YG doesn’t need anyone to tell him how real he is: his music and life do the talking. That’s why the Still Brazy rapper can walk out in a pair of Toms slip-on shoes to Tyler, The Creator’s fashion show and have no one question his credibility.
His style, undoubtedly, has been shaped by growing up in Compton, Calif., and it shows by the baseball hats and jerseys and Nike Cortez that he prefers to wear. YG’s a throwback to the days of ‘90s West Coast gangsta rap music, but he’s able to exist in the modern-day hip-hop world that sees artists becoming vital voices on social media and people who can help market any type of brand, especially footwear companies.
So many rappers getting sneaker deals these days, and we had the chance to talk to YG about his love for shoes and if we can expect him to get his own sneaker anytime soon. With his new mixtape with DJ Mustard, 400 Summers, coming soon, let YG explain how he really feels about sneakers and more.
You wore a pair of Toms, how did that come about?
I just seen them one day. You know me, I’m always trying to do some different shit: create shit, start trends. So I seen the Toms and they looked like the shoes I used to wear in the county jail. But I was like, “These are kind of fly,” so I grabbed a couple pair and started wearing them. Tyler, The Creator had his Golf Wang fashion show, and I was like, “I’m about to go stunt.” So I put the Toms on with the vest and that shit went viral.
Have they ever reached out to you?
Nah, they haven’t called me.
Growing up in Compton, how important is the Nike Cortez to you?
That’s part of West Coast culture. We’ve been [wearing] those since we were young. I’m gonna keep continuing to do what I do. Everything I do has something to do with the streets. I’m stepping into the fashion industry, and I’m gonna take the street shit with me. I’m not gonna switch my shit up. You’re not gonna see me enter the fashion industry and wear all the designer shit that everybody else is wearing. Nah, I’m gonna make this look like some next-level shit, but it’s really some street shit with a little twist. That’s very important.
Have brands ever talked to you about getting your own sneaker?
Yeah, I had a brand holler at me about getting my own sneaker, but I wasn’t really feeling the sneakers.
It would have to be the right situation for you to do that
You see Drake getting his own Air Jordans and Future just signed with Reebok, do you think that’s a good lane for rappers to get into?
We’re like walking billboards. We let motherfuckers know what’s going on. We have a lot of influence. The brands are giving rappers the shoes because of those reasons, ya feel me? They gonna help the fucking brand make a lot more money. It will make the brand cool and make it look like they know what’s going on out here in the rap world and the streets. They’re buying their cred.
What did you think about Kendrick’s shoe?
That was lit. That’s what he preach, so that’s what’s up right there. He preach that up in his records, so he’s going to do what he keeps doing and bring it to life. I respect that.
Is that something you could ever picture yourself wearing in the streets?
Yeah, I wear red and blue all the time.
You said you still love the Cortez, I’m sure you feel the same way about the Converse Chuck Taylor?
Chucks, Cortez and Vans, that’s all I wear and I collect Jordans.
What’s your favorite?
The 1s, the V, VIIs, VIIIs, the IIs a little bit. The IVs, too.
Did Drake ever send you the OVO Jordans?
Nah, Drake ain’t hit me up yet.
Are you waiting for that phone call?
Nah, I don’t care about that shit. We making hits and shit.