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Hip-hop has officially reached its golden anniversary, and Timberland is paying homage to the genre that helped put it on the map. To celebrate 50 years of hip-hop, the footwear brand dropped a special Hip-Hop Royalty collection featuring the original Timberland, 6-inch boot in royal purple and a matching bucket hat.
Representing the “four pillars of hip-hop” — MCing, DJing, breakdancing and graffiti — the “royal” boot pays homage to hip-hop’s foundation with special details like a graffiti stencil logo, microphone chord laces. A Sedgwick Ave. street sign on the tongue of the boot symbolizes the genre’s birthplace in the Bronx.
“Hip-hop is such an in-your-face genre where we created something out of nothing,” Timberland designer Christopher Dixon explains in a video posted on Timberland’s Instagram account on Sunday (Feb. 26). ”For [hip-hop] to be 50 years old and it’s still going, that says a lot about the foundation. Everybody in between those 50 years [has] contributed to something special.”
Brooklyn rapper Lola Brooke stars in the campaign. “The Original Timberland Boot and Hip Hop were born in 1973 — that’s 50 years of an iconic combination,” reads another message on Timberland’s Instagram account. “Hip Hop has impacted our brand enormously over the past five decades, so we’re proud to present Brooklyn MC, @lola.brooke, who is one of the voices carrying Hip Hop into the next 50 years, in the Timberland Hip Hop Royalty Boot.”
From the Notorious B.I.G.’s infamous “Timbs for my hooligans in Brooklyn” line in “Hypnotize” to the long list of rappers that have name dropped Timberland in lyrics and offered up free promo by wearing the boots in photo shoots and on album covers, Timberland is deeply indebted to hip-hop.
Over the last 71 years Timberland, founded in 1952, has grown to become one of the world’s premier boot brands. DMX owned a reported 1,500 pairs of Timberlands but he’s not the only rap star who openly loved wearing and rapping about Timbs.
In 1993, a breakthrough year for rap legends like Tupac Shakur, Wu-Tang Clan, Naughty by Nature and De La Soul, Timberland netted nearly $420 million in sales, which seemingly underscores how the brand grew in popularity as hip-hop rose up the ranks. In 1994, Timberland raked in $637.50 million an increase of more than 50 percent from the previous year.
By 2000, Timberland netted its first billion and became a staple in fashionable footwear — likely due to Jay Z, DMX, Wu-Tang, Cam’Ron and other rappers who wore the boots almost constantly.
Timberland’s “royalty” boot is available at Timberland.com in sizes for adults and kids. The boot retails for $210 in men’s sizes and is priced at $170-$90 in smaller sizes (women’s, kids, juniors and toddlers).
Shop the collection below and for more shopping recommendations, read our roundups of the best coats, affordable crewneck sweatshirts and other winter gear to wear with Timberlands.