A convo with NOLA's own, Juvenile.
While in New Orleans for the NBA's All-Star weekend we had the chance to speak with both Mannie Fresh [interview here] and Juvenile about the launch of the Reebok Classic x Sneaker Politics x Humidity Workout Lo Clean, a sneaker which has a special history in New Orleans.
Prior to shooting the video for "I Got That Fire" in 1999, Reebok went to the Magnolia Projects and gave Juvenile, Mannie Fresh and others some special edition camo versions of the Workout Lo, which the Hot Boyz wore during the video.
In honor of that iconic moment 15+ years ago, Reebok reached out to Juvi and Mannie to help launch a new shoe that pays homage to their history together. Select sizes of the kicks are still available now in Kid's and Men’s sizes at the Sneaker Politics store (216 Chartres Street, New Orleans) as well as online for $140.
Check out our chat with Juvi about those kicks, his favorite basketball player of all-time, the best "Ha" remix and more:
What do you remember from the "I Got That Fire" shoot when Reebok gave you all custom sneakers?
"I remember being hot as hell! They had a lot of pyro and it was hot and we got on top of the building so man, I remember just sweatin,' I changed like a hundred tee shirts that day. I remember that day very vividly."
You still got those shoes?
"Nah, I don't know where they at. Because that was before Katrina so after that a lot of that stuff was gone."
What do you think about this new tribute shoe?
"I'm lovin' 'em. I'm lovin' it, like McDonald's."
If you could create your very own Reebok sneaker what would it look like?
"It would definitely have camouflage on it. It would definitely have a 3 on it, so I'd be close to A.I. a little bit, and I think it would have to be something classic that's not too far out, because I'm simple. I don't wanna push the envelope too far but it would have to have some style to it too."
Craziest NBA All-Star weekend moment?
"LeBron got on stage with me and sung Back That Azz up with me at the GQ party at the last All-Star Game. It freaked me out, I ain't think he knew the words but he got up there and sung it word for word."
Favorite basketball player growing up?
"As a kid, definitely Larry Bird for me. I'm a Celtics fan. But my favorite player of all-time is Bill Russell, he's from Louisiana. Him and Robert Parrish are both from Louisiana, so that's my connection to the Celtics."
How about in the league today, who's your favorite player?
"LeBron right now is my favorite player because ever since that day he got on stage and sung that song [Back That Azz Up] we been locked in. So I done got a championship in with him so far."
When you made Back That Azz Up, did you have any idea how popular it would be? That white kids like me in New York would be blasting it in college for years to come?
"[Laughs] Fuck no. To be honest, I made the song from New Orleans, like the ratchet. I didn't know man."
"I'ma be honest, Mannie changed the music like 10 times so it was one of those situations where I kept changing the way I sang my song, til it came out that way. And I'm glad it came out that way."
Any songs that you put out that you wish were singles that weren't?
"Yeah, a few. One of my favorite songs is 400 Degreez [it's the first one I sing at all my shows] and I think by us naming the album that, that was too simple. People like expected that [to be the single] so that's why we didn't do it."
"And my other song was "Ghetto Children," I think that was one of my favorite songs on the album that I really wanted to be a video, but things don't go your way all the time."
Which "Ha" remix was your favourite? Jay Z or the Hot Boyz version?
"I like the Jay Z version, not to take nothing away from my clique but I like the Jay Z version because it kept the music the same. The Hot Boyz version changed the track up."