The struggle for Yeezys is real, and even celebrities aren’t immune. It can be argued that Kanye West is the most influential individual in the sneaker game right now. Hints of upcoming releases spark endless blog posts, and the actual drops incite near riots. It’s hard not to get caught up in it. For someone like President Barack Obama, he might be lucky enough to get blessed with a pair from ‘Ye himself. B-list celebrities don’t have it so easy, and sometimes resort to buying counterfeit versions of the popular sneakers. But when they do Yeezy Busta is there, ready to call them out.

Yeezy Busta is the nickname of a 19-year-old medical student, who has gained acclaim on social media for verifying the authenticity (and inauthenticity) of Adidas Yeezy Boosts. Complex recently interviewed Yeezy Busta, who remains anonymous to avoid any legal action, about how he became such an authority with nearly 190,000 followers on Instagram.



Yeezy Busta started the endeavor when he was in high school, and fellow students would brag about spending a lot of money on sneakers that he knew to be fake. He acknowledges following in the footsteps of Fake Watch Busta, who has become famous for calling out rappers and other celebrities for sporting inauthentic luxury timepieces. Since then, Yeezy Busta has spotted people such as Zac Efron, Jackie Chan, Soulja Boy and Teyana Taylor wearing fake Yeezys.

What’s remarkable isn’t just that celebrities wear fake sneakers, it’s how saturated the counterfeit market is. Yeezy Busta says he gets tagged a thousand times a day in photos by people who want to know if the sneakers in question are legit. He says that 7 out of 10 times, they’re fakes.

@kylemassey round 2. #busted

A photo posted by Yeezy Busta (@yeezybusta) on

Yeezy Busta is very thorough before calling out someone for wearing bootleg shoes. He has a collection of both legit and fake Yeezys so that he can find subtle differences and will only put a person on blast if he’s 100 percent certain he’s right. While he has met members of Kanye’s inner circle such as Pusha T, Yeezy Busta has yet to meet the man himself, although he would very much like to. “It’s a dream to meet Kanye. I don’t get starstruck, but that would be the one time I’d fan out.”

Justin Tejada is a writer and editor based in New York City. Follow him on Twitter at @just_tejada and Instagram at @justin_tejada.