Hip Hop and its glorification of major western fashion brands
I think as a rhetorician it is very important for me to convey messages and using media as an outlet to incorporate an educational use of rhetoric is ideal. My aim is utilize the power of marketing and the tool of media to reframe its contemporary conception of being there for consumption to education. Fashion advertisement is a major influence on our society’s and if I can participate in a way that uplifts people and encouraged a healthy mind and unity I will feel prepared to teach the next generation’s leaders.
A simple example of fashion advertisement having a major influence in pop culture is the rhetoric used in hip hop music. Hip hop music stemming from the war for african american people to liberate their minds and spaces against the societal laws. And yet, with our music we continue to celebrate those same spaces that tried to suffocate us. We love the wealth when we get it and make sure to associate the branded once we make it to those new spaces. The american hip hop industry, the leader in the hip hop world commercially, states it clearly, that if you are wearing Raf Simmons, Rick Owens, Gucci, or Versace you’re top. With these brands reaching the hip hop crowd and leaking into street wear, while also obtaining to the high fashion world and some for these brands even being owned by a conglomerate (Gucci at Kering for example), which is an entity that essentially relies on class segregation and institutionalized racism, it becomes confusing at what we are representing with our music.
The most influential hip hop artists at the moment are doing what has been happening in hip hop music for the longest time–part of the reason for Louis Vuitton and Gucci’s adamant presence in african american street wear culture back in the 90’s. The old school luxury brands that entered the hip hop street wear culture were announced by the infamous Jay-Z, Nas, The Notorious B.I.G, and Junior M.A.F.I.A. back in the 1990’s along with a few others for labels such as Versace, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Armani. Now we have hip hop/Rap artists’ ASAP Rocky, Rick Ross, Kanye West, and Whiz Khalifa bringing a brands such as Raf Simmons and Rick Owens to the frontline of hip hop and streetwear fashion.
However, in these songs, are we giving too much credit to an industry that continues to just extort our culture. Yet in the same scope african-american art influence and its artists have broken into the spaces usually too exclusive to exist in are making global impressions. With this elevation to how we are regarded as a race or community, we do have a duty to recognize how much credit we give to an industry consistently saved by us without our due credit.
Statistics of designers mentioned in Rap music: https://www.gq.com/story/statistical-analysis-of-rap-and-fashion-designers
Biography of Pick Owens line: