Brooklyn-based rapper CurT@!n$ is steadily buzzing throughout the hip-hop interwebs with his latest mixtape,?The Adventures of Dope Boy C: Dope For President, and collabs with a variety of artists from Mickey Factz to Gucci Mane.
We got a chance to chop it up with the man who Kanye called a “true genius of fashion”, about the music, performing at Sneaker Pimps NYC, and what else, the kicks.
Check out the interview after the jump, and go support the man by giving his mixtape a listen.
Nice Kicks: ?Who is CURT@!N$, and what can the readers expect from your music?
CurT@!n$: ?CurT@!n$?is just the modern-day Keith Haring – pop art in the flesh – Brooklyn, New York. ?When you pick up the music, you can just expect the unexpected. ?I don’t even know what to expect from my music truthfully.
What motivated you to get into music?
What interested me early on was LL, EPMD, and Ice Cube, but you know, I just got the music bug and ran with it. ?Kept perfecting my craft, making records, battling, and mimicking other rappers – just studying the game like it was school.
You’ve got some pretty dope videos out now. ?One of my favorites is “Night of the Living Dope” – how did you come up with the concept?
I just want to have fun and showcase me. ?That was really my bike, all my clothes on the rack. ?Everything in there was mine. ?I just went to my house, and was like, “Hmm, how could I show people how I’m livin'”. ?I was like, “Hey I’m gonna ride my bike in the video, and shoot a rack of all my clothes”. ?The director came with the after effects – like the lighting, the eyes – and everything turned out crazy.
So now to the sneakers. ?How was it performing at the last Sneaker Pimps in NYC?
The energy was crazy. ?I had this thing where I took one shoe off, and held it in the air Run DMC style. ?You know, the kids were real excited, ready to show off their kicks too. ?I would never call myself a sneakerhead, but?I enjoy a good pair here and there.
What’s that one shoe that got you hooked to sneakers?
The Jordan 1s – the black and blue.
Nice. ?So when you were growing up, what were cats wearing in your neighborhood?
Always Jordans. ?New Balances were sitting pretty up there in my neighborhood, but always Jordans. ?Later, there were basketball sneakers, you know, the David Robinsons, the Pippens, Air Maxes.
How many pairs do you own?
Man, I go in and out, but I would say I physically probably have about 10 pairs. ?In storage and different people’s houses, I probably have about over 400 pairs. ?And that’s not like 400 regular. ?Like I said, I’m a snob so everything I have is something holy grail-type level. ?I have every Jordan, the originals, the first retros. ?I got all the really dope pairs like the Supremes, and stuff like that. ?I would say I have like 400 really good pairs. ?But only 10 of them are physically in my possession.
Do you wear your shoes?
I wear everything. ?Like when you say “sneaker head”, as the word “collecting” is synonymous with sneaker head, I don’t collect anything. ?I’m a “collector”, but I like to use my collection. ?If I’m collecting sneakers, I wear them to show them. ?They say its a piece of art, and it’s wearable art. ?Like my Jordan 1s, my favorite sneakers, they’re worn to the ground, and I still wear them. When I get my next pair, I’m gonna wear ’em to the ground you know what I’m sayin? ?I wouldn’t like them sitting on the shelf somewhere.
So what are you rocking right now?
Jordan 1s – black and blue. ?Still.
Ha. Last pair you bought?
I haven’t bought a pair of sneakers in so long it’s not funny. ?I’ve just been blessed to be in a position where if I want something, I can just make a phone call or it’s offered to me. ?I got the Yeezys, a lot of the kicks kids have been craving for, but I didn’t buy ’em. (laughs)
Is there an upcoming release that you would actually be interested in purchasing?
I heard those Infrared VIs are coming back, and I heard the original black VIIs are coming back – they’re ones that I’m pretty interested in. ?I would say those two.
Are you feeling any of these new indie brands?
Umm…I don’t know. ?I’m more of a snob – I’m still Jordans and Puma Clydes. ?Like I’m stuck in that zone. ?I haven’t seen a new sneaker that really put me, you know, somewhere. ?It’s still kind of…maybe I just gotta get used to them, but I haven’t really seen a pair that did it for me yet.
Why do you think shoes matter?
Well, growing up where I’m from, early New York, it was a status symbol to have certain sneakers. ?That stuck with us as we grew up. ?Like you know how much a pair of Jordan IIIs are worth when you see somewhere wearing them. ?You’re like “Damn, that guy has something expensive on his feet.”
What’s the most innovative sneaker you’ve seen as of late?
I think the Yeezys are the best “new” sneaker to come out in years. ?I might offend certain sneaker heads, but I think the last, original, good sneaker might have been the first LeBrons.
What’s one thing you dislike about the shoe game?
Probably the over-saturation. ?It kind of takes away the fun and excitement in the purchase. ?Before, it wasn’t that easy to get a pair of Jordan IIIs – it’s kind of not that hard to get them anymore. ?It takes away the thrill of chasing, getting, and then wearing. I think the over-saturation bugs me a little bit.
Where do you usually go to pick-up?
That’s it? ?Flight Club?
Flight Club. ?Well, Sportie LA also has a good archive – you can find some gems in there.
So what’s next for you? ?Anything else you want to speak on?
I’m working on some stuff, got some stuff in store, so stay tuned. ?We got the Dope 4 President Mixtape that’s out now – we’re pushin that. ?We got some more stuff in the pipeline, but I don’t really want to…I like the whole element of surprise thing. ?When it’s droppin’, and you don’t expect it, it’s more impactful.