Since they initially rose to fame in the early ’80s, Run-D.M.C. has had a knack for breaking down barriers, setting trends and bringing often opposing worlds together. As one of the most successful and influential hip hop groups of all time, the New York trio became the first group in the genre to have a gold album with 1984’s Run-D.M.C., a platinum record with 1985’s King of Rock, and to be nominated for a Grammy Award with 1986’s Raising Hell.
From that same Grammy-nominated album came a revamped version of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way,” spearheading the merger of hip hop and rock ‘n’ roll and helping break the genre into the mainstream. Ever-conscious of their image both on and off the stage, the group helped define an early aesthetic for the burgeoning art form consisting of adidas Originals tracksuits and sneakers, a look still valued nearly 30 years on.
As a testament to their love for the brand, the group recorded the 1986 track “My adidas,” immediately helping popularize the adidas Superstar as hip hop’s premier sneaker. The single spread far and wide and its effect came full circle when 20,000 fans at a packed Madison Square Garden show held up their own pairs of adidas sneakers in support of the group, forever cementing the relationship between hip hop and sneaker culture. As a result, it’s become nearly impossible to think of Run-D.M.C., and therefore hip hop, without thinking of adidas Originals and vice versa.
In 2005, with the adidas Superstar as strong as ever, the two hooked up and celebrated the Superstar’s 35th anniversary with a crisp pair of the classic sneaker. Originally designed as basketball footwear in 1969, the Superstar has long since made its way from the courts to the streets and become an inseparable part of Run-D.M.C.’s heritage.
Image: Ricky Powell
Six years later, the duo once again teamed up, this time around on a 25th anniversary capsule collection fully capturing adidas Originals and Run-D.M.C.’s joint legacy. Using the iconic logos of both parties, the collection brought together a pair of “My adidas” Superstar 80s, a 1986 graphic T-shirt, a 1986 track top and a pair of 1986 track pants. Although 25 years had past since the two began supporting one another, the look remained as fresh as when it was introduced which it continues to do.
The importance of these two giants can’t be overstated and their influence on multiple generations is unmistakable. The aesthetic pioneered by adidas Originals and spread by Run-D.M.C. is without a doubt the most distinct and recognizable since punk and rock before it. Today, in nearly any city in the world, people of all ages and backgrounds can be seen sporting the same look valued by hip hop’s finest.
In order to recognize this achievement, the German sportswear brand honorably dubbed the Queens natives “Originals,” a title Run-D.M.C. above all others undoubtedly deserve. Carrying this tradition on to the next generation, adidas Originals also bestowed the title upon the Prince of Clubs, DJ A-Trak, the first DJ to win all three major DJ competition titles, as well as being the first DJ to win five World Championships.
They didn’t stop there, however.
As both acts have an uncanny ability to get bodies moving and clubs rocking, adidas Originals brought the two together to create a new anthem which will “Unite All Originals.” At the heart of the concept lies the idea of enabling creativity. Through “Unite All Originals,” fans around the world will have the ability to unite with Run-D.M.C. on August 1 in an interactive film that brings the legends to life. Using voice commands and adding visual effects, fans will be able to influence the video in their own way. How it works exactly we’ll have to wait and see but we’re sure it’ll be just as innovative and groundbreaking as the clothing and culture cultivated by the two artists and adidas Originals. Join us tomorrow and be among the first to “Unite All Originals.”