Hip hop's monumental influence on streetwear, which can be traced back to '70s New York, is undeniable. The relationship between the genre's artists and sneaker culture, in particular, is a lasting one that is arguably as strong as ever today. The power of rapper footwear collabs and the resulting queues of grail hunters they command make a good case for such claims.
A diverse list of hip hop artists, from Pharrell Williams up to Lil Wayne and Tyler the Creator, have taken time outside the studio to add their stamp to a sneaker or two. However, when it comes to these collabs, there are three heavyweights that hit as hard in the footwear game as they do in music — and that's Kanye West, Travis Scott, and Drake. Below, we've picked out recent highlight sneakers from the trio, all of which can still be shopped online at Stadium Goods.
Shop Kanye West, Travis Scott, and Drake sneakers at Stadium Goods.
Since his Nike partnership came to an end back in 2014, Kanye West's and adidas' YEEZY line has proved so successful, that should Ye's music career ever go south, he'll still have something to do on a Monday morning. Our trio of Kanye-impressed sneakers is headed up by the Yeezy 500 "Soft Vision." Released in November last year, this is a recent iteration of the 500, a silhouette that goes big on the chunky front. This subdued pink colorway of the 500 reflects the YEEZY brand's penchant for an earthy palette — seen across its sneakers and wider apparel.
The 500 line, and its wavy sole, is a nod to the adidas KB8 3 — a Kobe Bryant signature sneaker from the early days of his partnership with the Three Stripes. And while the "Soft Vision" could too pass as a basketball shoe, YEEZY has also turned its hand to a range of more running-led silhouettes. These include the BOOST 380 and 700 "Azael", which are shoppable below. These shoes represent the more futuristic face of YEEZY, a label that has undoubtedly driven progression in footwear since its inception.
Kanye's claim to the throne has been well and truly under threat since 2017, when Houston rapper Travis Scott first teamed up with Nike. The first official drop from the pair came in the form of a Nike Air Force 1 with a removable silver Swoosh and a deubré shaped like Scott’s grill.
Since then, Travis Scott and Jordan Brand have gone on to dream up sneakers that are not easy to come by — to say the least. The Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6, released in December 2019, marked the third time this partnership used the Air Jordan for creative output. Complete with stash pocket and glow-in-the-dark outsole, this is a piece that drew a lot of losses and continues to raise the roof at resale. Low silhouettes from Scott and the Swoosh include the wild Air Force 1 Low "Cactus Jack" — a melting pot of materials, that boasts leather, nylon, canvas, corduroy, and more. It's safe to say that Travis Scott and Nike sneakers have always strayed from tradition.
From Houston to Toronto, and an artist that has been in the apparel game for almost ten years. Launching his October’s Very Own (“OVO”) label way back in 2011, Drake has been called upon by Jordan Brand several times since to work on limited sneakers. Many of these releases happen to be some of the hardest to come by Jumpan-stamped pieces around.
You can still get your hands on pieces from Drake and Nike at resale, though, including the OVO x Air Jordan 12 Retro. This shoe was released during the NBA All-Star Weekend and was a follow up to the white edition that preceded it a year earlier. You'll also find a more recently released Raptors-honoring Air Jordan 4 below, produced as a result of Drake's beloved Toronto Raptors winning the NBA finals in 2019.
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