Los Angeles rapper Kendrick Lamar announced Saturday (August 26, 2017) via social media he’s now an ambassador to Nike, a role that was hinted at in his “Loyalty” video in which he wore Air Max 97 sneakers throughout.
In his announcement, Lamar mentioned Nike’s Cortez silhouette, a shoe that’s long been viewed (along with Converse Chuck Taylor) as a style mainstay of Compton hip hop. As it happens, one of Nike’s biggest pushes this year has been the celebration of the Cortez’s 45th anniversary.
At MTV’s Video Music Awards last night (August 27th) Lamar wore a pair of Nike Cortez sneakers on the red carpet and on stage, opening the show with a performance of his singles “DNA” and “Humble.” Lamar went on take home six awards, including artist of the year, video of the year and best hip hop video.
— Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) August 26, 2017
Long before the paid endorsement, Lamar shouted out the Cortez in his 2013 single “Control,” with the lyrics, “And I ain’t rocking no more designer shit; white tees and Nike Cortez.”
Prior to Nike, Lamar had an agreement with Reebok, a partnership that was announced in December 2014 for what appears to be a two-year agreement. While with Reebok, Lamar promoted the brand’s Ventilator, Classic Leather and Club C styles. His final collaborative shoe with Reebok was released in January 2017.