Interview by ADAM K.
Photos by D.R. prevost
Produced by Liquidrice
Redman is a sneakerhead; so much so that he is opening his own sneaker store in Staten Island, NYC. Redman also hints about his upcoming sneaker with Run Athletics as well. Here’s more Redman on Kicks…
Redman, thanks for taking the time to speak with the sneaker community. What was your first pair of sneakers?
Wow, I’d have to say some Pro-Keds or Geeps. Real hood like. I’ve even had them pairs of knock off Chinese kicks, that kinda sound like Nikes. The first legit pair of shoes I rocked was the Patrick Ewings.
I saw quite a shoe collection on MTV Cribs. How long have you been collecting kicks?
Shit, for the longest of times, from the beginning. AF1’s originally got me hooked to the whole sneaker game, but it was my dislike for how cats were rocking them that got me into it. I didn’t like how other guys were wearin them like nurse shoes, so I had to put my own flavor into it. That’s when I got into shoes. Also, I really liked the old Air Max shoes, and hated the shell toe Adidas. Those killed my toes.
What is your all-time favorite pair of kicks? I’m talking the shoes you’d choose if you could only have one more pair?
Which would last the longest? I mean, I love my kicks so much I’d be prepared to walk funny (does a funny pigeon walk) to keep them fresh forever. But if I had to choose, I’d take my sturdy black, red and white AF1’s.
With all of your success in the music industry, why have you decided to enter the shoe game with the opening of a store?
Enter the shoe game? I’ve always loved shoes. I would be happy designing women’s open toed sandals, that’s how much I love shoes. I chose sneakers because those are the only things I wear, and I was inspired by Universal (a shoe store) in NJ when I was younger. That place was inspiring; with boxes stacked up to the ceiling and the new shoe smell everywhere.
In a business sense, shoes are like pussy and real estate, in that it never goes out of style. There is always a demand for them. In terms of the market’s direction, I really am into the amped up sneaker game that has happened the last six or so years. The boom of all these hot colors and limited editions have really turned things up a notch, and I don’t see it ending. There will always be evolving demands for new colorways, styles etc…, and proof of this creative demand is on the street. Without this demand, everyone would still be rocking all white shoes, or all white with a little black.
I hear the stores are going to be skateboard themed. Can you tell me your interest in the skating culture, and why you decided to focus on this?
I know how to skate a little bit, starting with my orange skateboard when I was a kid. And I’ve always appreciated their talent, even having them in my videos. I decided on opening the store in Staten Island because that area is a skater hotbed, and this is a long-term trend. Skating to Staten Island is part of the culture there, like basketball is to NJ. Finally, I think skaters are hot, and they need hot shit. I want to be the guy that gives them an outlet to find that hot shit.
I appreciate the Staten Island skate scene because they’re brick melon skaters, brick melon hard heads. They do simple shit that hasn’t been done, but still is poppin. I want my skate store to embody that theme. They take it to another level in a subtle manner, and my store will do the same.
Is Staten Island going to be the only store, or are we talking a chain?
Hell No! Staten Island is just a starting point. Tariq is there, and he’s my right hand man in this operation. Staten Island is such an ideal place for the store because skating is rooted in the culture there, with the island being predominately Italian. But in the future maybe Manhattan, Boston and Indiana. Who knows? Maybe even tennis shoes for people in CT.
The collaboration between Flip the Bird and Run Athletics spawned some hot shirts, with my favorite being the “How HI” shirt. How did this collaboration come about?
My man Rasheed, the President of Run Athletics put the whole thing together. I just saw the images, tweaked them a little bit, and left the rest to the experts. Workin with my image, it just came out hot. Rasheed did a great job with it.
With your entrance into the shoe game, can we look forward to any shoes that hold your namesake, such as a “Redman” shoe?
Look out for the Red and Meth shoe by Run Athletics dropping in the fall/winter, but it’s sold out everywhere. The inspiration for this shoe is the lifestyle that Meth and I live, and the life we love. On a personal note, Meth and I are going to the NIKEiD Studio to make an Air “Redman”. Look for my new Run Athletics shoes to debut in my upcoming video “Free Style”, that will be rockin TVs everywhere.