After giving Los Angeles a free concert from the back of a truck, Kendrick Lamar and Reebok continue their partnership today with a commercial for their new Ventilator shoe.
The commercial features Kendrick as a Compton-based revolutionary, commandeering an uprising from the back of a warehouse with blueprints and fresh lime green kicks (the Day-Glo Ventilators). He also provides the ad’s voiceover, reading a script reminiscent of the lyrical content found on To Pimp A Butterfly. “When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for we the people to do things a little different,” Kendrick reads, “we can no longer sit idly by while the powers that be tell us how to live.”
The commercial also features a Kendrick-esque soundtrack, strings building behind him as the revolution starts to take hold. It isn’t the first time the rapper has linked up with the sneaker giant. Their previous work together is below, and while I’m not one to endorse art’s commercialization, Kendrick has certainly done a good job maintaining an image of authenticity in this campaign. Speaking to The Fader about the partnership, Kendrick said “you want to make it a little bit about connecting, not just selling something. People are actually living their lives to my music, and [to] my lifestyle—whether it’s me being on stage or wearing a shoe.”