How about buying sneakers that take on social stigma?

The Reebok Classic x Kendrick Lamar sneaker aims at promoting “unity and equality”.

Meryl D'Souza January 12, 2017

We’ve already established the unique relationship between hip-hop and sneaker culture. Artists like Kanye, Jay Z, Drake and Pharrell propel sneaker culture to new heights with every new song. But few, if any, seek to make a deeper impact like Kendrick Lamar. 

Since giving up his “designer sh*t” in 2013, the Grammy award-winning artist has worked towards tackling a variety of different issues. Take for example his Grammy-winning album To Pimp A Butterfly that focused on the struggles of the African-American community or his single “Alright” that became the rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The California native has strived to do the same with his Reebok collaborations. For his first pair, Classic Leathers, he aimed at promoting peace between California gangs Crips and Bloods. The gangs’ colours, red and blue, were slapped onto each shoe of a pair. As part of that release, Kendrick and Reebok even produced a powerful video of former gang members reminiscing and talking about how they’re turning their life around.

We get it, it's difficult to imagine sneakers, of all things, helping gang wars or any of the other social problems we have going on right now. But the idea is to spread positive vibes. The newest collaboration effort between Kendrick and Reebok is a reinvention of the sportswear brand’s classic Club C capsule. These retro sneakers are crafted to promote “unity and equality”.

The kicks feature acid-washed denim in black and white with a red label on the tongue. The branding along the side blacked out with only the “k” and “o” as a nod to the Compton hip-hop star's nickname “KDot”.

At a time when America and the rest of the world is grappling with ethnicity issues now more so than in recent years, these sneakers are a reminder of how black and white – two colours that are opposites of each other on the colour wheel – can not only coexist, but make something beautiful.

“Now more than ever it is important for individuals to come together as one,” Lamar explained in a media statement. “This sneaker represents that call for unity and equality, while also pushing people to look beneath the surface and uncover the hidden messages. This is something I try to do with my music, and now here with the Club C.”