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Urban Wear: Hip-Hop Culture as Identity

by Lashaunta Santos

When most people think of hip-hop or hear the word hip-hop, a number of things come to mind. In my opinion, the most popular thing in the hip-hop generation besides music is urban wear, and most young people wearing this urban wear are from urban neighborhoods. What I mean by urban wear is baggy shirts, baggy jeans, sneakers, and New Era fitted hats. It's mostly name brand clothes, such as Ecko, Ecko Red, Phat farm, Baby Phat, Enyce, Timberland Gear, Girbaud, Fubu, Sean John, N.B.A gear, Mecca, Polo, Rocawear, Akademiks, Vokal, and etc. It's important to be color-coordinated; what you wear on your feet should match your shirt. And then there's the bling bling: real gold jewelry, earrings, gold teeth, and long chains with big crosses, animals, or cartoon characters,. For instance my chain has a Tigger piece on it.

I hear most adults saying that the price of clothing and footwear are more expensive than back in their days. Such as Adidas shell toes, they were a little less than what they are today. I mean to me the prices of clothes and sneakers are sometimes crazy; for instance, a pair of Girbaud striped jeans ranges from about 70 to 80 dollars a pair. I mean don't get me wrong because I own three pairs. And all together the total cost was about 232 dollars and some change. The thing that I realized in the process of buying them was that when I looked at my tag for the price it said the suggested price was $71.99, our price $70.99, or $81.99, our price $80.00. I don't know how many people realize that it's just a dollar difference and in my opinion this isn't really nothing big. Besides you can get a burger off the dollar menu.

It's all about being 'on point' and when you're 'on point', you're popular or you have style. Being 'on point' means gear, hair, and the way you carry yourself. To be on point nowadays, you have to own at least a pair of Forces (Nike Air Force Ones) to be popular.

Sometimes the way we speak or look leads to stereotypes. You can not judge anyone by the way they dress, walk, talk, and look. Don't judge me if you don't know me, or don't judge a book by its cover. A lot of people that I'm cool with now didn't know me before. They judged me before getting to know me. Most of them said the same thing: "I thought you be in and out of jail", "on probation", or "a dyke." Because of the way I dress, people judged me: "come from the project", "look mean". The one I love the most is that "I thought me and you was going to have problems." I mean, I hear it all the time but it don't bother me none. All I can say is ask them about me now.

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