Rap Artists With The Most Sneaker References In Their Discography: Jay-Z, Eminem and More

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Rap and hip-hop and sneaker culture have been closely linked since Run-D.M.C. dropped “My Adidas” back in 1986. Speaking to that relationship, a new study conducted by Schuh has found which rappers have referenced sneakers the most in their music. After analyzing over 6,000 song lyrics, the study concluded that The Game, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Eminem and Kanye West are the top five artists with the most references in their songs to the sneakers and sneaker brands they favor.

The Game tops the list with 47 references to sneakers throughout his discography over the past two decades. The Compton rapper has been known to namedrop Nike and Converse (Chucks are famously a West Coast shoe).

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The Game leaves the MTV studios after an appearance on ‘TRL’ in New York City on Jan. 20, 2005.

Lil Wayne comes in second with 46 sneaker references while Jay-Z lands in third place with 37 mentions. Lil Wayne shows love for The Swoosh 17 times. Noteworthy is Jay-Z’s feature on Drake’s 2013 song “Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2,” in which he declares, “My eyes bloodshot but my jet don’t lag/A pair of Jordan 3s tryna chase this cash.”

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Lil Wayne performs onstage at Samsung Galaxy Life Fest at SXSW 2016 on March 12, 2016 in Austin, Texas.
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Jay-Z performing in Jordans at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards.

Eminem and Kanye West nearly tie, with Slim Shady delivering 35 references and West following closely behind with 34. In “Shady XV” circa 2014, Eminem raps, “Air Max in my closet, preposterous Nikes made out of ostrich.” Regarding Kanye West, the rapper has actually called out Nike more than Adidas despite working with The Three Stripes for years. Naturally, he also name-checks his own brand Yeezy on a number of occasions.

Eminem performs onstage during the 2010 BET Awards, eminem, air maxes, air max, sneakers, shoes, eminem
Eminem performs onstage during the 2010 BET Awards in Los Angeles on June 27, 2010.
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Kanye West wears Yeezy sneakers in New York City on June 15, 2018.

For sneakerheads, it won’t come as much of a surprise that Nike is the brand that gets the most mentions in rap lyrics (149), followed by Converse (52) and Adidas (41).

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