Apparel giant Puma and entertainment agency Roc Nation—founded by rapper Jay-Z as a follow-up to his legendary hip-hop label, Roc-A-Fella Records—have teamed up for a new sneaker collection that’s tied to blockchain tech and pays homage to the evolution of the mixtape.

The RS-XL Mixtape sneaker collection has been designed by Alexander-John and Emory Jones while the digital experience has been led by Legitimate, a startup bridging the gap between physical products and digital experiences through its proprietary “LGT Tag” technology.

The collection features three different mixtape-inspired sneaker styles, named Cassette Tape, Disc, and Playlist respectively. Each pair of sneakers features a unique blockchain-backed LGT Tag hidden under the tongue of the left shoe—a near-field communication (NFC) chip that can be scanned with a smartphone to unlock an exclusive digital content.


Each NFC chip is also tied to the Legitimate platform via the Avalanche blockchain. The LGT Tags can also authenticate physical products, including sneakers and other apparel.

Buyers will also get access to weekly mixtape drops, a 14-track playlist featuring unreleased music from upcoming artists on Roc Nation, and “unfettered access to life behind the scenes as a Roc Nation artist.” The label is currently home to the likes of DJ Khaled, Alicia Keys, Fever 333 and Rihanna.

A new documentary on the history of hip-hop will also be made available to owners. Puma said that the drop is tied to this year’s broader celebration of 50 years of hip-hop.

The Mixtape collection went live earlier today, with the shoes available to buy online or in-store via Puma, Foot Locker, and Champs North American stores for $130 per pair.


In a statement, Legitimate founder and CEO Calvin Chan said that the collaboration spotlights the startup’s belief that it doesn’t “need to mention blockchain at all” in its products. “That belief has been wholly manifested in this partnership with Puma and Roc Nation,” he added.

“This collaboration is the first time in history that brands of this caliber are leveraging next-generation technology to do more than just sell a product,” Chan continued. “Collectively, we’re helping tell a story, elevate creators’ voices, and celebrate a movement that has captivated the world for half a century.”

In June, Puma released a sneaker-based collaboration with NBA star LaMelo Ball and the NFT project Gutter Cat Gang. Sold via an NFT available through the OpenSea marketplace, owners could then redeem the token for the physical pair of sneakers.

Editor's note: This article was updated after publication to clarify that while Legitimate's platform is built on the Avalanche blockchain, it doesn't specifically use NFTs.

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