Kendrick Lamar’s Cosign Is Already Impacting These Los Angeles Brands

The ‘Not Like Us’ video featured pieces from LA labels Willy Chavarria, Ghetto Rodeo, and Kaló Soil. These brands are already seeing the impact.

Kendrick Lamar wearing pieces from Los Angeles-based brands Willy Chavarria, Kaló Soil, and Ghetto Rode in the 'Not Like Us' video. via pgLang

Just when you thought it might be waning, the Summer of Kendrick was rejuvenated on the Fourth of July. He released a video for his new West Coast rap anthem "Not Like Us," which was also the final blow in the 2024 rap war.

The video has plenty of easter eggs to decode. We did that already. But Kendrick's great outfits are also worth unpacking. He wore various pieces from Martine Rose like a black and blue track jacket from its Spring/Summer 2024 collection and grey cargo pants. And it makes sense. The two have a well-documented history of working together. Most recently, they linked up for The Hillbillies merch, which was sold at Camp Flog Gnaw 2023—Kendrick and Baby Keem also wore custom Martine Rose looks for their performance at the festival. But as great as all of the Martine Rose pieces are, we wanted to shed light on some of the West Coast brands that KDot rocked in the video, which currently has 40 million views and counting on YouTube. Not a bad way to get some promo, right? 

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Willy Chavarria’s white Bad Boy track jacket is one of the first things we see Kendrick Lamar rocking in “Not Like Us.” This isn’t the first time the rapper has repped the Fresno-born designer. Chavarria worked alongside Kendrick’s stylist Taylor McNeil to create various monochromatic workwear looks that Kendrick wore on stage throughout his 2023 The Big Steppers tour. 

“Since [the tour], he's got a few Willy vibes in his wardrobe arsenal, so it’s not too much of a surprise,” Chavarria, whose collections are rooted in West Coast culture, tells Complex via email. “I greatly admire Kendrick's talent and his strong presence in our culture. It is a gift to dress him in whatever body of work he creates.”

Chavarria says that the jacket worn by Kendrick in “Not Like Us” sold out swiftly from the brand’s web store following the video’s release, but there are already plans to produce more and restock them in the near future.

“I still gotta pay the bills. So yes, we will have more Kendrick tracksuits for the people,” writes Chavarria. “I am so happy when more people have eyes on what my team and I create and the vibes we want to put out into the world.”

Ultimately, Chavarria is just grateful that his work is a piece of West Coast hip-hop history. 

“I am both deeply moved and empowered to do more. There are so many ways to touch people and make people think more through art. This is why I do what I do,” writes Chavarria. “Through his artistry, Lamar not only defines the West Coast sound but also redefines its cultural impact, solidifying his place as a visionary and icon of our time.”

Brian Saucedo’s Ghetto Rodeo, a three-year-old streetwear brand based in Los Angeles, also got a placement in “Not Like Us.” A black cap made in collaboration with fellow LA-based label Kaló Soil appears most prominently around the 4:45 mark of the video as KDot dances in front of a crowd in Compton. Certain letters in the “Ghetto Rodeo” branding across the front were blacked out to reveal a hidden word, “God.” 

“It feels so surreal to me,” says Saucedo. “It didn't hit me as much as it is now. People keep telling me, ‘Yo, do you realize this is a part of history?’ My fiancé was saying how people are still talking about the beef that Tupac and Biggie had [in the ‘90s]. It's true. We're going to be seeing this video and this is going to be talked about for years. I just feel so blessed and so grateful to God and to the community that has been riding with me from the beginning.” 

You may have seen Saucedo and the Ghetto Rodeo team reacting to the video on your social media feed. The post, which shows the excitement at the exact moment that “Ghetto Rodeo” is front and center on screen, has surpassed 5 million views on TikTok alone. 

“Ghetto Rodeo is a community brand. A lot of people have been saying when they see Ghetto Rodeo make these big accomplishments, they feel like a part of it,” says Saucedo. “My day ones that have been following me since the beginning are still shouting me out. And I'm grateful for all the new people finding out. Welcome to the rodeo.”

The hat worn by Kendrick in the video was actually Saucedo’s personal hat. Saucedo gifted it to Kaló Soil co-founder Hunter Baker who made the customizations to lettering. Ghetto Rodeo’s shop was next door to Kaló Soil’s in Los Angeles, which is how the two became friendly. When Kendrick’s stylists reached out for items, Baker included the one-of-one cap in the delivery. 

“Just the fact that we could possibly be in the video, I was excited,” says Saucedo. “Sometimes with music videos, things get clipped and edited out. It's still such an amazing moment to just have Kendrick be wearing the hat. I just kept in mind that even if he's not wearing it in the video super visibly, it's still an honor.”

Saucedo tells Complex that the placement has already had a positive impact on the brand. Its Instagram has gained around 10,000 followers since the video’s July 4 release with many comments clamoring for new hats. In a perfectly-timed twist of fate, the collaborative cap was recently released on Ghetto Rodeo’s web store to purchase. Next up, the brand is dropping a restock of its Spring/Summer 2024 “Ghetto Runway” collection on July 12. It is also prepping a runway show in Los Angeles in the coming months. 

“We’re a small brand doing big brand things,” says Saucedo.

Ghetto Rodeo’s collaborator Kaló Soil had some other pieces worn by Kendrick Lamar in the “Not Like Us” video. The rapper wore the brand’s distressed black cap and zip-up hoodie in the scenes where he is dancing around a living room with his longtime fiancé Whitney Alford and two kids. 

“It took a good 15 watches probably before it really started to even settle in,” says Kaló Soil co-founder Ryan Sullivan. “There's just this moment of looking at it like, ‘this can't be possible.’”

Sullivan and Baker started the brand just a year and a half ago. The 22-year-olds are actually originally from Lexington, Kentucky and have been working together since high school. Four years ago, they moved out to Los Angeles to pursue design. Now, LA is the city they call home. Their faith is a driving force behind the brand.

“The broad idea with Kaló was to just let God do what God's going to do. We don't know exactly what this brand is going to look like. We feel like we were called to start this luxury brand,” says Baker. “It’s an all-encompassing luxury brand focused on clothing and design that’s able to pivot at any moment if the Lord says to.”

The connection to Kendrick Lamar came by way of his stylist McNeil and her assistant Kennedy Smith who they had worked with previously for shoots with other artists like Omar Apollo. When McNeil reached out inquiring about pulling pieces for the “Not Like Us” shoot, Baker and Sullivan sent over everything they had on hand in hopes that something would resonate enough to make it into the video. 

“We found out probably about a week and a half prior to the video’s release that it was going to be the two hats and the hoodie,” says Sullivan. “It’s so funny, the things they selected were not on their deck, their moodboard, they were unlike anything else we sent over. But growing up following Kendrick and knowing his artistry I was like, ‘I could see this guy wearing that.’”

Shortly after the video’s release, Kaló Soil’s Instagram page eclipsed 100,000 followers. While they don’t provide exact numbers, they have seen the sales of hoodies and caps increase since they were worn by Kendrick in the video. The magnitude of the “Not Like Us” video and his brand being a part of it is not lost on Baker. 

“This is one of the first things that's happened with the brand in a long time that my mom and my grandparents understand,” says Baker. “They live in rural Kentucky. I was just with all of them and every single one of them was congratulating me. These people know who Kendrick Lamar is. He's that big. So it's really, really cool to be a part of such a historical moment in rap history.” 

While celebrity co-signs aren’t everything, it goes without saying how important alignment with an artist like Kendrick can be for a growing brand. Remember when he wore Rhude’s bandana shirt back in 2012 and it catapulted Rhuigi Villaseñor and his brand into superstardom? Over a decade later, KDot’s cosign is still an important one. For Kaló Soil, and the other brands featured, “Not Like Us” can be a pivotal step in the right direction. 

“It's just a huge boost, which is a massive blessing and answered prayer,” says Baker. “A lot of new people who might not have seen us are now following along. They're going to see we have a lot in store."

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