Is Kanye the King of N.Y.C.?

09.01.07 11 years ago 136 Comments

Hey RealTalkNY’ers it’s a sunny day in downtown, gentrified, Crooklyn. Lawyers are headed to work on Court St. Wasp youth stroll towards Columbia Heights and the Crooklyn Promenade. Amongst the Boho, hipster swaggered kids, are a number of ear-budded hip-hoppers cloth-clad in very obvious archetypes of hip-hop dress. What styles of dress am I talking about? The kind of the dress styles that make the NYC hip-hopper think that Kanye is currently the King of NYC. In the midst of the 50 Cent vs. Kanye gauntlet to be let loose on September 11th, it is necessary to question the overall relevance each of these are artist have within the capital of our Hip-Hop nation.

Written by Mr.Reed (NOT REALTALKNY’s Creator)

Hold your horses my fellow New Yorkers, east coasters, and NYC Hip-Hop jockers. Please calm yourselves of the rabidness signs of white froth forming at the sides of your mouth’s. Claiming that I am guilty of sacrilege would be too immediate without letting me develop my argument or devilish advocacy of message board conversation. Does hip-hop allow imperialism? The ability of foreign lords from other coast or cities to takeover and Ether our lands; leaving us New Yorkers at their feet to glorify them. I dare say it! Yes! If you remember it was Jay-z who expressed the view that NYC had grown soft in the g-funk era after “Snoop crushed the buildings”. Might I note that it did take the “King”….of the South to bring the bosses of the North together, at the Garden of all places. No need to comment on NYC artist continually body-ing each other, whether it be with prison sentences, snitching (thx Cameron Jiles), dis-records, and the continued belligerence of their “weed-carriers”.Look at the South’s reign, how about the mid-West’s reign that let Nelly in (only for him to dis Krs-One of all people), which in a way let Kanye come to fruition; the Chi is the mid-West you know. It may almost legitimately be perceived that Kanyeezy is more accepted in NYC than his adopted hometown of Chicago. He did recently say that he makes NY music at his album listening party for Graduation. He is the co-signed child of the couple that birthed him, Premier and Pete-Rock, thee cornestones of the east cost, soulful, soundscapes in hip-hop.

Returning my thesis to it’s intended scope of peering into the Kanye’s thorough-bred place in NYC Hip-Hop. He came from the camp that Jay built, with Dame and Bigs of course: The ROC. You need more flames for this fire I’ve created? While relaxing by the benches in front of the Crooklyn court house, there is an obvious representation of Kanye-esk, Pharrell-esk, Lupe-esk, hip-thugs, hip-hopers, hip-boarders, hip-skaters, hip-bmx-ers,and hip-sters. The current hip-preppism in hip-hop is phenomenon interesting. I refuse to judge it, but right now this aforementioned look seems to really represent N.Y.C. If that is not the case, the Kanye-me-to look is obviously major in New York right now. Isaac Mizrahi’s style of homeboy chic has really come into vogue.

Let us look at the past, 2003, the average New York hip-hoper looked like 50 Cent. The uniform of that year was a fitted, dark jeans, air-forces, maybe a throwback, but more importantly,it was NYC urban street. You probably were there rocking the clothes. 2007, should I even continue with the next obvious statement? Even Dipset has changed their style to a Kanye-esk-hard-edition (in honor of Dipset–pause! I refuse to use no’mo.);”tight” clothes as we call them in my beloved Crooklyn, E.N.Y., are edged harder by replacing the flowery all over prints and D.A.I.S.Y. age vibes with greys and skulls, (Oh, by the way, the skull craze is officially a wrap, I just killed what already has been dead, sorry Jimmy. Shout-out to Gnostic). This aesthetic adds a goth, metal, rock, edge to N.Y.C. hood style. Even Jay-Z has been greatly fashioned by the Kanye’s steeze, remember the “Jigga Blazer” featuring a button-up with jeans craze, circa 2003-2006. Damn–I know every so-called wannabe fashion boy I saw in NYC clubs had on this “Jigga Blazer” but Kanye was the first to rock it. I apologize to all the people I saw in the clubs with that look (R.I.P. Jigga Blazer). How about BApe and the infatuation with everything Nigo; again Pharrell and Kanye y’all. Colourful and might I even suggest that oh-so 2005 word metro-sexual seem to be hip-hop’s current de rigeur of fashion.

Being a man who appreciates the “flier than a piece of paper bearing my name” sides of fashion, I can also apply N.Y.C.’s current fashion sense with more than just with the rule of Kanye of all things hip-hop in N.Y.C. Shout outs to the Street-wear scene reps like Alien Crew and City Slickaz from the LES. Hip-Hop fashion is a deeply rooted element of Hip-Hop culture, derived from the style of dress of its street people and most importantly it’s b-boys. In terms of contemporary NYC styles you cannot forget the significance of Jamaican Shotta style in current Hip-Hop dress trends. Shottas were the first to take back rudeboy style from the punk culture that jacked it. Remember the days of how the three cuts in the eyebrows of BDK turned into a fashion statement, the “My Adidas” anthem had 20,000 MSG fans waving their Adidas because of RunDMC. How about Jigga’s praise of Iceberg and the pink epidemic of Cam’ron. I feel sure in saying that the King of New York absolutely influences the sartorial style of his subjects. Now being honest my hip-hop friend, to whom is NYC more subject to than Kanye West.? Yet it is worthwhile to note that NYC’s urban ears are more in tune with 50’s Ragged Dick, American dream ethos. NYC hip-hoppers are dressing like Kanye but are still looking for that new Uncle Murda, Joell Ortiz, Maino, Papoose and yes; 50 mix-tape. September 11th, bad for America, G.O.O.D. for hip-hop, you’ll catch that one later.

p.s. 50 started the tight shirt and skull epidemic, don’t believe me? Check out the “Many Men” video and his skull wife beater.

The Swagger General

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