Hip-Hop: Influential Or Under The Influence? Fashion In Hip Hop
Rocawear, Sean John, Vokal, Apple Bottoms, Fubu, Wu Wear, P. Miller; I can go on and on about the clothing labels started by hip-hop moguls. All had their time to shine and most, well most of them burned out. Most for obvious reasons, the clothing was only made for that era and like most things, fell victim to time, while a few others survived based off the influence of the specific artist.Before these entrepreneur's we were "walking billboards" for other companies, names and print everywhere. Anything dropped in verse became an instant hit, with most artists not seeing a single penny from clothing companies.
On top of that a lot of top designers, although profiting heavily off of urban dollars, didn't like our representation of their fashion. We took heed and created our own lane, hip-hop artists developed enough clout, and enough money to branch out on our own. We were however, guppies in a pool of sharks and today we are more sheep to the slaughter.
Baggy clothing has been replaced with tight-fitting clothing...again. More patterns and prints have popped up in male clothing...again, people are wearing non prescription glasses, over sized frames, colorful designs...again. I mean let me just come out and say it, we've been reintroduced into the new 80's. This is an old era with a kind of new twist. I get it, "nothing is new under the sun" but hip-hop goes so far left at times it's crazy to imagine anyone sitting down with an ounce of creativity. Instead of cutting our own path we have now adapted to other cultures in order to survive. "Profit over progress." Artists rather survive nowadays then to rejuvenate our dead (or dying) culture. Our giant step into the fashion realm has turned into a stumble towards ambiguity. Undefined, nondescript, bullshit. Today hip-hop fashion is more punk rock and back pack skater boy than it was hard-core militant. Fashion wasn't just our statement, it was our uniform. It set us apart from other genres. Now we have simply blended in, in order to fit in or to profit. Another victim of the influence. Stay tuned for Part 3