How Travis Scott Tapped Rip Hamilton for His Latest Jordan Drop

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Ben Felderstein
·6 min read
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Image via Jordan Brand

Travis Scott, Richard Hamilton, Randy Moss, and Mick Foley. If you weren’t invested in the world of sneakers, you might not think that there was any correlation between these names. They’re connected now: Travis has taken these previously unrelated stars of their respective fields and given them a common ground, turning childhood heroes into endorsers. Hamilton, Moss, and Foley have now all starred in their own campaigns for different Travis Scott sneaker collabs.

Most recently, Travis tapped Hamilton to star in a post-apocalyptic video to market his second Air Jordan 6 release, slated to drop on the rapper’s 29th birthday, April 30. Throughout the three-time All-Star’s 14-season NBA career, Hamilton was a member of the Jordan Brand, lacing up a myriad of enviable player exclusive sneakers, including his favorite, a pair of Jordan 5s he wore to drop 51 points at Madison Square Garden in 2006.

In an interview with Complex, Hamilton says that Travis reached out to him via FaceTime to see if he wanted to be a part of the campaign for the new Jordan 6.

“I was like, ‘Man no problem, you’re family,’” Hamilton says. “He’s been with the brand for a long time, just like myself, and just knowing his history of being a big basketball fan, him being a ball boy for the Rockets, all the different connections we have, I just thought it was a no-brainer.”

In the video, Hamilton gazes up at a basket with a cloth covering his face in a barren desert dressed head-to-toe in Travis Scott x Jordan apparel with the latest “British Khaki” Air Jordan 6s on feet, of course. Hamilton straps on the clear face mask he is synonymous with and goes through his free throw routine that many fans know by heart. After he sinks the free throw (that Hamilton says he hit on the first try) Cactus Jack and Jordan Brand logos appear right before the ad cuts out.

Hamilton will be the first to tell you that he wasn’t the type of basketball player born with the talent or physical gifts of a Kobe Bryant or a Dwyane Wade. He says that he had to use his creativity and his strengths above the shoulders to get the job done. That’s why he believes he and Travis made a great team when filming the ad.

“That’s very similar to Travis. The guy is a super creative man,” Hamilton says. “It’s not just about his music. It’s his style, his fashion, and his vision to be able to see things that aren’t there. I was able to see plays during the game that a lot of guys couldn’t see. With that being said, it was perfect to be able to work with someone who has a super creative mind very similar to mine.”

Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6 'British Khaki' DH0690-200 Pair
Image via Nike

Hamilton believes that a lot of the times when celebrities attach their names to something, the buck stops there. They don’t get involved in the creative process, they let their team handle it, but that is far from the case when it comes to Travis and his projects. Travis was “all in” on this one, explaining the vision to Hamilton before the shoot, and likening his idea to I Am Legend, with the city around him being destroyed and leaving only Hamilton.

Travis knew that to really have Hamilton stand out and his presence be felt, he needed to feature his trademark mask and free throw routine, two staples from the former All-Star’s playing career. With everything going on in the world right now, Hamilton says the mask and the imagery around him made a lot of sense. After the shoot, Hamilton gifted Travis a mask that he actually wore during a game.

“When we actually shot it, [the mask] was like my superhero cape, which is how I always thought of it when I was playing the game. When I threw it on, I thought, ‘OK, where’s my jersey, where’s my shorts, where’s my gametime stuff?’” Hamilton says. “The last time I put the mask on was when I went out there and performed. It was awesome to have that moment again seven years after I retired from the game of basketball.”

Rip Hamilton Michael Jordan
Image via Getty/David Liam Kyle

No stranger to the sneaker spotlight, Hamilton’s career will always be connected to Michael Jordan’s. As a young player, he had the opportunity to play alongside Jordan during his Washington Wizards days and became a member of the Jordan family, resulting in countless PEs.

“My PEs man, everybody is trying to get them,” Hamilton laughs. “Quavo said one of my shoes was the holy grail he’s been trying to get, PJ Tucker, for years, was trying to get my shoes from me while we were playing. Guys all the time text me, ‘Hey Rip, let me get a pair of PEs.’ Rappers, entertainers, basketball players.”

Hamilton says he was a big Michael Jordan fan growing up, just like everyone else his age, and to have the opportunity to represent him and his brand to this day is something he never takes for granted.

“The one thng about Michael, he’s been a huge mentor for me,” Hamilton explains. “Every time I call MJ, he either picks up the phone or texts me back two minutes later and it’s the craziest thing ever.”

Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6 'British Khaki'
Image via @travisscott

When Jordan signed one of the NBA’s brightest young stars in Zion Williamson to a sneaker deal in 2019, Hamilton called Jordan up right away to congratulate him and emphasize how huge of a signing it was. Hamilton feels Williamson is a perfect fit to carry the Jordan Brand torch into the future. With the combination of his unparalleled skillset and his marketability, he thinks the brand he’s spent most of his adult life a part of is in good hands.

“People don’t understand how skilled he is,” Hamilton says. “Zion could have gone anywhere, he’s a brand in himself. Wherever he went, he was going to bring a huge market.”

Like Williamson, Travis seems to have an innate ability where everything he touches or attaches his name to turns to gold, or in this case sells out and causes a frenzy amongst his fans. When Travis tweeted the video with Hamilton in it on Tuesday night, it immediately began to trend and made its way all around social media.

Hamilton says that Travis knows exactly what he is doing when he does it, and how he does it and made it very clear that he has plenty more tricks up his sleeve.

“Ten or fifteen years from now, you’re going to remember this moment,” Hamilton says.

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