Infectious to the point that everyone from your dentist to the barista in your neighborhood’s coffee shop could be heard humming or reciting its lyrics, Wiz Khalifa’s magnum opus, “Black and Yellow,” was one of 2010’s most popular songs.
Part ode to his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and part love song dedicated to his 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 painted in yellow with black racing stripes, “Black and Yellow” became synonymous with hip-hop culture just as quickly as Jordan Brand adopted the attentive color scheme to its Air Jordans a few years prior.
Black-and-yellow Jordans, like the Air Jordan 4 “Thunder” from 2007 and the newly minted Air Jordan 12 “University Gold,” have come to represent some of the best “non-OG” colorways of the entire collection. And although Wiz didn’t actually lace any of these Jordans up for the “Black and Yellow” music video—he wore low-top Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars throughout—it would have been fitting had he done so.
Observant sneaker collectors quickly identified the inspiration behind the Air Jordan 12 “University Gold" as Gary Payton's player exclusive design of the same shoe. Even without some of the "GLOVE" connotations found on the Payton's "OG" pair, the "University Gold" is appreciated by sneaker purists who have been calling for Jordan Brand to release more of the rare player exclusive looks that have never seen the light of day.
Jordan Brand went hard with the Air Jordan 1 Mid in 2019, pumping out flame emoji designs disguised as shoes month after month. This Jordan 1 Mid “Yellow Toe” was undoubtedly one of the best of the bunch and succeeded another Jordan 1 Mid we'll be mentioning later.
Complete with carbon fiber accenting like you’d find on any of Ferrari’s supercars, the Air Jordan 14 “Yellow Ferrari” has plenty of go to match its showy design. Paddle shifters not included.
Where there’s thunder, there’s lightning. The same applies to the Air Jordan 4, where both a “Thunder” and “Lightning” colorway comprised a desirable pack of the same nickname in the mid-2000s. The “Thunder” seen here re-released in 2012.
Has Jordan Brand ever made a sneaker as cheeky as the Air Jordan 1 “Not For Resale?” Probably not. The silhouette’s bold “how-to” instructions printed on the midsole, tongue, and heel are a bit bossy, but we love the shoe all the same.
“Black and Yellow” was so big in 2011 that Jordan Brand gave its Air Jordan 5 T23 “Tokyo” the color scheme because… why not? A decade later, this special design in celebration of the Tokyo 23 basketball tournament remains a “grail” for many and one of the rarest Jordan 5s ever produced thanks to its limited availability.
The original “Old Love/New Love Pack” contained two Air Jordan 1 Mids that lead to the influx of mid and low-top Jordan 1s years later. In 2017, the “New Love” returned as a solo release and every bit as great as the “OG” design. Will Jordan Brand bring back the "Old Love," too?
Sneaker collectors old enough to remember a young Carmelo Anthony putting in work for Oak Hill Academy will surely appreciate the Air Jordan 13 “Melo Class of 2002.” The model’s color scheme is a reference to Oak Hill’s team uniform colors. Hoodie Melo, Skinny Melo, and every other Melo alter ego are great, but none have inspired a better Air Jordan colorway than this.