In August, superstar rapper Kendrick Lamar ended his multiyear partnership with Reebok and became a Nike ambassador. Months later, rumors of a sneaker collaboration on the brand’s classic Cortez model began to surface, and now it looks like the anticipated project is finally coming to fruition.
The “Damn” rapper took to Instagram last night to share a look at his unreleased footwear while in attendance for Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers jersey retirement ceremony at the Staples Center.
The shoes — which differ from a similar look shared in October — feature a red-based upper with white details throughout, including the shoe’s toe and Swoosh logo. Highlights include taping across the laces reading “don’t trip,” a mantra the rapper repeated in his Instagram caption.
Meanwhile, the shoes are also embroidered with Chinese text near the toe, which is presumably a reference to Lamar’s “Kung-Fu Kenny” nickname.
A longtime fan of the classic Nike sneaker — which, much like the rapper himself, is a west coast street icon — Lamar vowed in a 2013 rap with Big Sean to wear “white Ts and Nike Cortez” instead of his former penchant for designer items.
Credit: Footwear News