Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 at 3:40 pm  |  12 responses

Marching To His Own Beatz

Star producer Swizz Beatz is bent on bringing Reebok back.

Originally published in KICKS 14

by Tzvi Twersky | Photos courtesy of Reebok

No matter what creative project he’s working on, super-producer Swizz Beatz always approaches it with the same goal: to make history. He’s bringing that mindset to his new role as Creative Director of Reebok Classics.

As a child growing up in the South Bronx, Swizzy thought the only way he’d ever have a signature sneaker of his own was if he spray painted a store-bought one. Now, though, he’s eschewing that very opportunity in hopes of accomplishing something even bigger—for himself and Reebok.

“I’m putting my hand in and influencing the brand, influencing the culture and influencing everybody to be a part of something that’s new and fresh,” says Swizz, who states that what he’s doing is far afield of what celebrity endorsers have done with Reebok in the past. “They were on stage saying [their own names]. They wasn’t saying nothing about Reebok.”

Swizzy is, though, and all it takes is a quick glimpse at popular culture to see he has a whole gang of tastemakers saying it with him. Early this past summer at Hot 97’s Summer Jam at the New Meadowlands Stadium, artists ranging from Chris Brown to Lil Wayne took to the stage in an array of Reebok apparel. Right around that time, Meek Mill and Rick Ross released a “Reebok Back” remix of their hit song “Tupac Back.” They filmed a video for it, too, in which the two could be seen clad in Capital R apparel.

Not lacking for high-profile support, Swizz has already guided the design of the Kamikaze IIIs, the I Am Basquiat apparel and kicks line and the global Reethym of Life campaign. And it would be an understatement to say that Swizzy’s taken a hands-on approach to every aspect of his new job. “Anything I’m involved with I have to be passionate about, otherwise it’s a waste of my time,” says Swizz, who has had a voice in everything from selecting the Kamikazes’ colorways to envisioning the Reethym of Life advertorial (where he literally lends his voice, as his single “International Party” is featured). “I’m happy with the response,” he continues. “People come up to me to ask if they can get a pair, and 90 percent of these people are with other brands already. So we must be doing something right.”

With Beatz’ efforts pushing the brand forward, Reebok is indeed back.

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    Cool but some of those Reeboks look like bootleg Jordans if you ask me. The black joints scream bootleg.

  • k

    I am not k.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    That’s better.
    Anyways, this dude is one of the most overrated producers of all time.
    But I still give him props cause he gets to go home and nail Alicia Keyes!


    Is there a reason as 2 why the “Vector” logo is absent from the kicks? I used 2 luv Reebok back n the day. I don’t c it coming back tho. Swizz gonna have 2 work harder than this that’s 4 sure.

  • http://tempdog1 stephen

    Lame! Copying every other brands style isnt cool

  • Dru

    ^ You must be living under a bridge. Practically every popular shoe company bites off Nike/Jordan brands. Also, the dude that said Swizz is overrated sounds like an idiot. Producers are judged by the success of the tracks they produce. So if the music he makes didn’t help the artist do well. He wouldn’t be considered a “super producer”.

  • Mack68

    What the hell is that ‘R’ logo. Awful. Looks cheap.
    Reebok doesn’t need to be brought back from the brink of extinction.
    The Question Mids were one of the best shoes ever, as was the Pump. Bring them back or leave it at that.

  • http://slamonline.com yallllalalal

    im down for a pair!

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    “producers are judged by the success of the tracks they produce”.
    By who? The mainstream? XXL and the Source? People who call people they don’t know idiots cause it’s the Internet and you can get away with it, like you?
    I judge producers based on the quality of thier beats, I’m not another sheep who falls in line and agrees with everyone else.
    His sh*t is wack. If his beats went head up against Premo he’d straight embarrass himself.

  • John Wall Jr

    Why does everyone always say “bring back the questions”. Just go to your local shoe store or do a search online you lazy ass bums.

  • asgf

    shoes= jordans
    hats=some skater brand.
    thers my 2 cents. I still like how his name isnt on everything, and the cars he desighn look sick, [think he made his own bently]

  • Niio

    I don’t know why everyone is hating, i like how “clean” everything is. I don’t like big logos all over my gear