Kanye West Says He's the Reason Air Jordan Shoes Are Still Popular Today

Dan CarsonTrending Lead WriterNovember 29, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  Rapper Kanye West performs during the 2011 NBA All-Star game halftime show at Staples Center on February 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Another week, another tirade from the self-proclaimed cockroach of rap.

Kanye West has gone on another fashion-inspired tear, this time claiming he’s the only reason that Nike continues to sell and release vintage Air Jordan shoes. 

West’s most recent sermon took place during an interview on SiriusXM radio with Sway Calloway, host of the Sway in the Morning show. The interview was picked up by Allan Brettman of OregonLive.com.

Colloway attempted to ask questions about West’s “The Yeezus Tour,” but the hip-hop artist instead went off on a tangent about his struggles in the fashion industry and his failed collaboration with Nike. 

Skip to 14:00 mark for the fashion/Jordans conversation (Warning: Video contains NSFW language).

“It’s very difficult to get people in high-end fashion to work with people who are considered to be musicians,” West said. “If someone was a fashion designer and came to Dr. Dre, would Dr. Dre produce for them?”

West also discussed his frustration with Nike. The shoe company had allowed the rapper/producer to create his own line of “Yeezy” shoes, but according to West, wouldn’t let him push the limits of the design.

Yeah, they let me design. It’s like, yeah, they did me a favor by letting me design, but they let other people design. They let Pharrell design. They let Eminem design. I just designed the Yeezy’s. I turned up what they didn’t think I could turn up that far. And they tried to hold it back. 

West said his earlier designs (the Yeezy I and Yeezy II) were revolutionary in nature, claiming the shoes caused as much ruckus in the industry as Air Jordan’s once created.

Image via @ForeverKenyaa

“People hadn’t felt that feeling since the Jordans,” West said. “And by the way, the Jordan’s are only popular at this point because of two people: me and [West’s co-manager] Don C.”

West asserted that Nike only decided to re-release editions of the Air Jordans after he and Don C had been spotted rocking the kicks in public.

This wasn’t the most insane thing West uttered during the interview, however. He also said that instead of putting money into its global-education initiatives, Nike would be better off partnering up with DONDA—a company West is attempting to turn into a trillion-dollar conglomerate. 

“I am standing up and telling you I am [Andy] Warhol. I am the number one most impactful artist of our generation,” West said. “I am Shakespeare in the flesh.”

Kanye West, ladies and gentlemen—poet, fashion martyr and No. 1 reason for the popularity of Air Jordans.


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