While perusing through kicks at the LeBron James-owned UNKNWN in Miami, Wale spoke with Complex’s Joe La Puma about his passion for sneakers and the latest in sneaker culture.
During his interview, Wale briefly brought up his past fallout with Complex following an irate phone call he made to the publication late last year. The Maybach Music Group lyricist revealed that he’s no longer high up on Nike’s list for complimentary sneakers and joked about his phone call to Complex being the reason why.
Wale also added that years ago he helped Nike design the 2010 Air Max, but is unsure of what happened to his collaboration with the brand.
“I mean, I’m not high on Nike’s list like I used to be,” he said. “I mean, who knows. Probably cause I call magazines [with] crazy stuff…In 2009, I had the opportunity to design the 2010 Air Max. I don’t know what happened with that. But they presented me with the opportunity to, but, you know, things happened at Nike…I just think that the shoe companies need to respect the entertainment business outside of sports. Rick Ross can sell more Reeboks than Nerlens Noel. Drake can move more Jordans than—I’m not trying to offend nobody on Team Jordan.”
Wale doesn’t serve as the only artist who has taken issue with the noted sneaker/clothing corporation. Last year, Chicago lyricist Kanye West revealed that he did not receive any royalties from Nike for his work on the Air Yeezys.
In addition to his talk about Nike, Wale also clarified that his love for sneaker culture stems from his passion for kicks and not any type of competition.
“We genuinely love the game and the culture,” Wale said. “And I don’t think there’s much of a culture anymore now. I’ve noticed a couple of things and I’ve kinda taken a step back. I’ve kinda been like ‘This is a little weird now.’ You know? We got like standup comedians last year that was wearing K-Swiss. Now they talking about they got all the Foams. People point the blame at me a little bit, which is weird, but what you want me to do? Stop liking shoes because I got a record deal?”
Complex’s “Sneaker Shopping With Wale”