Nicki Minaj Excitedly Announced Her Debut Sneaker Line, Which Features 11 Designs

Nicki Minaj has long been a pioneer in the realm of hip-hop brand sponsorships and launching business endeavors outside of music. It looks like the latest market she wants to dominate is the shoe game. On Instagram, she announced the impending launch of her own sneaker line, which won’t just be one or two pairs but an entire range of designs — 11, to be exact — to be released on April 12.

“4/12 = 11 new pairs of my OWN sneaker,” she wrote. “11 completely different designs for you to choose from. An absolute dream come true. I can’t WAIT for you guys to see my 1st collection!!! … Thank you to my team for helping me make this dream come to fruition. This isn’t a sponsorship. I’m an owner & partner & we will be showing you the first complete collection on 4/12.”

Rappers launching their own shoe lines isn’t a new concept; after all, in the 2000s, both Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records and 50 Cent’s G-Unit had their own shoes. More recently, rappers have been mostly likely to collaborate with existing conglomerates — see: Drake, Doja Cat, Kanye West, Megan Thee Stallion, and Travis Scott.

However, more recently, it looks like hip-hop has been looking to carve out its own space in the sneaker game independent of big brands like Adidas and Nike. J. Cole recently previewed his new Dreamer Indie 5000 after previously releasing two pairs of sneakers with Puma. If this is going to be the new wave, there is definitely room in the market (for now, at least) and it will be fun to see how rappers use the space to express their creativity even further while retaining ownership and possibly innovating the next wave of footwear for the streets.

While Nicki’s sneaker does indeed look more like a collab with existing apparel company Løci, it’s still a fascinating possibility to consider.