Eric “Shake” James Designs “414 Day” adidas Collab For Milwaukee


Eric “Shake” James grew up with aspirations of being a rapper, a dream shared by many kids from the hood like him in the ’80s. So when his big homie called him up and asked him if he wanted to play basketball with Run-DMC, Shake thought his friend was pulling his leg.

He wasn’t. It just so happened that the hip-hop superstars were in Shake’s hometown of Milwaukee, on tour with some downtime. Shake and his friends would often shoot hoops together at a local gym, so they met there and started playing ball. Shake and Jam Master Jay hit it off, and after the hoop session, Jay gave Shake his number and told him to keep in touch.

That was the start of a friendship that completely changed Shake’s life. After some time had passed, Shake hit Jay’s line and was told to meet the group up in LA. So he drove out there, and next thing he knew, he was on tour with Run-DMC, serving as the group’s hype man.

Eric “Shake” James and the late great Jam Master Jay

As we all know, Run-DMC rocked adidas heavy, and the Three Stripes showed love back with tons of free product. There were even talks of the group getting their own adidas store in NYC, though these plans fell through after the tragic loss of Jam Master Jay in 2002.

Shake revived these plans years later, but instead of having the store in NYC, he opened up shop in his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This was the birth of CLICKS, a shop that embodies the cultural impact of adidas and Run DMC where you can cop the (CL)othes and k(ICKS) that define streetwear and hip-hop culture.

Shake never became the rap star that he dreamed of becoming when he was a teen, but life had other plans for him. Besides running multiple storefronts in Milwaukee, Shake is heavy into philanthropy, giving back to Milwaukee’s underserved communities through his nonprofit organization J.A.Y. Academy. Programs from over the years have included back-to-school giveaways, Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas toy drives, and scholarships, all done in Jam Master Jay’s honor.

adidas Cornerstone Community is J.A.Y. Academy’s largest donor and partner. The brand has donated thousands of sneakers for the cause over the years, as well as bookbags, tees, and other gear. Together, adidas Cornerstone Community and J.A.Y. Academy have hosted over 15 community-driven events since 2020, with plenty more planned for the future.

The latest collab between Shake and adidas comes in the form of a limited-edition sneaker releasing in honor of 414 Day, an annual holiday for Milwaukeeans to celebrate the city they call home. The 414 Rivalry Low is imbued with Milwaukee DNA, with tons of details to pay tribute to the city and its culture.

The shoe is equipped with a cream-colored smooth leather upper, with a brick pattern applied to the tongue as a nod to the Cream City bricks used as building materials throughout the city.

“Back in the 1900s, there was a big warehouse fire in Milwaukee, and the only thing that survived the fire was the Cream City brick,” Shake tells Modern Notoriety. “One of my stores is in that area, it’s called the Third Ward. They turned all of those old warehouses into shops, it’s like SoHo. Inside all of those locations they have the Cream City brick so I was like okay, I gotta make sure I have a good representation of the Cream City brick.”

The tongue tags feature the adidas Trefoil logo dipped in two of Wisconsin’s famous culinary staples: cheese on the right shoe and beer on the left shoe. A cheese wedge is also applied to the lateral heel.

Green and red accents on the shoe are a tribute to the city’s NBA team, the Milwaukee Bucks. “I’m a huge Bucks fan, so I wanted to use that OG vintage Bucks colorway,” says Shake. “The Bucks was super gracious and signed off on it.”

Additional graphics paying homage to Milwaukee’s culture and architecture are found on the insoles and special box. The bowling ball and pins nod to a popular pastime in the city.  There’s a mustard-covered bratwurst for another one of Milwaukee’s culinary staples (make sure to hit up Milwaukee Brat House if you’re ever in town). There are also some famous landmarks, such as the Pierhead Lighthouse and the Hoan Bridge.

Each pair comes with two metallic microphone hangtags, inspired by the “Five Mics” rating system given to rab albums in The Source magazine. This detail also appeared on Shake’s first adidas sneaker collab, the “Day One” Forum Low, which released in November 2023.

“For me, that’s my representation of my lineage in hip-hop,” Shake tells MN. “They used to have this thing, back when music was really music, you know, for real. They used to give you five mics. So if you get five mics you had a great album. If you had 4 1/2 mics, ehh, you might still go cop it. 1 mic, that’s terrible. I wanted to incorporate that into the series of sneakers that I’m doing. The first shoe was the Day Ones, so I did two mics on that one. And this one will have two mics again, so that’ll be four mics. And so then the next one will have the final and the fifth mic, so that’ll be the five mics.”

Last but not least, the first 414 pairs of the shoe will be numbered out of 414, with the number displayed on the medial side of the midsole of the left shoe.

Leading up to 414 Day, on April 11th, adidas Cornerstone Community and J.A.Y. Academy will host a sneaker fair featuring a design workshop for students of Siefert Middle School. There will also be a 414 Rivalry Low release party on April 12th featuring performances by some of Shake’s friends from the music industry: hip-hop legend Lil Kim, Brooklyn Queen, and a live DJ set by Mr. New York.

“The sneaker fair, that’s super super super super important to me, because I always wanna make sure that I have a community element attached to anything that I do,” says Shake. “I really appreciate adidas for supporting me on that vision. And so we have 120 kids, 120 pairs of white leather adidas Superstars and Stan Smiths. And we bringing somebody out from Wood U, Tony Holmes, who’s Front Page Tony, the Jedi from adidas, been at adidas for 35 years.”

2024 marks a major milestone for J.A.Y. Academy, as it will be opening its own physical community space this August. The grand opening will coincide with the organization’s back-to school event, which will include free shoes, backpacks, haircuts, food, tutoring, and more, making sure the kids are well-prepared for the school year. Future programming at J.A.Y. Academy will include wellness workshops, financial literacy classes, and other forms of professional development to help kids have a better opportunity in life.

The 414 Rivalry Low by Shake and adidas will be available on Saturday, April 13th in-store at CLICKS, located at 1916 E Capitol Dr in Shorewood, WI. It will also be available online at starting at 11:14am CT. Grab a detailed look below.

Shake x adidas Rivalry Low “414”
Style Code: IH3150
Release Date: April 13, 2024
Price: $130 USD


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