Kicks and Rhymes: follow PUMAs footsteps in HipHop history

November 27, 2023

Kicks and Rhymes: follow PUMAs footsteps in HipHop history

November 27, 2023

It’s a year of shared birthdays and anniversaries! PUMA and HipHop share a 50 year long interwoven history and celebrate it together. With the recently announced partnership with rapper A$AP Rocky for F1, PUMA’s HipHop community grows by another representative member. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, because PUMA accompanies HipHop’s success story almost since the beginning – from an emerging music genre to a multi-layered cultural practice – and together we move a lot of things forward.

The entry of sneakers into fashion history began, amongst others, with the Suede, which became a cultural and timeless icon in music, fashion and street culture. Simultaneously, in 1973, Walt Clyde Frazier and the “Clyde” became the first basketball shoe with a personalized signature, worn and styled prominently by the fashion icon and basketball greatness. And the kids immediately imitated it. Today, the Clyde is considered to be possibly the first hip-hop shoe ever and became an essential part of the dress code among MCs and DJs, b-boys and fly girls.

The young HipHoppers of the 80s styled their Clydes and Suedes with fatlaces and wore them loosely. But next to the style, they were also convinced by their functionality: breakers praised the white soles, which made the breakdance moves shine in the dark, and the good ground feel helped sprayers to flee faster from the police. During these times, the well-known graffiti photographer Martha Cooper accompanied the scene and documented their work and being in photographs, which later even resulted in a collection with PUMA in 2012.

In 2006, during the commercial bloom of HipHop the “YO! MTV RAPS” collection was created, in collaboration with HipHop stars of the time, such as Big Daddy Kane, Doug E Fresh and M.C. Shan. This was the first official connection between PUMA and HipHop on the market.

With the release of the “Clyde Court Disrupt” basketball shoe in 2018, basketball legend Frazier was once again honored by none other than the new Creative Director for PUMA Basketball, and one of the greatest rap legends, JAY-Z.

Members of his record label and music collective “Roc Nation” have since collaborated with PUMA many times, resulting in collaborations such as “Dapper Dan”, “For All Times”, and most recently the “Mixtape Collection”, celebrating HipHop’s 50th birthday this year.

JAY-Z wearing

PUMA on Stage

Jay-Z as the

Creative Director for PUMA Basketball

PUMA did not miss the arrival of the new music genre in Germany either. Already in 1994 PUMA supported an upcoming rap group from Frankfurt called Konkret Finn, which laid the foundations for battle rap in Germany. Today, PUMA cooperated with many HipHop personalities, such as singer, songwriter and PUMA ambassador Nessi. Sido too toured through Germany for a month in 2022, fully fitted in PUMA. The latest addition to PUMA’s HipHop family is the most important figure in the german rap game, called RAF Camora, who now runs through his strada in the PUMA RS-X.

Over the years, PUMA has consistently worked with and supported international HipHop artists, including US-American and Nigerian Davido, Brodha V from India, and British rapper Professor Green, with whom a collection was also created.

The story shows that in all areas where HipHop reigns and unites, PUMA is right at it’s side.


No matter who you are and where you come from – all you need is music and the right shoes 🎵👟.

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