Jay-Z gives props to LaVar Ball's 'vision' and bought three pairs of Lonzo's shoes

Sporting News

If you get the attention of Jay-Z, then you must be doing something right.

LaVar Ball, the outspoken father of Lakers rookie Lonzo, was praised by the legendary rapper in an interview with Rap Radar, released Friday on Tidal. Jay-Z was discussing "self-hate" in the sense of black people not wanting to see each other succeed. That's when he brought up Ball.

(warning: video contains explicit language)

"LaVar Ball, he said, 'I'm going to start my own company.' Everybody's like, 'You're just mad at Nike.' He may go about things wrong, he may have a big mouth. But I bought three pairs. Why did I buy three pairs? 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, us as a culture want to start our own s—? That s— is puzzling to me. I sit back like, and I'm like, 'This makes no sense.' Why can't he start a sneaker [company]? [People say] 'You're dumb, your sneakers are terrible.' They [weren't] any more terrible than ... I've seen some bad sneakers from Under Armour, I've seen some bad Michael Jordan sneakers. Horrible."

At that point, the conversation about Ball trailed off, but Jay-Z's message remained the same. He feels like people shouldn't be afraid to step out and try new things, and disrupt the system. And that's why he supported LaVar Ball's sneaker.

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This message of his also comes across in his recent music video for Moonlight. The video is essentially a rerun of an old episode of "Friends" except with prominent black actors, and television creators. The message is the people in the video should continue to make and do their own thing rather than re-do something that's been done already.

As Jay-Z notes, though, a lot of Ball's antics go over the top, and can be difficult to overlook. But his ambition into creating his own shoe company actually is admirable. And the fact Jay-Z took notice is pretty astounding.

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