Cordae isn’t willing to affiliate his name with just anyone. The rapper is opening up about how selective he is when it comes to securing brand deals amid the release of his official collection with PUMA.
The HI-LEVEL collection launched on Thursday with an RS-X, Suede, and a range of apparel including a jacket, hoodie, sweatpants, and three T-shirts. It’s an organic partnership Cordae described as a “full-circle moment,” due to his lifelong respect for the brand.
“In middle school, the public school I went to in PG County, we had to wear uniforms,” Cordae told Nice Kicks. “It was a white shirt, khaki pants, and all-black sneakers, so I always rocked the PUMA suedes.”
The rapper aims to maintain integrity with his brand and the companies he aligns himself with. While speaking on his newest partnership with Bootleg Kev, Cordae explained how careful he is when agreeing to a collaboration.
“I’m not never going to be myself bro for the sake of a brand,” Cordae quipped.
“I’ve turned down millions and millions of dollars because it’s a brand that’s kind of off-brand for me as a person.”
The 25-year-old rapper also touched on the “95 percent of brand deals” he has turned down, “no matter how big or small.”
“I’m still an artist at the end of the day, and I try to just move with my heart,” he said. “I try to just move with my feelings. I can’t be a slave to the brand.”
Continuing on his natural respect for PUMA, the DMV native explained why he had no issue partnering with the veteran sports brand.
“PUMA [does] hella community outreach. They do hella giveback stuff,” he said.
With a baby on the way with tennis champion Naomi Osaka, Cordae is making sure to secure the bag and move toward generational wealth. Aligning himself with PUMA was “organic,” considering the fashion brand’s work in the community.
“All the extracurricular stuff they do for communities across the globe is tight,” he said. “They gave me a lot of creative control and let me bring some of my friends, it turned out dope.”