In the late 1980s, the short-lived brand Troop emerged and quickly became closely aligned with hip-hop and rap, worn by artists such as LL Cool J, Chuck D, and Flavor Flav. As urban music, fashion, and especially sneaker culture began to reach a much wider cross section of the population, pressure increased for those seeking to proclaim their individuality through the consumption of distinctive shoes, leading some to hunt for rare, vintage footwear and encouraging the entrance of more sneaker companies into the fray.