Kendrick Lamar Makes the Switch from Reebook to Team Nike with New Collab

Let’s be real, who wouldn’t want to be on Team Nike? From 2014 to early this year, DAMN. rapper Kendrick Lamar has had a collaboration deal with Reebok. During such time, the rapper put a creative spin on classics from the sneaker brand, like the Club C, the Ventilator, and Classic Leather. The emphasis of his collaboration was always one of unification and peace. One notable aspect of his design was his effort to combine rival gang colors (blue for Crips and red for Bloods) onto one pair of shoes.

Lamar is returning to his roots though, returning to an old style of sneakers he used to rock, long before the Reebook brand deal or any brand deal – the Nike Cortez. The Nike Cortez is arguably a staple shoe in hip hop culture and its popularity in LA is unprecedented. K.Dot’s left Reebok behind to rep Team Nike and to commemorate the event, Lamar posted a photo of himself rocking Nike Cortez kicks. The caption reads, “Cortez. Since day 1. #teamnike.”

Cortez. Since day one. #teamnike #TDE @nike @nikelosangeles

A post shared by Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) on

The Cortez first made their debut on the sneaker scene in 1972 and got the re-release treatment by Nike earlier this year. According to GQ, the Cortez “are to LA rap what Nike Air Force 1s are to New York City hip-hop.”

The shoe features white leather, a red Nike Swoosh, and blue detailing – making them a natural follow-up to Lamar’s intentions in his previous Reebok collaborations.

“Kendrick has an authentic, genuine love of Nike and we’re looking forward to partnering with him on some exciting projects,” a rep for Nike exclusively told The Fader.

As of now, the quick announcement is all that we really know about the Nike/Kendrick Lamar partnership. This is only the latest shoe meets hip hop venture making waves in the brand partnership realm. JAY-Z is said to have joined Puma, Big Sean is making the switch from Adidas to Puma, while Young Thug is leaving Puma to rep Adidas.

It is a competitive time for sneaker brand partnerships, but we’re excited to see what these big names have in store for sneakerheads all around the world.

Photo Credit: Kendrick Lamar/Instagram

Sheriden Chanel is a twenty-something writer, Beyoncé enthusiast, and lover of all things visual art. Keep up with her and her musings on social via @indiebyline.