kendrick lamar in an ad for the nike cortez sneaker
Photo: Nike

Kendrick Lamar Signs with Nike

Kendrick Lamar has inked a deal with Nike, according to the rapper’s own tweet, posted this weekend. “Cortez. Since day one,” reads a Twitter post uploaded Saturday afternoon, along with a picture of him wearing the shoe during a performance.

The move ends Kendrick’s relationship with Reebok, a partnership that began just before the release of the rapper’s To Pimp a Butterfly album in 2014. The latest of those shoes was released as recently as January of this year: the Kendrick Lamar Reebok Club C, priced at just under $80. Over the last two years however, K. Dot spent much of his time pushing the brand’s Reebok Classic and Ventilator shoes, using custom designs promote an anti-gang violence narrative.

Though there’s little information about Kendrick’s Nike deal outside of the above tweet, it doesn’t take a ton of guesswork to figure out how it came to be. For several years, Kendrick has been spotted wearing Nike shoes and apparel, and his relationship with the brand’s Cortez sneaker extends beyond today’s promo. In fact, in his notorious “Control” verse, the Compton superstar vowed to only wear Nike Cortez as a bird-flip to rap’s ever-growing obsession with high fashion. In fact, he wore an all-white pair of the shoe to the MTV VMAs Sunday night.

Inking a deal with Reebok the very next year put a small wrinkle in that “Control” master plan, but the summer of 2017 has brought things full circle. Congrats to Kung Fu.

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