Kanye West gave a lecture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago on Monday (May 11), where he will receive an honorary doctorate.
During the appearance, he spoke about his sneaker collaborations, from the present and past… and took shots at Nike in the process.
According to Ye, he ended his relationship with the Swoosh, as he’s previously mentioned, because they wouldn’t give him a royalty on the sale of his signature shoe. He says their reasoning was because he wasn’t an athlete… and furthermore, revealed that the brand offered him $4 million a year to stay.
“When it was time to do the Adidas collection, and I left Nike because they refused to give me a percentage because I was not an athlete — I don’t have a NDA that says I can’t say this even though it seems wrong to say out loud — I left Nike because they refused to give me a percentage. They also offered me $4 million a year to stay,” Kanye explained.
“I still left them, because they weren’t giving me the opportunity to grow. They were working off an old business model, and Phil Knight was somewhere on an island,” he continued. “And then, Mark Parker would go and find people who I collaborated with years before, and try to do collaborations with them to seem cool, and as you see, Nike hasn’t done like, one cool thing this year.”
Elsewhere, Kanye plugs the Adidas Energy Boost ESMs, saying: “These are just adidas that are fresh, they’re not even my shoes. I don’t even get paid to wear ’em.”