Hip Hop Fashion 2000 Distinctive Style!
The emergence of promoting sex appeal through fashion came along with the turning of the tide by select female hip hop artists. Female artists have faced a number of pressures ranging from furthering their careers, gaining exposure as well as conforming to certain images to remain relevant and in demand. A whole new category of females were placed in the categorization of what constituted a hip-hop artist due to the alignment of hip-hop music and R&B music.
The female rap group Salt-N-Pepa are considered to be the front runners in leading the transition of asserting feminism in creating a new sense of dress and moving away from the male alignment.
They are said to have wowed fans while wearing Lycra body suits, hot pants and cut-off denim shorts.
Being in a male dominated society, it is no wonder that women worked very hard at aligning themselves with male images. As women gained exposure and access to the offerings of several sectors of society, for example television, music and movies we saw more images of attractiveness emerge. Right behind it came the perception to express oneself through different avenues including apparel.
Rappers Eve and Lil' Kim are known for resorting to trends surrounding having provocative tattoos and being scantily clad while still being perceived as being attractive in the process.
The recent appearance of black women producers, songwriters, and performers in black popular culture has drawn attention to the ways in which young black women use popular culture to negotiate social existence and attempt to express agency and independence.
Hip-hop fashion has also gained its critics. Commentators from both outside and inside the hip-hop community have criticized the cost of many of the accoutrements of hip hop fashion. Some fans have expressed their disappointment with the increasing amount of advertising for expensive hip-hop brands in hip-hop magazines.
In a letter to the editor in Source magazine, a reader wrote that the magazine should "try showing some less expensive brands so heads will know they don't have to hustle, steal, or rob and blast shots for flyness."
A page out of Source magazine
By the late 1990s there were many highly-publicized robberies of hip-hop artists. Queen Latifah's car was car-jacked, Guru of Gang Starr was robbed of his Rolex watch at gunpoint, and Prodigy was robbed of $300,000 in jewelry at gunpoint.
Guru of Gang Starr
Chuck D of Public Enemy below summarized the mentality of some low-income youths and Hip hop fashion as "Man, I work at Mcdonald's, but in order for me to feel good about myself I got to get a gold chain or I got to get a fly car in order to impress a sister or whatever."
A few hip hop insiders, such as Common, the members of Public Enemy, Paris, and Immortal Technique have made a choice not to wear expensive jewelry as a statement against materialism.
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