Kendrick Lamar Defines 'Classic' for New Reebok Campaign Video

Nabil Elderkin
Kendrick Lamar for Reebok.

Rap fixture Kendrick Lamar defines the word "classic" and discusses his new Respect the Classic campaign with Reebok in a two-minute visual directed by esteemed photographer Nabil Elderkin (Aug. 8).

Soundtracked by his Untitled, Unmastered cut Untitled 07," the clip finds the Compton rapper rocking the new "Perfect Split Classic Leather" sneaker, which "brings Kendrick’s split personality to life with contrasting color block accents, ‘split’ rubber outsole and retro gum sole," according to the brand. 

Photographer Nabil Discusses Working With Kendrick Lamar for Reebok Classic: Exclusive

“When you think about rhymes and style, you always want a classic feel," K.Dot says. "So my first introduction to a classic shoe was the moment I stepped in school and I said to myself I want to put something down on paper. I started writing. Everybody in the classroom was wearing Reebok classics."

Filmed in East London, the video's concept aims to embody the "classic and original" nature of the shoe as well as Lamar’s personality. “It wasn't about the styling of the clothes as it was about the shoes and his comfortable nature of what he wears," Nabil recently told Billboard in an exclusive interview. "I think a lot about an artist’s expression is how they carry themselves and how they move and he really moves fluid and natural. A lot of these kids I'm shooting now are mad awkward. [Kendrick] just has his own thing so it didn’t take me to tell him how to pose. He just did his thing and I captured it.”

The 29-year-old MC freestyles throughout the video and touches on the importance of hip-hop culture. “Hip-hop was more than just the music; it was part of culture, it was part of having style, it was apart of a whole graffiti and arts," he adds. "It was only right I wore the Reebok Classics then. I still remain that classic guy, and that’s the reason why I’m wearing the shoes now.“