Yesterday rapper Pharoahe Monch posted this question on twitter. I quickly did a keyword search in The Hip-Hop Word Count for song mentions between 1979 and 2010 and came back with these results: Adidas – 179, Nike – 390.
I haven’t been a fan of Nike for years ever since they started flooding the market with dayglow & poor quality retro’s. Adidas’ simple color combinations & classic silhouettes allow me to opt out of a sneaker pop culture that’s saturated with cats who’s desire to be exclusive > desire to be fly.
But for a proper scientific analysis none of this matters one must remain objective in both the collection & assessment of data.
Adidas was first but Nike was stronger. Probably a combination of additional factors like wage increases, apparel technology, marketing, Larry Davis, Michael Jordan, Nelly & as @ohbaltimore pointed out, Nike is an easier word to rhyme with.