This summer was your 45th. 45 years of culture, history, stories, movements, and music. It is a wonder to see how much you have grown and changed in the 24 years I’ve been alive. It is in those same 24 years that not only did you affect my life in a big way, but also the lives of so many others. You’ve always had a hand in the sneaker industry, and I’ve had the honor of being your disciple for the last 14 years. I can remember the first time I got some sneakers worth mentioning, and why. I was 10 years old, and my mom had just bought me a pair of Adidas Superstar IIs. I wanted those sneakers specifically because of my interest and love for Run DMC, and I too wanted a pair of Adidas to walk on coliseum floors. From then on, not only did I get a passion for sneakers (and namely, Adidas), but I also started to appreciate you a whole lot more.
Over the years, your influence on sneakers continued to have an influence on me. A few years after I got my first pair of Adidas, I was introduced to your real true reach when my uncle introduced me to the movie Just For Kicks, and got me a pair of Cement Jordan IVs. I learned about the impact you made on sneakers, for better and for worse, and what it really meant to love both you and sneakers. I learned just how compatible you two actually were, along with how well you two complimented each other. Pretty soon, you two became a staple in my life. I can’t even begin to count the weekends where I’m cleaning my sneakers blasting many of the gifts you’ve blessed your disciples with, or even the nights in general where I took refuge in your many sounds after the day. But it wasn’t and isn’t only by cleaning sneakers and relaxing at night do I take solace and comfort in you. You’ve gotten me through most major events in my life, and most minor events, nevertheless reminding me that you were there for me, no matter what. At the end of the day, your presence helped remind me that it was always going to be okay.
You are so much more than a music genre to me; you are a presence. Though you may not be tangible, I can feel you every time you come through my speakers. Happy Birthday, Hip-Hop. 45 years has never sounded so good. Here’s to 45 and many, many, more years.