“My name is Matheus, but in the rap game, I’m known as Free. I’m just turning 20, and I’m currently a sneaker salesmen. I rap and sneakers represent so much to me, especially this Air Force 1. Since the first time I saw them, it was love at first sight.”
Free, what’s your relationship with sneakers in general?
Bro, my relationship with sneakers, is a great necessity in my life, sometimes I didn’t even care what I was going to wear, but I wanted to rock some dope sneakers, you know? I think sneakers are how people stand out. Women, they look at sneakers (laughs).
Do you have a lot of them, are you a collector?
At the moment I have less than I previously had. But I’m very happy with the ones that I do have. I really like the ones I own.
And what’s your relationship with this Air Force 1?
The relationship with this sneaker was love at first sight. When I was about 14 years old, I was watching the Notorious B.I.G. movie, and I saw those fly looking brothers with the white sneakers, baggy pants and polos with golden chains, and I was like “who are theses cats? What shoe is that?” I googled it, and 200 different sneakers came up, and none of them were the ones I was looking for. So I went to “Galeria do Rock” and I found them, but at the time I didn’t have enough money.
I started working, and I was able to raise enough money to buy them. But at first I didn’t buy the one that I really wanted, I bought a black Air Force, and later I ended up buying another all black one, until one day I was finally able to buy the white Air Force Ones that I really wanted.
This is a very special sneaker to me. I really dig them, they go with everything I put on and it’s hella stylish. Not to mention what this sneaker represents for Hip-Hop culture. Which is really dope.
Do you have a specific story with them?
There’s the story of the shoe itself, when I bought them: I was mad for these Air Force 1s and I had just quit my job, bro – I was unemployed, no money, fucked. Then I received a message inviting me to do a performance, you know? I didn’t have any fly clothes or cool sneakers to wear, so I thought “dude I need to buy some sneakers”. But I was dead broke. I was fucked anyway, so I snatched my cousin’s credit card and said I was only going to spend R$300, I was going to buy an SB and a t-shirt. But I ended up buying the full kit – A white Air Force 1 and a Martin Luther King shirt.
I was already fucked anyway with debts and no money (laughs), so it was the day of the show and it was really sunny. I thought I would go looking fresh, so I put on some shorts, the brand new Air Forces, and left home looking fly. When I arrived, it started raining. I was got fucked, got caught up in the rain on the first time I wore them. It was pouring rain on the way back, so I had to jump and dodge all the puddles. My homies said “wait up” and I was like “sorry, I’ll wait inside the bus”(laughs) I got home and I couldn’t believe that they weren’t all wet. Not even I could believe the amount of puddles I jumped over. When I got home, the first thing I did was clean them up and put them away in their new boxes.
So every time I wore them and took them out of the box when I got home, I would clean them up, I would clean even the outsole. If I could I would put down a napkin every time I took a step (laughs). Nowadays I use them more often, it feels like when you wear them with no restriction, they don’t get as dirty, he might get wrinkled but you won’t even notice. Since I’m a bit more stable now, I want to wear them for daily use and buy another one to use only for shows and performances.