This dispute is not over a coast, colors, or even the type of music being put out by artists. Instead this new rap quarrel is about jeans. More specifically the emergence of skinny jeans versus the more traditional baggy style jeans that hip hop made popular (some say infamous) during the 1990s.
Artists who made a name for themselves in the 1990s and early 200os rocking the more traditional baggy sized jeans have found themselves on the outside looking in, as they watch newer acts who are more in tune with the fashion of today’s younger fans and who wear the retro slim fitting jeans. These more seasoned artists have begun to feel the heat from the newer contemporaries and as a result it has become a trending battle topic in their music.
Jay-Z helped spark the controversy with his much talked about verse on T.I.’s “Swagger Like Us” in 2008: “Can’t wear skinny jeans cause my knots don’t fit/no one on the corner got a pocket like this/so I rock Roc jeans cause my knots so thick.”
This appeared to be the battle cry for all the so-called traditionalists in hip hop, and opened the floodgates for every baggy jean wearing artist to talk on the subject as everyone from Joe Budden to Jadakiss to Fifty Cent has now chimed in on it.
It’s not just the old heads speaking on the topic though. Up and coming Southern California duo The New Boyz have even gone so far as to title their debut, “Skinny Jeans and a Mic”.
The guys have gained huge notoriety just for their unique fashion sense, and they’ve made the most out of the attention to their tight fitting jeans. Their latest single “Cricketz” is an anthem for the skinny jean tribe in hip hop as the catchy hook chants:
“ Da da da New Boyz da da da tight jeans/ Da da da New Boyz da da da tight jeans/ OMG! why they jeans so tight/ O my O my/ OMG! why they jeans so tight /Like yea I rock skinnies/ yea I rock yea I yea I rock skinnies (so what) /Yea I rock yea I yea I rock skinnies (so what) /YeaI rock yea I yea I rock skinnies (if you got something to say then please step up)”
The New Boyz aren’t the only people in hip hop wearing the new style as artists like Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco and Pharrell Williams who are all known for their keen fashion sense have become pro-skinny.
I myself am stuck somewhere in the middle when it comes to the battle over our jeans. I don’t wear the oversized baggy jeans that were so popular growing up, but I’m not prepared to go all the way in and be pro skinny jeans.
I would have to say I’m more of a regular fit jeans kind of guy, not oversized, but not too slim either. I’m not opposed to one more than the other and I actually think there’s room for both in fashion. It really just depends on the individual and what they’re trying to do.
Are you repping skinny or staying old school baggy?