Social media has been arguing for days over a resurfaced 2015 video in which Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky claimed he’s responsible for the resurgence in popularity of Nike‘s Air Force 1 silhouette.
It’s been pointed out by many that the iconic white leather sneaker has been popular in urban centers in the United States since the early ’90s, long before Rocky began his experiment testing his clout as an influencer in 2011. As well, many have pointed out the impact of Nelly’s widely popular “Air Force Ones,” a homage to the shoe that dropped in 2002.
Looking impeccable in a suit paired with white sneakers, Rocky explained to the audience how he and his manager plotted to bring back Air Force 1 sneakers in 2011 as a way to prove his influence on people including his own idols who were watching his interviews and videos. He explained, “Coming out with the Air Force 1 thing, man, you can ask my manager, it was all premeditated. I said listen, ‘I’m going to wear these whack sneakers,’ it was 2011. ‘I’m going to wear these whack sneakers just to test…”
“Alright, let me tell you, when I first came out, I didn’t know if my idols were looking at me for fashion. So I got all my friends, ‘Oh you known so-and-so wore the whatever because you wore it,’ “You you know so-and-so is starting to say trill now,” and “You so-and-so is watching the video…”
While Rocky at first didn’t buy into the hype, eventually he came to believe people were not only stealing his style but also taking credit for his ideas. “I was wrong. Those people usually take that aesthetic and get credit for it so I said, ‘You know what let me do things that only I can do,” he explained.
More so than just the Air Force 1, Rocky went on to list labels he says he and his crew helped revive, including Coogi, Ksubi Jeans, Blackscale, Hood by Air, Been Trill, Jeremy Scott, Raf Simons, Rick Owens, Ferragamo, Tommy Hilger. “You name it, we brought it back,” he added.
As for how his Air Force 1 experiment panned out, he concluded, “I wanted to purposely identify when I did certain things. It was almost like, I put a trademark out there. When people started wearing Air Force 1s again, I did my job and I was write all along. I haven’t worn Air Force 1s since 2013.”
Check out the visual below.