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Kendrick Lamar Gets Personal About His Reebok Deal

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Kendrick Lamar is quite possibly Hip-Hop's biggest star. Not only did the Compton, California emcee dropped arguably one of the best albums of the past five years withTo Pimp a Butterfly but he has also accumulated numerous accolades over the past year while still remaining true to himself.  

He once swore his allegiance to Nike Cortez but nearly two years  later and the "Alright," performer is singing a different tune. Lamar gets intimate with Complex magazine about his latest sneaker venture and the direction of his career.

Sneakers are inanimate objects and a lot of rappers slap their names on shoes and call it a day. Were you ever worried that people would think this is how the process would turn out?
I wasn’t worried because I already knew what I wanted to do. I’m only worried when I don’t have preparation. When you don’t have preparation, that’s when the nerves and the jitters come in. The idea from the start was to have a back story and have the red and the blue. I couldn’t just slap my name on a shoe say, “Hey, go buy that.” It doesn’t have a connection. The connection comes from the people first. They make the decisions; I don’t make the decisions. We create it, but the foundation comes from the people accepting it.

When you came up with the red and blue theme, was there ever any concern at Reebok that the subject matter was too provocative?
There wasn’t any concern because I knew that Reebok always stood for something. So I furthered that and brought something to the table that they already had, which was being original and having a back story. They did just that and that’s something I will always respect. To be real with you: A lot of brands wouldn’t push something with that type of back tory, because it’s all about generating dollars and how many people buy it. Reebok took that leap of faith, and you see the outcome.

Do you have a personal stash of pairs left over to give your friends?
I got a personal stash for myself [laughs]. I already gave all the pairs out to my friends and family. I got an emergency stash, though.

I’m not going to name the shoe, but you said you were only going to wear one sneaker going forward on “Control.” What changed that?
What made that change is that I actually have someone that would put an idea out there that I could keep it original and classic. The timing made sense. Reebok is just that classic idea, and it just made sense.

To read the full article visit Complex.