Words by Kendra Hunsley
Hip Hop: a pivotal element of the culture. It’s always been tied to style, from B-boy culture which hyped up sportswear brands such as Adidas and FILA to the introduction of ostentatiousness by way of luxury brands. Today, artists take their image just as serious as they do their 16 bars. Peep our list of the 10 Best Dressed Men In Hip Hop.
A best dressed male list without Rocky is just inconceivable. Whether he’s in a VLONE hoodie paired with ripped jeans and sneakers or a look straight off the runway, Rocky never misses a beat. His jig sits on the pinnacle. His extensive love and devotion for fashion is apparent, his style collaborator even went on record to say “I have never met anyone with a more natural sense of style than Flacko.” Rocky is known for fusing streetwear with high fashion and is amongst the few Hip Hop artists who are bridging the gap between the two worlds.
A tastemaker, Pharrell Williams is a true embodiment of the word. His individualistic style and eccentricity has afforded him fashion icon status. His influence on fashion is unrivaled, known as an early adopter of brands such as Bape, Pharrell is definitely one of the gatekeeper’s of cool. He is heavily influenced by Japanese style, evident in his playful and fun approach to fashion and affinity for colour and bold prints. His infamous Vivianne Westwood hat an the perfect example of his eclectic style and his ability to don an unsightly accessory and make it look cool.
“I dress to impress myself.”
Kanye West’s confidence shows in his clothing. He went from gold chains, bright-coloured palettes and shutter glasses (which all the cool kids were wearing btw) to more refined monotoned streetwear looks, while still maintaining edge. Ye is one of the most influential artists not only within Hip Hop but in the fashion sphere as well, putting a personal stamp on what’s hot right now and having hype beasts worldwide voluntarily flock in droves to cop the latest items.
Sartorial with an edge, Tinie Tempah never fails to look like he just stepped off a GQ shoot. Tempah is suave, known for his perfectly tailored ensembles while also dabbling in streetwear. The street style archives show Tempah constantly looking dapper, whether in a two piece green coloured suit or a full black ensemble paired with a trench coat. Tempah also remains close to his roots, donning African printed suits and matching printed shirt and short combos.
Who else you know can rock a platinum blond wig and still look jiggy? Andre 3000 is amongst the few artists within the Hip hop sphere who swerved left, cultivating his own unique style and take on fashion. He is known for his outlandish looks and bold colours, consistently being experimental with fashion and never taking himself too seriously – even while donning a suit. He has always been ahead of the times. His style is fearless, the paragon of ‘carefree black-boy’ before the phrase was even a thing.
Staying within the realms of UK street culture and sportswear – Skepta stays cozy. A member of Tracksuit Mafia, Skepta’s style is laid back and reminiscent of 90s street culture. Not one for high-end labels, Skepta stated ‘I threw all my Gucci in the bin as an effort to call out the phonies and superficial pea-cocking affiliated with high-end brands.” His anti-flashy persona goes against the Hip Hop ‘blueprint’. Instead of representing aspiration by means of possessions, Skepta chooses to minimize the gap between him and his young followers.
Barring those goofy moves, Drake’s grey wool turtle neck and that red Moncler jacket he rocked on his Hotline Bling music video was a fashion moment. Usually opting for a simplistic street aesthetic, The Canadian artist keeps it cool and comfortable.
Stating that his wardrobe comprises of 90% women’s clothing, Thugger is not here for your stereotypical views tied to black masculinity. Young Thug’s style is progressive, flamboyant and rebellious. His skin-tight jeans and painted finger nails makes him a modern day rock star. His gender-fluid approach to fashion has caused much discourse and ridicule. Finger snaps to Young Thug for being unapologetic and a middle finger in human form to society’s narrow notions on how a black man should dress.
Leather pants, puffer jackets, turtlenecks and motocross inspired looks sum up Ferg’s current steeze. Asap Ferg is ostentatious in every sense of the word and hardly ever leaves the house without his diamond grill. Ferg stated that he was dressed in Versace and Prada as a kid all thanks to his fashionable father, which reveals to us that this isn’t new to him.
Usually sporting ripped jeans, boots and a denim jacket, Big Sean’s style is casual and laid back, invariably giving off a sense of cool, without trying too hard.