Lebron James is “fam” according to Kanye West and definitely was not the target in his new song “Facts.” It’s pretty clear, based on the lyrics, that Kanye is not a fan of Nike, but that’s where he draws the line.
It seems like no one is safe when it comes to Kanye. The rapper has been known to blast anyone and everyone who might get in his path, but he was quick to let everyone know that Lebron James was not a target.
It’s understandable how Kanye fans might have thought the rapper was taking shots at Lebron James in his new release. West actually names Lebron in the song when he raps, “Nike, Nike, treat employees just like slaves/Gave Lebron a billi’ not to run away.” The Lebron James diss isn’t there even though his name is mentioned.
Kanye even jumped on Twitter to clear up the matter, although that tweet has already been deleted. That’s just West’s style, right? He knows that the internet is forever, and while Kanye probably didn’t want the controversial tweet sticking around on his feed, the rapper also knows that publishing his stance on the song would get the point across.
As Vibe reported, Kanye tweeted out this little gem to let everyone know his beef definitely isn’t with his friend Lebron. Kanye said, “The media tried to make it seem like I was downplaying LeBron on my song FACTS which I would never do, Lebron is fam bottom line.”
What did Lebron James think of his mention? James didn’t stay silent on the huge Nike diss dropped by West. Lebron made it clear that he is siding with Nike, the company who pays him. “It’s just, it’s family when you talk about Nike, and I’m always on their side no matter what the situation is,” Lebron James told the Plain Dealer.
Behind Michael Jordan, Lebron James is the biggest name on the Nike brand right now. According to Forbes, Nike sold $340 million worth of Lebron James’ shoes in 2014. They estimate that Lebron James is raking in around $20 million a year just from his shoe contract with Nike. On top of that, Lebron James just signed a lifetime endorsement deal with the shoe giant for $600 million last month. Ultimately, that deal could lead to more money, maybe even “a billi'” as Kanye rapped. It’s no wonder the Cleveland Cavaliers star didn’t want to take sides with Yeezy.
As far as running away, as West rapped in his song, Lebron James has never expressed a desire to leave his partnership with Nike. Can you blame him? Lebron is at the top of his game right now, and there are really no other professional athletes giving him a run for his money in the shoe game.
Lebron James’ deal with Nike was record-setting. Lebron’s lifetime shoe deal is not only the first of its kind, it was also the largest amount of money paid to an athlete by the shoe company.
Kanye’s $10 million deal with Adidas certainly pales in comparison. Maybe that’s why the rapper is so angry at his former shoe brand. In any case, Lebron James isn’t interested in taking the controversial rapper’s side. The Cleveland star is smart and chooses to align himself with the company who pays him handsomely.
It’s pretty clear that when Kanye West raps that “Yeezy jumped over Jumpman,” this is simply the rapper’s opinion and strays very far from the actual facts. The reality is that Lebron James is doing very well for himself at Nike.
Even though Kanye may have made the move over to Adidas because he didn’t like what Nike had to offer, the only jumping that Yeezy did over Jumpman is lyrical because financially, Nike (and Jumpman, the Michael Jordan logo) are doing just fine, especially now that Lebron James is signed on for life.
Featured image credited to Patrick Smith/Getty Images