Compton, Calif., rap superstar Kendrick Lamar has frequently addressed his hometown’s gang culture in his music. His first footwear collaboration with Reebok will do the same.
The rapper will have a signature Ventilator on retail shelves, releasing overseas on July 18.
The shoe’s colorway is simple, boasting a beige upper and outsole, with a gum bottom. What sets the sneakers apart from other Ventilators are the details worked into the shoe, the rapper’s attempt at promoting neighborhood unity instead of gang violence.
Appearing on the right shoe in red is the word “red,” while on the left shoe in blue is the word “blue,” representing the colors of the area’s two most prominent gangs, the Bloods and the Crips, respectively. A red tab on the inside of the right tongue and a blue tab on the left tongue have the word “neutral,” alluding to no affiliation with either gang.
In keeping with the red-and-blue theme, the insoles feature the logo of Top Dawg Entertainment, Lamar’s record label, along with the rapper’s name and Reebok Classic branding. The shoe comes with two sets of laces, one in beige and a pair of white rope laces with a red-and-blue dot pattern.
The shoe has a retail price of €130, or roughly $144.
The brand teamed up with Lamar in December 2014 for the re-release of the Ventilator for its 25th anniversary, making him the face of the shoe’s latest campaign. Reebok and the rapper’s partnership has led to the creation of multiple video ads, including its “Be Ventilated” campaign for the release of the Day Glo pack.