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A brief review of hip hop culture: Effects of early 2000s hip hop fashion on hip hop culture

Hip hop fashion is a unique style of dressing that emerged from Urban Black America and inner-city youth in New York City, followed by Los Angeles, then other states and cities of the US. They have contributed different elements and styles, which can be seen worldwide now. Hip hop fashion is very flexible, which is why it is a fast growing culture. In this article we will discuss the history of hip-hop fashion and the effects of early 2000s hip-hop fashion on hip-hop culture.

Hip hop is not only a fashion but a growing culture that is expanding rapidly; due to its pliancy, it has become a worldwide culture. Everyone who adopts the hip hop culture feels that hip hop is his fashion and culture. It is so versatile and pliant that it has become the world’s biggest fashion influence from street culture; nowadays, it is dominant not only in mainstream popular music but also in the world of high fashion. Hip-hop fashion started between the late 70s and early 80s, and then it strengthened itself and became an influencer among people. It was overly criticized in late 80s and early 90s, but early 2000s hip-hop fashion takes the hip hop culture to another level. Let’s talk about the history of hip-hop fashion.

A brief history of hip-hop culture as well as fashion:

Hip-hop fashion gave birth in New York City between the late 70s and early 80s; it arose from the streets and had unique insights; it developed quickly and became the mainstream fashion in no time. In the early 80s, a group of breakdancers known as B-boys started hip hop fashion; B-boy dancers helped hip hop fashion to be recognized as a culture. Hip-hop artists then started wearing tracksuits, chains, long shirts, pants, and Kangol hats, which was something unique at that time. People at that time loved these new dressings and were inspired greatly by this new fashion genre, so they started copying artists.

Another group most responsible for establishing and defining hip hop as a street look style was Run-DMC, which famously adopted Adidas tracksuits and laceless shell-toed sneakers as their signature uniform. Adopting this street look, they have rejected highly glamorous fashion styles such as Afrika Bambaata, and DJ Grandmaster Flash grittier look. Soon after, many rapers and groups like LL Cool J started to adopt the trends set up by the Run-DMC, introducing the mainstream audience to street style for the first time.

In 1985 the hit song My Adidas worked as a revolution in the fashion industry and led to the agreement deal between Adidas and Run-DMC. This deal started long-lasting relations between different major brands and hip hop artists; this collaboration worked very best to uplift the hip hop culture. In the early 90s hip hop culture began to develop a greater reflection of the African heritage and black people of America lyrically and aesthetically. Famous hip-hop artists like Public Enemy, KRS-One, and Queen Latifah adopted more war-loving looks and the bright colors associated with black nationalist movements.

In the mid-90s, oversized clothing became the norm known as urban fashion, which give birth or rise to the traditional brands, such as Fubu, Phat Farm, and Wu Wear, catering to their audience of similar tastes. As time passed, baggy clothes went out, and artists started wearing fitted clothes. Early 2000s hip-hop artists are a combination of baggy and fitting clothes, like a baggy hoody with a slim pair of jeans. In addition, many other hip-hop lovers like to wear pins or PVC patches on their jeans, hats, backpacks, etc.

Elements of hip-hop culture:

As we have mentioned earlier, hip hop is a flexible culture consisting of four elements. As time passed, the elements of hip hop increased, but initially, it consisted of only four elements considered pure elements of hip hop culture. The four unique elements of hip hop are explained below.


 Painting or Sketching is a way of communication; before oral communication man has started his life in the caves, they started communicating through drawings. This is the earliest form of representing your ideas and thoughts, just like children have a natural tendency to sketch his ideas on the walls. Some people ask how and when graffiti started; the answer is very simple graffiti started with the birth of a human. In urban areas, it was started with a very interesting story, the story of a schoolboy who loves a girl in his school and wants to express her feelings to her to take her attention, but he is unable to talk to her verbally and think, how he should ask the girl about his feeling and then came with an idea, he had written his and the name of his beloved on the walls of the street around his school to show his feelings to her.

After that interesting story, this way of communication became famous among artists. Whenever they wanted to promote their new albums they did the same. They make paintings of their albums on the walls, and in this way they started advertising their albums.

 MCing/ Rapping:

 MC stands for the Master of the Ceremony; MCing started in 1970; MC is a person who controls the whole function;  MC is similar to the host of a function who controls the whole function. We have seen in all the parties a single person who introduces all the guests and engages the audience in the performances is known as the MC. Initially, MC started talking about their politics on the shows but later on, this culture vanished by itself. This culture gave rise to Rapping, and now MCing is known as Rapping. Very few of us know about the MCing, the origin of Rapping but all of us know about Rapping.

 DJing/ Turntablism:

 DJ stands for the disk jockey; a person who controls the DJ is known as the disk jocker in the past. This culture was started in 1940 and developed by Jazz music; jazz Music started party music, and then it became similar to pop music. DJ culture came into hip hop after 33 years in 1973 as Grandmaster Flash and DJ Cool Herc started summer parties in 1973 in the City of New York Bronx. Grandmaster Flash has also represented a theory about mixing up two different songs, known as the quick mix theory, to create an endless loop between songs.


 Breaking also has five sub-elements: top rock, down rock, power moves, freezers, and footwork. It is a dance culture; when hip-hop started, many gangs were observed who started fighting with one another resulting in a number of deaths. Then all the pioneers of hip hop sat together and solved this problem to find a solution by which, without violence, they could compete with one another; then, they agreed to compete with one another based on dance. After this, they start gathering on the same platform to compete with one another based on dance. This is how breaking culture has developed and become an element of hip-hop culture.

Effects of early 2000s hip-hop fashion on hip-hop culture

We have an earlier talk about the beginning of hip hop in the late 70s and early 80s, but at that time, it was not as famous as it’s now; due to its versatility, it started spreading worldwide. The whole world accepted these new fashion genres warmly, but in the early 2000s, hip-hop fashion became the most powerful fashion and influencer worldwide. In response to this rapid progress of hip hop fashion in the 2000s, record labels began to release bigger video budgets and label deals to the artist to showcase their styles on music platforms, videos, TV shows, Award Shows, and Magazines. Hip-hop culture is so famous nowadays because of the influence of hip-hop fashion in the early 2000s. In the late 80s and early 90s, hip hop was overly criticized; entering the 2000s and started attracting people worldwide, the entry of the new artist into hip hop fashion in the 2000s also influenced hip hop culture.