Did Run DMC have any idea what they set into motion when they dropped "My Adidas?" It was a dope song, but when one adidas representive shed a tear as he saw thousands of fans hold up their kicks while the trio performed the song, it became iconic. The representative told his executives about the experience and soon Run DMC became the first hip-hop act to sign an endorsement deal with a major company—which seemed ludicrous at the time because many saw hip-hop as just a fad in 1986. Decades later, hip-hop still exists and the adidas Superstar is embedded into hip-hop lore.
This legend was grew from a simple co-sign. With that co-sign, hip-hop and sneaker culture became almost inseparable and grew into a huge part of the American ethos. The co-sign also became symbolic of hip-hop's growing voice and influence. Shouting out brands like Nike and your own sneaker collection was not only a claim to some sort of rap credibility, it influenced others to look into these kicks. Big-upping sick Js and rejecting FILA were a part of the culture, and being part of that culture meant more revenue for the companies—unintentionally or not. It was a win-win situation.
Whether it was for the sake of lyricism or to promote their own brand, Gucci ripoffs, or what-have-you, co-signs have always been a mainstay in hip-hop culture—unlike the Master P sneakers. Here's the 50 Greatest Rap Sneaker Co-Signs of All Time.