Labels suck. Labels, however, are arguably necessary in order to function with any sort of efficiency in life. If I want to know how many grams of salt there are in a bottle of Haterade, I just look on the back of a label. Nah, I’m J.K. like Rowling.
Seriously though, labels simply allow us to describe something in a quick and efficient manner.
Two specific and often used labels in sneaker media are OG and Hypebeast. While easily debatable semantically and linguistically, the term OG often refers to a person who is an Original Gangster. More specifically, an old school gangster who has been around since the early days, doing things the old school way. Ironically, despite not being of gangster heritage, I often refer to my sneaker habits as OG; as in down since the the early sneaker days.
So what in the world Carmen Sandiego is a hypebeast then? In the sneaker world, it’s generally a derogatory term used to describe a consumer who purchases a sneaker based on others’ opinions and perspectives rather than their own. For example, a hypebeast might say, “OMG Kanye wore a pair of Dad Yeezy’s. Dad Yeezy’s are so lit! I need to cop me a pair. I’m going to call my sneaker plug right now.”
Is there a divide between OG and hypebeast sneakerheads? Yes and No. Yes with so many social media outlets, everyone, whether legitimate or not, has an opinion. And some haters simply need an outlet to post their negative opinions. But realistically, no, there isn’t really that much of a divide because most OG sneakerheads are simply too busy living their own lives, doing their own thing.
As a self-proclaimed sneaker OG, I couldn’t really care less what other sneakerheads wear or purchase. Case in point, while in the mall, I Jason Kidd you not that I recently saw two adolescent males walking in unison wearing untied Jordan 4s, Supreme hats, and Zanerobe-type joggers talking raucously about Kanye’s latest accomplishments. They were boisterously debating the merits of a potential Adidas Ultraboost purchase. Like I previously stated, I’m no label generator, but I couldn’t help but chuckle at the current state of the sneaker world.
As I made my way through the mall, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, mirror on the wall. A stolen glimpse into the mirror revealed I was not the greatest sneaker wearer of them all. I was wearing a pair of remastered OG Jordan 1 High Red Metallics that I bought from The Cornerstore. Shout out to The Cornerstore for being one of the most down to earth sneaker/clothing shops in Vancouver. Also peep those Michael Jackson inspired leather laces courtesy of Laceduplaces.
OG AJ 1 High- Red Metallic just chilling on Charlotte’s non-hypebeast Web.
But wait a tick, these re-released OG Jordan 1s predate my original OG AJ 5 purchase by four years. Click here to read about my first OG AJ 5 purchase. Wasn’t I once that boisterous kid with a shoe box full of loose change yapping enthusiastically with my brother Ralph about our first sneaker purchase?
Wasn’t I once that super hyped kid who saw and emulated Michael Jordan’s tongue swagger and flight dunks? Wait a tick (Insert hypebeast epiphany), as a kid, wasn’t I just like a hypebeast? And just like any other first time sneaker heat purchaser, we have all at one point had hypebeast-type tendencies.
Whether you are an OG sneaker enthustiast, or a trend following hypebeast, it doesn’t really matter. Because after all, labels are for bottles of Haterade, and sneakers are for wearing.