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#BEinfluential: 12 Hip Hop Influences in Today’s Fashion

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The world as we see it through cosmic covered lenses of those we choose to emulate, those we choose to use as sources of inspiration, those whom we allow to paint an image of the world and what is expected, is surely tailored after many of our culture’s most influential. For decades, our culture has lent the most prominent and successful movers and shakers the creative license to build brands and empires birthed from isms and lyrics.

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In this piece, I will showcase 12 industry insiders that have shaped and molded trends in the fashion world. Since Hip Hop hit the scenes, the fashion evolved as result of the lyrics BEing spewed from the mouths of the 16 bar architect. First, the MCs would rap about the hoods and experience; as the money poured in, the lyrics BEcame more about cars and baBEs, and the chic had to BE laced…. So then the designer names hit the airwaves and videos. Designers loved this opportunity, it brought light to labels that an only otherwise elite culture of fashionistas & fashionados were privy to know and/or pronounce.

Case & Point:  
Lil Kim – “If I was you I’d hate me too
Louis Vuitton shoes and a whole lot of booze” …………… 
“Y’all rock Versace and y’all went out and bought it
I rock Versace and y’all know I ain’t paid for it”

When Queen BEe spit these lyrics, fan went crazy and sales went followed suit.. NOT COMPARING … but Micheal Kors would not BE the household name within the urban demographic, if not for the ushering of Nikki Minaj by way of video and airwaves.

The #BElist:

Sean “P. Diddy” Combs – to date, Mr. Combs’ net worth is estimated at $735 million. We all know the story of this Iconic Bad Boy Mogul breaking into the scene with the likes of the Legendary Notorious B.I.G, Mary J. Blige and Faith Evans. Mr. Combs has amassed his future with his record label, restaurants, as a movie producer, Revolt Tv, and as the recipient of the Council of Fashion Designers of America award for his “Sean by Sean Combs” & Sean John clothing lines. For his continuous hustle and unyielding drive to stay relevant, we salute you as BE Magazine’s #BEinfluential.

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Russell Simmons – a mogul with much respect and a fortune estimated 2 years ago at over $340 million. One of the most prominent Fathers of the Hip Hop movement has BEen setting standards for well over 3 decades. Mr. Simmons found over 3 different successful fashion labels: American Classics, ArgyleCulture, and Phat Farm; also partnering with his previous wife Kimora Lee on the hugely successful Baby Phat. We owe much of the late 80’s and 90’s fashion trends to his brands as the urban market definitely identified with the Simmons’s interpretation of urban wear. Mr. Simmons, we salute you as BE Magazine’s #BEinfluential.

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Shawn Carter aka Jay Z  is reportedly worth $550 million to include a myriad of franchise ownership deals, endorsements, clothing & footwear, jewelry, fragrance, and the list goes on. Everyone knows the foundation of The Rocawear brand BEing Jay Z and then partner Damon Dash. The brand has reportedly BEen selling upwards to $700 million merchandise a year.  This uber successful mogul has tapped every possible market and is still growing. Mr. Carter, we salute you as BE Magazine’s #BEinfluential.

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Launched in 2012, this would not BE a Hip Hop list if we did not include Weezy, the founder of TruckFit, reportedly growing his empire but sits nicely at an estimated $135 million. From the moment, Lil Wayne hit the scene, we noticed an influx of young “thugs” (that what they call us, really, just saggy pants) hit the streets and the strip clubs were turnt… Clothing inspired by Skateboard and active wear, the collections have proven to BE one that merges hoods and boroughs without the divisive color wars. “Homeboys” have BEcome more comfortable in wearing graphics and trendy garments. Mr. Carter, for your contribution in fashion, we salute you as BE Magazine’s #BEinfluential. 001

Model, Designer, MC, Lyrical Genius, FashionadoPharrell Williams is all the and a bag of chips, LOL….. Nah but really, this guy doesn’t fit into any mold every deemed his genre nor let societal influences define his journey. As creative founder & partner in both the Billionaire Boys Club & Ice Cream brands, along with the aforementioned accolades, Pharrell has built and empire of over $120 million. Selling mostly polos, t-shirts, joggers, hats, sneakers, and accessories, is not his pure claim to fashion fame. This guy break the barrier and also dress to impress at every turn. From his admirable Hermes man-bag collection to his internet breaking Vivienne Westwood topper, Pharrell knows what works for him and make no apologizes for it. For your unyielding individual presence and fashion contribution, Pharrell Williams, we salute you as BE Magazine’s #BEinfluential.

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Kayne West – is coming through in all ways. He recently debut his Yeezy Ready-To-Wear collection in partnership with Adidas Originals for New York Fashion Week. This happens on the heels of closing his creative partnership with Nike. The visionary has earned himself a handsome net worth of $130 million and growing. Kayne can BE seen on any given day in Balmain, Givenchy, Dior, and the list goes on. He is definitely a fashionado and for that Kayne, we salute you as BE Magazine’s #BEinfluential.

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Lil Kim – now we all know how this lady runs the bars, lol.. It’s not one night you hear Lil Kim dropping and the club don’t go wild. Still Relevant… LOL… Her earnings and royalties over the years tally up to a net-worth of $18 million. Now, in regards to fashion, the Queen Bee was pretty much the first female rapper to spit lyrics and shine on how she rocked designer labels. From Versace to Chanel, Lil Kim brought a whole new woman to the lime light in the hoods and urban culture. Woman were now getting a peek into what the elitest on the Upper East were privy to. Although, some of these new patrons couldn’t pronounce the names on the garments, they were selling kidneys to get the new Givenchy hand bag or anything Dolce & Gabanna. Lil Kim, Mother Bee, for your I AM WOMAN, I AM SEXY contribution to fashion, we salute you as BE Magazine’s #BEinfluential.

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T.I. – founder and creator of A.K.O.O. which stands for “A King Of Oneself”. Atlanta’s king delivers some of the BEst streetwear available through this A.K.O.O. brand. Nestled at a net worth of $50 million, Mr. Harris BElieves that when a man wears his clothing, he is joining the revolution to BEcoming the BEst man he can BE. T.I. himself is always dapper, I mean well dressed to the nines, and as we say in the black family, “Dat Boy Sharp”. Mr. Harris for what you have done to clean up your personal image, what you bring to the fashion industry, and for the good you do in the community, Sir, we salute you as BE Magazine’s #BEinfluential.

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Nikki Minaj – well what can we not say about the Bodacious Barbie? When Nikki hit the scene, women immediately starting doing squats and wanting to know if “he butt was real”. The comes the waist trainer, well Nikki, today we are giving you accolades for inspiring women to want your body. LOL. You have inspired an entire culture of small waist, thick hips, and fancy weaves. Although the female rapper also has the Nikki Minaj clothing line available at Kmart and her perfume line which is an awesome contribution to the net worth of $54 million. Onika, we salute you as BE Magazine’s #BEinfluential.

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Andre 3000 –  I don’t even know where to BEgin with this soldier right here. Andre BEnjamin is definitely an influential staple in both Hip Hop and Fashion. Sitting nicely at $45 million, the icon has done the world a great service by BEing the great creative genius that he is. From millions of albums sold and thousands of jaw dropping stage outfits, Mr. BEnjamin took his creative juices to the masses by creating The BEnjamin Bixby Clothing Line, sold at Barney’s and Neiman Marcus. For the stained memories of nothing less than excellent performances and the continued expansion of the BEnjamin Bixby Clothing Line, we salute you as BE Magazine’s #BEinfluential.

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When high fashion design house BEgan to targeted the Street Wear market, the market value rose from an estimate $60 billion in 2011 to $290 billion as of 2014. DO WE SEE OUR POWER ???

The picks #11 & #12 are not actual Hip Hop artist but each has contributed to the strong presence of the brand on the Hip Hop Trend Report, these Design Houses are doing it and doing it well… (if you can afford it) & Honorable mention goes to the House of Versace… Just BEcause we love them!

Givenchy – not a Hip Hop artist but Designer Riccardo Tisci has successfully tapped into the street market with collections reflection what the culture hold dear; opulence and exclusivity. With the launch of printed / graphic t-shirts and the widely received sneaker releases, Givenchy has BEcome a very sought after Label in the urban markets.

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Guiseppe Zanotti – must I say more? Over that past few years, the House of Zanotti has reached unparrelled sales in the street wear market with the emergence of their high end sneaker line. Both women and men are flocking to stores to drop $500 – $2000 in a pair of sneakers. The Label has even partnered with Kid Cudi to design a pair of Puff Strap sneakers.

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Versace – always the forefront of fashion, from Haute Couture to Streetwear to Loungewear. The House of Versace is synonymous with the word luxury. For eons, rappers would were Versace eyewear and belts, then Kimore Lee Simmons acquired the late Gianni Versace’s bed & place settings, the world went mad.. LOL .. Donatella Versace has keep the reigns of the illustrious House and consumers adore anything with the Medusa’s head.

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About the author

Maurice J. Lawyer has written 332 articles for BE Entertained Magazine

  • Keandris Cousin

    Out of all of the Hip Hop influencers I think Nicki Minaj has had the biggest influence on my community, simply because he style extends from fashion and gets more into makeup and hair and an attitude. I love Nicki and her boldness and how she reflects that in her personal style and her wardobe!

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