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There is a new era of hip hop and it is definitely changing, but things aren’t far from where they use to be, and the saying goes, “There is nothing new under the sun.” The distinctions are becoming more obvious and they are using the fashion industry to showcase their differences.

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Screenshot from Kendrick Lamar’s Coachella performance

The youth is definitely taking notice and the influence is causing and inspiring a new generation to be inspired to wear minimalist clothing, rock attire, suits, and asian/ninja style.

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Ayo & Teo popular dance group on youtube

My son is very fund of asian, specifically japan culture.

But, what does all this mean & why the sudden move into this new era?

We can look at the past to understand the now.

The Top names of Hip Hop all had a way of expressing themselves through their clothing. So, the outrage of the youth of hip hop today shouldn’t be blown out of proportion, and Jay-Z in his new album 4:44 details this truth in one of his songs, even speaking about Tupac having a nose ring.

Hip hop has always been about self-expression even from origins when it first was introduced through djs & beats. The sounds were borrowed sounds that created a unique way of listening to music; rhyming, rap, lyrics, coasts, territories, and cities later, you have the hip hop industry.

But, the question of why the solidarity of bringing hip hop out of its stereotype?

Money! Hip hop has found a new way to come from under the shadows of Corporations controlling their sound and appearance. Pdiddy is a fine example of that truth and always has been. Jay-Z is now, an example of taking control of what once had control of him through Tidal. I call those 2: suit & tie. They are the corporations and business of Hip Hop. They are the new vision of what many inspire to be. They are not the only ones, DJ Khaled is definitely apart of the suit & tie crew with his growing vision and ability to crossover into the mainstream audience so well.

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Jay-Z and Beyonce
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Jay-Z and Pdiddy

Forbes has spoken in an article that hip hop/r&b are now the most popular music genre in America by passing Rock, and that influence continues to collab into designer brands & fashion shows like Raf Simons for Calvin Klein using hip hop artists like ASAP Rocky and Quavo from Migos to debut the new line in a music video called Raf.

Is it really a shock that hip hop’s popularity would bypass rock when the genre has been coming for rock and roll since Run DMC stepped on the scene and did walk this way with Aerosmith and created the opportunity for Hip Hop to be featured on the popular tv station: MTV. According to an article I read last night, Run DMC called themselves rock stars. (link will be at the bottom) It is not uncommon for Hip Hop artists to now adapt the rock and roll culture to its fullest because it has become the new Rock and Roll.

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rock n roll editorial from fashionisto.com

 

The industry isn’t just adapting a business and rock and roll approach, but are also adapting to a minimalist style thanks to Kanye West and his vision to create his own line called Yeezy through Adidas who is known for being at the forefront of Hip Hop fashion.

According to another article, (link will be below), Drake & Kendrick Lamar adapted this style. But, Jayden Smith and ASAP Rocky are others who have chosen to wear minimalism as well.

Minimalism deals with clean cut lines and is very futuristic, but hip hop has adapted it to being more apocalyptic, sporty and distressed.

Another look that is gaining popularity is Asian & Ninja Culture thanks to Kendrick Lamar, who is now being referred to as Kung Fu Kenny.

Lil Kim, Nicki Minaj, & Young Thug are being inspired by this culture as well.

We have come to the conclusion that the move isn’t new as a matter of fact, it has always been adapted into the hip hop culture; further, we seen that money and the way music is being introduced to the world is changing how some hip hop artists operate, they are now in control. You have a generation that can take control of the rock industry through popularity & style because Hip Hop has finally taken its rightful throne. Hip hop continues to collab with the fashion industry to allow their voices of influence to be heard.

Here are my thoughts,

Hip Hop is trying to communicate in a new way. It is rebelling against its stereotype and idea that it is a dying form. It is refusing any box that people, corporations or history has tried to put them in. Instead of hip hop succumbing to the idea, it is soldifying its base and forming branches that speak in different ways. Here are 4:

  • Hip Hop Rock: “I express my own identity.” A lot of the youth fit into this category, and is giving many the platform to pursue their own belief system for the culture. They may not know that they are the manifestation of earlier hip hop’s sacrifice & breakthroughs.
  • Hip Hop Minimalism: “I have no expression.” They are stripping down in physical to allow their inner being to shine through music. The music has become their identity.
  • Hip Hop: Suit & Tie, you can consider them the leaders of Hip Hop. They know how to deal the hands they have been dealt. They are take over the industry and being the lenders instead of the borrowers.
  • Hip Hop Asian/Ninja Culture: This adaptation runs deep into African Culture as well, it is still being explored when it comes to hip hop even though it has shown its head. Will true power come through realizing your own inner peace?

Hip Hop isn’t scattered but is forming a pattern, that pattern is leading to stepping stones, maybe, the fashion statements are stages of hip hop w/ the ultimate being Control & Identity.

(There are many names I didn’t mention that are just as powerful to the movement like 50 Cent stepping into Television w/ his own hit show: Power and Irv Gotti exploring as well w/ Tales.)

Hip hop can’t go back to being silent. It is out for its territory.

Links for further reading on topics mentioned:

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/hip-hop-minimalism-less-about-flash-more-about-substance

https://www.google.com/amp/amp.www.complex.com/music/2017/05/lil-uzi-vert-is-hip-hop-not-a-rock-star

 

 

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