Compton-born rapper and HYPETRAK Issue 1 cover star Kendrick Lamar is not one to rest on his laurels. Aside from delivering his latest album untitled unmastered which debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart, he’s also been flexing his creativity in the fashion realm, continuing his collaboration with Reebok. Designed in ode to the unity of the infamous rival gangs in his hometown, the latest Reebok partnership features blue and red hits over a supple beige upper.
Aside from maintaining its classic appeal, the sneaker is also Kendrick’s testimonial to the subcultures back home, packed with narrative unique to his West Coast upbringing. ‘BLUE’ and ‘RED’ are embossed on the heel and offset by ‘NEUTRAL’ under the tongue, which brings in the message of harmony. Hypebeast caught up with Kendrick Lamar in London before he took stage to peform numbers off his GRAMMY Award-winning albumTo Pimp a Butterfly. Here, we learn more about the inspiration behind his latest design, his relationship with the Reebok Classic Leather, and how Lil Wayne and Hot Boys were the footbed for much of his early creative output.
Can you tell us the reason behind choosing this colorway?
I wanted to make something subtle. Nothing that obviously was too overbearing, so the first release had tan with hints of red and blue. I wanted to make sure the red and blue stand out more than anything, because that was the representation of where I come from. I think for the most part the color complimented the fact that you could probably wear anything with the shoe. We did have that in mind. It worked out man because you have all these kids out here in LA and around the world and in Manchester being creative enough where they can make their own style significant with the shoe; as far as the color.
How were the colors received back home?
Ah man it was crazy. I was once that kid before going into the store, checking out shoes and copping them. Now seeing kids these days getting excited over something I’ve created is truly inspirational. I can carry this inspiration and express it in my music when I hit the studio.