Students from Centennial High School received a special surprise when alumnus Kendrick Lamar placed them in his new Reebok ad.
Called “I Am,” the Top Dawg Entertainment rapper delivers his stellar verse from The Kendrick Lamar EP as an ode to his hometown of Compton, California. Shot in various locations throughout the Hub City, Lamar stars in the Reebok ad as a member of the Reebok Classics roster. The sneaker company addressed the newly-announced partnership in a statement released earlier this week.
[VIDEO: Kendrick Lamar Featured in Reebok Commercial]
“Reebok and Kendrick Lamar bring a joined vision of celebrating the limitless potential of youth through a short film created to pay homage to kids in Lamar’s hometown of Compton, CA,” the statement read. “The video, ‘Reebok Presents Kendrick Lamar,’ was directed by Anthony Mandler. The clip, which you can see below, is a nod to the neighborhood haunts that Lamar, 27, frequented in his youth.
The “i” lyricist will also design a Reebok capsule collection which will be released in June 2015. “Reebok has a history of helping kids in the community realize their potential is limitless,” Kendrick said. “I saw what the brand was doing, and I wanted to be a part of it and make it even stronger. It’s as simple as that. Kids that listen to my music are looking for inspiration. It’s important that I continue that message in anything I represent.”
Over the years, Reebok has partnered with the likes of Rick Ross and Swizz Beatz. The former was notoriously dropped from his deal after public fallout from a controversial lyric on fellow rapper Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O. (You Ain’t Even Know It).”
Watch the new ad from Reebok that features Kendrick Lamar below: