Swizz Beatz has recently taken the leadership role of the reestyle collective for Reebok. This position will let Swizz take creative control over lifestyle products. Swizz already started by dropping a sneaker but has more planned. Hit the jump to read more.

@DjJuanyto @wilmajor

Prior to the likes of Jay-Z, 50 Cent and Kanye West, signature shoes were left mostly to athletes. What sort of influence do rappers/music artists offer that athletes don’t? Or what different angles to they have?
Athletes obviously make a lot of sense because they use the shoes for their lives – shoes are like their MPC. Rappers and recording artists are trendsetters and are connected to the people who make trends happen – the people that are fly in the streets, you look at them and say, “I want to be like them, I want to dress like them.” Music artists speak to style, and athletes speak to performance.

Can you talk a little bit about the model you ended up creating? What was its inspiration? Why a high top?
When I first saw the Kamikaze I thought WOW, I need those. The design and the colors were crazy! The Kamikaze is not my signature shoe – I’m working with Reebok to give my creative eye and approach to more than just product. This is a deep partnership.

Do you look into the Reebok archives for inspiration? What was the design process for you like?
I’m inspired by art and music. Growing up in the Bronx, I saw a lot of street art, and I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but I knew we didn’t tag over a Keith Haring. Then I was introduced to Basquiat and Peter Max, I take a lot of my artistic inspiration from them. A couple of years ago I decided not to just invest in art but to invest in myself, and started taking art classes. So art is a huge part of my inspiration. Not to mention the fact that I’ve been wearing Reeboks since I was a kid, so I know how dope Reebok can be.

Among the colorways, you have some more understated ones as well as a really crazy version. What did you have in mind for the colors?
A lot of that comes from Reebok – the collection isn’t about standing back in the corner, they’re for people who want to stand out. I’ve been lucky to design and get some pretty amazing kicks – did you see those metallic snake-skin Kamikaze joints? Now those are sick. But in the fashion and car world we’d call those concept shoes. You know it’s showtime when someone has those on.

Part of your role is to head up the Reestyle Collective, can you tell us a bit more about this project?
The Reestyle Collective is a whole ‘nother project. I’m working with Reebok to enlist a group of mentors to help up-and-coming artists across the globe find their audience. The mentors will be people like me, leaders from the worlds of art, music, fashion, film and design, and they’ll help young people make their own footprints.