Mkay Frash is the don of South African sneaker culture. He’s the founder and host of the online magazine Hunting For Kicks and part of the Boyz’nBucks crew — arguably the Justice League of the local street scene. Sneakers are his weapon, his tool and his metaphor. The shoes transport us, literally and figuratively. But they also leave imprints, documenting and celebrating a youth in motion. But, more than sneakers, Mkay is an OG in the game: a long-time curator, commentator, and producer of street culture.
We were lucky enough to get an interview with him about the current sneaker culture in South Africa and who helped shape the game. Check it out…
RB: You are from the notorious – Boyz’nBucks. Do you think you guys had a big influence in introducing the sneaker culture into the South African Hip Hop game?
MK: Absolutely we started back in 2009 with Galleryon4th in Melville Johannesburg, that’s why you hear it in the music. It’s based on Sneaker culture, street wear and fashion. We were definitely part of the change in South African game.
RB: You are the presenter for your own web series called – Hunting for Kicks. How did this come about and how do you keep it progressing within the scene?
MK: The show is 4 years old and we are now on our fourth season. It’s been a nothing but pleasure to see the sneaker scene grow and back then it was just me and couple of my friends. Now you see lines of kids parking for limited and sort after pair of kicks and I’m amazed every time I see it. I started the show for that, to expose the culture of sneakers in South Africa. I have been in it for years so most of the collectors and sneaker heads are my friends.
RB: Out of everyone you have interviewed, who had the best kicks?
MK: I truly believe every pair of kicks describes its owners self and what I mean by that is, everybody that I have interviewed in the past have made me appreciate their collection because they were describing themselves through their sneakers. However I must say Bradley from 2Bop and Mark Marc have some really crazy sneakers.
RB: In your appearance you always have headphones around your neck. What are your favourite beats for 2016?
MK: Drake Views, Kanye West Life of Pablo and Mae Township Counselor
RB: How many pairs of kicks do you honestly have?
MK: I honestly don’t know I got pairs at my Mom’s house and my Dads. I stopped counting at a 100 pairs and that was years back.
RB: How many are box fresh?
MK: I always keep 10 Box Fresh just in case.
RB: What does the future of sneaker culture hold for us in South Africa?
MK: For the culture to grow we need retail spaces, not chain stores. Independent small stores that carry the rare, limited and most wanted sneakers in the world.
So far Shelflife is the only store that brings that type of heat. We also need more trade shows like Sneaker Exchange to keep that culture moving and create the network where Sneaker Heads, re-sellers, store owners and brands can come together.
RB: Who will be the first South African Hip Hop artist to do a sneaker collaboration and with which brand?
MK: For me it has to be someone that’s is in the sneaker culture. Cats like Tumi and the Volume, Riky Rick, OkmalumKoolKat, Youngsta or even Stilo.
RB: How do you keep your sneakers clean?
MK: Jason Markk and SneakerLab are the solutions I use.