Ranked // 15 of the Worst Hip-Hop Sneaker Collaborations in History
On that 2000s drip.
Sometimes we forget just how good we’ve had it.
It’s been quite a good run for hip-hop sneaker collabs, with the likes of Drake’s OVO collection, YEEZY (both Nike and adidas), Kendrick Lamar’s Cortez and of course, tomorrow’s Air Jordan 4 by Travis Scott. But in the decade that fashion forgot — the 2000s — when sneaker and hip-hop culture were booming in convergence (along with the development of the digital age and the dot com boom), there was plenty of opportunities to make a buck. And a quick buck it was, because by the looks of most of these, not much time — or thought — went into their designs.
Today, we take a look back and rank 15 of the worst hip-hop sneaker collaborations of all-time.
We must put in a disclaimer: This list comes with no disrespect to their craft — these are all great, some incredible, musical artists in their own right OK — maybe not Soulja Boy).
15. MC Hammer // British Knights (1990)
Bro, we don’t wanna touch this.
British Knights were one of the first brands to head down the hip-hop endorsement path, but it doesn’t mean they knew what they were doing. Unless their aim was to blatantly rip off Ewing Athletic’s Ewing Rebound Hi from the year before. What’s even worse was the fact that BK dropped a whopping $138 Million for Hammer’s signature. And just like Hammer’s career, these disappeared in a flash.
14. Wu-Tang // Fila Cream Classics (2007)
You can be forgiven if you thought that these were straight out of the 90s, but to this day, it’s where FILA still lives. Wu-Tang’s icon always looks great, but when FILA have struggled to make great sneakers since their inception, not even the Shaolin Clan could make them appealing.
13. Nelly // Reebok Derrty 1 (2005)
We may all know of Nelly’s affliction to the Air Force 1, Air Force 1s and even recording a song celebrating the shoe, 2004 saw Nelly sign a footwear deal with Reebok. Nelly’s Derrty One by Reebok was obviously a step down from the iconic Air Force 1, and saw little success
12. Kanye West // Louis Vuitton “Don” (2009)
These shits look like Lickitungs.
Yeah, I know. How does a $3,000 sneaker make it into this list? Well, if it wasn’t for the Yeezy factor — or the LV label, these wouldn’t even sell out at Marshall’s. And now, Ye’s old creative director (who definitely would have had input on these) is now head of the department at the French fashion house. Lord help us.
11. The Game // 310 Motoring “Hurricane” (2005)
Following in his ex G-Unit bros footsteps, The Game signed himself a footwear deal with 310 Motoring in 2005. The shapeless shoe launched the same year, where it has thankfully stayed.
10. JAY-Z // Reebok S. Carters (2003)
He may be one of the best businessmen in the hip-hop game, but, like Tidal, not everything Hov touches turns to gold. But unlike Tidal, the investment in these puffed-up rip-offs of the Gucci Tennis 84/Etnies pillows was minimal. It just cost him a bit of his self-image. But if you fancy walking around in inflated like the Michelin man, you can still find pairs on eBay and Amazon for as low as $15.
9. Lil Wayne // Supra Chimera (2013)
We weren’t really surprised when these came out. The ultra-trippy effort from Supra could only have been a result of Weezy’s well-documented indulgence in every drug under the sun.
8. Soulja Boy Yums (2008)
Soulja Boy’s brightly colored line of Yums leaves a legacy not too dissimilar from the man himself. Fun, gimmicky and lacking longevity. It’s bad enough that the kicks are a blatant rip-off of the Air Force 1, it’s even worse they come in a mixed bag of candy colors, but what make these the most ludicrous things is the cartoon outsoles of the former teen rap “sensation”.
7. Pharrell // Reebok Ice Creams (mid 2000s)
Before Souja’s Yums, and long before Pharrell’s modern-day Midas touch, he took a super huge L on this collaboration with Reebok. While crazy colors might have been in, thanks in part to brands like Bape and Billionaire Boys Club, retrospectively, these are a bust. Now that I look at this pair, it looks like something straight out of Super Mario. Thankfully, for everyone’s sake, Pharrell bounced back big time with the adidas NMD.
6. Questlove // Air Force Ones (2008)
It’s sacrilegious to put an Air Force 1 in the last, but we couldn’t overlook this disappointing effort from Questlove from 2008. Hip-hop’s favorite sneaker gets beaten with the ugly stick and subsequently vomited all over, with a hideous green elephant print that just doesn’t work on any level. Apart from that huge blunder, the sneaker is alright.
5. Nicki Minaj // Jordan Jasmine (2015)
My Anaconda don’t want none of this, and since Nicki really hasn’t rocked Js since her professed alliance in 2015, neither does Jordan Brand ie seems. And we can see why.
4. 50 Cent // Reebok G-unit (2003)
50 Cent’s proclamation that “the G-Unit shoe outsold the Shawn Carter shoe six to one.” may be true, but it also may be full of shit. Because let’s be real, both pairs are hideous. It’s like he was bragging about winning the world’s ugliest child contest.
These look like a pro-league shuffle-boarding sneaker and were (probably still are) the hottest item in Floridian retirement villages. So, he may have been right after all.
3. Birdman // Lugz “The Birdman” (2004)
While Lugz is best known for ripping off Timberland’s iconic silhouette, they’re not against going after another classic, too. And that’s exactly what they did with Birdman’s “The Birdman” — a blatant (and poorly executed) rip-off of the Air Jordan 3. But this wasn’t the only rip-off that Lugz teamed up with Birdman on, his Lugz catalog included an AF1-inspired forgery to a sneaker known ad “The Stunna,” which jacked its design from the Air Jordan 4.
2. Nas // 310 Motoring “The Disciple” (2007)
Back in 2007, we saw Nas join forces with 310 Motoring for a selection of foot dressings known as the ‘Disciple Collection’, some of which are STILL available for purchase on Amazon. The sneaker borrowed design elements from an array of sneakers, but these closely resemble an imaginary collaboration between Merrell and Louis Vuitton. Thankfully for us, that collaboration will never happen.
1. Kid Cudi x Giuseppe Zanotti (2015)
Surprisingly, the worst hip-hop sneaker collaboration comes from this decade — just three years ago in fact. In what could only be described as a Lay-Z-Boy for your feet, Kid Cudi’s recliner-sofa drip didn’t really catch on. But maybe if you dig in between those straps, you might find a few lost pennies.