Kanye who? Jordan Jumps With Drake

Once upon a time, for many in the mainstream, the idea of a rap artist signing a shoe deal with a sneaker company bordered on insanity.

Once upon a time, for many in the mainstream, the idea of a rap artist signing a shoe deal with a sneaker company bordered on insanity. They didn't understand how much the hood loved sneakers. They didn't believe in the power of hip hop…until Run DMC's "My Adidas." And even then, still, apprehensions pervaded.

Flash forward to the future, and now shoe companies can't seem to get enough of a man rapping with a mic, bestowing deals upon the most commercially viable MCs. That is, unless you count prodigy of Mobb Deep, who was able to swing a deal to design shoes for Supra. (It ain't always about fashion forward tips, but cashing checks too.)

Until last month, Kanye West designed Nikes and had a shoe named in his likeness with the Air Yeezy-a chimera, containing cross-training, basketball and tennis shoe elements.  Those abominations sold for around $500. Let that be another reason some continually give Nike the side eye. Including West, who recently took to the stage and media to share his issues with the sneaker giant. “If it's for myself, I would have been cool just sitting in Nike not getting no royalties,” West said during an interview on the Russ Parr Morning Show. “Letting people line up for the Yeezys and not… you know. When I'm having negotiations and then I go and look in my daughter's eyes…when I go and negotiate after that I'm like ‘Oh y'all ain't finna talk to me like that. We finna get this money right.'”

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Um, ok Ye'.

Since then, the self-described rock star has side stepped over to Adidas to join its y3 division.  And now, the Jordan Brand has snagged a heavy rap hitter of its own in Drake.  According to Billboard, the Canadian rhyme spitter announced the deal at a concert in Portland earlier this week.

"Today also happens to be one of the best days of my life," he said. "You know, growing up, I'm sure we all idolized this guy – he goes by the name of Michael Jordan. So today, I came to Portland, Oregon and I officially became inducted into the Team Jordan family."

Even his Airness himself, Mr. Michael Jordan, went on Twitter to announce the new addition to his business family.

The fruits of Drake's design are to be dubbed OVO Stingray 10s and OVO Stingray 12s.


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Starting his career as lead writer for EURweb.com back in 1998, Ricardo A Hazell has served as Senior Contributor with The Shadow League since coming to the company in 2013. His byline has appeared in the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the South China Sea Morning Post, the Root and many other publications. At TSL he is charged with exploring black cultural angles where they intersect with the mainstream.