Fans Debate Whether Nelly Or ASAP Rocky Made Air Force 1s Popular

Sometimes, all it takes is a poorly-sourced quote from a dubious outlet on social media to spark all-out war on the timeline. That’s exactly what happened today when ASAP Rocky and Nelly trended alongside “Air Force 1” as fans debated which of the two rappers was more responsible for helping to make Nike’s summertime staple one of the companies best-selling models of all time.

When the hip-hop blog Kollege Kidd posted an unsourced ASAP Rocky quote claiming responsibility for the trend — likely taken from a town hall that the rapper participated in, in which he calls Air Force 1s “wack sneakers” and says that he wore them just to see if he could spark interest in them. He comments on the number of designers that borrowed looks from him and ASAP Mob around 2011, saying as soon as people “started wearing them again, I stopped wearing them.”

However, for a certain class of hip-hop head, this contradicts the established history of the sneaker, which was the subject of Nelly and the St. Lunatics’ 2002 single paying homage to the Nike classic. “Air Force Ones” peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and very likely sparked a wave of interest in the shoe, which at the time were already one of Nike’s best-selling models.

This discrepancy naturally sparked yet another intergenerational battle on Twitter, as elder members of the millennial generation went to bat against their younger peers and Gen Z-ers to set the record straight, while younger fans backed up Rocky’s assertion. Meanwhile, still others joined in to point out the enduring popularity of the classic silhouette. One thing is for sure, though — the shoes are enough of a cultural linchpin that they are still capable of captivating the attention of fans across multiple generations and regions.

Check out some of the responses below.