With Nike’s 2016 Black History Month collection having begun hitting stores last weekend and hitting NBA courts today, the brand now doubles down on its celebration of American history with the help of Grammy-winning jazz pianist Robert Glasper.
The brand tapped Glasper to compose a piece of music that would commemorate Kobe Bryant’s 20-year career as it rolls to a close; a single work that could musically encapsulate the high and lows of the legendary Laker’s career. Taking that idea a step further, Glasper incorporated a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. into the piece, entitled “Be Courageous.” The track is created in 4/4 and 6/8 time signatures, nods to April 4 and 1968, the day King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, and the award-winning pianist drew from that city’s rich musical history for inspiration.
Bringing the theme full circle, the Nike Kobe 11 BHM, being worn in NBA games today and now available at retailers, features a record logo on the tongue and other details that connect its design with the “Be Courageous” piece.
Below, watch the video starring Glasper as he outlines his work, or hit the Soundcloud widget further down to listen to “Be Courageous” in its entirety.