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Kendrick Lamar can easily considered the most revered MC in the game. After dropping a classic with good kid, M.A.A.D. City, the Compton rapper has solidified his next titan of rap credentials thanks to consistency and can now add sneaker deal to his rapper resume.


Reebok inked Kendrick to a shiny new contract, and he’ll be a spokesman for the brand (particularly the Ventilator model) and drop a capsule collection of gear in 2015. Hip-Hop Wired talked with the former K. Dot about how and why he connected with Reebok, but the convo also veered off to the importance of artist development, how he feels about being labeled a genius and more.

Fearsomely humble despite his impeccable rhyme talents, Kendrick Lamar always makes for a good interview. Also, that new album is done.


Hip-Hop Wired: How long has this deal with Reebok Classic been in the works?

KL: It’s been in the works for about two years. We finally got to sit down and finally after we jumped off the road. I been on the road for like three years straight so that kind of held up the process. Now where we need to be by the graces of God.


HHW: We’ve seen you in adidas or some crispy Nike Cortez. What made you rock with Reebok?

Kendrick Lamar: Anything that I touch, it always have to have some type of connection. Through Reebok the connection was I always wore these shoes as a kid. Me partnering up with them wasn’t something I had [to do a] doubletake on. It has to feel organic. It’s not like they’re throwing a new shoe at me and me selling the product. We’re actually continuing to drive culture because Hip-Hop and fashion go hand in hand.

It wasn’t a new company that just came out and they’re trendy and it’s for a check. It’s something that actually f*cks with for a long time and been a part of.


HHW: When you were coming up wanting to be an MC was a sneaker deal ever in the plans?

KL: No it wasn’t, man. When you’re a kid you don’t really know the opportunities that it will allow to touch. All you see is videos, women, cars and clothes, and that’s all you care about, and I was one of them kids. I didn’t know the other avenues you could venture off to.

It’s a blessing that we have people like Jay Z, or we have people like Diddy to go out there and be business and make their mistakes that we can learn from. Jay had shoes deal, 50 [Cent]…now it’s all about pulling from their risks and bettering it.


Photo: Reebok

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