When the genre of hip hop first began to get notice in the 70s and 80s, a certain street style became characteristic of the culture. Artists from Run DMC to LL Cool J could likely be seen rocking Adidas and Kangol. In the 90s, it shifted to jerseys and Jordans. In the early 2000s, it was baggy jeans, Air Force Ones and tall tees. This was about as involved as hip hop artists had gotten with the fashion industry, but as of late, the two industries have become more and more interwoven. Kanye West, A$AP Rocky, Big Sean, Chris Brown all have found ways to incorporate the classic hip hop street style with higher fashion. Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Baleciaga--they're wearing it all.
In a recent interview with Complex Magazine, Big Sean described where things are going for him fashion-wise. He touched on topics such as his collaboration with Adidas as well as how his fascination with higher end fashion has developed. The Detroit native also noted how much of an influence the very man who discovered and signed him to his G.O.O.D. Music label, a fashion icon in his own right, Kanye West, has had on his fashion sense. When asked about Mr. West, Sean explained:
"Being around Kanye, he really takes fashion seriously and just being around him and soaking up the information that he has and talking about it and being around him when we meet up with the editors of the top fashion magazines like Complex and shooting with the top fashion photographers and having that conversation—it does affect your style. And you take what you get from situations like that and you incorporate it into your own."
When Kanye West began to really gain notice as a musician in the early 2000s, he stood out as someone different, not just for his lyricsm and production, but for his unique fashion sense as well. Crowning himself the Louis Vuitton Don, he rocked items that you wouldn't typically see other artists wearing. He continued to expand this persona as a pioneer for fashion in the hip hop world when he started what he called, the Rosewood Movement. He and his G.O.O.D. Music signees were often seen wearing tailored suits and loafers. But he didn't stop there. More recently, West launched his first fashion line, DW, which he debuted during Paris fashion week 2011.
A young artist who is making a name in the music biz, A$AP Rocky, has become known for his classic New York sound and equally so for his unique fashion sense. This past summer, the 24-year-old was featured in GQ. He described, "With clothes, I like mixing what different designers do until it becomes a personal expression of how I'm feeling that day."
Another young artist, known as an R&B crooner who more recently transitioned into the hip hop scene, Chris Brown, too has become known for his unique fashion sense. He's heard a lot of criticism for some of his choices, but Wilhelmina Modeling Agency saw something in Brown, having recently signed him to their artist management division. Taylor Hendrich, director of Wilhelmina's men's division, describes, “Chris Brown is a… multifaceted artist with a unique take on style, and we are excited to translate and extend his brand.”
In the interview with Complex this week, Big Sean further commented on the influence he and Kanye have on each other's fashion sense.
"I'll take fashion tips from Ye, and Ye will take fashion tips from me too. And you'll see it. You can see it in videos, you can see it in what we wear, what he wears, what I wear, and we all influence each other. Everybody."
I think that sums it all up. Hip hop influences fashion. Fashion influences hip hop. We all influence each other. I'm interested to see how far artists will continue to take their fashions and how accepting the fierce fashion world will be of these artists.
In your opinion, what hip hop artist has the best fashion sense? Comment below!
A G.O.O.D. week of accolades for G.O.O.D. Music is capped off by the news that "Clique" has gone platinum, selling one million copies of the single. That's on top of "Mercy"'s double platinum status from last week. Is any other rap clique (pun intended) coming close to that?
"He didn’t do any music on this album but ‘Ye is actually packaging my album. You probably gotta ask him because it was his idea. I was just like ‘okay, do whatever,’ because I don’t do nothing but rapping. You can ask all the people that work with me, they’ll tell you ‘man, he don’t do nothin’ but the music,’ that’s all I do man. That’s all I know about. ... What I mean by packaging is he’s gonna do the album cover, the inside, all that. He wanted that, he said ‘I wanna package Wayne’s album,’ so I already know my album package is gonna be crazier than [the album]. You ain’t even gotta hear it, you gonna love just seeing it."
1. My response to a Kanye idea would also be, "Okay, do whatever."
2. Given my taste in Kanye West design and Lil Wayne raps, I find myself nodding to Lil Wayne's notion that "my album package is gonna be crazier than [the album]. You ain't even gotta hear it, you gonna love just seeing it."
All jokes aside (kinda), I hope I Am Not A Human Being II is more like Tha Carter III and less like everything else that's came out since. We'll find out in early 2013.
So as promised I'm back again with my top 5 songs from the past week, and just so that we are all clear I going from Monday to Monday and posting on Tuesday. Like I said before these aren't in any type of order they are just tracks that I feel you all should give a second listen. So let's jump into this week's tracks.
If the first wasn't cold enough Ye comes back and makes it even better. What I liked most about this song though was that I got more of a College Dropout/Late Registration vibe from him and I feel that's what a lot of Kanye fans are looking for.
Even though the track was pretty short it still managed to accomplish everything you could want from a song. The production was dope and the verse strong from start to finish. (Sorry for chopping off the left side of the image this one was shaped a little different.)
If you don't smoke or drink but want to get an idea for the type of zone it puts you in, turn the lights down and turn this song up. Wiz and Juicy J made all of the stoners around the world proud with this one. I hope me posting this doesn't say too much about me.
So that's this week's "Top 5", if you have any comments please feel free to voice them. See yall next week.
According to HHNM, the G.O.O.D. Music posse cut "Mercy" has eclipsed 2 million in sales achieving impressive double platinum status. The news also comes with a sidebar that Eminem's "Lose Yourself" is now 5x platinum. Wow. 2 mil is definitely somethin' in this climate nowadays, but 5x plat is an incredible feat. Congrats to all parties involved.