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Like so many great hip-hop stars before him, Kendrick Lamar is no stranger to fashion. The award winning artist has teamed up with Reebok for a third time and the result is a pair of stellar kicks that are as stylish as they are meaningful–kind of like the rapper himself.

For their latest partnership, Lamar wanted to incorporate “split seams” as a symbolic gesture toward his own struggles with fame and social responsibility while he continues to evolve as an insanely popular artist. But the importance of the split seams doesn’t stop there. They’re also meant as a concise message on the division among people in Lamar’s own community. By incorporating the colours of red and blue in the detailing, the sneaker is asking that we bridge the gap between LA’s warring Crips and Bloods and in a broader sphere any two groups of people who are constantly at odds with one another.

Leave it to Kendrick Lamar to pack so much significance into a sneaker. The artist finds himself torn between his status as a Compton figurehead and global music sensation, constantly having to choose between easy commercialism and the earnest desire to fix problems within his community. However, what makes Lamar’s music so powerful in the first place is its ability to combine social commentary with addictive hooks so if he keeps going in that direction he might not find himself so split down the middle after all. In the meantime, these are definitely some awesome kicks!


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