Rainey Inadvertently Sparks Hip-Hop Fad
South Carolina Board of Economic Advisors Chairman John Rainey accidentally sparked a global Hip Hop phenomenon this week by arriving for a revenue meeting in a pair of low-top Seersucker Converse All-Stars.
"Yo, these sneaks is dope," said rapper Big Boi of the group Outkast, who sported an identical pair out on the town Tuesday night in Atlanta.
By Wednesday morning, the limited edition Chuck Taylors were everywhere.
Rappers Jay-Z, Eminem, Ludacris, 50 Cent, and others were spotted wearing the shoes, and a spokesman for Converse - which manufactures the Chuck Taylor line - confirmed that all 36 Chambers of the Wu-Tang Clan had purchased a pair for themselves as well.
Rainey, who said he was merely trying to keep his feet comfortable while grossly understating South Carolina's revenues (again), appeared oblivious to the international craze his footwear had instigated.
"First of all that young man's name should be spelled Big Boy - with a Y - and the correct term for that other young man's name should be Fifty Cents," he said. "That is the correct plural form. There can be no fifty cent, there can only be fifty cents. The only time the term 'cent' is used is when one is dealing with a single cent. Once another cent is added, the term becomes plural - cents."
Informed that the rapper's name was pronounced "fiddy cent" or just "fiddy" for short, the Seersucker Kingfish became visibly irritated.
"This is grammar class!" Rainey bellowed to reporters. "I don't care who he is, there is no such thing as fifty or fiddy cent. There is only fifty cents. And the name of that Ludicrous fellow is spelled incorrectly as well."
Rainey said he had planned to wear the shoes on a walking tour across his gated community to drum up last-minute support for Treasurer Grady Patterson's flagging campaign, but that "the generational chauvinism displayed by this flagrant violation of the plural form of the English language" forced him to change his mind and purchase a pair of red, white and blue New Balance shoes instead.
When informed that his boss, Gov. Mark Sanford had endorsed Patterson's opponent Thomas Ravenel earlier in the day, Rainey threw his hands in the air in disgust and told reporters Sanford could "find him in 'da club, bottle full a bub."
Incidentally, Rainey estimated South Carolina's revenue growth for the coming 2007-08 Fiscal Year at 6%.