THE CEREMONY FOR the 60th Grammy Awards is still two weeks away, but already music’s biggest TV night has made history.
For the first time, hip-hop artists dominate the majority of nominees chosen in the academy’s top categories, including record, album and song of the year.
But that sound you’re hearing isn’t champagne corks popping in celebration. It’s exasperated sighs that the Recording Academy only just discovered what the rest of the entertainment industry noticed back in the flip-phone era: Hip-hop, once an outlier, is now the status quo.
FOR HIS FALL2017 women’s fashion show, designer Marc Jacobs sent models down a stripped-down runway at New York’s Park Avenue Armory last February wearing tracksuits topped with thick gold chains, retro-style coats and eccentric headwear, a hat tip to hip-hop’s early days in the late 1970s and early ’80s.
Jacobs’ collection was inspired, he said, by two things: the 2016 Netflix documentary “Hip-Hop Evolution,” which chronicles the music genre’s rise from the ’70s through the 1990s, as well as memories from his own New York childhood.
“This collection is my representation of the well-studied dressing up of casual sportswear,” the designer explained in a statement. “It is an acknowledgment and gesture of my respect for the polish and consideration applied to fashion from a generation that will forever be the foundation of youth culture street style.”
Since the late 1970s, hip-hop has made its way from insurgent music genre to the defining cultural movement of our times. But it hasn’t been entirely about the music.
To look at fashion today is to understand that hip-hop has been an undeniable influence on the way we dress. From Run-DMC’s endorsement of Adidas and Sean Combs’ launching his own fashion label to Kanye West and Pharrell embracing the world of high-end European fashion, here’s a look at the players who led the way.
LIKE THE FICTIONAL Yoknapatawpha County where writer William Faulkner set many of his stories, the rapper and lyricist Kendrick Lamar, who is nominated for seven Grammy Awards including album of the year, has populated his hometown of Compton with stories, plots, images and recollections that map the contours of his city.
Mixing fact and fiction with rhythm and sound, Lamar since his debut mixtape in 2009 has become South L.A.'s most crucial storyteller, and he's harnessed the area's most notable corridor, Rosecrans Avenue, in service of those narratives.
Whether on tracks including "Backseat Freestyle," "Keisha's Song (Her Pain)" or "Money Trees" or in the videos for his tracks "Compton State of Mind" (a riff on Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind), "King Kunta" and "i," Lamar locates his creative world in the area in which he was raised.