Being worn by NBA legend Grant Hill and the icon that is Tupac Shakur, the Fila 96GL was one of the most popular kicks of the Nineties, which is why Fila has decided to remake them.
Fila 96GL and Tupac: The connection
Over two decades after Tupac helped make Fila’s 96GL basketball sneaker the must-haves of the day, Fila is re-releasing the sneakers, which are being designed by retired NBA legend Grant Hill.
The classic kick came to fame after appearing on Pac’s feet in a photo that appeared in the liner notes of his album All Eyez on Me, his fourth studio album (and also the final to be released during his lifetime).
Being some of the highest of high tops, complete with a large Fila logo on the side to match, the 96GL are quintessentially Nineties.
Back in the Nineties, before the “sneakerhead” culture was named as such, it was the stars of the NBA that were mostly responsible for making a shoe popular, with Michael Jordan teaming with Nike to produce Air Jordans and Grant Hill doing the same with the Fila GL96.
But, just like Run-D.M.C. helping bring sneaker culture, product endorsements and Adidas to fame, it was Tupac who helped make the 96GL so popular and saw the kicks on the feet of kids and adults alike across the country.
Nowadays, most rappers will endorse a shoe for a company, but it wasn’t always the case at the end of the 20th century. So, that begs the question, just how did Tupac end up wearing the blue and white Fila 96GL kicks for the shoot?
For over 20 years, that had remained a mystery, until Grant Hill himself opened up about how Pac ended wearing them.
In an interview with MLive, Hill revealed that Pac was actually the second rap star to have worn one of the legend’s signature kicks, with the first bring Method Man.
He wore my first shoe. And I remember how I thought that was really cool, and I didn’t know him, and I was a fan of him actually. But I wasn’t a part of making that happen.
Now, with Tupac, we actually had a mutual friend and when he got out, just sending love, I sent some (shoes), not even sure if it would happen. Then, when he had them on in his album cover, I thought that was cool. It was just a good time.
The updated 96GL, which joins the ranks of many classics that have been re-released, will be available in three colorways.