Kick Game Proper: Sneakerhead Rappers That Keep Embarrassing the Competition

  • Wale

    @Wale

    Wale

    Sneaker Featured: Nike LeBron 12 “NSRL”

    Release date: December 1, 2014

    Wale is the poster child for sneakerhead rappers. The guy just knows his stuff about kicks. While some guys do it to stunt, you can tell Wale actually has a sneaker obsession. From rapping about different kicks or wearing new releases before they even drop, Wale knows the game inside and out. His Instagram is a sneakerhead nirvana.

    1 of 10
  • Bun B

    @trillog

    Bun B

    Sneakers Featured: Air Jordan VI Retro “Carmine,” Air Jordan XI Retro Low “Concords,” Air Jordan XI Low “Green Snakeskin,” Air Jordan II Retro “Nightshade,” and Air Jordan II Retro “Infrared 23”

    Bun B is an OG in the sneaker game. He doesn’t get as much respect as he should as a sneakerhead but he is every bit of one. What makes him cool is that he does not shy away from going to sneaker conventions and making an appearance. He is a huge Jordan Brand ambassador, uploading pics of his new J’s fresh out the box every chance he gets.  Bun B definitely keeps it trill on his sneaker collection.

    2 of 10
  • The Game

    @amerikkkasnightmare

    The Game

    Sneaker Featured: KD7 “35,000 Degrees”

    The Game’s sneaker collection is one of the best in the rap game. He has a very diverse selection, from KDs to Nike Air Foamposites, Barkleys, Air Force 1s and of course Air Jordans. He has three vaults of Air Jordans in three separate houses. He also owns the same exact Nike Zoom Kobe 1s that Kobe scored 81 in. He might not be the type to showcase every sneaker purchase but when he does he goes all out.

    3 of 10
  • Air Jordan 5

    @theophiluslondon

    Theophilus London

    Sneaker Featured: Air Jordan V

    For those who don’t know Theophilus London, he is one of the names to watch out for in the rap game. His album Vibes just released and is worth a listen. A strong Kanye co-sign, London has meshed his love for music and fashion just like his mentor. The Brooklyn native’s sneaker game is a folk story for itself. He mixes high fashion luxury shoes with a mixture of Air Jordans, Nike Air Mags, and even Yeezys on occasion.

    4 of 10
  • Stalley

    @stalley

    Stalley

    Sneaker Featured: Nike LeBron X “Area 72”

    MMG is represented strong on the sneakerhead list. Stalley’s story about moving to New York from the Midwest is notable. After his basketball career didn’t pan out, Stalley made his way from Ohio to NYC, landing a job at one of the most popular sneaker boutiques in the country at “ALife Rivington Club” on Rivington Street in the Lower East Side. Not too many rappers are known from their old part-time jobs but it is where Stalley made his connection with different brands such as Nike and eventually had the opportunity to sign with Rick Ross through his music.

    From there, Stalley has always been a fixture in the sneaker game, rocking everything from Js to Chucks. He has been on the record saying that his favorite kicks of all time are the Air Jordan III, which is never far on a sneakerhead’s list of kicks. If you haven’t already, give his debut album Ohio a listen.

    5 of 10
  • Chris Brown

    @chrisbrownofficial

    Chris Brown

    Sneakers Featured: Nike Air Force 1 “Black and White”

    While the critics are going to say he is not a rapper, as an artist CB has shown he has the complete package of being able to hang with the best of them. Whether you like his rapping or not, he is going to make your favorite rapper’s song hot. CB might have the most diverse appeal in sneakers and his rotation is always on point.

    6 of 10
  • Fat Joe

    @fatjoe

    Fat Joe

    Sneakers Featured: Air Jordan XX9 and Air Jordan XI Low

    Joey Crack is known for licking the bottom of every new pair of kicks he gets. If that doesn’t show how much the man loves sneakers than there is nothing else to say. He is a loyal Jordan breeder while also displaying his love for Nike Air Force 1s in every color and tone.

    7 of 10
  • Macklemore

    @macklemore

    Macklemore

    Sneaker Featured: Air Jordan VI Retro “Carmine”

    In the first verse of his sneakerhead dedicated song “Wing$,” Macklemore rapped “On the court I wasn’t the best but my kicks were like the pros.” While Macklemore has been on a hiatus in 2014 from the music scene, one thing for sure is that the guy is a serious sneaker collector. He has been very open to talking about his love for Nike and Jordans since he was growing up in Seattle.

    8 of 10
  • Air Jordan III

    @champagnepapi

    Drake

    Sneaker Featured: Air Jordan III “OVO Gold”

    Not many people, not even rappers, can say they have a collection of customized Air Jordans. But when you are arguably the biggest name in hip-hop, anything is possible. Late last year Drizzy signed with the Jordan Brand to make a special edition of OVO kicks for him and his crew. He has also been a huge supporter of LeBron.

    9 of 10
  • Fabolous

    @myfabolouslife

    Fabolous

    Sneaker Featured: Nike Air Trainer Max ’91

    There might not be another person more consistent in the sneaker game than Fabolous. Since his debut rocking a throwback jersey in the “Trade it all” video back in ’01, Fab has been rocking some serious footwork for almost two decades. What is great about Fab is that he can make any sneaker cool, from wearing a pair of Js or reviving a pair of FILAs. Based on longevity Fab is definitely one of the folks on the top of the pyramid.

    10 of 10
  • Wale
  • Bun B
  • The Game
  • Air Jordan 5
  • Stalley
  • Chris Brown
  • Fat Joe
  • Macklemore
  • Air Jordan III "OVO Gold"
  • Fabolous

The sneaker industry is steadily growing every year with an estimated $50 billion in sales worldwide. The spike goes back to the massive growth of sneaker collecting throughout the years. While sneaker collecting has been around since the MJ era, the influence of social media has been great for the market. Putting up a pair of kicks on Instagram to flaunt is the easiest way to get respect (while getting some hate along the way). Some sneakerheads have mastered the art of flexing their kicks on social media but nothing can compare to how rappers have embarrassed the sneaker competition.

While the majority eagerly await the release of certain kicks, rappers are months ahead rocking the shoe. Who cares about a release date, right?

The sneaker world and the rap game have always been hand-in-hand. Rappers are one of the most prominent influencers in mainstream culture and have a huge cult following on social media. One picture of them rocking a shoe is a major endorsement and great awareness for a product. It is a huge reason why some brands such as Nike and adidas have pegged some guys such as Drake, Kanye, and Big Sean as brand ambassadors.

Of course, being a rap star is going to land you some amazing connections and therefore they will always have the upper hand in kicks. Despite that, there are some legit sneakerheads among the hip-hop culture. Trust us. These are the dudes with Kick Game Proper: Sneakerhead Rappers That Keep Embarrassing the Competition.

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Follow Jarrel on Twitter at @_JarrelHarris

image via Kevin Winter/Getty Images