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Reebok Stands Behind Kendrick Lamar's Gang-Themed Sneakers

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Published on Apr 21, 2016

Kendrick Lamar doesn’t need a sneaker endorsement to solidify himself as the most relevant rapper right now—his Grammys do the talking. But, still, his collaboration with Reebok has been wildly successful. The shoes, which have a theme of gang unity between bloods and crips in Kendrick’s hometown of Compton, have been hot sellers and helped to re-establish Reebok’s hip-hop credibility. Getting an artist of Kendrick’s stature to sign to a footwear brand isn’t easy, and it took an extended effort to solidify the partnership between him and the company.

Damion Presson, Reebok’s Director of Entertainment Marketing, is the man who inked the deal between Reebok and Kendrick. At a recent for the brand in Manchester, England, where Kendrick fielded questions from the media and gave a private performance, we were given the chance to talk to Presson. Not only did he explain the strenuous process of actually tracking Kendrick down, but he also gave a hint at what’s next for the collaboration between the two partners, and whether Kendrick vowing to only wear Nike Cortez ever thwarted his hopes of getting the West Coast rapper aligned with Reebok.

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COMPLEX is a community of creators and curators, armed with the Internet, committed to surfacing and sharing the voices and conversations that define our new America. Our videos exemplify convergence culture, exploring topics that include music, sneakers, style, sports and pop culture through original shows and Complex News segments. Featuring your favorite celebrities, authoritative commentary, and a unique voice, our videos make culture pop.

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