Though Nelly hasn’t been quite so active as he once was back in the early millennium, his fans have remained unwaveringly loyal to the St. Louis legend. So much so than when news broke that A$AP Rocky had reportedly taken credit for popularizing Nike’s iconic Air Force 1 sneaker, the Lunatic army came through in defiant droves. It didn’t take long for a stern reminder to be issued by hundreds of voices, many of whom were quick to point to Nelly, and by extension the St. Lunatics, as the true innovators in that department.
Lest we forget that in 2002, Nelly launched his sophomore album Nellyville with the classic single “Air Force 1s.” Thanks to an infectious chorus heavy on the drawl, the Nike shoe quickly became a hot ticket item — especially for suburban fans who were only just delving into the world of sneaker culture. Clearly, the fans didn’t take kindly to Rocky’s presumptuous claim, as a perusal through Twitter has indicated.
And while Rocky’s narrative was swiftly dispelled, at least by one vocal demographic, Just Blaze took a moment to lay down his own perspective on the topic. “Respectfully, rocky and Nelly are homies.But we have BEEN doing them out here,” he maintains, alluding to his come up in New Jersey. “And I would venture to say that us doing them as far back we did is reason why we got a song about them needing 2 purr in the Midwest. STYLES TRAVEL. Hov didn’t “baby suit, white Nike her”for this.”
If not for anything, it’s interesting to see how ride-or-die Nelly’s fans remain, a testament to the impact of his epic run all those years ago. Where do you stand on the topic — did Nelly first put “Air Force 1s” on your radar?