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Wherein we alert our reader to the demise of both Timberland boots and producer Timbaland.
Timberlands are dead, dunny. The style, the brand, the product, the image, and what have you. Dead. You heard me correctly.
I’m well aware that the acclaimed wheat-colored construction Timbo hooves have been considered the official hip hop rugged winter-in-New York joints since at least 1986. Therein lies the problem. You see, rappers used to not only endorse fly kicks but also provide public service messages in the form of well-written disses directed towards brands that failed to come correct.
In the late ‘80s, Chill Rob G astutely noted the sharp decline of quality of the previously disparaged, MC Shan-endorsed Pumas on his single “Chillin’”. Doug E. Fresh bravely reenacted a shootout between a pair of Bally’s and a representative of the obnoxiously over-exposed Adidas empire. While Bally’s may not have been victorious in the long run, figuratively bucking down the classic line of All Day Indonesians Die Assembling Sneakers was just so necessary by the time Run-DMC, well on their way to self-inflicted obsolescence, premiered their ugly-ass signature shoe line.
Timberlands, to my knowledge, have rarely been subjected to negative criticism by rappers. The brand’s acclaim is almost scarily universal, surviving not only an obscenely long passage of time since its first rise to prominence among hip-hoppers but also Hilfiger-like rumors purporting that Timberland’s corporate overlords, though publicly committed to “social responsibility,” were in fact unabashedly racist.
On Show & AG’s Goodfellas LP from 1995, AG repeatedly insists that he is finished messing with Timbs and now prefers Northface, though he never gives a specific reason for making the switch. One might assume that AG was either sick of the Boston-originated, New Hampshire-headquartered brand’s stranglehold on tri-state ghetto fashion or that he simply wanted to be an innovator. Perhaps he simply had the good sense to abandon ship just before the product’s quality began to rapidly deteriorate.
In any event, the construction Timbs of the 21st Century are a shadow of their former greatness. They are less durable, less water-resistant, and their lack of flavor and relevance should be obvious enough to anyone who hasn’t recently co-starred in a vintage Das Efx video.
The uber-white Young Black Teenagers once randomly declared in Cypress Hill-paraphrasing unison “Here is Something You Can’t Understand – We Can’t Afford Timberlands!” It rings true even today. Shoddily designed, poorly crafted, leaky, clichéd boots that have largely been re-co-opted by the white hipster elite and returned to their redneck origins just aren’t worth $100.
We here at OhWord ain’t having that- get yourself a pair of Clarks-GoreTex collabo jawns and move on with your lives.