Social Media Week: Sneaker Talk With @JerryPurpdrank


Iyana Robertson / July 22, 2014

@JerryPurpdrank’s secret to his five million Vine followers is simple: find the funny in everything. While the 20-year-old Boston native pokes fun at all walks of ratchet life from relationships to busting the Nae Nae, his most popular 6-second bits showcase the life of a sneakerhead. Highlighting the lengths to which a shoe lover will go to protect his precious footwear, hyperbole and materialism make for a great social media time. But he’s just joking, right? – Iyana Robertson

VIBE: How important are sneakers to someone’s overall flyness?
The number one thing that people look at are shoes, I think. Like, when you first see someone, you look at their shoes first. Well, from a guy. And then you by the outfit to see how fly someone is. I feel like the shoes are the base. Everything revolves around the shoe.

Which sneaker started you obsession with kicks?
The first pair I got was a pair of Jordan 9 Citrus, and I save up money to get those. It was so hard to get back then. The struggle was real when I was young [laughs]. So I could never get Jordans, Nikes or anything like that. But then I got a pair of these Jordan 9 Citrus, and it just changed everything. That’s when I was like, ‘Oh, man. I gotta get more pairs.’ There’s no going back.

Okay, so what separates a real sneakerhead from a fake one?
There are some people that are like, ‘I got these, these and these,’ but they don’t know the names, or if Jordan wore them or not. I think that’s what separates the sneakerheads. Like, I’d ask ‘Yo, what did you have on your feet today,’ and they’d say ‘Oh, I had some black and red 11’s on,’ instead of saying Bred 11’s. That’s where the line crosses.

So you have to know your official names and you have to know your sneaker history.
Yeah, you have to.

In your videos, you go to some pretty crazy ends to protect your kicks. What the craziest thing you’ve done to protect your sneakers in real life?
I remember I had this new pair of Supreme Foamposites, like brand new. They were expensive, and I loved them. I went to a party with them on, and everyone was just not caring about where they were stepping. So I took them off and put them around my shoulders, because no one was paying any attention to where they were standing.

You had your shoes off in the middle of a party?
Yeah, shoes off. And everyone was like, ‘What are you doing?’ But I had to protect them. I gotta keep them safe.

Wow. And what’s the craziest thing you’ve done to actually cop a pair?
I’ve camped out for a couple pairs. The longest I’ve waited was like 16 hours for a pair.

What pair was that?
I think it was the Bred 11’s.

You my friend, are crazy.

If you could pick a celebrity sneaker idol, who would you pick?
Damn, can I pick two? Second place would probably be The Game, and then first place would be DJ Khaled. The Game has a crazy Foamposite collection, like out of this world. I wish I could have a Foam collection like that. But DJ Khaled’s all-around game? He got all the exclusives, and everything that comes out before it even comes out. Way before they come out. So those are my two picks.

Give us a quick do’s and don’ts of being a sneakerhead.
A definite do is keep them clean. You gotta know your shoes too. Don’t ever be too cocky about the shoes you’re wearing. Don’t treat them like a regular pair of shoes that anybody can get. They’re really limited, so treat your shoes with respect. Don’t walk around in mud and rain in them. I’ve seen people literally walk through mud.

And do’s and don’ts as far as copping kicks?
If you’re camping out, don’t take a life for a pair of shoes [laughs]. Don’t do anything crazy that could put you away. It’s never worth it.

What are you top five kicks of all time?
Okay top five ever, no particular order though: Space Jam 11’s, Black Cement 3’s, Carmines, Bred 11’s and probably the He Got Game 13’s; [Jordan] did work in those shoes.

No non-Jordan picks?
Nah [laughs]. Not from me.

But what’s the fascination with Jordans? I mean, besides the fact that they’re connected to Michael Jordan.
Jordans just go with anything. I swear you can wear Jordans casual, and you can wear Jordans formal if you want. It’s just the go-to shoe. It’s just what everyone has grown up on too, since they’ve been around forever. Well since the 80’s. So you just have to get some J’s.