Air Jordan IV: Hip Hop Takes On A Classic
A couple of things changed with the 4s and the decisions made by MJ and Tinker Hatfield who designed them, led to them featuring a lot in the hip hop scene.
First of all, they immediately became available in a lot more colours. The previous versions had been such a success that extending the production line for different colour options became very profitable.
Ultimately, the design and colours were so popular that they featured in the Spike Lee movie called Do The Right Thing. It’s a very funny movie. Check it out if you can get your hands on it, as you’ll see them in many scenes.
This was also the year where Jordan scored “The Shot” in the 5th playoff game against the Cavaliers. With just 3 seconds left on the clock, he managed to pull off a jump shot with an amazing amount of hang-time.
With 0 seconds on the clock, he sinks the ball and wins the game with a score of 101-100. While he did have many spectacular shots in his career, this is one that stands out for the pressure it was under.
Tinker Hatfield worked closely with Michael to come up with a new design that looked great and better suited his gameplay.
What stands out the most when you see them next to the 3s is that there is a triangular shaped section above the heel. Along with the ability to adjust the highest setting for the laces, the shoes provided a lot better ankle support.
They also still featured the small air window in the heel section, which would remain a prominent feature for years to come.
MJs 1988/89 Season Highlights
Just going by the stats, this was one of his best seasons despite falling short in the playoffs. He led the league for the second year in a row with 32.5 points per game.
But it was his defensive play that started to shine even more. With a total of 8.0 rebounds per game, he proved that he had so much more to provide than just field goal points.
The playoffs went a lot better than previous seasons, and the Bulls managed to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. This had only happened twice before in Bulls history, and the team was improving its performance very fast.
AJ 4s In Hip-Hop Culture
I already mentioned that the IVs appeared in the movie Do The Right Thing, but you can also spot them on a single cover by Ice T.
In 1989 he released the single What Ya Wanna Do, and while the cover is not as provocative as many of his albums, it is very clear that he’s trying to show off his kicks.
The 4s have been continuously retro-released and were available as recently as 2018. They are still very popular, and Nike have added a load of really sick colours that are worth checking out.
There’s even one called Oreo which definitely have the most unique design.