Sneakers and hip hop go back a long time. Ever since Run-DMC made a fashion statement with Adidas Superstars on their feet, rap artists and fans around the world have identified with fresh kicks for one reason or another. Check out our list of the best rapper / sneaker collaborations of all time:
NIKE DUNK HIGH X THE WU TANG CLAN
Starting with a holy grail for sneakerheads all over the world, The Wu Tang Clan Nike Dunk High was released in 1999 as a promo piece only for the band members and their family and friends, limited to only 72 pairs. With a simple combination of colors, black and yellow, what makes the difference is a WTC logo embroidered into the heel and tongue label tag.
LOUIS VUITTON X KANYE WEST
Kanye West is definitely a legend to his fans, not only as a musician, but also as a fashion trendsetter. He has worked with some of the highest-level fashion companies, exemplified by his 2009 Louis Vuitton sneaker collection. Anything with a Louis Vuitton logo on it will not have a low retail price, but if you had a chance to purchase these in store, you can consider yourself lucky. If you find a pair today, they will cost almost three times the original price.
NIKE AIR YEEZY 2 X KANYE WEST
Last february, Nike's twitter account posted one of sneakerheads' most awaited tweets of all time, announcing that they were finally releasing the Nike Air Yeezy 2 Red October. Priced at $245, they sold out in ten minutes. Continuing the success of Yeezy's first model, the second version of Kanye's shoes were still a huge success, even more so when Mr. West announced he was leaving Nike and joining the creative team of Adidas. We can't wait to see the Adidas x Kanye West collab, scheduled for 2015.
ADIDAS SUPERSTAR X RUN DMC
Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Run DMC's "My Adidas," the three stripes company produced a special version of the iconic Adidas Superstar 2. The sneaker comes in the signature white and black colorway, made so popular back in the '80s. With details like embroidered "JMJ" letters on the heel tab, a homage to the legendary DJ Jam Master Jay, and the dookie rope chain lace locks, the official release came out in 2011, in addition to the "My Adidas" graphic T-Shirt.
AIR JORDAN 4 X EMINEM
Eminem and the Jordan Brand team got together in 2004 to design these beautiful Air Jordan 4 celebrating the rapper’s album Encore. Limited to only 50 pairs and inspired by Slim Shady’s hometown, Detroit, these blue, grey, black and red jordans were only distributed to family and friends.
AIR JORDAN 2 X EMINEM
In december of 2008, Eminem got together with Jordan Brand to create a new heat. With only 313 pairs available, because 313 is his hometown area code, a portion of the money raised selling these was donated to Marshall Mathers Foundation, helping at risk youth. The shoes features a black, grey, red and white colorway along with Eminem's song The Way I am.
AIR JORDAN "OVO COLLECTION" X DRAKE
As the new Jordan Brand signee, Drake took the Air Jordan 10 and the Air Jordan 12 silhouettes to create the "OVO Collection." Coming in both black and white versions, the shoes have a deluxe stingray leather treatment. These sneakers are only available to the OVO friends and family, and are not for sale to the public.
NIKE AIR FORCE 1 X ROC-A-FELLA
Also In 2004, an all-white low top Air Force 1 was released with only one little detail, the Roc-a-Fella logo on the heel. Given to the members of the label, it is pretty much impossible to find these for sale today.
ADIDAS X DEF JAM RECORDS
In 2009, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Def Jam Records, Adidas presented a large sneaker pack. On top of collaboration with Def Jam label, the three stripes also presented collabs with Ghostface, Young Jeezy and Red Man as part of the pack.
NIKE DUNK HIGH X DE LA SOUL
Back in 2005, Nike released a sneaker to celebrate De La Soul's essential 3 Feet High and Raising album. A low white version was also released, but it's nowhere as loud as the Nike Dunk High version.
NIKE DUNK HIGH X MF DOOM
MF Doom is a legend of rap music, and could not be out of our rapper / sneakers list. Back in 2007, Nike teamed up with the iron mask producer and emcee to create a solid dark tones Nike Dunk High. Joining premium leather, nubuck and an ostrich-like material, MF also added a draw of his mask on the tongue tag and inside the translucent sole. A nice detail also is the DOOM tag stitched on the ankle.
NIKE AIR FORCE 1 X QUESTLOVE
Proclaiming this to be "an extension of [his] personality," Questlove and Nike released these Air Force 1 sneakers in 2008. With a combination of neon elephant print, burgundy leather and red canvas, the drummer of The Roots made one of the loudest Air Force collaborations of all time.
ADIDAS JS WING 2 X A$AP ROCKY
Adidas launched the "Black Flag" Wings 2.0 in 2013 as an early collaboration featuring the fashion designer Jeremy Scott and Harlem based rapper A$AP Rocky. Featuring a tonal-black American flag scheme with stars and stripes embroidered all over the shoes, these shoes capture A$AP Rocky's personal style.
ADIDAS STAN SMITH X PHARRELL
None of the guys above are probably as happy as Pharrell is now, after the huge success of his last single "Happy." The big hat guy debuted a customized pair of Adidas Stan Smith with 1600 Swarovski crystals during his Saturday Night Live performance earlier this year.
NIKE DUNK HIGH X PHARRELL
These days, Pharrell walks with a shining Adidas, but back in 2004 it was pretty different. These Nike Dunk Highs were limited to only 1050 pairs, and the production number can be found in the inner tongue. Besides the premium black letter and translucent soles, the N.E.R.D logo is embroidered in the tongue tag and also in the heel side panel.
What do you think? What's your favorite rapper affiliated sneaker? Let us know in the comments.