The Top 5 Hip-Hop Sneaker Collaborations Of All TimeBy Rachel Tooley | February 14, 2020
Nowadays it’s a common occurrence for leading sneaker brands to collaborate with some of the most popular names in hip-hop to create exciting, exclusive drops. Over the years, hip-hop has grown as a genre, and has a huge obsession with sneaker culture, and vice versa. Rappers including Pusha-T, Drake, Skepta, Eminem and Jay-Z have branched out to partner with labels like Nike and Adidas to create limited drops, some of which now resell for thousands of pounds.
We’re taking a look at some of the most iconic team ups between hip hop and sneaker culture, defining our top five sneaker collaborations of all time. From Ye’s first hit with Bapesta, to the iconic Run DMC Adidas collaboration (which made the brand one of the most relevant sneaker brands within urban fashion) it’s easy to ‘Lose Yourself’ in this list of crazy collaborative kicks.
5. Air Jordan IV Retro Carhartt x Eminem
This collaboration between Jordan x Carhartt x Eminem saw the exclusive release of Eminem’s very own Jordan 4 Retro sneaker. To commemorate the 15th anniversary of Shady Records, the shoe was released on November 13th 2015. This stealthy black and silver colourway featured a black upper of classic Carhartt twill, with silver chrome accents, a leather interior, waxed laces and a translucent gum outsole. The shoes are finished with Eminem branding – an impression of the rappers Jason Vondhees mask and his very own reverse ‘E’ logo.
4. Wu-Tang Clan x Nike Dunk High Le
The Wu-Tang x Dunk High Le collaboration was released as a ‘friends and family’ only drop in 1999, it’s estimated only 36 pairs of the shoe went into production, making it almost impossible to get your hands on a pair. Alongside the release, Nike debuted their ‘Be True’ collection at the same time, which contained a similar dunk shoe, in the same black and golden yellow colourway of ‘University Of Iowa’, however didn’t feature the coveted Wu-Tang branding. The shoes are still in rotation today, worn by rapper Travis Scott and featuring on his Instagram profile.
3. Jordan 1 x Travis Scott
Travis Scott himself is becoming renowned for his Nike collaborations, setting the bar with one of his most recent renditions of the Jordan 1 ‘Mocha’. This iconic Jumpman silhouette has been redesigned by Scott to feature the classic Jordan 1 features with a contemporary twist. The signature brown shade used by the rapper features on the upper over a contrasting off-white layer, an a black reversed ‘Swoosh’ of the lateral side of the shoe. Cactus Jack motifs finish the tongue of this silhouette and a hidden pocket features inside the ankle to hide your secret stash. This limited release is now re-selling for up to £3,000 on the sneaker market.
2. Run DMC x adidas Superstar
Run DMC have always been huge fans of the adidas brand, the group were renowned for wearing adidas on stage and during appearances, even before the adidas hype began. Following their hit track ‘My adidas’, the iconic rap group Run DMC secured a $1 million endorsement deal with the sportswear brand – which at the time was a huge deal. Being the first time that sportswear saw a collaboration with hip-hop, and the first time a basketball shoe was associated with the music genre, this collaboration was the starting point for a snowball in partnerships in following years.
1. Kanye West x Bapesta ‘Dropout Bear’
Designed and released in 2007 by no other than Kanye West, this release tops them all and was just the beginning for Ye’s success in the sneaker industry. West teamed up with streetwear house Bape to create this collaboration inspired by his very own album ‘The College Dropout’, a design that doesn’t even compare to his very own YEEZY styles. The iconic Dropout Bear features on the lateral side of the heel, alongside signature ‘Ape’ branding. The silhouette features a brown/cream/red leather upper with a perforated toe and a contrasting red sole. The shoe is finished with Bapesta branding on the tongue. Today, this iconic collaboration is reselling for up to nearly £7,000 on Stock X… Better get saving then yeah?