Hip Hop Fashion

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Jordan Royse

According to KRS One, Hip Hop fashion is one of the nine "extended" elements of hip-hop culture. Hip-hop fashion refers to a particular style of dress that originated with African-American and Latino people in New York City. Hip hop fashion has changed drastically over the years. During the 1980s, major hip-hop stars of like Run-DMC and LL Cool J wore things like large glasses, kangol hats, multi-finger rings, and sneakers. Artists such as Kurtis Blow and Big Daddy Kane helped popularize gold necklaces. Hairstyles of the 80’s included the Jeri curl and the hi-top fade in the late 80’s. During the late 1980s, fashions reflected traditional African influence, much like the big blousy pants popular among rappers like MC Hammer. In the early 90’s, The Fresh Prince, Kid 'n Play, and Left Eye of TLC popularized the wearing bright, neon colored clothing. They also started a trend of wearing regular articles of clothing in a new and unusual way, such as Kris Kross’s method of wearing their clothes backwards. In the 90’s, gangsta rap became one of the biggest influences on hip-hop. During this time hip-hop fashion was influenced by the dress styles of street thugs and prison inmates. Wearing baggy pants without a belt originated from prison. Also during the 90’s, hooded sweatshirts, military hats, field jackets, Timberland boots were especially popular in New York City, and the West Coast contributed the wearing of oversized flannel shirts. Also in the 90’s, Sean "Puffy" Combs, influenced hip hop fashion with his loud, flashy PVC aviator inspired suits and platinum jewelry. After platinum replaced gold as the most popular precious metal, it became regular for artists to wear platinum jewelry, with large amounts of diamonds. Jewelry later became a source of bragging rights for hip-hop artists. In 1999, B.G. recorded a hit song that summarized the phenomenon with a popular catchphrase: "Bling Bling". The 90’s also saw...
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