The very visible identity crisis occurring on the top floor of the West Betoota Culture Kings is made worse by the fact that casual salesman Kieran Moloney (18) can’t greet a customer without a lengthy high-five.

“Wassup my ninja?”” Kieran asks a 13-year-old sports shoe enthusiast, before embracing him with a the type of hug that gangsta rappers give each other in video clips.

The weird cartoonish American-sounding accent that Kieran uses is no longer that noticeable to his coworkers, who understand he would give anything to be black – or at least have black friends.

“What you doing this weekend my little homie?” he asks the kid in front of his mother.

“Turning up? [haha]”

As one of the great retail success stories to come out of Queensland, Culture Kings is a modernised hip hop-themed franchise, home to the a popular and vast range of streetwear brands that cross all different aspects of sport and music culture – targeting predominantly minority-identifying youth and the occasional pakeha.

However, as is also the case with hip hop promoters, the most vocal sportswear retail employees are usually chased down by young white men emulating the mannerisms of African American rappers.

As the rest of Australia’s culturally frustrated young white men plaster social media with borderline Nazi propaganda about Melbourne’s South Sudanese community, Keiran is an example of a bored white kid who has gone the other way, and would actually love the sense of belonging that comes with being in a gang.

“You heard that new Joey Badass joint?” Keiran asks one of the Samoan barbers in the back of the store.

“Real bars homie”


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