Last night (Aug. 4), adidas Originals celebrated the unveiling of the upcoming NMD XR1 with a special one night only event at the iconic hip-hop venue, The Tunnel. Taking guests down a memory lane, the Three Stripes provided the perfect platform where old school met new school and attendees were able to relive the glory days of hip-hop at the legendary location.

With a packed house at hand and notable tastemakers in attendance, adidas' Last Encore event featured various art installations and mirror designs that gave The Tunnel a futuristic vibe like never before. Along with the dope conceptual visuals, adidas Originals showcased its new NMD XR1 sneaker through different unique displays that went across the venue. Inspired by the past through the ‘collective memory’ of iconic adidas footwear silhouettes, the NMD_XR1 borrows the same design cues from the original NMD_R1 and signals the future of the adidas Originals category.

To help celebrate the unveiling of the shoe, the Three Stripes tapped longtime friend and collaborator Pusha T and XXL 2016 Freshman Desiigner to help close out the night with an electrifying performance while DJ Clark Kent and Kitty Cash provided the soundtrack for the night.

The one-night extravaganza proved once again that The Tunnel is still regarded as the birthplace of underground hip-hop and a training ground for rap’s biggest names, became the stage for those who rule the scene today. In midst of all the festivities, XXL caught up with Desiigner and Kitty Cash to get their take on what The Tunnel signifies for rap music and the relationship between adidas and hip-hop.

Check out more photos of the night and NMD XR1 sneaker below.


XXL: It must be exciting for you to be here today. Kanye's such a huge influencer of the adidas brand. How does it feel to be here representing adidas?
Desiigner: Tonight is an important night, you feel me. This is legendary. They're bringing back the tunnel. My sister used to enjoy it all the time and now I'm here. I'm ready to do this.

How does it feel to be a new age artist performing at such a historical spot?
I just feel like it's exactly how I thought it [would happen]. It's just how I thought about it. I was always ready, I was just always ready to do it, ready to entertain. Desiigner, two I's baby.

How would you say that adidas has influenced hip-hop culture?
Adidas has influenced hip-hop culture throughout hip-hop culture itself since Run-DMC and the track suits. It's just always been a part of hip-hop culture. Adidas motivated the brand and they helped people with the three stripes. Shout-out to adidas and the three stripes.

Do you hope to one day have your own collection with adidas?
Yeah, definitely. I definitely want to be able to work but we keep that on the low.

I bet your shoe would have a bunch of pandas on them...
Yeah, it would have the panda on the tongue and all that. That thing would be crazy. So crazy with it. Adidas is a great brand to work with. I fuck with adidas.

Kitty Cash

XXL: Tell us about the event tonight and what made you want to be a part of it?
Kitty Cash: Tonight we are celebrating the release of the NMD RX1. The event is called The Last Encore and we're at the Tunnel. Honestly, I saw "at The Tunnel" and I didn't care about anything else. I was like "I need to do that shit. Put it on my calendar, I need to be a part of that." I'm from New York. I'm a Brooklyn native and I've heard so many crazy stories about the tunnel from older cousins and older friends. Literally anybody who loves hip-hop has been here and has stories here. So, I was just really excited to be a part of this night.

How does it feel to be a DJ in 2016 and to be able to spin at the Tunnel?
I really did not think this would ever happen. I've already thanked adidas about 100 times for making me a part of this. It's just one of this things where people who've heard me spin say, "you would make the Tunnel kids proud." I know it's an honor to be here and the fact that it's been closed for over a decade, and it's being open for one night—it's one of those moments as a DJ that stays in your memory bank and stays in your heart forever. I have about four right now but this shit right here, I'm really excited to add it to the list. I was walking around and was like, I just want to feel the energy of this venue right now.

The Tunnel has deep roots in hip-hop history and so does adidas. What would you say about adidas' influence on hip-hop culture?
Run-DMC, I feel like everybody always thinks of Run DMC, turntables and just real true hip-hop. It's so funny because there are a lot of shows coming out that show the origins of hip-hop. So I feel like we couldn't have picked a better brand to be at the tunnel for one night. It makes so much sense for what adidas stands for, for them to have an event [at the tunnel]. I also think that it's really cool for me to be DJing with Clark Kent. I feel like he's old school and he's been a part of hip-hop for so many years. I think it's really cool to have that dynamic of old school meets new school. I think that's what this entire event represents.

Adidas represents old school meets new school in a sense...
They have no choice because adidas is so deeply rooted in hip-hop, they understand the changes and that we can still be true to our Run DMCs and we can be true to the A$AP Fergs, and continue to grow. A lot of the times brands want to be a part of a culture that they don't understand and I think what adidas understands is that there has to be synergy.


The Top 5 Sneakers Coming Out This Weekend Including Air Jordan 7 Retro Alternate, Nike Air Trainer SC High and More