We were the first non-athletic entity to receive a major endorsement from a sports apparel company. It symbolizes the power of people who feel oppressed or downtrodden or that their rights are not being respected. Run-DMC’s standpoint was from young people on the street.
When hip-hop came along, it was these young boys and girls who had nothing—the Bronx was burning, New York City wasn’t like it is now—but we were able to look inside of us and pull out art, and language, and music, and style. We were able to paint beautiful pictures that every other nation and race could relate to.
People still say to me that when Steven Tyler took that mic stand in Walk This Way and knocked down the wall that was separating us, it didn’t just happen in the video, it happened in the world.
I’m a reflection of everybody before me to be an inspiration and motivation to everybody after me. I think it’s beautiful that we were able to take this artistic form and change the world.