Analyzing Kendrick Lamar’s “Nike Cortez” Lyric

Kendrick Lamar has stirred up the entire Hip Hop world with his new verse on Big Sean’s “Control” track. Referencing an array of today’s most notable names in the rap game, Kendrick even makes remarks about the artist he follows in the song. Between calling himself one of the best MCs in the game (with Jay Z, Nas, Eminem and Andre 3000) and putting other noteworthy rappers on the second tier, Lamar says that he’s back to white T’s and Nike Cortez.

Kendrick Lamar (Control verse):“And I ain’t rockin’ no more designer sh**, white T’s and Nike Cortez, this red Corvette’s anonymous…”

Kendrick Lamar performs in the Nike Cortez Red/White (Photo by Ollie Millington/Redferns via Getty Images/Sole Collector)

Lamar seemingly states that he is going back to his OG roots in every facet, represented by white T’s and classic Nikes that are iconic in hip hop history, since many artists are currently engulfed in illustrious style and appearance. If Kendrick is going to take his recent line literally, at least he won’t get tired of his Cortez. When we asked K. Dot at SXSW 2013 what his most timeless pair of sneakers was, he didn’t stutter:

Nice Kicks: You stick mostly to the classics when it comes to kicks. What’s the one pair of sneakers that will never get old to you?

Kendrick Lamar: The Nike Cortez. I don’t know how it is around the world, but in LA I was influenced by the ’80s. My uncles wore Cortez – the type of gangster, OG vibe. They’re the originals, you can’t ever go wrong with them.

Kendrick Lamar in the Nike Cortez White/Black (Photo by Robbie Fimmano/Interview Magazine)