What we know as Hip hop today was created in response to the disco culture in the 70s New York. The hip-hop culture started during impromptu block parties in boroughs like The Bronx by Africa-Americans and Caribbean immigrants.
Legends like Grandmaster Flash, DJ Kool Herc, and Grand Wizzard Theodore were some of the early pioneers. They initiated the practice of extending the dance break in soul and funk records using two turntables to create a breakbeat—a seamless sound loop you can dance to endlessly.
This gave rise to hip-hop music and later encouraged the use of existing music as samples to create something new, layering different tracks and instruments on to transform the original piece into a brand new song.
The relationship and history between Hip hop and fashion have been a very interesting one. Despite the criticism leveled against Hip hop, the genre preserved its distinct aesthetic and fashion style—unique from what you see in the mainstream fashion world—evolving and developing new ways over the years.
Hip-hop’s origins can be easily traced back to the African Americans who resided in the South Bronx—an economically depressed section of New York City—in the late 1970s. The culture has a distinctive style of dressing popular among inner-city youth and Urban Black Americans in New York City. Over the years, hip hop fashion, or rap fashion, later spread to other US cities such as Los Angeles.
Hip hop fashion’s biggest point of attraction is the uniqueness and street demeanor that surrounds it. The style has been a major contributor to street culture and has informed many prominent clothing brands and style trends.
Over the years, hip-hop fashion and style have gradually evolved majorly due to the influence of traditional African-American dressing. The major elements of style were headwear, large pants, and bright colors, which have been the source of inspiration for most brands and runways.
Music and fashion have always maintained a mutual creativity relationship that has produced some of the most dynamic apparel visualizations ever seen. The reciprocal influences between the two industries have been expressed in music videos and stage performances—some of which have created a lasting impression on societal culture.
Today, Hip hop fashion has grown beyond an expression of the attitude of the hip hop culture and has become a prominent fashion that’s widely accepted by varieties of ethnicities and peoples. Likewise, the music evolved from being a fringe subculture to becoming a leading force in pop culture and world fashion.