Casual Hip-hop Fashion

From the late 1980s to the early 2000s, hip-hop culture spread rapidly in the United States and became an integral part of urban culture. The prevailing idea was to express the common issues of everyday life in words as they really are, as opposed to the idea of abstract and allegorical stage art. Along with the lyrics and messages of the songs, everyday and casual fashion styles were also dominant in the culture. The casual clothing such as baggy pants, baseball caps or beanies, workman's coveralls, and sports jerseys were a clear contrast to today's flashy hip-hop culture based on consumerist ideals.

Using a visual anthropological method, I analyzed 51 hip-hop music videos from the above-mentioned period and noted casual fashions. Whether it was a specific director's decision or an artist's own idea, from the collection below, we can see not only which brand dominated the casual clothing industry at the time, but also plenty of urban anthropological and urban ethnographic information such as how the artists expressed their hometowns, neighborhoods, and street names, religion, gender, and social class creatively.