Kanye West’s Adidas contract may as well be dangling by a Yeezy shoelace at this point. The rapper just can’t seem to give up Nike — Adidas’ main competitor and his own former flame — and after donning Swoosh-branded gear publicly all last year, Ye has posted a picture of Jordan Brand’s Jumpman logo on his Instagram. Naturally, no further explanation accompanied the post, fueling speculation that he wants a new Nike collaboration.
“You can’t tell a Black man not to wear Jordans” — West famously left Nike for Adidas in 2013, and had remained fairly loyal to his Yeezy line up until 2019, when he made it clear he missed his ex more than anything — a seemingly familiar pattern for the rapper. In an interview with Nick Cannon, Ye claimed he should be able to wear Nike despite his Adidas deal: “In my Adidas contract, [I] should definitely be able to wear Jordans,” he said. “Jordans need to be a part of reparations. You can’t tell a Black man not to wear Jordans. It should be in any deal.”
Since then, West has worn a handful of Nike-branded sneakers, trackpants, socks, and gloves in an act of defiance — but this social media statement could be the last straw for Adidas, which in this situation has been belittled as “the other woman.” Ye’s contract, which runs through 2026, may soon be cut short.
Yeezy x Nike? — Of course, Kanye is subject to some light internet trolling, meaning the photo could be completely baseless. Yet the second slide in his post highlights a Nice Kick tweet which hints at Marcus Jordan — the son of Michael Jordan — wanting to team up with West and DJ Khaled, a rumor Ye seems to confirm with his post. Khaled, a notable Jordan Brand enthusiast, added to speculation by sharing multiple photos of himself with the rapper in the studio.
It’s also worth noting that Kim Kardashian — another big name ex Ye consistently pines after — shared a photo of herself wearing Nike’s Air Max 95 sneaker despite her loyalty to Yeezy shoes. Either West has something cooking with the Swoosh, or he’s attempting to grab Kim’s attention. Or both.
But unless the rapper unexpectedly severs his ties with Adidas, the idea of him working with Jordan Brand seems unlikely. Still, the significant profit Ye’s made for the German brand may not be worth dealing with his erratic behavior, or its subsequent embarrassment.