In the early 2000s, Nelly had us all stomping in our Air Force 1s. Now, however, he’s suggesting that he might’ve also been why the price of the popular Nike sneakers has never been the same.

While sneaker shopping with Complex, the St. Louis emcee revealed that the Air Force 1 sneaker just so happens to be one of his favorite pairs of kicks.

He even began to elaborate on being partly responsible for reviving the popularity of the sneaker on his 2002 hit titled “Air Force Ones.”

“Let me tell you something … everybody that got Nike shoe deals need to be thanking us right now because we opened Nike’s eyes to a lot of that,” Nelly explained while sneaker shopping with the outlet. “At that time they weren’t doing it. They were just basically on some, ‘They gone win regardless.'”

He also disclosed that the popular sneaker brand laced him and the team with shoes during his tour, but says it didn’t last for too long.

“Now, did they donate? Yes, they did donate some to the tour,” said the “Ride Wit Me” lyricist to Complex. “They did sponsor some of the things for the tour because one of our tours we came out [and] we had a big Air Force 1 that used to go across the stadium and things like that, which was really dope. They did load us. I didn’t know it was [for] a limited time.”

Furthermore, he broke down how the price of the show went up after his hit single on his “Nellyville” album, which was released on June 25, 2002.

“When we first started rocking Air Force 1s, they were $59.99. We did the song, eight months later they were $100,” said Nelly, according to Complex.

He added: “Now, we ain’t get no residuals. So, Nike — yo, holler at your boy.”


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While Nelly does believe he left an impact on the shoes, which were created in 1982, he does understand that people were sporting the sneakers long before his song.

“Don’t get it twisted, we weren’t the first to start rocking Air Force 1s, we wasn’t the first ones that discovered Air Force 1s,” he said during the show.

“But when you say ‘made em famous,’ you gotta understand that Air Force 1s were more of a New York, east coast thing,” Nelly said. “We didn’t rock Air Force 1s in the south or the midwest, they wasn’t rocking them on the west coast. Until we did what we did, Air Force 1s went from $59.99 to a $100 in a year.”