by Christian Mordi / @Mordi_TheComeUp
1997 was a great year for hip-hop and basketball: Puff Daddy and Bad Boy were tearing up the charts, while Michael Jordan was amidst the “final” season of his legendary career and the Spurs were changing their franchise forever by electing to pick Tim Duncan with the No. 1 pick in the ’97 Draft.
adidas was at the forefront of this trendy era in both sports and fashion. Off the court, young people across the globe rocked shell toes and Stan Smiths and on the court, adidas had one of its most successful basketball shoes with the “Real Deal,” donned by Antoine Walker. During his sophomore season, “Employee #8” dropped 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds a night and made his first All-Star Game while rocking adidas’signature sneaker.
In honor of a golden year in hip-hop and basketball, and to celebrate the re-release of the “Real Deal“, SLAM has teamed up with adidas and renowned hip-hop connoisseur Frank The Butcher for the Real Deal (97) mixtape to keep your head ringin’ throughout All-Star Weekend.
The tape will feature MC’s like Freeway, Meyhem Lauren and Maffew Ragazino spitting over classic instrumentals from 1997. Today we have the first leak from the mix from New York native Kid Daytona, who spits over Jay-Z’s classic “Who You Wit” (prod. by Ski Beatz).
The full mix will drop tomorrow right here on SLAMonline. Today, we sit down with Kid Daytona to discuss style trends in ’97, the impact music had on him, his love for the Bulls as a kid and plenty more…
SLAM: What clothing brands were in back in 1997?
Kid Daytona: In 1997, as far as jackets, we were doing Avirex. You had one of those you were killing it. Either that, or a Pelle Pelle. As far as jeans, Pepe jeans and Parasuco jeans were popping. Timberlands were a New York staple, but we also did Gore-Tex boots as well. Coogi sweaters were ridiculous—we rocked them even though they would run you like $300 or $300. As far as sneakers, adidas were definitely in. My school was actually sponsored by adidas when I got older.
SLAM: Tell us about adidas’ impact on your life.
KD: For me, I was always a clean cat. Back then I was only doing black-and-white kicks. I was a heavy shell toe dude. I actually preferred the shell toe over the Air Force 1. Everyone was doing the Airs, but I was one of the ones coming through with the shell toes. I also did Stan Smiths. I went to Toronto and copped a pair of white and green Stans. Those were one of my favorite pair of shoes I ever had.
SLAM: There was a lot of good rap music being created back in 1997. What were you listening to back then?
KD: ‘Til this day, on some real shit, Ma$e is the reason I am the cat I am today. When Harlem World came out, I was in the sixth grade. That changed my life. It felt like he was really someone from my block that I knew, and it inspired me. It made me want to stay fresh, get up with the girls and all that. That album was like my bible, I memorized that shit. All the dances in the videos, that was all my shit.
I was also a big Wu-Tang fan. I used to draw the “W” in my notebooks and all that. When the Bad Boy movement ushered in, I made my transition. Bad-Boy was just fun. Biggie, and I remember when Puff used to put out mixtapes, with Black Rob, The L.O.X and all that. Classic moments.
SLAM: You were chosen to be apart of a project that represents a classic period in hip-hop and basketball. What are your thoughts on that?
KD: Well, Frank The Butcher is a friend of mine. We share similar tastes in regards to artistry. He respects real lyricism. I’ve known him since like 2009 when I first really came on the scene. To be a part of this tape is a blessing. Shouts to Frank The Butcher.
SLAM: What were some jams you didn’t get on that you still want to recognize?
KD: I always wanted to rap on “Victory” with Busta Rhymes, Puff Daddy and Biggie. I recently did a show in NYC with a live band and got to rap over “Can I Live” for the first time—that’s one of my favorite Jay-Z tracks right there. The beats in that era was special, there were so many cats out but everyone had their own unique style. It reminds me of the NYC scene right now.
SLAM: The “Real Deal” was worn by Boston Celtic Antoine Walker aka “Employee #8”. With this shoe he introduced fans worldwide to his celebratory “Shimmy.” Did you appreciate Walker’s swagger?
KD: Oh yeah man, I spit that in a lyric. He was one of my favorite players. I even remember watching him at Kentucky. I used to play with him all the time with the college games on Sega Genesis. Kentucky was the squad in that game, Antoine with Tony Delk and Walter McCarty. Crazy ’cause they all ended up playing in Boston together.
SLAM: Cool to see you were a fan of Walker even though you were from NYC. Were you a Knicks fan?
KD: Nah, growing up I was a huge Bulls fan. Jordan was like a super hero to me. That era in the ’90s, the Bulls were tough. When Mike left, I wasn’t really a fan of no one, just the game for a while. Right now I do love this Knick teams right here.
SLAM: Do you have a new project on the way?
KD: Yeah, I actually just came back from a Midwest tour run. I was in Chicago and I was really feeling the love they had for me out there. I decided to do a whole project with me and cats from Chicago. So the only features on that one will be guys from Chicago. That one will be titled Running with the Bulls. I am expecting that to be out end of this month or early March. I am also doing a project with Phil Ade, like a six-song EP. I am also still working on my Juice Up album as well. The people will get all of this music in the spring.