Joey Bada$$ dropped his sophomore album, All-AmeriKKKan Bada$$ earlier this year, and also just appeared in the hit network show Mr. Robot. For his next project, he’s linking up with PONY, an OG sneaker brand that was instrumental in cementing the early days of sneaker culture.
The brand relaunches this week with a new campaign “Product of New York,” which reminds everyone just what the letters in the label’s name stands for. Joey Bada$$ is one of the brand’s new ambassadors, and in addition to featuring in the campaign, he also collaborated on a signature version of PONY’s low-key “Topstar” silhouette.
We caught up with Joey Bada$$ behind-the-scenes of his shoot to talk to him about how New York has influenced him from both a creative and stylistic perspective, and how he’d rock his new collaborative kicks.
What neighborhood did you grow up in New York?
I grew up in Crown Heights, but the thing with Brooklyn is that it’s so diverse. It’s really much bigger than people think. Flatbush and Crown Heights have many different styles.
How does New York influence your style?
If you drive from Flatbush to Crown Heights, you see so many different styles. These are the neighborhoods that I grew up in, spent most of my life in. I’d say it’s influenced my style in many ways, because they’re a melting pot of the West Indies, of the Caribbean, and that’s something that’s just embedded in your bones over time. In my opinion, Brooklyn was always the spot that stayed ahead of the style and trends.
What trends were you rocking when you were growing up in Crown Heights?
My borough has been through a lot of phases I passed up on because it wasn’t me. Like when folks was rocking True Religion jumpsuits; I was good on that, wasn’t my style. I remember back in elementary school, people were coming with Air Force 1’s and colored shoelaces and different colored tees. I had, like, every color tee: a white tee, a red tee, a green tee, a blue tee, a light blue tee, a dark blue tee, everything.
How would you describe your own style?
My own style is more expressive and reflective of how I feel. If I feel good, then I look real good, you know what I’m saying? It’s just really off of my mood. Don’t get me wrong, I like to dress up and all that, but most of the time I’m just chilling, so most of the time I’m in some sort of sweatpant.
What made you decide to do a collaboration with PONY?
You know, we’re both products of New York so we both saw it as a win-win for each side. It just made all the right sense.
It’s a classic brand. A lot of people don’t even know Pony been around since the 70s. Pony is like the OGs to this footwear, kickwear lifestyle. You know, that’s just mostly attributed to New York. My sound and my style is OG classic.
What are some of your favorite pieces in the new PONY collection?
I told the people at Pony I love when they just go clean and simple. Something like the perforated, chevron joints I’m rocking right now right now. These are so clean. I can wear this with any outfit.
How would you rock your new collab?
It’s all about how I feel when I’m styling it up. You can go clean, simple or you can go a little more expressive. I think it just depends on the mood. When you got some great ones like these, there’s very little you can’t do… Unless you step in a pile of mud.
How do you think the kids are going to react to seeing the campaign photos outfits?
I know they’re going to love it.