Public Enemy

Public Enemy

Subcultures must exhibit a distinct enough shape and structure to make them identify different from their ‘parent’ culture. This is really important to note, as some styles may look very similar but in fact are very different on closer inspection. In this class we were looking at 80’s hip hop street style. Which can be described as wearing sporting clothes of well-known expensive brands to show their wealth. Even wearing large gold chains or car badges as jewelry to signify wealth and respect. Car badges weren’t the only things they would resignify they would also wear trainers but take the laces out making them useless for the original purpose. This also was a secret code within the subculture as a nod to other like-minded people. Hip hop is still very much about gaining respect and hierarchy in a sense to show off. Tagging is another example of this which would be a way of letting others know they were here. The vandals can seem big without getting caught by authorities.


Sources Used:

  • Whitley, Z (2011) Dressing Viciously: Hip-Hop music, fashion and cultural crossover In Adamson, Pavitt (eds) (2011) Postmodernism. Style and Subversion 1970-1990. V&A publishing, London
  • Kellner, D (1997) Aesthetics, Ethics and Politics in the films of Spike Lee In Reid, M (ed) (1997) Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing, Cambridge
  • Clarke, S; Hall, S; Jefferson, T; Roberts, B (1975) Subcultures, Cultures and Class In Gleder, K; Thornton, S (eds) (1997) The Subcultures Reader, Routledge, London pp100-111

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