Lil Boosie x LRG "Touchdown To Cause Hell"
Upon his recent release from serving a 5-year stint in prison, Louisiana-bred rapper Lil Boosie has wasted no time in rebuilding his career. With a new record deal with Atlantic under his belt, newly released music hitting the airwaves and a warm welcome home from fans, Boosie has followed suit with his hip hop colleagues and tried his hand in fashion by teaming up with California based lifestyle clothing line LRG. Having collaborated on collections with artists in the past, the sportswear line, along with Boosie has created a collection, which they call "Touchdown to Cause Hell", identical to a Boosie track of the same name (and as we recently learned, this is also the title of Boosie's forthcoming album due out in July). Selling out in only a matter of days, the exclusive, limited edition collaboration, which just dropped in March includes a long sleeve cartoon-embellished shirt and a black custom letterman, exclusive to Boosie and his BadAzz camp. It seems like Boosie's star is on the rise, leaving fans highly anticipating not only his new album, but future collaborations.
There is no denying that Nipsey Hussle has come a long way in the past year. Having released several successful mixtapes during the past few years its had to believe that Nipsey has yet to release a studio album, but with his debut album on the way this year (we hope) there is no doubt that the rapper has plenty more in store. With an already successful clothing line and flagship store in Los Angeles called Slauson Ave. it was only a matter of time before the West Coast rapper released a collaboration. Just in time for his "Crenshaw" tour he joined forces with Drama from MTV's Rob Dyrdek Fantasy Factory and his streetwear influenced clothing line Young & Reckless. The limited edition Y&R x The Marathon Clothing CRENSHAW Collection features a new spin on the rapper and entrepreneurs infamous CRESNSHAW-branded clothing. Including a varsity jacket with the CRENSHAW logo on the back, a CRENSHAW skateboard deck and even a women's boyfriend shirt for female fans, this collaboration is sure to be an extremely prosperous one.
Over the past two decades Wu-Tang Clan have done it all. Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), Wu-Tang Clan's debut album turned 20-years old several months ago, and to celebrate the legendary hip-hop group collaborated with streetwear brand HUF on a 20th Anniversary 2014 Spring/Summer capsule collection. The limited five piece collection, which was launched February 27th, features a football jersey which reads "Protect Ya Neck" - the name of the album's hit single - on its back, a pair of HR-1 sneakers, a snapback with the Wu symbol overspread and two pair of HUF's trendy PlantLife socks. The minimal yet appeasing collection which is available on both HUF and the rap collective's websites contains a color palate strictly of black and yellow, two colors which are knowingly linked to the esteemed group. Wu-Tang's large and loyal fan base together with streetwear junkies will continue to make this collection one of the most demanded of the year.
Yo Gotti x Rocksmith "I AM"
The I AM capsule collection, fittingly named after rapper Yo Gotti's 2013 album was launched late last year. The Memphis-hailing rapper teamed up with Brooklyn-based hip-Hop influenced brand Rocksmith. Streetwear at its finest, Rocksmith has teamed with many rappers in the past including Wu-Tang Clan, Curren$y and Wiz Khalifa. In conjunction with his album release the rapper and Tokyo-founded streetwear brand partnered together for a bold and unique collection of crewneck shirts. The french terry cloth shirts were featured in three different colors, including a vibrant yellow, magenta and white. Playing on the album and capsule collection name, the small collection of long sleeve shirts are covered in text, which consist of several varying phrases starting with "I AM" and relating to the rapper such and 'I AM HIP HOP' and 'I AM MEMPHIS.' Due to the collection launching prior to the album, Gotti gained a copious amount of exposure for his LP, but after all, that was the plan, as the shirts also read 'I AM A BUSINESSMAN.'
One of Kanye West's first collaborations was with that of fashion powerhouse Louis Vuitton, thus 'Ye proved himself off the bat an avid connoisseur of fashion. In the past year, however, Yeezy has left even more of an imprint in fashion territory. He owes this mark, in part, to his partnership and capsule collections with French brand A.P.C. The first of two capsule collections launched last Summer and consisted of a t-shirt, a pair of jeans and a hoodie: the basics. The second collection, which has a highly anticipated release date of this Summer or early Fall was showcased by the rapper-turned-fashion-designer during Paris Fashion Week at the A.P.C showroom, alongside the brand's founder and designer Jean Touitou. More extensive then the first, yet still taking a minimalist approach to design, the menswear collection features functional, military style pieces along with pieces West has described as being inspired by women's wear and rock n roll.
Drake x Air Jordan "OVO"
Yes, the Air Yeezy 2 "Red Octobers" have been all the rage lately but sneakerheads around the world drooled on their keyboards earlier this year when Drakes October's Very Own (OVO) and the Jordan Brand revealed they had partnered and designed a collection of OVO x Air Jordan sneakers (four pairs to be exact), made famous by the one and only Michael Jordan. The collection, which is composed of two pair of Air Jordan 10's and two pair of Air Jordan 12's, are available in both black and white. Enhanced with gold accents and made of stingray and caviar leather, the OVO x Jordan collaboration is no doubt pricey. While a limited number of the sneakers have been made for Drake and his OVO camp, there is still have no official release date for the public. Until we get an official release date from Nike, it looks like the closest sneakerheads will get to a pair is through Drizzy's Instagram.
Jay Z x Barney's New York "A New York Holiday"
Announced this past fall on Barney's New York's Instagram page, and released shortly thereafter, was Jay Z's collection called A New York Holiday. The fusion of a rapper-turned-mogul and a high-end fashion store took a much different approach than your average musician x brand collaborations. The Holiday collection, which was released in the early winter and exclusively featured in Barney's New York stores, included collaborations between Jay Z and several high-end designers such as Balenciaga, Lanvin and Balmain, to name a few. The proceeds of all purchases were donated to the Shawn Carter Foundation, a foundation founded by the rapper which aids those who are less fortunate. However that didn't stop Jay Z for coming under fire following alleged racial profiling accusations against Barney's. Refusing to pull out from the collaboration Jay released a detailed statement, the dust settled and its remembered as one of the best collaboration collections of the 2013 (as well as one of the most expensive!).
Nas x Grungy Gentleman "HSTRY"
Nasir Jones has made history as one of the most iconic and unrivaled rappers of his generation. Last year, however, he made HSTRY, a clothing as well as accessories division of fashion house Grungy Gentleman. Launched in the Fall of 2013, the collection features a fusion of everyday mens sportswear and streetwear. From quilted accents to neoprene peacoats and leather backpacks, the edgy yet sophisticated line is what the rapper refers to as "premium street fashion." Unlike its contenders, HSTRY and its minimal branding and exceptionally stylistic approach to streetwear has made an esteemed name for itself. The creation of HSTRY has been so successful that Jones and Jace Lipstein - founder of Grungy Gentlemen - have been working on and are set to release the awaited HSTRY x Grungy Gentlemen Spring collection, which is said to feature shorts, t shirts and jerseys.
2 Chainz x NEFF "B.O.A.T.S."
California skate, snow, surf brand NEFF has been making waves in the world of fashion for some time now. They owe some of these waves to their recent and consistent collaborations. In early 2013 they collaborated with Snoop Dogg, Mac Miller and Dim Mak DJ, Steve Aoki but as of late the brand has crossed over into the trap, teaming up with 2 Chainz on a capsule collection of graphic t shirts, a watch, beanie and hat. Three shirts, the most popular pieces in the collection, all feature designs which are synonymous with the rapper and his B.O.A.T.S album. They include imagery of cuban link chains, and jewelry-adorned hands placed in a prayer position. The shirts, which were released and available for purchase at PacSun as well as other online realtors are rumored to be only the tip of the iceberg of collaborations the Atlanta rapper and streetwear brand have in the works, so keep an eye out.
Pharrell x Moncler "Re-Edition"
When it comes to collaborations, Pharrell may be the ring leader, having collaborated with multiple brands through the years, such as BAPE, and most recently with Comme Des Garçons on a fragrance line. Two of his most desired collaborations, though have been with French-Italian clothing company Moncler. The Pharrell x Moncler collaboration of 2013 was naturally dubbed a "Re-Edition collection" because they collaborated together first in 2010, and after the collaboration was deemed favorable, the two creative powerhouses no doubt saw it fitting to join forces for a second time. The introductory outerwear collection of Fall/Winter 2010 was comprised of jackets and vests embellished with prints by Japanese artist Keita Sugiura. Last year's most recent collection, which was available at Moncler boutiques around the world, included a much more extensive number of pieces then the previous. Composed of both a re-edition of the infamous "bulletproof" jacket as well as vests, the most recent collaboration crossed over into accessories thanks to futuristic-styled sunglasses in multiple colors.
Ice-T x Vans "Rhyme Syndicate"
Starring as a detective on the hit crime series "Law & Order: SVU" for the past fourteen years it might be hard to visualize Ice-T as the gangster rapper he was during the rise of West Coast hip hop in the late 1980s and early '90s. One of the pioneers of gangsta rap, it might have come as a bit of a surprise to some when the Los Angeles rapper paired up with California based sports apparel brand Vans. Collaborating on a two pair pack, the "Rhyme Syndicate" Pack, which dropped late last year, featured classic Vans styles with a "gangster" aesthetic. The pack included both the black suede detailed Sk8-HI S and the more subtle nubuck, perforated Chukka Decon S. Keeping it clean with a color pallet of white and black, the gangstafied Vans, which were released in the Fall, are the perfect fusion of streetwear and OG.
It was about time Converse started paying Wiz Khalifa for all the free promotion he's done for them over the years. It's likely that everyone knew that a Wiz Khalifa x Converse collaboration was inevitable, and low and behold we saw it come to fruition in 2013. The Pittsburgh-born Khalifa, who refers to his team as the Taylor Gang - based on the rapper's high school name and his borderline obsession with Chuck Taylor All Stars - had one of the most lucrative rapper/fashion brand collaborations of the year 2013. Solid proof of his success and large fan base, tribes of fans, dubbed as Taylors, were ready and willing to purchase the twelve sneaker collection following its August release. A somewhat playful collection, all bearing a signature Wiz Khalifa tab, the sneakers spanned a large array of colors in select styles, leaving something for everyone, and showing itself to be a true representation of the printed legging, black nail polish wearing rapper.
Lil Wayne x Supra "Vice Pack"
The syrup sipping, platinum rapper had us all questioning his credibility when he suddenly took up skateboarding. After the laughter ended we all realized that this skateboarding 'phase' might be more then just a phase. Now it seems that footwear and apparel brand Supra and Lil Wayne have developed a partnership that might stand the test of time - or at least a collection or three. The rapper's first collaboration with the brand was bold to say the least: it consisted of a pair sneakers with bright red and pink suede. There was even more in store though, and shortly the Lil Wayne x Supra Vice Pack followed. A collection of 3 pairs of colorful and eccentric sneakers, the most popular being the S1W "Tree Camo" which features a graphic camouflage print that resembles marijuana. That hasn't been the end of their partnership. Succeeding the Vice Pack, Supra invited the Young Money rapper to design under their 'Spectre' line and he did just so. The result was the Lil Wyane x Supra Chimera in three varying color ways. With a big year behind them we can't help but wonder what's next in store for Weezy x Supra.
Curren$y x Diamond Supply Co. "Holiday"
We can always count on Curren$y to be somewhere up in the clouds, living a Jet Life, writing raps, smoking weed and eating snacks. Sometimes, though, Spitta finds time to do other stuff too, like collaborate with one of the dominating streetwear brands today, Diamond Supply Co. The "holiday" sneaker collection was for a holiday not necessarily marked on a calendar, however. Released in limited amounts on April 20th aka 4/20, the leafy bedecked collection of four pairs of sneakers was composed of two high tops and two low pairs. Designed in four color ways, the indiscreet collaboration might have had some wondering if the rapper's head was still in the clouds during the design process. We can't say for sure but the swift sell out of the collection indicated that they were just what the doctor ordered.
Opinions vary on whether or not A$ASP Rocky put BLVCK SCVLE on the map. While we can all debate on that, we can probably all agree that the streetwear boutique, which opened its first flagship store in San Francisco in 2007, received plenty of exposure when the Harlem rapper's career began to take off, and he was often spotted wearing the brand. Thus a collaboration between BLVCK SCVLE and the A$AP collective seemed inevitable, when it finally occurred in Spring of 2012. The collection was released solely in the brand's online shop and at their flagship stores in SF, Los Angeles and New York. The collaboration included two sweatshirts, with an inversion of the letters A in ASAP - a BLVCK SCVLE signature, which has also become ASAP's. One of the first collaborations for the A$AP Mob, which at the time was on the rise to mainstream stardom, the sweatshirts were an unquestionable avenue to gaining exposure and ultimately success.