Kareem “Biggs” Burke is executive producing a new type of project.
The cofounder of Roc-A-Fella records is overseeing the simultaneous drop of 14 Roc96 collections at 14 specialty stores throughout the U.S. starting in December. Each collection is inspired by a different song from “Reasonable Doubt,” Jay Z’s debut album that turned 20 this year.
“I was trying to do one drop a month and obviously there are 14 songs and there aren’t 14 months in a year, so we decided to consolidate it,” said Burke, who tasked his design team with thoroughly listening to the album before creating the collection. The line, which retails from $25 to $145, features T-shirts, hoodies, hats, beanies and reprinted “Reasonable Doubt” cassettes. The assortment has graphics and messaging that riff off of lyrics from the classic album.
The Foundation Showroom is handling the distribution of the collection, which will be available on Dec. 4, Jay Z’s 47th birthday, at the following stores: Social Status locations in Pennsylvania and North Carolina; A Ma Maniere in Atlanta; Feature in Las Vegas; Woodstack in Brooklyn; Politics in New Orleans; Creme in Norfolk, Va.; Xhibition in Cleveland; Corporate in Cincinnati; Ubiq in Philadelphia; Concepts in Manhattan and Boston; Soho Gallery in Miami; Black Market in Dallas and Irvine, Calif.; Oneness in Lexington, Ky., and Alchemy in Birmingham, Ala. Each store is set to host an event to commemorate the album and collection.
According to Burke, participating stores will receive a different collection based on their location. For example, the “Can I Live” collection will be sold in Las Vegas because that’s where the song was created, while the “Brooklyn’s Finest” assortment will be appropriately sold in Brooklyn.
In the lead-up to the launch, Burke and his team created 14 campaign films shot in Marcy Projects in Brooklyn, Jay Z’s hometown.
While Burke has sold Roc96 pieces at the Reasonable Doubt pop-ups held in New York and Los Angeles earlier this year, this is the first time he is wholesaling the collection, which he expects will continue to grow. Burke is also focused on building out his denim line Fourth of November.