Darth Yeezy II Helmet

Darth Vader Nike Yeezy Sneaker Mask by Freehand Profit
The 130th sneaker mask created by Freehand Profit. Made from a single pair of Yeezy IIs. Inspired by the Sith without quit, the intergallatic man in black, Darth Vader. Crossed with a hint of Kanye West’s ‘College Dropout’ Bear. Find out more about the work on FREEHANDPROFIT.com.

The long wait is over, not only do we have a brand new Star Wars movie releasing this week, but I’ve decided to finally unveil the Darth Yeezy sneaker mask!

Darth Vader Nike Yeezy Sneaker Mask by Freehand Profit

Everybody has a Kanye theory, here’s mine:

Kanye West is the Darth Vader of Hip-Hop.

  1. Like the midi-chlorian infested young Annakin growing up on Tatooine tinkering away in his lab for Sebulba, Kanye got his start making beats, not rapping. Like Yoda, JAY Z was skeptical of the force in young ‘Ye.
  2. For his debut album Kanye brought together conscious emcees together with mainstream rappers, with potential to unite Hip-Hop – diamond crusted ballers and backpackers alike. Much like Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn predicted lil Anakin Skywalker would be the Chosen One of Jedi prophecy. Instead a dark shadow was cast over the galaxy.
  3. While never severing his “woke” soul completely, Kanye chose the dark side after experiencing terrible loss. Ego took the pilot seat, similar to how Anakin allowed his emotions become a desperate grab for power and control. They both hoped the ends would justify the means and insulate them from the pain and loss that comes with death.
  4. Few anti-hero/villians are as revered, we know they’re only out for self and yet we cheer for them. We revel in the egomania, savor the selfishness, what’s worse is we emulate it. Could I see the similarities of Darth Vader and Kanye West if I didn’t see so much of my self in both of them? Holding on to anger didn’t seem to help Vader.
  5. Jedi or Sith, either way they’re undeniably powerful.
Darth Vader Nike Yeezy Sneaker Mask by Freehand Profit
The shutter shades attach to the helmet using magnets. They were made using a silicone mold of the Yeezy (Air Tech Challenge II) sole, and of course they glow in the dark!

I don’t intend this as a condemnation of Mr. West. And as far as his villiany, to really only relates to the fight for Hip-Hop’s soul – an art form condemned by outsiders for it’s materialism/misogyny/violence yet Hip-Hop is a savior to it’s faithful insiders. I don’t know the man personally, OBVIOUSLY, just a fan for years, even if that fandom has waxed and waned through the years. I started listening to ‘Ye back during the Akademiks Jeanius Level mixtapes, and as a die hard Roc-a-fella fan I knew his work as a producer. Out of my crew I was the only cat who was interested in backpack/conscious Hip-Hop, so I was drawn to Kanye’s potential to bring together rappers from both sides of the culture, like Mos Def and Freeway or Talib Kweli and JAY Z. That search for balance in Hip-Hop is true to the core of my sneaker masks which represent the commercial and conscious in one. I put a lot of my own hopes and faith in Kanye during the College Dropout era.

He lost me for a bit after Late Registration, I wasn’t feeling most of Graduation and by 808s & Heartbreak I was already missing the old Kanye. They’re not bad albums, they just weren’t what I wanted. Not knocking the art, just wasn’t feeling it. It seemed to be a slippery slope as My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Yeezus and The Life of Pablo released. With Watch The Throne being a high point of Kanye showing us a taste of the ‘Ye I missed. There are fantastic, amazing, beautiful songs on those albums – just wasn’t for me.

Darth Vader Nike Yeezy Sneaker Mask by Freehand Profit
The 130th sneaker mask created by Freehand Profit. Made from a single pair of Yeezy IIs. Inspired by the Sith without quit, the intergallatic man in black, Darth Vader. Crossed with a hint of Kanye West’s ‘College Dropout’ Bear. Find out more about the work on FREEHANDPROFIT.com.

With what he brought to the sneaker world I felt like it was happening all over again. Think about his sneaker releases like his album releases:

  • College Dropout = Nike Air Yeezy 1. Both built on classic soul/sole samples.
  • Late Registration = Nike Air Yeezy 2. More soul/sole sampling, with more of Kanye’s groundbreaking, trendsetting, edgy styling. And the end of an era.
  • Graduation = adidas Yeezy 750. Rebirth, at this point he’s pushed the work to a point that it no longer seems familiar to us. Game changer.
  • 808s & Heartbreak = adidas Yeezy 350. If you’re 24 or younger this was an instant classic for you, some of us older heads had to warm up to it.

And so it goes, with V2s as MBDTF, 950 as Yeezus, TLoP is the 500s and well WTT is probably the Jaspers.

Just my humble opinion on an artist who is a catalyst for so many polarizing opinions.

A long time in the making, the original concept sketch was published as the final page in my 2012 art book ‘Army of the Undeadstock‘. The Darth Yeezy II helmet is my 130th sneaker mask and was modeled by @Figgs8and9. This mask no belongs to @jake88 but if you’re in the market for one of a kind Star Wars inspired sneaker art the Air Command Force Stormtrooper helmet is now available on ShopFreehand.com.

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