sneaker game

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