Jadakiss may not have fulfilled his dream of suiting up in Syracuse’s signature Orange jerseys, but the rapper was an integral part of some of the most iconic sneaker commercials for an athlete.
In the early 2000s, Kiss teamed up with Allen Iverson for two memorable commercials. The black-and-white Hip Hop-oriented visuals were groundbreaking, pairing one of the hottest rappers in the industry with a rising NBA star.
Slam Magazine recently caught up with Kiss to reflect on his Reebok commercials with A.I. and talk about which rappers got game.
“The good people over at Reebok called me—it wasn’t too watered down,” ‘Kiss says to Slam. “Shout out to TrackMasters, they did the tracks. [Reebok] really let me do my thing. They told me about the sneaker, about the technology of the sneaker, and the rest was just my knowledge of A.I. We did two of them. The A5 and the A6.”
Kiss says Iverson was “like the hood legend that made it.” Although he was barely six-foot, a mixture of his demeanor and skills made him lovable both on and off the court.
“He made the people from where we’re from feel like you could make it,” ‘Kiss says. “He was short. He had braids. He had tats, and he was bustin’ ass. All the other short dudes with braids and tats, that gave them a boost of energy. That opened the floodgates for the dribbling, shooting point guard.”
Jadakiss’ hoop dreams deflated in tenth grade. He grew up playing little league, high school, AAU and PAL, but called it quits in high school to begin rapping. There are several other artists he doesn’t mind giving props.
“Ma$e used to be nice,” he says. “Cam’ron was good. Chris Brown is nice. J. Cole is nice. Wale got game. R. Kelly got game. The Game got game. Trey Songz can play, too. I don’t get in as many celebrity games as I’d like to. Now that All-Star Weekend is gonna be in New York this year, I wanna get in the celebrity game this year… Let me get in there and get MVP.”
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