On July 18, Reebok unveiled their all-new Alter the Icons collection and to celebrate, Saweetie, Lil Baby, Bodega Bamz, JAY IDK and MadeinTYO flocked to Manhattan’s massive 34th Street Foot Locker on Friday (July 20) for a special event. The day’s highlights included surprise appearances from the campaign stars and partners.
Outside of bringing a new look to the recognizable shoe, the latest collection highlights a new wave of artists and game changers who have “broken the rules” in their respective mediums to become accomplished on their own terms. Alter The Icons sees Reebok “tearing up its design rulebook” by bringing bold, urban-inspired renditions of the classic kicks, and the brand’s partners have all used similar, non-traditional approaches to become the stars rap fans know and admire.
“I think it’s dope that they’re reaching out to upcoming artists, icons before the icons,” rapper Saweetie says of the campaign’s originality. The 25-year-old MC came up through social media to become the hitmaker she’s transitioning into.
“People had boxed me in as a ‘pretty girl with followers that’s rapping,’ but I think my project and the work speaks for itself,” she says, noting the difficulties in shedding the label of a social media rapper to a bonafide music star. As soon as she began to gain respect from peers and listeners through her infectious raps and enviable flow, the insecurities subsided and her confidence sparkled through. Some of the femcees she salutes for being rulebreakers in their own right include Lil Kim, Foxy Brown and Lauryn Hill.
Saweetie’s music began to gain traction after she released her boss lady anthem, “ICY GRL,” which samples Khia’s “My Neck My Back.” She’s also about to film the video for her upcoming song “Up Now” with G-Eazy and Rich The Kid in her native Bay Area. Other than her freestyles, tracks and collaborations, Saweetie is also the head of her own label, Icy, where she aims to aid other aspiring musicians through artist development.
Much like Reebok’s Alter The Icons collection (which she says is “dope”), Saweetie keeps her style edgy. “For one, I really love how [Reebok] did the rollout in the middle of the neighborhood where we’re from, so I think that that was their own twist and I think that that’s what made the campaign so unique and altered,” she explains. “In order to be an icon, you need to be bold. How do I define boldness? Stepping outside of your comfort zone.”
Saweetie also highlights social media’s benefits for young, up-and-coming rulebreakers, stating that it allows for many different experiences. Coupled with hard work and dedication to one’s craft, she believes that it can amplify an individual to extreme heights.“I feel like in this day and age, social media gives you so much opportunity,” she says. “With a great team, we’ve able to work and through that, I signed with Warner, and after that, I just started collaborating with dope brands like Reebok. Although I had the label of being the ‘pretty girl rapper with a lot of followers,’ I just broke the rules. Now, I’m here.”