There is no doubt a renaissance going on within the culture of hip-hop. Rappers, who pride themselves now on knowing the latest high-end wares, are differentiating themselves using knowledge of Alexander Wang and others. No matter how deft one can be on the M-I-C, an emcee’s unique and compelling sense of style can make or break any act.
As the culture recently celebrated its fortieth year of existence, there have been many iconic moments in fashion within the genre. Gold ropes, Kangol hats, Dapper Dan suits, and fresh Adidas have buoyed hip-hop’s history over the ages. These powerful works (see: Flavor Flav‘s clock) were just as equal to creating their magnificence as their musical contributions were. If you think about any rapper from the past 20 years, their signature style is one of the few things that comes to mind—after a memorable verse.
While today’s “new legends” are trendsetters in their own right, we wanted to take a look back at the misses from some of hip-hop’s heavy hitters. Call them mistakes, or even lapses in judgment, but these “what the heck” moments in hip-hop fashion still managed to create trends that cannot be denied.
With that in mind, it is our hope that you click through and enjoy a look back at The 15 Worst Hip Hop Fashion Trends over the recent course of history.
Sure, Kriss Kross managed to stand out in the game wearing this trend, but you’ll have no luck being social if you follow in their (oversized) wares.
Tight Animal Print Jeggings
Weezy F. Baby manages to push the limits on what is fashion, but you’ll be looking quite the lame if you choose to wear animal print jeggings in the 21st century.
Hip-Hop Harem Pants
MC Hammer became rich and broke all the while wearing these pants.
Everybody seemed to have a throwback jersey back in the 90’s (and don’t forget jersey dresses for the ladies!) but that’s exactly where they were left. Someone send Drake the memo.
Wearing A Skirt Or Kilt
Kanye West is always pushing the boundaries in one way or another, but this will surely get you laughed out the hood if you try to make them watch your throne.
Karl Kani Jeans
Many hip-hoppers in the game were fond of wearing this brand, but it was probably because the owner was paying them to wear it. This one should die alongside Kwame polka dots.
Dr. Seuss Hats
At the time, Busta Rhymes made this trend popular and catchy. But who wants to walk around ducking people because you can’t remember Green Eggs & Ham?
Sure, everybody and their momma thought this trend would last, but thankfully the game came to its senses.
One Pants Leg Rolled Up
Debates still rage as to whether or not LL Cool J started this trend. The fact remains that since it has been dead, less douches have populated America’s cherished spaces.
Worn by Pharrell, Kanye West and other rap stars, this failure of a shoe managed to fool would-be hip-hop aficionados into spending their hard-earned monies on this product. Never again.
Found exclusively in the pages of your favorite rap mags, hip-hop fans could see their favorite cartoon characters imitate their favorite gangsters. For the sake of the kids, let’s just keep this one in the closet for the rest of all time.
Old School Marithé + François Girbaud
The French designer label has since revamped their brand to have a more high fashion image, but back in the 90’s and early 2000s, the brand was coloquially known as “Girbaud” and work in the most unflattering baggy shape that had everyone on the block feeling Parisian.
Pelle Pelle Jackets
Designed by Marc Buchanan, the leather outerwear company grew notoriety in hip-hop after launching their exclusive line of baggy jackets, shirts, and pants. Thank God those days are over!
Anything Cross Colours
Launched in 1989 by Carl Jones, this brand was produced under the premise of “clothes without prejudices.” No attention was paid to establishing a brand that would actually help Black youth made forward progress within a political and social climate.