As the great poet William James Adams Jr once mused, 'Overseas ya we tryin' to stop terrorism, but we still got terrorists here livin in the U.S.A, the big C.I.A, the Bloods and the Crips, and the KKK.' More walk and talk than Will.He.Is., Kendrick Lamar has turned forging peace in the streets into his true vocation, enshrining pragmatism as essential for baby-step progress, and any progress as being better than no progress at all. He knows there are a lot of outside forces covertly working to keep his Compton neighbours ensnared in a trap of poverty and crime, but he has recognised there are some issues his people could work through together first to help halt the vicious cycle.
He has taken on an enormous task; to eradicate gang warfare between the Bloods and the Crips, and he's working with Reebok to build some bridges. Sneakers aren't particularly important, other than the ones these guys are giving out, so this new Reebok Ventilator release is about as meaningful as any we've seen in recent history. Dubbed the 'Neutral', the pair come looking basically identical in beige and gum, save for some coloured tongue tags and heel embroidery, which are doused in Crip blue on the left sneak and Blood red on the right. Kendrick isn't asking folks to wash away their family history, but is suggesting they dismiss the hostility and unite.
The Reebok Classic x Kendrick Lamar ‘NEUTRAL’ Ventilator drops first on July 8, followed by the ‘NEUTRAL’ Club C. Stay tuned.