However, like many other white dudes who grew up in the 80s, hip-hop was my rock and roll. Run DMC was my Beatles, Public Enemy, my Clash. After that first wave of MTV crested, hip-hop and hair metal seemed to be the only things left with any of that youthful energy and fun. Motley Crue and Faster Pussycat just didn't move me like the Juice Crew did.
Like all other youth based musical movements, hip-hop was about fashion as well as the music. When I got to the point where I was buying my own clothes, I usually ended up looking like I'd walked off the set of In Living Colour. Thanks to MC Search, a large white dude didn't look any more ridiculous than anyone else sporting Cross Colors and Karl Kani.
As gangsta took over from the DAISY age, hip-hop style and the budding grunge thing started looking a lot alike. (The main difference being the fit and washing of garments, or lack thereof.) Then hip-hop clothes went from over sized to ridiculously large.
I guess I kinda lost the script some time in the mid 90s. Pants around the ankles and man dress t-shirts just didn't appeal to me. Strangely enough, much of what was happening on the music side of things wasn't hitting it either.
Since then, I've gotten back into some hip-hop, thanks mostly to a vibrant underground scene. Mainstream hip-hop has gotten more and more over the top, and not in a good way, and for the most part I just can't get with it.
I've been in New York for the past four days and this being the birthplace of it and all, I've just been checking out the hip-hop fashions while on the hunt for some new kicks. While I'm glad to see the baring your ass style is out, I'm kind of baffled by what appears to be the next coming thing.
Know what that is? Yes, it's the Bedazzler. No longer the exclusive tool of preteen girls and rednecks, the Bedazzler is making it's mark here on the streets of NYC. I suppose it's the next logical step in rap's obsession with shiny objects that shirts, jackets and pants with everything from subtle accents to entire designs Bedazzled upon them would be on deck.
As if the Bedazzler wasn't puzzling enough, I think hip-hop fasion really has been usurped by New Kids on the Block fans stuck in a time warp, because I swear to Koresh I've seen puffy paint gracing the bellys of some thugged out dudes. I'm talking lavender sparkly puffy paint! This is the kind of stuff that should only be used to write things like "Jordan is hot!!!" on a t-shirt, not something someone trying to look hard should be seen dead in.
And day-glo colors are apparently large and in charge. In fact, it was getting frustrating on my sneaker quest because while I was finding styles I dig, the colors were some variety of Technicolor vomit even Cindy Lauper wouldn't have worn back in 1983 when the stuff was popular the first time.
Girlz just wanna be thugz.
Now, I'm not going to pretend the hip-hop fashion of my time wasn't silly in it's own way. I mean, did anyone look good in Hammer pants? But at least I didn't dress like my little sister. I just don't get the current thing of how looking like a preteen gril from 1987 made your outfit is hip-hop.
Maybe that's the point?