Friday, 3 February 2012

Footwear Odes | Part 2

Mashing up a whole bunch of cultural signifiers, this '90s TV advertisement was based around hip-hop's self proclaimed Teacher, the rabble rousing KRS-One. In the true spirit of hip-hop's sampling culture, Gill Scott Heron's 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised' gets updated by flipping the song's sentiment into an ode to basketball's (then) new wave of talent. Much in keeping with the tone of the advert, all of the chosen few are symbolically stamped with the Nike swoosh logo that gets its fair share of air time with some slowed down, zoomed in sneaker shots. I always felt that during the NBA lockout there should have been a re-run of this advert with an updated cast, as its message is as relevant now as ever. But then again, Nike has tied up all the big name players with their own signature shoes forcing a conflict between the unifying message of the original and the selfish individualism of both the sport and shoe games alike. Then again these differences should be put aside as after all we are treated to reminisce about the golden years of Nike sneakers and hip-hop.

Digressions aside, somewhat unexpectedly the self-righteous KRS caught an unexpected wave of criticism when it first aired. People must have simply failed to appreciate his sentiments reflecting his unwavering attitude towards the idea making a point rather than the cogency behind that point. Most importantly of all, was the result was far more palatable than starring basketball player Kidd's own attempt at rapping in 'What The Kid Did' that same year. 

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