Rapper 2 Chainz made an appearance on ESPN’s Sports Nation yesterday and was very candid regarding his stance on musicians signing large-brand sneaker deals. This conversation sparked a few days ago with Kanye’s departure of Nike for Adidas and Drake’s deal with Jordan Brand. There was also an article on TheShoeGame.com that really touched on the new rapper/sneaker dynamic.
Here are 2 Chainz major points if you don’t feel like sitting through the video:
- Rappers have no season, they rap all year
- Rappers are the new rock stars
- Rappers have an effect on pop culture
Let’s quickly debunk his case, shall we…
Sneaker aficionados or “Sneaker Heads” don’t use these $250+ shoes to actually play the sports for which they are designed. Those collectors buy the because they are attached to a player of admiration and because they are visually appealing. The people that do use them for athletic activity want to see the shoes in use and to see how they hold up. The common person playing basketball isn’t going to stop wearing LeBron sneakers in their summer Rec League because the finals are over.
Secondly, rappers may be the new age “rockstars” but they aren’t on local and national TV over 150 mights a year. A rapper may put out 3 videos on television a year that can showcase a pair of sneakers. Concerts are rarely filmed in their entirety for television and hardly place focus upon the apparel of said rapper (Kanye’s funky mask excluded).
Not to burst Mr. Chainz bubble but Pop culture isn’t controlled by hip-Hop. In fact the majority of 15-24 year olds in America today are gravitating towards EDM as their musical genre of choice. Rappers can hardly sell 500k albums at $1o a pop; what makes anyone think they can sell 100k sneakers priced at $150 or more?
Athletes are brand endorsers for a reason. They are accessible on mainstream media a guaranteed numbers of times per year, they are REQUIRED to speak with the media in their local markets, and they actually showcase the true purpose of the shoe.
For a case in point, a rockstar can wear Vans everyday of his life but a professional skateboarder shows that they are also functional, which in turn sells more product and broadens revenue.
I’m all for artist, athletes, journalist *cough,cough*; making money but to say that musicians or specifically rappers can outsell world class athletes is ludicrous. I’d be willing to bet my Dollarnaire T-Shirt collection that neither 2 Chainz or Marcellus Wiley own a pair of rapper released sneakers that aren’t Yeezy’s.