Kendrick Lamar: Sellout For Reebok?

As part of the rapper’s partnership with the shoe company, Reebok has recently released their first official commercial starring Kendrick Lamar. Aside from generating huge publicity for Reebok’s $75 Ventilator Day-Glos, the video also generated some questions concerning Lamar’s motives for collaborating with the company.

The short commercial starts with a sweeping view of Lamar’s hometown Los Angeles. As the voice over begins to narrate, the camera focuses on a white wall scrawled with the word “revolution.” The camera follows a teenage boy riding on his bike to a guarded warehouse. As the young boy enters the facility, he approaches a table where Lamar and the design team are poring over shoe designs. The boy takes out a Day-Glo from his back pack and places it on the table. Lamar picks it up and carefully inspects the shoe.

The video continued with more scenes of LA and eventually, with a pack of youngsters wearing assorted colors of the Ventilator Day-Glos. The camera focuses on Lamar who remains standing in the middle of the walking crowd. The rapper was shown wearing a pair of yellow Day-Glos and the camera quickly changes its focus to close up shots of various faces.

Critics describe the new commercial as “Kendrick-esque.” Although the poetic thoughts presented by the voice over were certainly profound, E!Online pointed out that they “don’t have much to do with shoes.”

“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for we, the people, to do things a little different… It’s in the air. We can no longer sit idly by while the powers that be tell us how to live, how to think, how to act – all the while writing about so-and-so not caring about us. No anonymous posts or spineless subtweets will do us justice. We, the people, can no longer hide. The time is now and they know it, too. For we hold these truths to be self-evident: A Wind of change is blowing in. Inhale. Exhale. And breath.”

The message of the voice over’s script is exactly the same with what Lamar is advocating in his latest album To Pimp a Butterfly. This led many to speculate if the rapper is using the commercial to sell out his latest album.

However, E!Online thought that signing the deal with Reebok is not a bad move for Lamar. For one, they pointed out that he isn’t the first rapper to sign a deal with a shoe company.

[Image via YouTube]