An Exclusive Look at the Ice-T x Vans Syndicate Footwear Collection

Following our preview of the Ice-T x Vans Syndicate collection late last week, we’ve now got a look at the footwear collection from this unique collaboration. The footwear collection features both the Sk8-Hi “S” and the Chukka “S,” both of which stick to a black and white color palette. In the words of Ice-T, “One’s more gangster. One’s more pimp.” The more gangster of the two, the Sk8-Hi “S” features a black and white upper consisting of a black suede toe box, tongue, eyestay and heel, and white canvas sidewalls. Premium pigskin leather is utilized for the plush lining and the sidestripe. The shoe also features “Ice-T” embroidered on the sides, “RHYME” on the tongues, and “O.G.” on the heels. The more pimp shoe, the Chukka “S” keeps things simple and features an all-black upper consisting of nubuck for the forefoot and tongue with perforated nubuck for the sidewalls, and a heel tab with “OG” embroidery. Both models sit atop crisp white vulcanized soles and feature lyrics in gold foil on the insoles. To coincide with the upcoming launch, Jeff Potocar of Vans Syndicate sat down with Ice-T to talk about video games, gangsta rap and keeping things real. Check out a few excerpts below and head over to Vans Syndicate for the full piece as well as information on where to purchase the shoes.

Jeff: When did you start Rhyme Syndicate?

Ice-T: What happened was when I started rapping and I finally got my first record deal, there were a bunch of people that I was friends with in L.A. that wanted to break in, but they hadn’t really broken, WC, Mad Circle, groups like 783, Muggs from Cypress Hill, who was the DJ, and Everlast and all these people that were in my cypher, but I was the first person to get a record deal.  So what I did was I told them.  I said, “If I really make it, I’ll come back and try to give y’all a record deal, I’ll try to form related label scenario’s.  So Warner Bros. gave me some action and the first thing was a compilation, which is called Rhyme Syndicate Coming Through.  And the reason we used the term “syndicate” was a syndicate is a group of groups with a common goal, and I felt that it’s – for me to say I would be in charge of all these groups would be a little arrogant, so I would say, “Look, you guys got groups.  You guys have leaders.  Let’s just say all the leaders will sit at the table, and before we have beef, we’ll discuss it.”  So I just organized all the West Coast groups into an organization.

Jeff: You were the guy that made O.G. a household term. That’s a big one.

Ice-T: Well, I mean, the thing of it is is O.G. comes from the gang, so O.G. meant the first-generation gang member from a particular set, so if you went to, say, Hoover Crips, the O.G.s were the guys that created the set.  Now, it also meant original, so you got the O.G. Vans.  You got the O.G. 501 Levis.  You got the O.G. Dickies, O.G. White K-Swiss.  It’s the original ones, not the ones that came after that, so original just means they were the first to do it.  Suicidal is O.G. Venice gangster punk.  They were the first, and that makes them O.G.  So when I did the album, what happened was – well, my first album, if you listen to Rhyme Pays, I don’t – cause I don’t call myself a gangster.

I’m the L.A. player, right, but there was a lotta – we used to say I turned the P into a G real quick, homie, so there’s a lotta gunplay in stuff like “Pain” and “Squeeze the Trigger.”  So then NWA came out, and Cube said, “We’re from the gang called Niggas with Attitude,” so instead of calling themself a rap group, he said, “We’re the gang,” so the press said, “This is gangsta rap.”  The press made the term “gangsta rap.”  Then I came back and I said, “Well, if it’s gangsta rap, then I’m the original gangster.”  So that was the progression of the word, and I did the album cover with one picture of me in shackles and another picture of me in a tux next to the Ferrari, which basically really was saying regardless to which one you’re looking at, I’m the other one, too, so if you see me in shackles, hey, next week I might be in a tux, and you see me in a tux, next week I might be in the shackles.  So I’m the same guy, and that was one of my best albums.  That album was intended to be a double album, but they wouldn’t do it, ’cause they said they couldn’t make a cassette long enough back in those days.