It’s hard to believe but Eminem aka Slim Shady aka Marshall Mathers turns 43 years old today. He’s been around so long that his little girl, Haley, is now out of high school and in college. Besides his masterful ability to spit rhymes and complex verses, he also has a pretty mean kick game. Since early on Em has stayed true to his own style. It might be 2015 but he still enjoys wearing baggy clothes and comfortable kicks. He might not be the musical fashion icon that Kanye or Drake are now, but his sneakers hold their own against any collaborations ever made. And with a strong connection with Nike it’s never a surprise to see him laced up in GR’s one day and heat the next.
The direct connection with Nike started way back in the early 2000’s represented during the Artist series. Here, Eminem got his own version of the Air Burst, a model he enjoyed wearing, which had a tongue tag donning the name Air Slim Shady (a personal favorite). 2004 is when we really see the Nike and the man from Detroit start cooking. To commemorate his album “Encore,” Nike created a trio of special Air Force 1 Low’s for Eminem’s friends and family. Details ranged from the album name, record company name, and Eminem’s logo on the uptowns. But the major sneaker was the special “Encore” Air Jordan 4 made. Rumored to less than 50 pairs created, this special AJ4 is one of the most sought after sneakers EVER. And eBay prices reflect that too.
But comfortable kicks are generally spotted on the rapper’s feet. He seems to love the comfort and cushioning that comes from of the Air Max lineup. You can often see him in simple pairs like Air Tailwinds or Air Max LTD. It wasn’t surprising when we saw a whole range of Air Maxes created for the Marshall Mathers Foundation. He and his label, Shady Records, put their spin on eight different Air Max models that were auctioned off and sold at select Nike locations. The most notable pair from that group was the “Proof” Air Max 1, paying tribute to the fallen rapper.
After the Air Max lineup it took a few years to see the next Eminem and Swoosh collaboration. This latest time it was a version of the Air Jordan 2, the first model Jordan he ever owned. His track “The Way I Am” inspired the grey, black, and red design. Just like every other Eminem sneaker. it was very limited– to only 313 in fact (Detroit’s area code) with an online-only release. That 2008 release was the last Nike x Eminem sneaker we have seen. However, it would be a great 43rd birthday present if they decided to green light this special Air Jordan 4 for the rest of the world to enjoy.