again, back is the incredible! I know its been a minute since I checked in, but
The Fly Guy is back with a vengeance! Youre
now tuned in to the World’s Most Dangerous Style Column.
first time around, we talked about Kwamé,
who killed the game with the polka dot craze.
time we’re gonna go back about five years before that and talk about Run DMC, a
group that started one of the biggest trends of all time. They are credited
with a ridiculous amount of “firsts” over the course of their
legendary career. Among these are:
rap act to have a #1 R&B charting albumFirst
rap act to have a Top 10 Pop charting albumFirst
rap act to earn RIAA Gold, Platinum, and Multi-Platinum albumsFirst
rap act to appear on the cover of Rolling
rap act to have a video added on MTV
the topic of our conversation today-
first non-athletes to be signed to an athletic product endorsement deal.
Damn!! Thats a whole lotta firsts! Yall got a lotta
work to do in my comment section to get to their level!
They were even on Reading Rainbow with Levar Burton! Run DMC loved the children!
DMC contributed many things to style in Hip-Hop, but most notably, they are
responsible for the American crossover success of European sportswear brand, adidas.
released their smash hit, “My Adidas”
on the B side of their Peter Piper single in preparation for their
third album Raising Hell in 1986. In
the lyrics, Run and DMC traded clever rhymes about their relationship with
their favorite sneakers. They were seen in magazines, on TV and at shows
wearing adidas Superstars and Forums with no laces (or sometimes fat laces) and
the tongue popped.
a result, the whole country started wearing adidas “shelltoes,”
Forums, and tracksuits. Run DMC is also credited as the first rap group to translate
street style into Hip-Hop. Up until that time, hip hop artists were more likely
to have a disco feel their look.
on tour, Run and DMC would tell the crowds at their packed out shows to Put
your adidas in the air! In response, thousands of fans took off their sneakers
and held them over their heads. This actually resulted in one of the most
monumental endorsement deals in history.
version of the story goes like this: Lyor Cohen, who was at Rush Management at
the time, sent footage to the adidas offices from a concert at the Spectrum in
Philadelphia. The packed-out crowd of thousands was holding adidas sneakers in
the air upon demand from Run DMC.
seeing the footage, adidas corporate headquarters in Germany sent a young
executive named Angelo Anastasio to see a RUN DMC concert at Madison Square
Garden in New York City. As usual, as they rocked the crowd and got ready to go
into My Adidas, they stopped and told the crowd to put their adidas in the
air. To even Run DMCs surprise, the whole Madison Square Garden (20,000 fans)
held up their sneakers.
seeing it with his own eyes, the adidas exec went backstage and offered the
group an endorsement deal. There are a lot of rumors about how much the deal
was worth (Ive heard $1 million and 1.5 million per year). Outside of that, the deal would call for Run
DMC to have a hand in creating their own Run DMC branded adidas
lifestyle/athletic product, such as sneakers, tracksuits, leather jackets, and
deal would help cement adidas near-domination of the marketplace throughout
most of the 80s, and cement Run DMCs place in sportswear history. adidas and Run
DMC seemed to have an undying relationship until the early 2000s when Run (know
known as Rev Run), was seen representing his own footwear companies, Phat Farm
Footwear and Run Athletics. DMC could also recently be seen endorsing Le Coq
even though all good things must come to an end, the relationship between adidas
and Run DMC broke barriers on a lot of different levels. It paved the way for
recording artists and other non-athletes to receive endorsement deals from
athletic brands, such as adidas, Nike, Reebok and Converse. It also showed the
corporate world that the influence and marketability of Hip-Hop was more
widespread than they ever imagined.
Adidas Brand History/Facts
was founded in Herzogenaurach, Germany in 1948, by Adolf Dassler, who went by
the nickname of Adi. The name adidas was created by taking his nickname,
Adi and the first three letters of his last name das. If you put it
together, you realize that the correct pronunciation is Adi-Das.
company was formed after a family dispute between Adi, and his brother, Rudolf,
also known as Rudi, caused them to shut down their footwear company, Gebruder
Dassler (Dassler Brothers, in German). After the dispute, which was said to go
on until the brothers death, Adi went on to start adidas, and Rudi went on to
start a brand called Puma.
adidas Trefoil (sometimes called the clover) logo was inspired by the laurel
crown given to the winners of sporting festivals in ancient Greece. The crown
represents the Olympic spirit and the pursuit of victory.
Dassler decided to use all lowercase letters in the spelling of adidas to
further distinguish it from the competition
much as Run DMC made history by being the first non athletes to sign an atletic
endorsement deal, adidas made history as the first athletic brand to sponsor
Here’s an exclusive Run DMC clip from the documentary Just For Kicks
Can It Live?
adidas/ Run DMC trend was started over 20 years ago. Can it be or is it still
the sneaker game really became prominent to me, in about 2001, the must have
sneaker was the Nike Air Force One. Thanks to countless songs, shoutouts, and
video appearances, the AF1 left no place in the market for any other shoe. Now
that the reign of the AF1 is fading, adidas Superstars (or shelltoes, as they
are often called) seem to have risen from the ashes to fill the void of the
standard Hip-Hop sneaker.
has also become a choice shoe for sneaker customizers to base their creations
off of. (As a designer myself, its my personal favorite shoe to use for
customs.) Also fueled by the heavy 80s retro craze that just hit us, adidas
track jackets have once again become a staple wardrobe piece.
needless to say, this trend is alive and well, and it looks like it could be
around for a while. You can definitely catch the newest versions of Superstars
and track jackets with colorful themes and artist collaborations in a store
The Moral of the Story
kids from Queens, New York decided that they were going base their rap image
upon how they would dress in the street, instead of the going with the more
popular disco look of the time.
always rocked their favorite sneakers. They wrote a song about them. It swept
the nation, then everybody started rocking their favorite sneakers. Favorite
sneaker company catches on and signs the three kids to an endorsement deal
worth over a million dollars.
is what happened to them when they went against the norm and did their
thing Whats gonna happen to you when you go against the norm and do yours?
Jam Master Jay rest in Peace!!
for rockin with the flyest. Peace!
Here is a 2007 adidas commercial with a classic vibe, featuring Bgirl Jeskilz of Rock Steady Crew
Another 2007 commercial with a futuristic feel
It’s been over two decades since “My Adidas” made the sneakers popular in Hip-Hop, and the influence is still heavy. This is St. Louis artist Huey’s dedication to the brand (we see you Memphitz!)
And here’s a guy (after a few beers) taking advantage of his apartment building’s cable security cam… we can’t even tell what kind of sneakers he’s wearing, but the bugout to “My Adidas” was worth a mention