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Kendrick Lamar's Standout Sneaker Collabs

kendrick lamar sneaker collabs hero
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

K Dot. Kung Fu Kenny. Kendrick Lamar. Whatever you call him, the Compton, California-based rapper is in a league of his own. We’re not just talking about his bars laced with metaphors at an untouchable speed. Lamar’s sneaker collaborations are just as vivid as his lyrics.

 

Lamar brings the same energy to his recordings as he does to his sneaker projects. From his Reebok kicks to the latest unveiling of the Nike React Element 55, here are the best collaborations, courtesy of Compton’s finest.

kendrick lamar nike react element 55 pure platinum 1
Nike

kendrick lamar nike react element 55 pure platinum 2
Nike

Kendrick Lamar x Nike React Element 55 in Pure Platinum

kendrick lamar nike react element 55 pure platinum 3
Nike

The shoe features a two-tone motif, laterally dissecting the sneaker. The black and white marbled upper tops the comfiest sole technology Nike has to offer: the React. The upper also features a large, transparent Swoosh logo with a contrasting, mini Swoosh to grab attention.

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Kendrick Lamar x Nike Cortez Kenny 2 “Kung Fu Kenny”

Kendrick Lamar Cortez Kenny 2 Kung Fu Kenny
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Lamar chops up the Nike Cortez with an unapologetically red upper. The hints of black found on the midsole, back heel tab and laces are the perfect contrast. The artist’s signature “Don’t Trip” mantra is on top of the tongue. A classic Cortez is the perfect lifestyle shoe.

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Kendrick Lamar x Nike Cortez Kenny 3 “Bet It Back”

Kendrick Lamar Cortez Kenny 3 Bet It Back
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Similar to the “Kung Fu Kenny” pair, the Kendrick Lamar x Nike Cortez Kenny 3 “Bet It Back” features comparable color blocking and an overlay on the tongue with another slogan—“Bet It Back.” Aside from the heavy use of black, a few minor details differentiate this pair from the Nike Cortez Kenny 2. For example, the upper is premium nylon and suede. Red stitching also outlines the Swoosh. Clean and simple—the Lamar way.

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Kendrick Lamar x Reebok Classic Leather “Skull Grey”

Kendrick Lamar Classic Leather Skull Grey
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Although it wasn’t the first collaboration from Lamar and Reebok, the “Skull Grey” holds the highest regard. The pair features a gum sole that supports a muted gray upper. The inspiration behind the sneaker was Lamar’s struggle with having a split personality—his fame and himself. However, there’s no denying that the use of red and blue has a more profound significance given Lamar’s track record of rapping about gang violence between the Bloods and the Crips. Nonetheless, this collab might have been one of Reebok’s best to date. Ever. 

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Kendrick Lamar x Nike Cortez Kenny 1 “DAMN.”

Kendrick Lamar Cortez Kenny 1
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The first Kendrick Lamar x Nike Cortez was inspired by Kenny’s fourth studio album, DAMN., was released in April 2017. Despite a polarizing response to the record, the sneaker is a certified hit. The pair features a classic leather upper with minimalistic red stitching across the top for a clean finish. The black and red nylon tongue tie it all together.

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Kendrick Lamar x Nike Cortez Basic Slip “House Shoe”

Kendrick Lamar Cortez Basic Slip House Shoes
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Nike and Lamar switched things up in fall 2018. The Nike Cortez has always been a comfortable shoe to get off and on. Lamar made the Cortez even easier (and comfier) to rock. The Basic Slip features a velcro tongue and a toggle strap at the heel to tighten for a snug fit. Straying away from his usual black and red, this Cortez is orange, navy and gray—a solid trifecta.

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Kendrick Lamar x Reebok Club C “Acid Wash”

KENDRICK LAMAR CLUB C ACID WASH
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The Reebok Club C is an all-time classic low-top. Lamar is a huge fan of low shoes. The acid wash across the upper stands out in all the right ways. The dark charcoal laces complement the red tongue, and Reebok subtly reminded us of Lamar’s influence by highlighting the “K” in red for his first initial. Well done, Reebok. Well done.

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