Why Do Rappers Wear Baggy Clothes?(Detailed Answer)
Hip Hop fashion, originating from the streets of New York projects, has since evolved into high fashion. Like hip-hop music, this kind of fashion has a distinct style and aesthetic. It’s mostly characterized by baggy clothing and chunky chains; you’ll see most rappers adorned in.
Today many people have adopted this style of clothing. While today it’s a popular choice of dressing, have you ever wondered the meaning behind baggy clothes and why rappers wear them? In this post, we try to answer this question by discussing what baggy clothes mean as well as the various reasons rappers wear them.
You will Learn in this Post
What Does Wearing Baggy Clothes Mean?
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An outfit isn’t just about getting dressed. What we wear is an expression of who we are and what our personality is. Certain ways of dressing have different meanings, mostly based on various cultures and personal beliefs. It can be in the design of the clothing, the color, the imagery, or writing on it.
Baggy clothes also have a meaning behind them. In Hip Hop, the idea of baggy clothes is said to have originated from Black gang members in California known as Crips and Bloods after doing time in jail. It resembled the baggy t-shirts they had to wear in prison, the falling pants as well as loose shoes because their belts were taken away.
Over time, it became an act of rebellion against mainstream media and its idea of a perfect body. The baggy clothes were meant to shift focus away from the body.
Today, people wear baggy clothes for different reasons. There those who do it to hide their bodies. Others do it to emulate certain artists or rappers they feel they identify with. For most people, however, baggy clothes are worn for the comfort they provide and also because they were trendy at some point in fashion.
Why Do Rappers Wear Baggy Clothes?
Given their origin, baggy clothes are an important component of hip-hop culture. Rappers were mostly seen adorned in different baggy clothes and chunky chains, especially in the past. They are said to have been the main reason behind the trending of baggy clothes, to begin with, since fans wanted to emulate them. But, is there a reason why rappers dress the way they do. Here are a few possible reasons we think they do:
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1.Sign of prison time.
The whole concept of baggy clothes was said to have originated from people who had done time in prison. There they were forced to wear baggy t-shirts, loose pants, and loose shoes.
When they came out of prison, they continued wearing oversized clothes as a sign that they did time in prison. So, rappers who had done time or wanted others to believe they had, would dress in baggy clothes.
2.As an act of rebellion against mainstream culture.
The whole idea of Hip hop is an act of rebellion against mainstream media and culture that forces people to conform to a particular way of thinking.
Examples were the mainstream ideas of ideal bodies and appearances. So, rappers wore baggy clothes to shift the focus away from the body to their music.
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3.It reflected what their music was about.
In Hip Hop baggy clothes were considered synonymous with music. Given the prison meaning behind it, the oversized clothing reflected what most rappers spoke about in their music.
That is social injustice, prison time, community, and hardships among others.
4.To emulate their mentors in Hip Hop.
Another possible reason why rappers today could still be wearing oversized clothes could be because of the mentors in rap.
We all have certain people or figures we look up to. Similarly, rappers today may have rappers they identified with and looked up to from back in the day.
So, dressing in oversized clothes could be a way to emulate them.
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Are Baggy Clothes Out of Style? When Did Baggy Clothes Go Out of Style?
Given how rappers popularized baggy clothes, they were a big hit, especially between the 1990s and 2000s. During that time, most people wore wide-legged jeans, baggy t-shirts, sweaters, and overall. This trend disappeared when skinny jeans were introduced. But that doesn’t mean that the whole concept of baggy clothes was completely forgotten.
Baggy clothing never really goes out of style. Most people find ways to incorporate it into whatever new trend there is.
Oversized t-shirts for example have always been in trend, even with skinny jeans, they are considered a great pairing. In South Korea, baggy clothes are said to still be very popular on a mainstream level.
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Will Baggy Clothes Ever Come Back in Fashion?
The wonderful thing about fashion is that it never really changes. Most of what is trending today is a recycled version of what used to trend in the past.
So, the probability of baggy clothes become a trend again is very high. In fact, who’s to say that baggy clothes aren’t still in trend.
Men still have the baggy options of clothing, even with the popular skinny jeans and fitting shirts and t-shirts that came to trend. There are several reasons why baggy clothes can never completely go out of style:
1.Skinny jeans don’t offer the same comfort.
While there is that slimming factor with skinny jeans and other fitted clothing, baggy clothes offer something they don’t, that is comfort.
Today, people aren’t just looking at following trends and looking good at any cost. Most people are looking for practicality and what feels comfortable. Baggy clothes offer exactly that.
2.Hardware overalls are becoming a trend.
What’s meant to be protective wear for people in this trade, is slowly turning into a popular fashion piece.
People love the oversized overall for their practicality and comfort. It is also versatile in terms of the different colors and prints they could come in.
3.Baggy clothes are now on the runway.
Most designers are now steering away from the out-of-the-box designs to more practical outfits that people can wear daily.
Comfort is key and that why a majority of the pieces being showcased on runways are baggy outfits.
Baggy T-shirts are always a classic.
No matter what changes, oversized tees have always remained in style. Their versatility when it comes to outfits and accessorizing is what has kept them in the game for a long time. Not to mention the overall comfort and laid-back feeling you get from them.
While there was a meaning behind baggy clothes and why rappers wore them, it’s safe to say that most people wear oversized clothes for comfort.
That’s not to say that there aren’t those who do it to make a statement.
The bottom of it is that we each have our meaning or reason why we wear oversized clothes. Read more tips here or here!
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.
Hey! I finally find the Answer!
A History of How Skinny Jeans Became Hip-Hop’s Denim of Choice
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Skinny jeans have always been as polarizing as they are narrow. Although they got their start with punk rockers like the Ramones and rock n’ roll sex symbols like Iggy Pop, it was within the hyper-masculine world of hip-hop that the pant began to challenge traditional notions of toughness. While the skinny was present during hip-hop’s glam-tinged genesis, it was the baggy “roughneck” style that dominated during the 1990s and became synonymous with the genre. When a new generation of rappers started wearing skinny jeans in the mid ’00s, it not only changed the history of denim’s imprint on hip-hop style, but also how men could express themselves at large. What was once the subversive, gender-bending uniform beloved by the underground and sneered at by OGs, has become a wardrobe staple for mainstream rappers today.
So what is the secret of the skinny’s success, and how did it wind up on top?
1982: When Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five released their magnum opus, “The Message,” the cover came with a photo of the South Bronx group dressed in slender-cut jeans and shiny leather pants. The style reflected a moment of transition between the glam-rock decoration of the mid ’70s and 1980s athleisure. Taking cues from the downtown punk scene and their slim, leather-clad looks, the group represented an exciting fusion: part glam-drama, part biker gang, part ’80s pop opulence. Whether in denim, leather, or suede, the Furious Five liked their trousers tight.
1988: As hip-hop evolved as an art form and spread around the country, the glam-inspired uniforms associated with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five shifted to reflect the everyday uniforms of the teens and young adults who were intrinsic to the culture. Photographer Jamel Shabazz’s street snaps of 1980s Brooklyn capture how jeans and denim trucker jackets provided an authentic contrast to showy performance wear — reinforcing the reality behind the music, the places it was consumed and increasingly produced. At the same time, acts like Beastie Boys and Public Enemy’s Chuck D took what was happening in rock and channeled it through the filter of hip-hop by mixing slim jeans over high tops.
2007: Sir Michael Rocks and Chuck Inglish of The Cool Kids are widely credited with kickstarting rap’s skinny jean renaissance in the mid 2000s. It was this underground duo who paved the way for the Cudis, Chances, and Young Thugs of today with their loose, goofy, self-empowering brand of hip-hop — dubbed at the time “hipster hop. ” The Chicago natives introduced retro vintage style like snapbacks, American Apparel–type stripe tees, and, of course, their brightly colored skinnies. What’s more, they made 2000s sneakerhead culture an integral part of hip-hop, rocking the SBs and Jordans that would influence everyone from A$AP Mob to Odd Future.
2008: While they may not be considered skinny in comparison to today’s spray-on pants, Pharrell was an early adopter of slim-fit jeans when wide cuts and sagging was at its peak. It was around this time Pharrell segued out of his baggy BBC and BAPE jeans to switch it up with slender styles teamed with tight SpongeBob SquarePants tees and white-rimmed glasses — no doubt a nod to the nu-rave scene happening in East London at the time. Andrew Luecke, author of Cool: Style, Sound, and Subversion, sees the current skinny jeans trend in hip-hop as a direct lineage from skateboarding in the 2000s. He cites skaters Jim Greco and Andrew Reynolds as influencing artists like Pharrell, who brought the new aesthetics of skating into hip-hop.
2009: When SoCal rap group New Boyz dropped their album Skinny Jeanz and a Mic, the release opened with the track “Cricketz,” which addressed the controversy that surrounded their bright neon and checkered skinny jeans. “Jeans / stay skinny like I starve my fabric,” Legacy raps. “Aye another damn thing / You’ll never see me care about another man’s jeans.” The line was a response to Jay-Z’s attack on his 2008 track “Swagga Like Us,” where he rapped, “Can’t wear skinny jeans ’cause my knots don’t fit … So I rock Roc jeans ’cause my knots so thick.” Baggy had been de rigueur in hip-hop for so long it was easy to forget that 25 years prior rappers had proudly worn tight denim.
2009: While Kanye West claimed he “made it so we could wear tight jeans” in a 2016 Twitter battle with Wiz Khalifa, he certainly wasn’t the first in his peer group to wear tight trousers. But West was right to contend that he made skinny designer denim ubiquitous. It was Ye, after all, who stormed Taylor Swift’s 2009 VMAs speech wearing a pair of Balmain biker jeans. In 2010, he introduced the rap world to Hedi Slimane’s Dior Homme denim line on the track “Christian Dior Denim Flow” — a song that represents the tipping point for male rappers dropping baggy fits in favor of something narrower.
2010: In May 2010, Bay Area rapper Lil B The BasedGod tweeted, “my pants are so tiny I shud be awarded….. I’m wearing ass jeans so tiny I cudnt zip them up. TINY PANTS MOB.” His penchant for skinny fits had come after his departure from The Pack, the rap group known for their baggy fits and Vans. The BasedGod loved skinny jeans so much he dedicated a whole track to them in 2012, a snapshot of his off-the-wall brand of allyship alluding to the homophobia that often clung to said pants within hip-hop at the time. “Tiny Pants yeah, and I’m riding on a full tank / Bulletproof vest, purple jeans looking fruity,” is one of the track’s less salacious lines.
2011: Some rappers go through a style evolution. Some go through a pure sartorial metamorphosis, channeling a different vibe entirely. Platinum-selling Grammy winner Lil Wayne underwent the latter. When Weezy got into skating in 2010, we witnessed a transformation from Magnolia Projects chic to SoCal skater. By 2011, Wayne had reached peak rock star when he hit the VMAs stage in a pair of women’s leopard print jeggings from Tripp NYC. (This same year even OG rapper Jay-Z wore slim jeans right along with everyone else — despite his lyrical assertion to the contrary.)
2014: When Kid Cudi released his breakout hit “Day ‘N’ Nite” in 2008, it not only created a new genre blending electronic indie music with hip-hop that would become a cornerstone in modern rap, but produced an amalgamation of sartorial styles. In the track’s video, Cudi appears dressed in skinny brown jeans, leather jacket, and beanie, a signature look from the house indie scenes at the time. Fast-forward to 2014 and skinnies were still a mainstay in Cudi’s wardrobe. The outfits he wore during two weekend performances at Coachella that year became a benchmark for men’s fashion. The first was a pair of dusty stone-washed skinny denim shorts worn with a vintage cherry-red crop top. The second was an artfully distressed pair of jeans worn with a vintage T-shirt.
2015: By the mid-2010s, the new guard of hip-hop style led by Theophilus London, Travis Scott, and A$AP Rocky began pushing a second wave of genre- and gender-bending fits. For a second, Balmain’s waxed biker jeans were all the rage. Next, it was all about extremely skinny cuts and chain-embellished denim from Saint Laurent, much like those worn by Young Thug at a 2016 VFILES show. While jeans had gotten tighter, they evolved with longer lengths that allowed them to be stacked and become baggy at the ankles, offering some added texture to the ultra-tight look.
2017: After a decade-long reign, the skinny reached its peak in 2017. No longer a symbol of subversion, the skinny’s place in mainstream rap was secured by Mike Amiri’s infamous ripped jeans — a staple for acts like Migos, 21 Savage, and Lil Uzi Vert. While Amiri’s designs might have all the hallmarks of traditional rock ’n’ roll style — such as rips, bandana patches and chain embellishments — he doesn’t see his design aesthetic connected to the genre of music itself, but rather the modern rock stars of today. It was during this time the skinny became even tighter (with more distressing) and often paired with chunky sneakers like Balenciaga’s Triple-S or Yeezy military boots.
2019: The roots of sagging pants can be traced back to the baggy fits of ’90s hip-hop, but throughout the mid 2010s, Chicago drill rappers like Chief Keef and Fredo Santana evolved the look with slimmer jeans worn stacked at the ankle. The trend is still very much alive thanks to rappers like 22Gz or Sauce Walka, who often wear low-riding fits with B.B. Simon belts as a homage to ’00s-era rappers like Max B, Jim Jones, and Juelz Santana.
2021: Today’s nostalgia-driven trend cycles have seen rappers return to classic wide-leg ’90s fits that Tupac would have approved of. But for acts like Playboi Carti and Lancey Foux, who lean on the edgy punk and gothic styles of late rock stars like Dave Vanian and Sid Vicious, the skinny remains an essential item. These aren’t the typical stonewash jeans you’d expect from rebel bands like The Ramones, but rather the sleek designs of brands like 1017 ALYX 9SM or Rick Owens who have rendered skinny fits in premium leather or resin coatings to make them appear like leather.
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a hip hop history told through pants
A documentary at Sundance this year, titled Fresh Dressed, highlights the importance of fashion in hip-hop, but right now we want to just talk about the pants. A pair of pants can spark a movement, and often has. Rappers identify themselves by their choice of trouser, whether too baggy or too tight. Sure, there are some staples across the board, but for the most part if you see a specific pair of pants, you can almost hear the kind of music that’ll come from the body wearing them. i-D would like to take you on a little tour of hip-hop history told through its pants.
Before we begin though, let’s give an all-encompassing shout out to regular jeans. Jeans span every era — ripped up in the early 80s, paired with Polo (shout out to the Lo Lifes) in the late 80s, revived by FUBU and Tommy Hilfiger in the 90s — all the way up to now. Jeans are a staple in the history of hip-hop’s choice of leg coverer-upper. To designate one era would be false, so without further ado, we bring you all of the other pants.
Era: Late 1970s
Coming off the disco days, bellbottoms were still the norm during the earliest days of rap. Sugar Hill Gang rocked them, and ultimately it was a sign of extreme swag back then to have a nice leisure suit with a monochromatic pattern that ended with a belled bottom. KRS-One reminisced about those days in his DJ Premier-produced track Outta Here: “Rappers wore bell-bottom Lee suits / Me and Kenny couldn’t afford that.” It was a testament to the disco-infused tunes and funk tracks that were giving hip-hop its first breath of life. Now though, you can find them at your local thrift store for a proper Halloween costume.
Era: Early 1980s and early 2010s
Punk and hip-hop drew a lot of parallels due to their political nature, with both delving into the anti-establishment realm of creativity. With that came an edgier aesthetic, and while punk kids would rock spikes on leather jackets with asymmetrical hairdos, rappers jumped on the leather pants movement, often adding shirts with ripped sleeves and a headband to match. Of course there were some who rocked jeans and a leather jacket, but that was too basic for the leather-bottomed crowd. Kanye West would reignite the leather pants revival 30 years later, only his were twice as expensive, even with their slashmarks at the knee.
adidas Track Suits
Era: Mid 1980s and mid 1990s
The slang term for these pants is “windbreakers,” and it’s appropriate given the number of b-boys and b-girls who would rock these pants while dropping classic moves like the windmill. adidas was the favored designer for these pants, and heaven forbid you walked down the street with some pants that only had two stripes. Of course, the group that led the charge for adidas was Run-DMC, who would wear the full outfit of track pants, track jacket and some fresh shell-toes to match. This style signified the heavy breakbeats used on records that inspired movement on a whole other level. Those “matchy-matchy” tracksuits evolved into sweatsuits and later velour suits, rocked by guys like Biggie a decade later.
Era: Late 1980s
To say this was a style donned solely by women would be an oversimplification, but let’s – for the sake of argument – give this one to the ladies. From JJ Fad to Salt-N-Pepa, it was all about the ass. Okay, not all about it, but as women were hotboxing their way up the ranks in rap, it became a necessity to remind the male audience that while they might be of the female sex, they had more than enough balls to lace some tough bars. Spandex pants and an 8-Ball leather jacket was not an uncommon combination. The top let you know that hip-hop was in the building, while the bottom shouted, “Yup, and a woman at that!”
Era: Early 1990s
On the West Coast, Los Angeles County became the birthplace of gangster rap, with cities like Compton and Long Beach birthing young storytellers documenting life on Crenshaw Boulevard and beyond. Their clothing of choice? Oftentimes Dickies cuffed with Chuck Taylors, white tees and flannel shirts. While it was Gangster Rap attire, above all it was gangwear, arguably predominantly worn by Crips and Crip-affiliates, though the signature khaki colored Dickies were gang-neutral so other gang members (especially Latin gangs) would adopt them as well. Now Dickies are one of the main manufacturers of hospital wear (i.e. scrubs). Considering how many young men died from gang violence and police brutality wearing those Dickies, the irony is not lost on us.
Era: Early 1990s
While gangster rap often promoted violence, a whole other moment was blooming during hip-hop’s golden era: The Flower Child movement, casually pegged as “alternative hip-hop.” The music derived from historically Black colleges (or the African American College Alliance) and housed more conscious undertones. Clothing lines like Cross Colours and Karl Kani became pioneers, dyeing denim (pants or really, really long shorts) to match the colors in the Pan-African flag (red, black, green) and the Rastafarian flag (green, yellow, red). Of course more colors were thrown into the mix — burgundy, orange, indigo, you name it. But the sentiment involved daring to be different. Take TLC and their safe sex mantra or A Tribe Called Quest. While alternative hip-hop was seen as a disrespect (in its suggestion that positive rap had to be alternative), these artists were providing an alternative to what else was happening in rap at the time. And their clothing matched it.
MC Hammer Pants
Era: Early 1990s and early 2010s
It would be easy to dismiss MC Hammer pants as just a hiccup in hip-hop fashion, but there was more to them than that. There was always a counterbalance of opulence in hip-hop — from gold chains and watches to gold teeth and fancy cars. But what MC Hammer did was fling hip-hop into the mainstream with flashiness, pop-iness and eccentricity. His harem pants — while suggesting he had a whole heap of women in the back of the club somewhere — were the attire of choice as he slid across the stage in a sideways moonwalk, with his pants catching air and expanding as he moved. And yes, people ultimately stopped wearing Hammer pants the moment he filed for bankruptcy, but fast-forward to a few years ago when harem pants returned. The hip size is smaller and the bottom much more tapered, but we can thank Hammer for the concept. For better or worse.
Era: Mid 1990s
As rap music became more and more conscious (on a sub-genre level), the obvious indie label uprising occurred. Major labels didn’t want to pour their money into half-baked hits, so artists did it on their own. Duck Down, Rawkus Records, and many other labels brought an independent feel to what was now being called underground hip-hop. Sure, some of these labels were imprints of the majors, but the marketing, the sound, all of it was fundamentally alternative. Including the clothing. Lines like Triple 5 Soul, Eckō, and later LRG were the norm, and cargo pants, with convenient extra pockets at both knees, defined the look. They could hold anything, a Discman for example. Or your trees.
Era: Mid 1990s
You can sort of thank Busta Rhymes for this one. As hip-hop grew in commercial power, the idea of wearing a jailhouse jumpsuit on national television became a tongue-in-cheek statement to anyone who profiled young black men. The jailhouse jumpsuit evolved rather quickly though. The Beastie Boys would transform it into a Hazmat suit for their Hello Nasty campaign, and Puff Daddy would turn it pleather for him and Ma$e to dance around in. Regardless of how you rocked your jailhouse jumpsuit though, you had to have a pair of goggles on your head. Believe that.
Shiny Suit Pants
Era: Late 90s
Upon the deaths of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G., hip-hop entered an era that many want to forget. The Shiny Suit Era, where it was argued that rap was culturally bankrupt and financially wealthy. Biggie ushered in an era of mafia mentality, which included tailored suits and fedoras (even Roc-A-Fella Records jumped on the bandwagon). The suits just got flashier and flashier from there, signifying a new day in hip-hop where the sky really was the limit and money was steady flowing. It’s funny to think that this era coincided with the advent of Napster in 1999, when major labels were losing their minds over the possibility of going broke but rappers were in shiny suits saying “Nope!”
Era: Early 00s
Yes, jeans came in all different sizes, and many times a slight flash of the boxer short was all that was needed to know your pants hung low. But the early 00s kicked off a movement of the long white T-shirt, and in an effort to still show your belt off, the pants had to go lower and lower. So low that with the wrong pivot, you could moon your whole neighbourhood. As long as you could show off your Air Force 1s still at the bottom, it didn’t matter what was going on at the top.
Era: Mid 00s
Ironically, the size in jeans had no middle ground in the 2000s. They went from super baggy to super tight. Hipsters infiltrated hip-hop and the Skinny Jeans movement began. It took a little while to get off the ground, but once it did, it was game over. Guys like Kid Cudi added a new size to the charts: smedium (a hybrid of small and medium). It’s funny to think that just a few years prior rappers were swimming in their clothes. But not everyone adopted skinny jeans immediately. To quote Jay Z: “Can’t wear skinny jeans ’cause my knots don’t fit.”
Tailored Suit Pants
Era: Late 2000s
Many rappers who rocked the pants of hip-hop’s past evolved into entrepreneurs with boardroom attire by the close of the 21st century’s first decade. Jay Z fathered this movement, embracing turning 40 by dressing like it and diminishing the assumption that hip-hop was a young man’s game. Other artists followed suit (pun fully intended), and it became the norm to dress like a businessman. Of course this was carried over from the late 90s, but there was a whole other sentiment attached. It wasn’t the mafia anymore, but perhaps the Illuminati. That’s a different playing field.
Era: Early 2010s
By 2010, hip-hop lost its pants, literally and figuratively. Women arrived back at the forefront, with Nicki Minaj becoming hip-hop’s newest star. While the 90s had their fair share of women in rap — Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown in bikinis and furs, plus Lauryn in cargo pants and skirts and Missy Elliott in space suits — this was hip-hop in an entirely different realm. It was hip-pop. However, as this decade progressed, male rappers became involved in haute couture, and with that came embracing styles that previously would have never been worn by rappers. We’re talking about skirts, leather ones, worn by Kanye West, A$AP Rocky and any artist who saw high fashion as a welcomed element in the world of hip-hop. Both genders in skirts became a point of contention for hip-hop in their own ways, yet they’re both still here, which counts for a lot.
High End Legwear
Era: Mid 2010s
And here we are in 2015, where high-end streetwear lines and historically dominant fashion houses all reside under one roof. From denim to leather to sweatpants to trousers, everything is welcome, as long as it’s overpriced. But for the more frugal hip-hop head, pants style is an amalgam of every historical element, much like the music. It could be skinny jeans one day, a jumpsuit the next. Rappers go where the wind takes them, and therefore so do their traveling pants.
Text Kathy Iandoli
The decline of “urbanwear” as the uniform of hip-hop, and the rise of rap couture — Quartz
Rap and hip-hop have long been obsessed with fashion as a status symbol. But in the 1980s and 1990s, the brands rappers focused on weren’t quite like the ones they’re obsessing over now. Back then, Dr. Dre was wearing baggy jeans and flannels by Cross Colours, the Notorious B.I.G. was rapping about puffy Fubu bubble jackets, and Tupac Shakur was showing up in oversized Karl Kani sweatpants.
Today, you have the rappers Meek Mill and A$AP Rocky rapping about Balmain or Ann Demeulemeester, and Kanye West wearing a floral-jacquard bomber by Haider Ackermann.
That contrast illustrates a big shift, not just for fashion in rap, but for “urbanwear.” A once-powerful market, created predominantly by black Americans and reflecting hip-hop’s tastes and culture, the aesthetic has declined into near oblivion in the last decade or so. Some of the labels still exist, including Cross Colours—the first major urbanwear brand—and Sean John (paywall), which was created by Sean Combs (Puff Daddy). But their cachet and sales have substantially fallen, while other labels have folded entirely. Ecko, which hit $500 million in sales in 2002, filed for bankruptcy last year.
AP Photo/Mark Terrill
Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg, as he was still known, way back in 1994.
On stage and in hip-hop songs and videos, what’s replaced urbanwear is mostly European labels, especially those known for innovative, boundary-pushing luxury fashion. It’s probably no coincidence that it happened around the same time that men generally starting becoming more interested in fashion.
To use some recent pop culture as an example, the wardrobe for the just-released movie Straight Outta Compton, about the rise of rap group N.W.A. in the late 1980s, included custom-made pieces by Karl Kani, one of urbanwear’s biggest brands, as well as lots of baggy jeans by Levi’s. By contrast, on Fox’s show, “Empire,” the young rapper Hakeem Lyon (played by Bryshere Y. Gray), raised in the wealth his rapper father earned, wears clothes by Givenchy and Rick Owens. (Not surprisingly, his is the most expensive wardrobe on the show.)
References to fashion brands in rap lyrics have tracked accordingly. Rap Stats, which draws on a database of several hundred thousand songs, lets you chart how often a word or phrase is mentioned. Brands such as Gucci, Versace, and Louis Vuitton are perennially popular. But notably, as references to labels such as Fubu and Sean John have fallen, those to labels such as Margiela, Givenchy, and Balmain have gone up. This year all three got more mentions than Ralph Lauren.
In the recent documentary Fresh Dressed, director Sacha Jenkins follows the rise of urbanwear from its modest beginnings in the ’80s to its peak in the 2000s. When rap was emerging in New York, a Harlem tailor named Dapper Dan was cutting up clothing by Louis Vuitton and other high-end labels to make custom pieces for rappers such as Run DMC. By 2004, Sean John was doing several hundred million in sales and won the award for best menswear from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), bringing urbanwear into the realm of serious fashion.
But that was also about the time the market peaked. According to Jenkins’s film, it was oversaturated. Too many brands were competing for space in the same department stores. Retailers started cutting back, and urbanwear lost its cachet.
Karl Walter/Getty Images for Coachella
It’s left its mark, though. The current crop of high-end, street-inspired sportswear brands, such as Hood By Air and Off-White, are basically urbanwear’s descendants—with a marked luxury-fashion bent.
In fact, the guys behind New York label Public School are two of the most critically lauded designers in the US right now. They’ve won two awards from the CFDA, and earlier this year they were tapped as the new creative directors of DKNY. Before starting their much-admired label, however, Dao Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne met while working for another brand: Sean John.
The grunge look and hip-hop styles appearred in the 1990s. Many
boys want large baggy jeans as baggy as possible with waists several
sizes to large. There is some disagreement among the origin of baggy
jeans. Some observers seem to think people in the Hip Hop community
began to copy the pants that prisoners were issued while they were
incarcerated and thus lend their attire to prison chic?
Others are convinced that the baggy jean actually has some roots in the
skate/snowboard industry. It just happens that when the urban hip hop and core skate crowds get together it can be explosive.
The fashion tastes of children and adolescents often mistify parents. Few have mistified parents more than the current style of baggy jeans worn several sizes to large and without a belt. We are also unsure as to the origins and popularity of the fashion of wearing over-sized baggy jeans. A HBC reader writes, “I have known for years that the fashion of wearing baggy and sagging pants began in the prisons because the inmates were not allowed to have belts, thus their pants always sagged.”
Teenagers have developed their own terminology for evaluating clothing, much of it based on hip-hop styles. Two accolades for boys clothing are “loose” and “ghetto.” Hip-hop culture first appeared among Black youth and young men in New York City’s Bronx (mid-1970s). Early expressions of hip-hop were rap music, spray-painted graffiti, and break dancing. Eventually these young people began to develop a destinctive fashion sence. The four major clothing garments associated with hip-hop styles are: baseball caps, jerseys, baggy jeans, and sneakers. Notably these were primaily not destinctive garments–but items from mainstream fashion worn in a distinctive way. Basseball caps were worn backwards. Adidas sneakers or Timberland boots were worn with aces untied. Perhaps the most destinctive feature of rap clothing is the use of bright colors. This is especially true of the popular over-sized jerseys. Another destinctive feature is the use of clothes with logos–especially sports logos. Clothes with a name brand are also important. There appears to be a significant influence of prison culture on baggy hip hop clothing. This can hardly be ignored in a history of boys’ clothing, since it suffuses mainstream fashion as well. Fashions standards were once set by the wealthy class and then emulate bu=y the middle class and then the working-class to the extent they could afford to do so. Hip-hop has reversed thsat trend. Many White middle-class teen agers have adopted hip-hop styles, a style originsating among Black inner-city teenagers. Here the White teenagers appear to be taking their fashion pointers from rap music videos that they view on MTV.
Parents were at first mistified by the new look. After a while they grudinly accepted te new look without really unerstanding it.
One parent contacted HBC. “Hello and congratulation for your Web page. I’m a 45 years old father of two teenagers: two boys of 14 and 17 years old. I would like to know why teenagers today put their pants so low. It seems like they do not have bottom. All of my suns’ friends come at home with their fat pants and I do not understand what can be “cool” when you put your pants so low. Please, could you tell me why. Why in heavens names would they want to look like that?!?”
Another parent writes, “I can’t understand why my son wants to wear those stupid looking shorts. They make im look like a clown. When I was a child I did not like cloths that did not fit, because they looked like hand downs.”
A HBC reader writes, “Baggy pants seem emblematic of something very scary in the works. I grew up in the 60’s (I’m 48). Our parents were dismayed at our long hair and beads, but it is true that our
Founders and American Indians had long hair, and that beads are considered beautiful all over the world. In short, there was something at least vaguely aesthetic about what the way we dressed. There is nothing aesthetically pleasing about Baggy pants, which make
young men, even young FATHERS (I saw a man who was “sagging” picking up his 8-year-old son at Little League yesterday), look like babies with a diaper under their pants, are simply one more way in which our
society is EMBRACING AND BOWING TO STUPIDITY.” — Jeff Syrop
A teacher explained that: “Actually these are the rules that we are currently operating under (with the exception of tucking in shirts, which we dropped last year). As for the baggy clothes and hemmed clause, this is mainly for students that wear 40+ size pants (while having a 25+/- waist) – one of my students last year tried to wear the _same_ pair of pants day in and day out for nearly the whole year, they were so baggy that the bottoms of the legs wore out from him walking on them for so long (plus he only washed them
every other month or so – if then). As for this being the _only_ pair of pants he owned, his parents didn’t allow him to leave home with the baggy ones so he hid
them in his book bag and changed into them when he got to school – sometimes wearing the baggy ones over his regular pants so that he could change on the way
to the assistant principals’ office. I would say that nearly all of the students out of dress code for having
baggy/oversize pants were not in need of financial assistance. One student replied to a comment I made about her very oversized pants “You know how much these
things cost???” apparently they were in the $50+ range.
The main reason for the “hemmed” rule is to eliminate the “daisy-may” (sp?) type of short shorts that some girls like to wear. Martin
HBC has received quite a number of student comments on baggy jeans. Unfortunately many of the comments have been so incohernt and or full of vulgaraties that we have been unable to use many of them.
I understand the need for a dress code, but I seriously doubt that these would be followed or even enforced. The high school I went to had a similar dress code (with the exception of the hair and body piercing rules), but it was never enforced, and I think some of the regulations could be considered discriminatory in a public school, such as not baggy clothes and pants must
be hemmed, because some students only get their clothes second hand and can’t always get them in their size.
An American teenager in 2000 provides the following view of the baggy jeans style, “The reason boys wear their pants so low and baggy is because thats the style. The reason that they where them so low is probably to get girls to like them, or cuz they just wanna be cool, and because when you wear them low it makes them baggy–everyone loves baggy pants. Wearing them low is called “sagging”. They also probably sag them cuz they want to look like a punk. Trust me I’m 15, I know this stuff, I wear baggy pants and sag them to.”
A British reader tells us, “I have a boyfriend who has always worn baggy jeans, he says it is because they are comfortable and easy to wear. I used to laugh at him and say he looked scruffy etc. But then I started to get into punk music and began wearing baggy jeans myself. It is true, they are comfortable and easy to wear! They are definatley not for scruffy people who do not care about how they look. I care about what I look like, I like to look smart. Baggy jeans are actaully very expensive! Also, I believe that people wear baggy jeans because of
the music they listen to, it fits in with the music (punk rock,
pop-punk). I love wearing baggy jeans now but would never want to
look scruffy or ‘poor’. Baggy jeans are growing in girls as well as boys, as well as the new cordroy baggy jeans, and other materials.
Baggy jeans rule!” – Sarah, England [HBC note: We appreciate Sarah’s cogent comments. One minor comment. Expensive does usually equate with trendy, but does not always equate with either quality merchandise or smart looking clothes.]
A minority view
A HBC reader writes, “I suppose that I am one of the minority. In your website, you say that there is at least one “perfect boy” in the United States who voluntarily asks his mother if he could put on a pullover or coat. I suppose I am that one perfect boy. Or perhaps I am not, since I argued with my father every summer (until this summer, when he finally agreed that I am old enough to choose what I want to wear) when he tried to force me to wear short-sleeved t-shirts. Reading your website, it dawned upon me that you were unaware of boys who prefer long sleeves and formal wear. By writing this e-mail, I am trying to tell you that there are some exceptions to your generalisations.”
The question as to why baggy jeans have proven so popular is an interesting one. Several factors occur to HBC, but these are at this time highly speculative. We would be interested in reader assessments on this interesting question. One factor could be normal fashion cycles, but HBC sensed that more is involved.
Change is a constant factor in fashion. Certain classic fashions persist over long periods, but other fashions come and go over time. Just as wide ties and lapels are followed by narrow ties and lapels, it seems logical that the short cut, trim fitting shorts of the 1980s sould be followed by baggy jeanns.
One factor that young people today often mention is comfort. Loose fitting cloting woul seem to be more comfortable than tight cloting. HBC woners, however, about comfortable clotes are that our grosely oversized and that seem to be falling down.
Certainly when te style of baggy jeans first appeared, they were a definite fashion statement. Young people seeme to be saying that they refused to accept adult standards of neatness and objected to te very idea of dressing up.
A variety of other factors may be involved and HBC would be interested in reader input.
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Created: December 15, 1998
Last updated: 10:37 PM 8/28/2004
Kanye West says he wants to buy America – Hip Hop Vision
Kanye West is on a mission to buy America.
During the second part of his headline interview, “Drink Champs,” NORE brought up a conversation with Ye in which he said, “I want to buy America.”
“You shouldn’t be bringing up that part,” Ye joked before confirming his vision. “I will.”
He didn’t go into detail, but part of his grand scheme is to own more land and build communities.
He already owns two 12,000 acre ranches in Wyoming, one of which he recently listed for $ 11 million, and is interested in expanding. Tesla CEO Elon Musk invited him to Austin this week while he was also paying a visit to J Prince in Houston.
In 2019, he began building dome-like structures on the 300 acre land he owns in Calabasas, but his housing project has been closed.
“I said, can I build on my land out there? They keep stopping what I do, ”Ye said, referring to his previous problems.
He also spoke to Young Thug, presumably about his intention to build his own “Slime City” in Atlanta after being given 100 acres for his 30th birthday.
And that’s only part of his lofty future plans. The richest hip-hop rapper also wants to become a listed company on the stock exchange. “I’ll go public and create a universal basic income and go public for a while [trillion]”Said Ye.
“Decades Day” Fashion Perspective – Warrior Ink
A primer on styles over the years
Your IRHS Student Council decided on the theme of “Decades Day” to kick off Spirit week this year. Well, over the years there have been multiple clothing styles. Some crazy and wild. Others strong and independent. No matter what generation each clothing style has it’s history.
Seniors: “The Roaring 20s”
The 1920s was full of big changes in fashion. Women would wear shorter, low waisted dresses with bobbed hairstyles with inclusions of scarfs and stockings and looser fitted clothing. The 1920s were significant for women for being independent and free. The 1920s brought in an area of jazz, a cultural phenomenon across the US. Men were often seen wearing slicked back hairstyles with more sportswear (no ties!) and less formal suits or tuxedos in brighter colors.
Juniors: The 1950s
After World War Two, fashion was transitioning into more colorful prints. With the idea rebuilding the country, and enjoying life after the war years, women during the 1950s wore multiple styles. The pencil skirt, Pitt coats, full skirts and sweaters were all used for more of a flashy look than less independent look of the 20’s. Men’s outfits included leather biker jackets, Greased up hairstyles and for business attire like tailored suits and fedoras. The men’s style in the 50’s was the idea of an American or tough guy look.
Sophomores: The 80s
The 80s was a decade of bright colors and bold styles. Women would often wear blouses and coats with shoulder Pads, big handbags, curly (permed) hairstyles and pant suit attire to show independence. Men’s fashion was more casual and laid back and consisted of Dad jeans, Denim jackets, Bomber jackets and Longer hair. The 80s also were known for there multiple styles such as “hair band” rock styles, hip hop and workout attire. Hip hop attire was influenced by N.W.A, Run DMC and the Beastie Boys. People would wear big gold chains, classic Adidas and snapback hats. The rocker look was flashy or edgy. People would wear spiked (and/or bleached) hair, leather pants, jackets and boots.
Freshmen: The 2000s
The 2000s was a cultural phenomenon. Taking inspiration from previous generations and Making the hip hop influence mainstream from artist like 50 cent, Lil Wayne, Pharrell and Kanye west. Women’s clothing consisted of yoga pants, tube tops, denim jackets, and baggy jeans. Mens fashion consisted ‘do-rags, REALLY baggy jeans, Cargo pants, sports tees and jerseys and hiking boots or basketball high-tops.
Over the years there has been a multitude of styles from flashy, independent, strong, punk and more, that have influenced our style today.
90,000 Mens Cotton Linen Ethical Hip Hop Wide Legs Loose Baggy Harem Pants Online-NewChic
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90,000 The 5 Biggest Myths and Misconceptions
In the early days of hip-hop, many considered it to be just a new, short-lived fashion trend. Such as Disco, for example. But in this case, the critics were very wrong with their conclusions. Hip-hop not only has not sunk into oblivion, but has become one of the most influential subcultures around the world.Hip Hop has made a huge contribution to the cultural heritage of fashion, dance, language, art and of course music!
Hip-hop turned out to be a very resilient subculture that is still relevant today. As a result, many books have appeared, many of which deal with the history of hip-hop and its elements. For example, the latest book by Paul Edwarts is The Concise Guide to Hip-Hop Music: A Fresh Look at the Art of Hip-Hop, From Old-School Beats to Freestyle Rap. , from old school to freestyle rap).
This book contains a wealth of information on the contributions of famous artists such as Eminem, RZA and Rakim to hip-hop culture, and at the same time lesser known artists (Percee P, DJ Disco Wiz and Reggie Reg), which are also certainly worthy of attention.
This book is also interesting because, in addition to information generally known to all, the reader can find something completely new for himself, something that is usually not discussed among the broad masses. We decided to share five such statements with you:
1.It is believed that graffiti is one of the four elements of hip-hop. Is it so?
According to the book, many significant hip-hop figures believe that graffiti should not be one of the four elements of hip-hop. Grandmaster Caz and R.A. The Rugged Man are convinced that graffiti is an integral form of culture. However, Grandmaster Flash and “writers” Lady Pink and Phase 2 are adamant and adamant that hip-hop and Graffiti have nothing to do with each other.
“In fact … hip-hop culture just never produced graffiti … it happened much earlier” , says Phase 2.
2. Difficult social conditions were the driving force behind the rise hip-hop Culture. Is it so?
While life in provincial cities was far from glamorous, many hip-hop people argue that their socioeconomic problems actually played a much smaller role in creating a new kind of music than most believe, so that too myth.As an argument, a line from the song Rev Run (Run-DMC) is given: “Without a doubt my brain was washed by the fact that I am black and it was depressing. But at the same time, this does not mean that I never had money, I always had money. ” In fact, the authors of this part of the book believe that this innovation arose simply because something had to be done, and besides, it sounded good.
3.The invention of “sampling” was purposeful. Something like this.
Sampling is so common in hip-hop today that for some hip-hop heads it’s hard to imagine that it simply didn’t exist before. In reality, everything is much more banal and prosaic. In fact, the sampling process was part of the natural progression of beatmaking; it was just a new step in development, as they say, a new element in the formula.
However, as Marley Marl notes: “I made a mistake at Unique Recording Studios … The sample came out completely by accident and I did it by mistake when trying to get a voice from one recording.And that mistake later revolutionized hip-hop. ”
4. Snoop Dogg popularized the phrase “Fo ‘Shizzle”
In fact, E-40 was the first to popularize the phrase “Fo’ Shizzle” as hip-hop slang. Many in the know know that the Bay Area of California has had a significant impact on the sound and style of rap music. The slang expression “Fo ‘Shizzle” is most often associated with Snoop Dogg by many, but in fact it is 40 Water (E-40) that is responsible for its appearance.The E-40 used it back in 1996, on his track “Rappers Ball” featuring Too $ hort and K-Ci.
5) The term “Freestyle Rap” actually means “Off the top”.
Today the general consensus on the definition of freestyle rap is that freestyle is created spontaneously and immediately. However, it should be noted that the term “freestyle” was originally applied to the theme, and not to the creation of the lyrics as such.The original description of “Freestyle Rap” was as follows: written lines on paper on any of the given topics.
As Big Daddy Kane says: “This term … is just a new term that we started to use because in the 80’s when we said that we write freestyle rap we meant that we write rhymes“ free from style “.
What do you think about this? Write your opinion in the comments.
Basic Hip-Hop Movements – Learning with the Dragons
This dance movement can hardly be called a style, because it has dozens of branches, new elements are constantly appearing, movements today can be performed to almost any music.Hip-hop is divided into styles based on historical aspects and performance characteristics. When studying culture, one should, as in any science, go from simple to complex, not relax for a day and set goals clearly. You need to give yourself completely to the dance, forcing your body to move, learning the maximum number of elements of hip-hop and at the same time feeling like a star.
You should start with a simple one – with a caught rhythm.
- To master music, start with a simple one.The swing down and swing up are performed according to the same scheme. The knees bend to the beat of the beat, but the downward swing accentuates the forward tilt of the body, and the upward swing, accordingly, exhibits a slight backward tilt. This movement should be done expressively, with muscle tension, but the viewer should see a relaxed, enjoyable dancer. Further, swinging can be supplemented with swinging movements of the hands, while the body can already be shifted to the right and left.
- A fast pace is already a higher pace.The element is often used in the Old School direction and looks like an intense pulsation of the body in steps or squats. In this case, in the pause between the beats of the beat, the dancer manages to turn on two or three more swinging.
- It’s time to master the more complex elements. The Tone wop movement will have to be worked out to automatism, so as not to go astray. At the same time, the dancer takes small steps and at the same time “closes” and “opens” the feet. The first lesson on Tone wop should be given only to working out the movements of the legs, and in the second lesson you can already include hands in the dance.
- Brooklyn Bounce is a cross-legged roll. The legs are crossed after a low jump, with the feet turning in and out. When practicing, it is important to pay attention to the position of the body, it must be accurate and beautiful.
- Kriss Kross – at first glance, this is a rather simple element: legs are crossed in a swing jump. But it is worth remembering that Criss Cross is performed at a very fast pace and in conjunction with other elements, so the accuracy of the execution must be honed at the very first lesson.
Enriching the arsenal
All the basic elements of hip-hop should be performed expressively, you can catch the style when meeting master classes of famous dancers. It is almost impossible to isolate the elements on your own from ready-made dances, since they flow too quickly into one another. And, of course, it is precisely the technique that is important – where the hands go and what the legs are doing at this time, how to turn the head, where to tilt the body. Only a detailed explanation and a slow demonstration will give the correct idea of a particular movement.
- Up Town. It looks impressive and allows those who have mastered the element to immediately show off their skills at the party. An imaginary spear helps to simplify understanding. Yes, yes, as if it is clamped in a hand bent and clenched in a fist! The movement of the hand looks like a swing for throwing this very spear. After the swing, the hand smoothly goes down, and the second hand at this time is already moving up. Legs at this time bounce, take double steps or criss-crosses.
- Sham Rock is a side step system with a twist and final jump.Professional dancers beautifully capture each phase of the movement and highlight the accents with their shoulders.
- The trendy Dougie movement looks cool to any music. These are side steps with a foot turned inward and arms beautifully going in the opposite direction. The width of the stride, the degree of bent knees, hand swings and the general mood of the performance – all this turns this element into a full-fledged dance.
Be in trend!
Some details of the dance go into the past, and new ones appear to replace them.For the dance to be really cool, you should follow the latest news and constantly practice the basic elements of hip-hop. It is worth paying attention to the complex multi-moves Baseball, Toast it up, LL Cool J, Harlem Shake.