Sneakers and Rappers have a long history together. Hip-hop has always dominated pop culture and hence there are many enthusiasts that mix their love for sneakers and hip hop and look to emulate the fashion choices of their stars.
Throughout the decade, hip hop artists, especially rappers, have had huge influence over sneaker culture, which has led to the popularization of various silhouettes, brands, and sneakers. The relationship between sneakers and rappers was made official when Adidas collaborated with Run D.M.C. in 1986. Today, we see the best rappers create the best sneaker silhouettes that fetch up to seven figures in reseller markets.
Over the last decade specifically, we have seen some of the most influential artists collaborating with the footwear industry’s leading companies and launching amazing sneakers. The list below has been curated by Sportskeeda as the best rapper x sneaker collaboration so far, based on their popularity and success in the market.
Top 5 rapper x sneakers collaborations of all time
Some of the most influential sectors in today's sneaker industry, especially when it comes to the youth market, are teenagers who are obsessed entertainers. We took current rappers and influential names in the sneaker industry such as Kanye West, Travis Scott, Pharrell Williams, and Eminem to list our top five sneaker collaborations.
1) Kanye West's Yeezy x Adidas
Whether we talk about the history of rapper collaborations in the sneaker industry or the current domination of rappers in footwear lines, Kanye West has the top spot reserved. From his timeless Air Yeezy collab with Nike to his current billion dollar company, Yeezy empire with Adidas, the rapper has truly revolutionized the sneaker world.
As far as the best collab goes, Kanye West's Three Stripes Yeezy line is one of the best rappers x sneakers collab, and the Yeezy Boost 350 V2 is seemingly the most coveted and popular silhouette from the Yeezy brand. Beluga is one of the best 350 V2 iterations that feature grey/beluga/solar red colorways.
Yeezy Boost 350 V2 debuted back in September 2016, when Ye and Adidas Originals debuted the shoe at New York Fashion Week during Yeezy Season 3 in February 2016.
The Boost 350 V2 Beluga upper is crafted with premium primeknit material infused with Adidas' technology. Primeknit upper donnes three hues of yarn with a play of color. The orange hue highlights the gray colored upper.
The red color streak comes with the "SPLY-350" lettering accentuated upon it, while the TPU sidewalls are responsible for creating a striking effect with superior traction. To finish off the design, the shoe sits atop a semi-translucent rubber outsole. The Yeezy Boost 350 V2 colorway launched on September 24, 2016 for a retail price of $220.
2) Travis Scott x Nike Air Jordan 1 Low x Fragments
In collaboration with Jordan Brand and Hiroshi Fujiwara's Fragment design, Travis Scott launched his own iteration of the Air Jordan 1 Low-top variations. Travis Scott x Nike Air Jordan 1 Low x Fragments comes in a familiar colour blocking scheme in White / Black / Royal - Sail makeover.
The shoes were taken after La Flame's OG AJ1 from 2016, and the 2021 release is a redebut of the signature touches. Most prominently, the sneakers accentuate reverse swooshes. The upper is dominated by crisp white color as a base with fresh Military Royal Blue and Black overlays.
On top of the yellow colored sole unit, the Sail color contrasts with the color blocking scheme as seen upon the laces and swooshes. Blue appears on collars, heels, and insoles.
Both the Cactus Jack and Fragment branding are seen embossed on the left and right heels of the sneakers. Travis Scott x AJ1 x Fragment came in both high and low cut variations.
The rapper released the shoes in collaboration with Nike on August 13, 2021 for a retail price of $150.
3) Pharrell Williams x Adidas HU NMD EQT Yellow
Adidas and Pharrell Williams have a long-standing relationship and one of the outcomes from their fruitful partnership was the launch of the Human Race line with the Adidas NMD silhouette style.
To this date, the two have been collaborating to release more colorways of the same. Donned in EQT Yellow / FTWR White / EQT Yellow, the shoes feature a yellow-colored base upper with the "HUMAN RACE" lettering in black hue.
The pair is constructed on primeknit uppers and accentuates a split Human Race graphic on top of the upper. The shoes sit atop a white Boost midsole as well as a new lacing system, which is more thorough and provides more support.
The pair was released on July 22, 2016 for a retail price of $240 on the BBC and Adidas website.
4) Eminem x Air Jordan 4 x Carhatt
Detroit-based rapper Eminem collaborated with the Jordan brand and Carhatt in 2015 to launch his own iteration of Air Jordan 4. The sneakers are dressed in Retro Black / Metallic Silver colorway and feature a predominantly black-based color scheme.
The black canvas upper is coupled with gray accents on the tongue alongside the metallic silver that is seen upon the eyestay. The collab was revealed back in 2015 by Eminem and can still be recognised by any sneakerhead.
Branding appears to be in the form of Eminem's "E" on the heel tabs, while the U.S.-based clothing company, Carhatt's branding, is seen on the rear of the tongue. More branding is done with the Slim Shady's Records XV logo and Jordan Brand's logo. Finishing off the look, the shoe sits atop a white and black midsole with translucent outsoles.
The Eminem x Carhatt x Air Jordan 4 collaboration was released back on November 23, 2015, with only 10 pairs released to the public via a charity auction. 100% of the proceeds from the auction went off to the Marshall Mathers Foundation.
5) Kanye West x Louis Vuitton Jasper
For many sneakerheads, it won't be a surprise to see Kanye appearing on the list twice as he has not only made a name with his Yeezy line but with other companies as well, including Air Yeezy with Nike and a high-end collaboration with Louis Vuitton.
The trainers in the shoutout are collaborative designs with LV from 2009. The trainers were released in three color palettes originally i.e., Don, Jasper, and Mr. Hudson. Jasper is still one of the most-known and expensive pairs after a decade of its release.
Kanye West x Louis Vuitton's signature Jasper sneakers were named after his acclaimed longtime barber Ibn Jasper, who himself had an impressive sneaker collection.
The upper of the shoe is constructed with leather in patchwork of different shades of gray. The high-top silhouette features a suede upper and two quilted Velcro straps.
The velcro straps are accentuated with rubber LV logos, while the laces incorporate a gold lock and gold tassel design. The gray upper is contrasted with a pink rubber midsole, which also features a molded Louis Vuitton logo. The shoes were launched on January 7, 2009 for a retail price of $1,140.