Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsRap Music

STYLE: FASHION : So Uncool It's Cool

April 11, 1993|MICHAEL EISENHOWER

You see them just about everywhere these days: young men (and the occasional woman) in pants so large that they seem to defy the law of gravity. You ask yourself, "How are those pants staying up?" and "When did every Tom, Dick and Harriet start dressing this way?"

This hip-hop/homeboy look probably began with black rappers and breakdancers on the streets of New York in the early '80s. Performers such as Run-DMC and NWA then brought the look to the MTV generation. On the West Coast, L.A.'s indigenous cholo style and Seattle's grunge fashion have been influential. A little mobster garb, a la the movie "Goodfellas," was added, and the hip-hop/homeboy ensemble was born.

Essentially, hip-hoppers create their look by seeking out forgotten, uncool basics of the past--work clothes, polyester sweater shirts, caps and shoes from the local discount outlet. Adjusting proportions (usually bigger is better) and wearing everything with a healthy dose of attitude elevates these clothes to "cool-dom." Make no mistake--this seemingly uncontrived, anti-fashion look is very calculated.

Just don't jump to any conclusions the next time you spot a couple of homies on the street. Many baggy-pant-clad young men and women are entrepreneurs, artists and entertainers. As En Vogue sings in the hit song "Free Your Mind": "I like rap music, wear hip-hop clothes/that doesn't mean that I'm sellin' dope. Free your mind, the rest will follow." Peace.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|