Lamar yesterday announced his collaboration with Reebok Classics, joining artists like Swizz Beats who is the Classic’s creative director.
The news was revealed by Reebok in a new campaign, which paid homage to Lamar’s hometown Compton to the backdrop of his song “I am.”
Lamar has reportedly been waiting on this moment since he was a kid.
“The shoe became popular when Cash Money Records hit the scene,” he said. “Everybody wanted to wear ‘Tee Bo’s and Ree’s’ as the Hot Boys would put it. White Tee, Jabo Jeans, and Reebok Classics.”
But more than that, the socially conscious rapper is happy to be working with a brand that stands for more than just fashion.
“Reebok has a history of helping kids in the community realize their potential is limitless,” said Lamar. “I saw what the brand was doing, and I wanted to be a part of it and make it even stronger. It’s as simple as that. Kids that listen to my music are looking for inspiration. It’s important that I continue that message in anything I represent.”
Reebok appears to be just as ecstatic to work with the award-winning artist.
“Committed to continuously pushing boundaries through partnerships with some of the biggest names in the industry, Reebok has taken the fusion of music and footwear to a whole new level with Kendrick Lamar,” representatives for Reebok said in a press release. “Together, we hope to inspire and empower youth to become their best selves through programs designed to provide a positive alternative to the streets.”
Though Lamar will now be joining the ranks of rappers like Kanye West who released the Nike Air Yeezy II earlier this year, his socially aware take on having a shoe out seems to be quite different than Mr. West’s.
“They try to act like people ain’t line up for the Yeezys,” Kanye West said in a statement about the sneaker’s first installment. “[Nike CEO] Mark Parker tried to son me. Yes. Son me because I am the sun and I will shine bright. And when I don’t have as much money as a billionaire and when I don’t have the factories that, that dude has over there, what I do have is my voice. Ain’t no corporation that can take me away from my voice and I’m going to scream at the top of my motherf**king mountain as loud as I want. Anything I want. Whenever I want. Is that crazy? So I’m going to make the announcement on Monday with the corporation that finally let me get an opportunity to create.”
Lamar will be part of the Ventilator’s 25th Anniversary campaign in March and his own collection, which is set to come out in June of next year, will feature Ventilator styles.