Since the formal introduction of sneaker culture into hip-hop with Run DMC’s famous 1986 track “My Adidas,” the rap game and sneakers have been a match made in heaven. Many rappers have dabbled in footwear design and some have even made it a part of their living—here’s looking at you, Kanye West.
For many of these heavy spitters, sneakers are a way to get a leg up on their competition. They’re social currency—the more expensive, the better. The influence of the sneaker world can be heard in music as some of hip-hop's most prolific artists have expressed their love and addiction for fashionable footwear. There's Drake’s “Pound Cake/Paris Morton 2,” which featured an insane Jay-Z feature when Hov raps, “A pair of Jordan 3’s tryna chase this cash.” Then there’s Nelly’s classic sneaker anthem, “Air Force Ones.” Nobody can’t forget the subliminal shot Ye threw at Michael Jordan on the track “New God Flow,” when Yeezy started it off by saying, “Hold up, I ain't trying to stunt man/But these Yeezys jumped over the Jumpman.” The trend continues and it’s looking like there’s no stopping it now.
Here are the sneakers your favorite rappers can’t get enough of. Fair warning: Be prepared to buck up—you won’t be able to find many of these at retail value.