Could Yeezy Surpass The Jumpman?

A debate for all die hard sneaker-heads.
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A debate for all die hard sneaker-heads.

“Yeezy, yeezy, yeezy just jumped over Jumpman.” – Kanye West.

Call it a “feat” if you’d like, or just a ‘win-win of modern youth’, but Kanye West has made it very clear that he believes his signature shoe has surpassed the legacy of Michael Jordan’s‘ Jumpman’. Of course, die-hard Jordan brand lovers who stick to their root classics will disagree with this wholeheartedly, but the sneakerhead argument of how could a shoe (that’s only just a few years old) step over the culture Air Jordan pioneered in the sneaker game- is seemingly about to be answered.  

On one hand, you have Kanye West, one of history’s most influential pop icons who has ever lived, and on the other is Michael Jordan, basketball’s living legend who redefined the sport as we know it. How does one compare the two? Apples and oranges, right  

Wrong. 

We’re discussing sneakers, so in comparison, it’s accurately apples and apples. The bigger question is simple, Granny-smith or Ruby Red? And this is where the debate starts that we all can’t get a break from. There’s no question, both sneakers are highly attractive by nature. Tinker Hatfield is to blame for Air Jordan’s stylish lineage. Kanye West is who to point the finger at for the Yeezy Boost, which is visually stunning in both models (350 & 750). Not to mention his previous work with Nike, where he created the Air Yeezy 1 & 2.

Kanye West (Left) & Michael Jordan (Right)

Kanye West (Left) & Michael Jordan (Right)

When you boil down this debate to the foundation, the only thing that draws the line in the sand is Jordan’s sports history which has become associated with the sneaker. What about the Flu Games in 1997 where his “airness” dropped 38 points under the weather – in the NBA Finals? Or maybe even the 1985 ‘Banned 1’s’ in which Jordan was fined $5,000 a game for wearing – due to breaking uniform regulations? Oh, wait – can’t forget the 1996 “Space Jam’s” that Jordan wore in the hit Looney Tunes movie ‘Space Jam’ against intergalactic enemy aliens who played basketball?

Hold on – what about Yeezy, you ask?

“The College Dropout” redefined the Hip Hop game as we all know it to be today. Over 21 Grammy wins and several nods for his discography. “Jesus Walks” which was syndicated all over the world, including the strip clubs? Being deemed one of the best “rappers” in the game, being a true “producer” at heart. Cross-breeding multiple genres in Hip-Hop, while breaking barriers in the category. Designing hit clothing and sneaker lines that shifted outside the intersections within international culture.

And the list goes on and on between the two.

In regards to what can actually end the argument one and for all, it all comes down to a matter of personal preference, but if you’d like a more in-depth look into the debate, check out the featured video above. Prof. Timothy Welbeck, (of Temple University Africology & African American studies dept.) gives his professional opinion on the subject at hand.  

What’s your take on this debate?