Run-D.M.C. made a fashion statement by wearing their Adidas sneakers with no laces, which they did because shoelaces weren't allowed in jail. They were also known for their trench coats and big jewelry, which became popular with rappers and set the stage for hip-hop style.
Adidas wasn't a very popular brand among kids in the early '80s raposphere - Fila and Reebok were bigger - but this song made it the apparel of choice. The trio had the good fortune of being managed by Russell Simmons, a shrewd businessman and the brother of group-member Run (Joseph Simmons), and in early 1987 when this song had become a crowd favorite, he arranged for executives from Adidas to attend a show. Before performing this song, DMC (Darryl McDaniels) asked the crowd to "show us your Adidas," and about 3,000 urban influencers dutifully lifted their sneakers for display. Suitably impressed, the Adidas executives signed a $1.6 million deal with Run-D.M.C. and created their own line of laceless footwear.
This song proved that rap was not just a form of music, but a lifestyle. In the years to come, Hip-Hop fashion spread to a wide audience, even invading the suburbs. This was one of the first songs where the MCs rapped about their clothing choices.
Around the time this was released, clothing companies started designing more hip-hop styles. Russell Simmons was the first to start his own line based on the music.
In Rolling Stone, October 15, 2009, DMC explained that the song was inspired by a vision Russell Simmons had while smoking angel dust in Queens. Said DMC, "We went to see him, and he said, 'You have to come up with a song that goes, 'My Adidas, standing on 2-5th Street. He was real high, so he said that s--t about 50 times."
The song is a positive statement about where the band has traveled. They were trying to make the point that black men can grow up in a bad area and become successful with out resorting to a life of crime.
The lyrics mention their performance at Live-Aid the previous year. Run-D.M.C. was the only rap group to play at the benefit concert, appearing between Sade and Sting. This was a major step toward rap music's acceptance by a broader audience, as Run-D.M.C. showed they were concerned about social causes just like the other artists who played.
The company German company Adidas was named after it's founder, Adi Dassler. Contrary to the rumor, it does not stand for "All Day I Dream About Sex."
Before they formed N.W.A., Dr. Dre and Ice Cube recorded a parody of this called "My Penis" that they sold in Southern California.
The Run-D.M.C. rappers teamed up with DJ A-Trak to record a new version of this track for a new Adidas commercial to promote their Originals line.