If asked, is there anything that a basketball enthusiast, a Hip Hop enthusiast, or any sneakerhead fanatic…. about things that are never enough for them, it’s definitely sneakers.

Yes! That’s for sure, as these shoes are perfect for any outing or the most formal activities. But that’s just for the fashionistas, besides you may not know that sometimes just because of these shoes you can be targeted by street gangs………

Untitled 1 7

5. Calvin Klein

Back in 1993, Calvin Klein, founder of the Calvin Klein clothing company of the same name, was recognized as “America’s Best Designer” – for his minimalist fashions that fit the bill. suitable for most Americans. While his brand is gaining traction and is widely popular in the fashion world, the two largest US black gangs, the Crips and the Bloods, are also extremely popular on the streets of the United States.

By the mid-1990s, the Bloods, as the organization gradually expanded into other cities, took the Calvin Klein brand’s CK logo and made it one of their most famous symbols. ,  “Crip Killer” ; since then they tend to like products such as shirts, jeans, and some other products of Calvin Klein.

And apparently because of this problem, for a long time people wearing shoes with the CK logo were the target of almost every member of Crips.


4: reeboks

Reebok, is one of the oldest brands in the fashion industry; but it wasn’t until around the 2000s that the label began to receive attention from some of the sports and hip-hop stars that were influential at the time – like Venus Williams, 50 Cent and Shaquille O’Neal.

From then on, the brand quickly delved deeper into the gang politics of the West Coast; For example, Reebook teamed up with Kendrick Lamar to launch a product with an idea to cool down the conflict between gangs on the West Coast. A shoe with the colors of both organizations – red on the left and blue on the right.

kendrick lamar reebok classic leather stitched release reminder 5

On the other hand, the brand teamed up with Nipsey Hussle – a famous rapper associated with Crip at the time – to put on the shelves a pair of shoes that seemed to promote gang rivalry. “Classic Nylons” , blue product (referring to Nipsey Hussle’s Crip affiliated company) with the phrase  ‘Rich Rollin’  (the title of a rap song, as well as a reference to the Rollin 60s Crips organization) placed on the heel of the shoe.


Since then, the incident has happened with Reebok, some rappers have accused the brand of causing gang conflict to escalate in Los Angeles. Before the issue cooled down, it was once again discovered that Reebok had launched another pair of shoes, this time with YG, a rapper from Compton.



3: British Knights

You may have never heard of British Knights. A brand that has fallen into oblivion since Nike’s Jordans came along and took their flag. When British Knights appeared in the 1990s, every hip-hop fan owned at least one pair of them. This can be said to be one of the first sports shoe brands favored by Hip Hop artists; when Kool Moe Dee, who introduced the brand on TV in 1990, they later signed MC Hammer, a HipHop legend at the time, who introduced British Knights to a wider audience. .

19201425 819x1024 1

The above is the starting point, and it wasn’t until the mid-’90s, their peak when schools in LA began to ban their students from using products from this brand. Why? Yes, because members of the Crips took the British Knights brand’s acronym “BK” and turned it into  “Blood Killer”  – targeting their rival gang, the Blood. This means that whoever wears these shoes is a target for Blood, and it is also the beginning of the end of the British Knights.


2: Converse All-Stars

Converse All-Stars hit the market very early, around 1917, as the first professional basketball shoe. In just a few years, they made Chuck Taylor All-Stars the largest manufacturer of basketball shoes in the United States

At the end of World War II,  Converse All-Stars  accounted for 80% of the basketball shoe market. The early 1970s saw the emergence of new companies that threatened Converse’s dominance. One of the newcomers to mention is Nike. At that time, Converse All-Stars quickly attracted a series of the most famous basketball stars of the time to their side to strengthen the brand’s name. As you can see though, the once-sparkling Converse logo hasn’t been seen on basketball courts in the US since 2012. Looks like they’ve found a new market elsewhere – in the field of culture and music, but not so much… as they did decades ago.

Well, like the title of this article; Converse has become an image, in part associated with the gangs at Westcoast, etc., possibly by accident. And this is also the only product that both rival gangs, Crips and Blood, love. Possibly also because of the two organizations’ significant influence on the West Coast Gangsta Rap in the early 1990s, Converse All-Stars has since become an icon for the vast majority of Westcoast HipHop followers.

And of course, each gang will choose a color that suits them – red for Bloods and blue for Crips.


Side mention:  Air Jordans

In the early 1990s,  Air Jordans  were more of a social issue than a fashion shoe. With their huge success, which has drawn much criticism about the danger to the lives of school children and teenagers, who think it’s cool to roam the neighborhood to show off. they

The Air Jordans’ biggest problem isn’t actually about gang activities, but rather their pricing. As one of the most expensive shoes in basketball, a pair of Air Jordans can go up to $550, and as cheap as $250. With the influence of Michael Jordan, the most influential basketball star of the ’90s, these shoes sold like hot cakes despite their sometimes absurd price tag.

the last dance air jordans 1

Nike will sell millions of pairs of Air Jordans just hours after release. As a result, they become a collector’s item – you need to rush to the stores to buy a pair as soon as they are released and keep them for the future in hopes of making a few bucks. profit

Well, that’s exactly why it’s become quite dangerous to carry Air Jordans in the cities. Cases of people being assaulted and tailed for Air Jordans were numerous in the late 1990s and early 2000s, prompting some schools to discourage students from wearing them. Most of the stolen Air Jordans show up on eBay (slightly more popular than Amazon in the early 2000s) and several other sites where robbers can make a lot of money.

To this day, the Air Jordans line continues to launch new products at sky-high prices. For example, the Air Jordan 11 ‘Jeter’ costs up to about $40,000, shoes named after one of the greatest players to ever play at the New York Yankees Stadium; That means there will be a lot of fans and shoe collectors who will be willing to pay for it at any cost. Fortunately, thefts and murders perpetrated by Air Jordans have decreased dramatically as it has now become more difficult to resell stolen shoes.

1: Nike Cortez

When the Cortez line hit the market in 1972, Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman called them “masterpieces” because their lightweight construction and cushioned lining were something no one had seen up to this point. there. It is these same things that have made Cortez win the hearts of many sneaker followers around the world.

Of course, there are no exceptions to the enthusiasts in Los Angeles, but this time, it’s not just athletes or sports athletes – they are Hispanic gangs. In the early 1990s, there was nothing like shouting  “I’m a gang member”  like wearing  black or white Cortez  with white knee-high socks and khaki shorts. Many innocent people have been injured and even killed just by accidently walking in LA with Cortezs on their feet. One notable example was when two Hispanic teenagers, aged only 13-16 years old, were targeted in a shooting in 2013 for not giving a good reason why they were wearing Nike Cortez shoes.

In the present day, the infamous MS-13 organization has made the Cortezs part of them. In fact, the shoes were so prized within the ranks of MS-13 that wearing them was a sign of gang loyalty, something almost never seen before. For that reason, police almost entirely assumed that anyone wearing these shoes in certain areas was a member of MS-13. In 2007, a man was beheaded for unknown reasons, until he was found next to the body was a pair of Cortez.

09 1024x768 1

By 2014, the Nike Cortez was  the most gangster shoe line  in the United States, Canada and El Salvador, which are also regions with the most frequent appearances of MS-13. The national media also reported on the link between Cortezs and MS-13, which prompted many people and even small gangs to give up these shoes.


Surely no one wants to buy shoes that they consider trendy but end up getting injured or killed. If you don’t know, some Nike and Reebok shoe lines can cost you dearly in some parts of the US, especially the West Coast, at least not in monetary terms. Like the Nike Cortez, the shoe line has been described as the  “most gangster” shoe  in the world because of their popularity among members of the MS-13 gang, one of the most feared gangs in North America. .

This is really the “self-evolving – self-transforming” brand feeling from users due to the negative effects of society.

Learn more >>> Emotional Branding – How to Build an Emotional Brand