by David Downs
Behold below: Nike's alleged 2011 4/20 Dunks by skateboard artist Todd Bratrud. Sneakers have become the 'collectible commemorative plates' of the hip-hop generation, and this year's run of 1,000 special edition 4/20 high top basketball shoes or “Dunks” is reportedly inspired by Cheech & Chong. Sneakerhead website SoleCollector.com reported March 26th that the Chong Dunks follow last year's “Skunk” Dunks released on April 20th, the quasi-official marijuana counterpart to alcohol's St. Patrick's Day.
“The heels are designed after the signature headwear worn in the movie Up In Smoke by Cheech and Chong, while the use of what appears to be denim is a call-out to their gear as well. Accompanying the kicks are two sets of interchangeable black and green laces,” said Sole collector.
Reaction to the dunks have been mixed. Red is a gang-affiliated color in Los Angeles, associated with the notorious Bloods. “I'd be scared to wear these,” said Solecollector.com commentor "jcollect".
“Dude tryin to get folks shot with that red bandanna detail,” added commenter "35".
Are 4/20 shoes a good business move for Nike? Does hip hop culture tacitly condone sweatshop labor? Is 4/20 more mainstream than ever?