On the new Rap Radar podcast on TIDAL, Jay-Z passionately spoke about why he’s rooting for Big Baller Brand to do well. He says he bought three pairs of the ZO2s, Lonzo Ball’s independently-made signature sneaker, and also speaks on why he’s supporting LaVar. Read HOV’s full, unedited quote below:
LaVar Ball, he said, ‘I’m gonna start my own company.’ Everybody’s like, ‘You should sign to Nike.’ He may go about things wrong. He may have a big mouth. But I bought three pairs. I didn’t get ‘em. But that man has a vision of his own. Why wouldn’t I support him? Why wouldn’t I support him? He feels like he can move culture and his son got a big enough name and a big enough brand that they can do it.
Nike had to start somewhere. Why do we get so upset when we, as a culture, want to start our own shit? That shit is puzzling to me. I sit back and I’m like, this makes no sense. Why can’t he start a sneaker? ‘Oh, his sneakers are terrible.’ Remember, I’m not being negative towards anyone. I’ve seen some bad sneakers from Under Armour. I’ve seen bad Michael Jordan sneakers.
Michael Jordan obviously is the greatest. At some point he was selling for Nike and at some point he broke away and he started building the Jordan Brand. I’m sure that was difficult. And I’m sure people at that time, when he was building the Jordan Brand, was like, ‘You playing yourself. You’re gonna leave Nike?’ Man, all due respect, fuck Nike. And I don’t mean personally, I mean like fuck the thing.
Everyone has this reverence towards these things. I’m sure when we walked in and started Roc Nation, everyone looked and said ‘Universal’ or Def Jam. Like, we built the brand. It can happen. We are culture. Nothing moves without us. We just continue to give it away. And it’s cool. Everyone can participate. Nike still works with Jordan. It’s just the nature of our relationship has to change.
Jay released 4:44 earlier this summer and the NBA world was overjoyed with his first album in nearly four years. He spoke about generational wealth on one of the records and he also referenced building credit and leaving something behind for his children.
Lonzo Ball spoke about giving his family members and friends the opportunity to have a job with BBB in the release video for his sneaker.