His YEEZY Slides Just Went Viral.
Kanye West changed my life.
It took me two days, fifteen tissues and nine months to admit that out loud.
Let me lead with the fact that I have promised myself to never speak on Mr. West or the Conductor again for the rest of my life.
Let me also publicly admit what my friends and family already know; that anything related to Kanye is on an unspoken banned list of topics with me, and that it has taken me half of a whole ass year to be comfortable with hearing his music without getting choked up, like this:
When College Dropout released, I was a 22-year old single mom who was living right down to the wire, even through the fire. When I got married in 2007, I threw the Roc up in my diamond encrusted gown and exited to "Diamonds from Sierra Leone”.
It was Graduation that gave me the confidence to enter fashion when offered the job at KicksonFire.com and when my marriage came crashing down, there was nothing left but 808s & Heartbreaks.
After that, I was a muthaf*ckin’ Monster. In 2010, I peeked my head out from behind the screen and had a breakout year in media. I had to think quick, get cash and make em’ blink fast. My first time seeing Ye in concert was when Yeezus released, though honestly I was more excited to see Kendrick Lamar open for him. I wore the Kill Bill Superstars that I designed for an adidas project with Wex and it was magic.
In March of 2015, the Conductor and I were dreaming on the beach on his first trip to LA, drawing the God Bless the Fresh logo in the Malibu sand and confessing our deepest desires.
By February of 2016, we had accomplished 4/6 of our bucket list. By that time I had been relocated, he had been called to work on the Yeezy show (Tidal) and we both had been laid off.
TLOP dropped in February of 2016 and The Conductor said, “I want to do a Real Friends hat.” I told him that if he used the Friends font and I owned half of the business, I would be down. We dropped the halo that changed our lives. Thanks for the inspo Ye.
In September 2016, The Conductor was called at 11am to interview and he left on the St. Pablo Tour the next day.
We had officially accomplished everything we ever wanted to do and according to the Conductor, this job was going to secure the Cali house, the legacy of our brand and the rest of our lives. I believed in him to accomplish that, just as much as he believed in me to hold down the fort and so, he got on the bus.
We had no idea that Kanye West would have the year that he did.
We had no idea that he would be offered his dream job.
I had no idea that you cannot love a Kanye fan more than he loves Kanye.
After working every contract under the sun to keep us going and overwhelmed with 400 GBTF backorders, one lonely day in November I screamed, “Kanye West ruined my life!” It was all downhill after that and somehow during the emotional turmoil of the move out, I guess we both forgot to look under the bed.
Which is how we got to the slides.
I was doing some spring cleaning this past Sunday when I pulled out a couple of shoe boxes from underneath the foot of my bed. Behind those boxes was a single pair of adidas YEEZY Slides, which had to have been there since February - the last time I saw the Conductor.
And then I cried.
I cried for the broken girl who was left behind and the faithful woman who was born from that fire.
I cried for the hundreds of GBTF customers who were left with no explanation, while my integrity and relationship with God hung in the balance.
I cried for the hundreds of hours spent away from my children and the thousands of dollars it has taken me to crawl out of this hole.
I cried for the boy who loved an idol more than God.
I cried for the writer he wanted to silence and the stories she would never get to tell.
I cried for my fifteen year old son who never got a pair of Yeezys.
I cried for the visions on the board that will never take shape.
and then I smiled…because the end is also the beginning.
I smiled because at the end of the day, no matter how many hats I sell, books I write or websites I flip, I will always be that chick from KicksonFire. That one chick who trended #releasedayprobs when she couldn’t cop the Gammas for her son. That chick who was on Camp James with Trinidad, puttin’ on for the ladies. The chick who started #ChicksonFire with her best friend and has been a voice ever since. The chick with the hair and SB’s, who keeps it a buck and lives life out loud.
Then all of a sudden, I was proud. I held those slides in my hand like the holy grails that the internet would later proclaim them to be. Not because they were YEEZY. Not because they may or may not have been Kanye’s. Not because I thought Kanye ruined my life.
Because he didn’t. In fact, I have finally learned to live.
There are blessings in the lessons (as my mama says) and somewhere along the tumultuous journey that has been the last year of my life, I have learned to believe in myself as much as I believed in Kanye West and the Conductor, who took me on the ride of my life.
That, dear friends, is why I tweeted the photo.
I found more than just a pair of YEEZY Chanclas underneath my bed this weekend, I found my way back to me....
and damn, it feels good to be home.
It has been said by Jasmine Mans that Jesus never needed adidas to walk,
but this has truly been a God dream, thank you Mr. West.