Andre 3000 had shown off some of the merch in a GQ style spread in 2017.
Frank William Miller Jr., a designer who did the cover art for The Roots‘ latest release “Feel It (You Got It)” and has designed some of Questlove’s drum kits for The Tonight Show, was recently interviewed by the Houston Chronicle where he discussed how he came to work with 3000 on the merch line. In the story, it’s revealed that before the Atlanta rapper could share the items with Baker herself, “another T-shirt company took the idea and began making its own Anita Baker T-shirts.”
Although the piece doesn’t share the brand that took the idea, Miller had previously shared who it was in an Instagram post from December last year.
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Beware of thirsty ass sharks 🦈🦈🦈 Edit for clarity: the above interview is Andre3000 with @GQ. He wanted to make a merch line for Anita Baker because he felt bad about buying some bootleg tshirts that he initially thought were official/were supporting the artist. A mutual friend linked us, we worked on some decidedly bootleg looking designs to present to her for her approval (a tongue in cheek jab at the idea of bootleg merch), and said thirsty shark who I won’t be linking to went and jacked the entire concept and made an actual bootleg to sell on her raggedy site. thanks, I hate it.
Miller shared that it was the Tees in the Trap brand that stole his and 3000’s merch idea for Baker. The notable similarity between one of 3000’s items and Tees’ items is that they both use the phrase “I need a Baker.” The phrase can be seen on a sweatshirt 3000 wore during the 2017 GQ style spread where he showed off items from the potential merch line.
Ur an artist we isolate S'times, become solitary & Yes, its true the Artistry of Others pull us out. I know. I understand. We'll talk ABXO pic.twitter.com/4iR0gKHXuI
— Anita Baker (@IAMANITABAKER) October 31, 2017
Upon viewing Tees’ Baker items on its website, it does include the following in its description: “Inspired by a handmade sweatshirt created by Andre 3000 who felt like Anita Baker needed her own line of clothing. Immediately – we agreed.”
Back when news first circulated that 3000 was interested in making a merch line for Baker, the singer herself responded to the reports on Twitter.
Source: Houston Chronicle