“Everybody that got Nike shoe deals need to be thanking us right now,” declared the 47-year-old St. Louis native on Complex’s Sneaker Shopping. “We opened Nike’s eyes to a lot of that. At that time, they weren’t doing it. They were basically on some ‘they’re gon’ win regardless.'”
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The uptempo single paid tribute to the Nike classic and later became the rapper’s signature choice of footwear, as the brand sponsored part of The Nellyville Tour and gave him a “limited” ambassador-esque deal.
As the single grew in prominence — peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and being featured in the 2003 film, Love Don’t Cost A Thing — Nike’s relationship with hip-hop evolved
“When we first started rocking Air Force Ones, they were $59.99. We did the song. Eight months later, they were $100 […] and we ain’t get no residuals,” shared the 2021 BET “I Am Hip-Hop” honoree.
Currently, classic white Air Force Ones retail for $110.
Later, the Country Grammar artist spoke on making the sneakers popular in a regional aspect and his time on Dancing On The Stars.
Watch Nelly’s full Sneaker Shopping episode below.