This week, record label Top Dawg Entertainment launches their Championship Tour, starring Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Schoolboy Q, and Jay Rock. The tour is accompanied by a series of pop-up shops with exclusive TDE gear.

Late in April, Top Dawg Entertainment took to Instagram to announce the launch of a new pop-up series. Titled The Championship Shop, the exclusive event follows the current TDE tour, stocking up local retailers with exclusive Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Schoolboy Q, and Jay Rock merchandise. When the list of shops was first announced, I immediately went to make sure there would be a stop in Oakland and cleared my calendar for Tuesday, May 8th.

As the week passed, TDE continued to release new information about The Championship shop. The most exciting news was the announcement of a new Kendrick Lamar x TDE x Nike collaboration. The collection included hoodies, long and short sleeved tees, hats, and a brand new black pair of the Nike Cortez Kenny III. However, the catch was that the new pack would not be released at every pop-up shop. Instead, only six cities would be receiving the full collection: Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Boston, Toronto, and Chicago. I was disappointed to hear that I wouldn’t be able to grab a pair in Oakland, but still excited to see what exclusive gear would be for sale.

Oaklandish was a great pick by TDE for this stop on the tour. The local establishment is the home of the famous Oakland tree logo, which can be found on most of their extensive line of t-shirts and other Bay Area-related apparel. Typically, the store is filled with all kinds of apparel and other local brands, but today, the shop was dedicated to TDE. I arrived on the scene a half an hour after the shop opened, and found myself at the end of a decently long line. After waiting for about an hour, I was almost to the front. Soon, myself and several others around me were handed sheets with information and pictures of all the apparel that would be available. To my surprise, the first row of the grid was occupied entirely by Nike merchandise! While the full collection was not available, the release of the black hoodie, both long sleeve tee’s, and the TDE hat were a welcome surprise. In addition, the pop-up includes a capsule collection from TDE and Canada’s Reigning Champ, a luxury sportswear retailer.

The Championship Shop is also releasing a series of t-shirts designed to look like jerseys for each member of the tour. New Era baseball hats and Stance socks were also included on the list, but the most interesting items were not apparel. At the very bottom, there were options to purchase a custom Louisville Slugger baseball bat and Wilson football, each branded with TDE logos and mottos. I quickly picked out a few items for me and a friend and waited my turn to get inside.

Once inside, I took a few minutes to look around the shop. Most of the usual displays had been moved away and replaced with minimal tables in the center of the store as well as displays along the walls. The different TDE shirts were displayed front and back, while the Nike and Reigning Champ collections were on hangars in the back corner. In the center of the room, a series of small tables had socks, hats, and sports gear available to grab.

Overall, the TDE Championship Shop was a great addition to the concert tomorrow night. Most cities will have the pop-up shop and concert on the same day, however, Oracle arena had a slight scheduling issue due to game five of the Warriors vs Pelicans series. Oaklandish handled the crowd smoothly and were able to keep the experience inside relaxed and fun. Thanks again to them for hosting such a wonderful event. Check out TDE’s website for a full list of tour and pop-up dates, and stay tuned to JustFreshKicks for more Nike x Kendrick Lamar news.

Words and Images by Ben Serleth