• Kendrick Lamar x Reebok Ventilator

Kendrick Lamar x Reebok Ventilator

Back when Reebok announced the partnership with Kendrick Lamar at the end of last year, the rapper stated that he wanted to tell the story of his hometown of Compton, California via this collaboration. His very own sneaker, which will be released this Saturday, July 18th does exactly that.


The Reebok Ventilator has been going strong this year with a number of loud colorways. Kendrick’s version of the breathable retro running sneaker comes in a more subtle makeup, featuring a beige/off-white suede upper and a classic gum outsole. What really makes the kicks stand out though are the blue and red accents on the left and right shoe respectively. These are meant to represent the notorious LA gangs Bloods and Crips.  Instead of transferring the gang wars to the shoe game, Kendrick’s intention is the opposite: he wants to unite them.

Kendrick Lamar is not only one of the most successful US-rappers in recent years. He is also one of the most prominent people to promote unity and peace among the black community in the US. Growing up in Compton he witnessed what unnecessary violence and hostility do to a community. This map is an indicator of how divided the area is by different gang territories.

Growing up in the 1990s in Los Angeles, Kendrick also witnessed the amazing creative potential on the streets of Compton. A group called N.W.A. had put the LA suburb on the map. Dr. Dre, Ice-Cube and Eazy-E paved the way for a new generation that was hungry for success and eager to leave a life of crime and poverty behind. Kendrick Lamar witnessed some of the video shoots at the iconic Compton Swap Meet Fashion Center where he recently had the honor to shoot the video for his single “King Kunta” himself. Still only a few made it and too many young people fell victim to the gang wars. Not only musicians but also basketball players like DeMar DeRozan, Brandon Jennings and Tayshaun Prince give you a glimpse of what great potential there is.

Kendrick Lamar’s Reebok Ventilator gives you an authentic street feel. Details include the words “Blue” and “Red” being written in their respective colors on the heel of each shoe. The tongue labels have Kendrick Lamar and TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment) written on them, also in blue and red respectively. The inside of the tongue label reads “Neutral” on both shoes, emphasizing the unifying message of the sneakers. Rope laces with blue and red hits complete the fresh look. The collaboration with Reebok is not artificial. When Kendrick was growing up, he used to wear a classic outfit all the time called “tees, ‘bos and rees”: white t-shirt, jabo jeans and Reeboks. With this hot collaboration Reebok is back in the game.


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