Kendrick Lamar made a surprise appearance at Coachella on April 22, performing two songs with his cousin Baby Keem during the festival’s second week in Indio, Calif. Along with bringing the literal fire via pyrotechnics, Lamar brought the proverbial fire with his performance threads, with the sartorial MVP award going to his one-of-a-kind patchwork cowboy boots that were custom made in just four days.
For the performance, the Nike collaborator donned a country-inspired look, wearing black jeans and a matching jacket over a black T-shirt. Lamar, who was styled by Taylor McNeill, also wore a black and white bandana tied around his neck with a matching bucket hat. But there’s no denying that the standout feature of the 34-year-old rapper’s look was his custom boots.
The leather boots were crafted in just four days by Rocketbuster, a bespoke boot manufacturer in El Paso, Texas. In an Instagram post celebrating the impressive feat, Rocketbuster founder Nevena Christi wrote about the whirlwind creation process of the shoes, which left no time to spare.
“Our inspiration was an old beat-up road case with tons of stickers and graffiti,” Christi wrote on Instagram. “We had to make something that we could add art to at every stage of the assembly process. As [Lamar and McNeill’s] inspiration rolled in, we used every technique in our arsenal with the whole team participating to pull it off.”
In the post, Christi mentioned that the boots included hand-carving elements, inlay and overlay designs, intricate stitching, and hand-painted graffiti. The final product features the Los Angeles Dodgers logo, a patchwork rose, the pgLANG logo (Lamar’s record label and publishing house), and graffiti spelling out “OKLAMA,” which is Lamar’s nickname and recent pen name. And that’s just the beginning of the road case-inspired design elements.
Lamar has been fairly MIA in recent years, only emerging in the flesh to perform at the Super Bowl with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and 50 Cent in February. The rapper released the song “Family Ties” with Baby Keem in August 2021, and dropped some surprise features on his cousin’s album “The Melodic Blue” for its September 2021 release. Lucky for fans, Lamar is set to drop his long-awaited fifth studio album titled “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers” on May 13, which he announced on Instagram and his website just four days before his surprise performance.