Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>West Coast hip hop
Subject: hip hop
Culture: urban black American
Setting: West Coast America 1990s and after

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

* Sanders 1994 p


* Piazza 2017 p41
"GANGSTA HIP HOP STYLE  This style first spread in California, in the suburbs of LA, as the '80s were drawing to a close.  In terms of style the origins of the phenomenon can be traced back to two legendary names: Isaac Hayes and Iceberg Slim.  The former was a key figure of '70s soul, a native of Tennessee, whose musical homeland was Memphis.  That was where his groove captured the public, as did his clean-shaven head, huge gold jewelry, and the sunglasses he was never seen without.  Many African Americans consider him the first gangsta of music.  The latter artist, known in his Chicago days as Robert Maupin, took the pseudonym Iceberg Slim, and in the '70s he became a pimp icon.  His contribution to gangsta culture is visible, more than from an aesthetic standpoint, in his life choices and in the themes (autobiographical) he has written about, all of which have had to do with the criminal world of prostitution and drug pushing.  The gangsta image was updated and carried over into the '90s by the symbolic elements of the neighborhood gang, with a strong influence coming straight out of the Latino community.  Outfits typically included Dickies pants and pristine oversized T-shirts, Loc sunglasses, Chuck Taylor sneakers, Raiders snapback hats, and Raiders Starter jackets.  Everything (or almost everything) was black, underscoring a message that was deliberately meant to be troubling.  Posturing was aggressive, gestures were taken to an extreme, there was a kind of secret code; these gangstas would challenge anyone who got in their way, and you could see this both in the way they struck a pose and in the way they looked at you."