Grant Hill, a fan of Tupac, appeared on Sole Collector and recalled sending Shakur a pair of his Fila sneakers which Tupac wore for his ‘All Eyez On Me’ cover insert.
After receiving co-Rookie of the Year honors with Jason Kidd for the 1994-1995 NBA season, Hill landed a huge partnership with Fila. “My first shoe, at one point I don’t know if the numbers are the same, but I think it was the highest selling debut signature shoe for an NBA player,” Hill said.
At the time, there was another young talent artist in Tupac Shakur doing big numbers as well. Tupac was fresh out of jail and was ready to dominate the music industry as he did in prison with his number one album ‘Me Against The World.’
The newly signed Death Row records artist would release rap’s first double album in February of 1996. Rocking the infamous Death Row chain and throwing up the ‘West Side,’ Tupac’s album cover set the tone for the project.
Along with the cover was the insert which featured art done by Riskie Forever and various shoots of Tupac. One of those photos was Tupac and the Outlawz. As seen in the middle of the CD booklet, Tupac is seen on the concrete sitting up against a vehicle rocking his Fila sneakers.
According to Hill who he and Tupac had a mutual friend, sent Tupac a “coming home” gift with his very first Fila sneakers. “I sent some shoes to Tupac. I don’t know if those were the ones that he wore on the cover. But, what happened was, I was in Atlanta and some guys from Detroit they knew ‘Pac,” Hill recalled. “So, my shoe was coming out. So, I sent the shoes to them. And I think he was getting ready to come. It was the timing of it all. He ended up wearing the shoe. I don’t know if it was that shoe or a stylist.”
Hill was thrilled to see Shakur rocking the Fila pair, regardless if it was the ones sent personally to him or not. “I was a fan of his. Never really met him,” Hill Said. “You know Fila’s was very early 80s, late 90s urban America. It was a thing.