Black Air Force 1s are a type of shoes, produced by Nike, that were turned into a meme online.
It is associated with sketchy characters and delinquent behavior as a running joke, especially on black Twitter as well as in rap songs.
“Black Air Force 1” started to appear in jokes, related to people with criminal mindsets in early 2019.
One of the earliest examples of the jokes appeared on Twitter on February 23rd, 2019, when @DomTheGoat5 posted a nobody meme, featuring Lil B’s song, Bill Bellamy, in which the lyrics go like “I got one felony, I got two felonies… etc.”
Later on the meme started gaining traction both on Twitter and on Reddit, where “Black Air Force 1 Energy” was supposed to radiate an evil aura and general malice.
The phrase was first defined on Urban Dictionary on March 7th, 2019, with a large amount of entries following in the subsequent years.
After that, the meme spread across Twitter, Reddit and YouTube like wildfire, associating bold, carelessly badass behavior with Nike “Black Air Force 1s”.
The meme’s popularity was further boosted in Fall 2022, when Mike Tomlin, coach of the Pittsburg Steelers gave all members of the team “Black Air Foce 1s”, spawning numerous TikToks, YouTube Shorts as well as posts on Twitter and articles on sports news sites, covering the topic.