Merch is so ingrained inside the world of album releases that virtually each new report additionally provides beginning to a T-shirt line. (In recent times, the observe of bundling restricted tees with album purchases to goose chart numbers has given rise to even extra merch.) Numerous artists have accomplished it: Travis Scott, Taylor Swift, and Tyler, the Creator, simply to call a number of. It received so out of hand, Billboard modified how album gross sales are counted so merch bundles weren’t included.
Naturally, Drake is as much as one thing else totally. Overlook merch—the man is, outdoors of Kanye, principally unparalleled relating to fusing his creative output together with his standing as one of many world’s most insatiable and eclectic customers. In January, he and Future launched “Life Is Good,” which was principally a love tune for his newest cop (a Virgil Abloh-customized Patek Philippe Nautilus.) The video for his newest observe “Giggle Now Cry Later” is kind of presumably one of many biggest Nike commercials ever made. And now, on Instagram, Drake is teasing a line of merch, seemingly made in collaboration with Nike, for his upcoming album Licensed Lover Boy.
Not content material to launch any outdated album merch, it seems as if Drake related with Nike for one thing critical—a set of types, consisting of not less than the next: a quilted jacket with a coronary heart sample on it, a white cap kissed with lipstick, T-shirts that includes a drawing of a stealthy cupid carrying a balaclava, and socks with the Nike Swoosh floating inside a coronary heart. Different items extra intently comply with the standard album-release template: hoodies and T-shirts printed with lyrics and the album title or its initials. The connection between Nike and what we’ve seen up to now of Licensed Lover Boy feels so entwined it’s exhausting to inform what’s meant to advertise what. (For what it’s price: we’re 110% onboard with the thought of dropping an album for the specific objective of selling your streetwear line.) Sadly, it is potential that the merch could not even see an official launch—sources describe the gathering as strictly for family and friends of Drake.
It is a heavy-artillery drop to correspond with an album. Usually, Nike reserves its collaborations for large shoe drops, or cozies up with A+ trend designers like Virgil Abloh, Matthew Williams of Alyx, and Dior’s Kim Jones. The one different artist we will bear in mind getting Nike merch to go together with an album and tour is Kendrick Lamar, whose DAMN was launched alongside some very wonderful hoodies. Ever since Kanye launched must-have trend alongside his The Lifetime of Pablo album, the expectations for what constitutes merch have gone means up. Even Justin Bieber partnered with Barney’s on $1,600 leather-based jackets. It’s now not sufficient to screenprint a bundle of Gildan tees and name it a day. The partnership between Drake and Nike is a byproduct of that atmosphere. Additionally, the largest and most fun drops within the streetwear and sneaker worlds usually run by Nike—why shouldn’t one of many yr’s greatest album releases feed off that very same hype?