Kendrick Lamar is Reebok's new brand ambassador. The Compton rapper will appear in a 2015 global campaign centered around the 25th anniversary of the brand's Ventilator OG sneaker, and he'll also be designing a limited-edition capsule collection for their 2015 Fall/Winter collection.
For Kendrick, this means things are coming full circle, because he's been down with Reebok since Lil Wayne and the Hot Boys made the brand a wardrobe staple back in the '90s by rocking the sneakers in their videos.
"We used to wear Reebok all the time in middle school -- Reebok Classics," Kendrick told MTV News of the new collaboration. "It was around the time the Hot Boys came out, so everybody wanted to be Juvenile, Cash Money, so it was already history there as far as my relationship."
As, as with everything Kendrick touches, he made it uniquely his own. In the short film that accompanied the campaign announcement -- where K.Dot debuted the new Ventilator OG sneaker -- the good kid, m.A.A.d city rapper returned to his hometown, and even incorporated a verse from the "I Am" interlude on his 2009 EP Kendrick Lamar. Nothing felt forced.
"Anything I do has to be organic, it's not about just selling, we’re not a playing a numbers game," Kendrick explained. "Reebok understands that for sure. I come from a community where they look at me as some type of inspiration, so anything I put my hands on has to have that same type of inspiration."
"It's not just about numbers," he added. "It's about actually having a lifestyle people can feel like they're part of too."
We haven't gotten a peek of Kendrick's new Reebok collection just yet, but he emphasized that it would reflect elements from his upbringing. "My thing is always about the originality, so I always go back to having something that’s representing the culture in my community.”
The new Reebok Ventilator OG sneaker will debut on January 15.
In addition to chatting with MTV News about his new collaboration with the brand, Kendrick also spoke to us about his single "i" and how it connects to the recent protests over police injustice. Hear what he had to say in the video below.