The '92 Olympic Dream Team. Guinness Stout and Bass Ale. The Black Star album. Peanut Butter and jelly. When individual legends get together to create something beautiful, the result is almost always something to behold, as evidenced by the latest collaboration between Vans and hardcore punk pioneers Bad Brains.
The Bad Brains started as a jazz-fusion ensemble in 1975 called Mind Power before then-singer Sid McCray introduced band-mates Darryl Jenifer (bass), Earl Hudson (drums), Dr. Know (guitar) and H.R. to punk acts including the Sex Pistols, The Clash, the Dead Boys, Johnny Thunders of the New York Dolls and The Ramones (the Bad Brains moniker is taken from Ramones track "Bad Brain"). The rest is history; McCray left the band soon after the full-time switch from jazz to hardcore, with H.R. (for "Human Rights") trading in rhythm guitar for vocal duties, tantamount to Michael Jordan leaving baseball to go back to the Chicago Bulls. Possesing a vocal prowess that ranges from a shrill, machine-gun falsetto to a beautiful baritone featured on Bad Brains' reggae cuts, combined with hyper-technical, super-speed guitar riffs to mellow, bass-heavy dub riddims, Bad Brains began a revolution in the realm of "punk rock," moving away from the basic three-chord chugging to a blistering, high-energy new genre called "hardcore" (a label Bad Brains had always avoided), influencing musicians across the board ranging from Slayer to Mos Def to Sublime and the Beastie Boys.
Collaborations with legendary music acts is something Vans has familiarized itself with over the past few years and therefore does better than any other company out there. Previous link-ups with Kiss, Motörhead and Iron Maiden (four collaborations in total over the years) had been met with great reception, and we expect no less for this recent drop featuring Bad Brains. Constructed of the classic canvas and suede for which Vans is beloved, The 46 LE Sneakers and The Sk8 Hi LE also feature reggae colorways in tribute, as well as Bad Brains logo and reggae colorway laces, the famous gum rubber soles and treads featuring the lightning bolt logo on the Sk8 Hi's as well as the Jah Lion and Bad Brains logo on the LE treads.
Get a closer look at The 46 LE Bad Brains Sneaker and The Sk8 Hi LE Bad Brains sneaker, not to mention the rest of the Vans collection at Karmaloop here.