Hip-hop gave a generation a common ground that didn’t require either race to lose anything; everyone gained. ― Jay-Z,
Hip-hop culture starts with the music, but it’s so much more than that. Hip-hop is a lifestyle that incorporates decades of African American and inner-city history. From breakdancers in the south Bronx to the modern-day Def Jam poets and beyond, hip-hop culture incorporates art, politics, fashion, and technology.
Over the decades, we have seen the culture evolve. These days, it’s not just about the hat, but how you wear the hat; it’s not about wearing a particular chain, it’s that you’re wearing two chains.
Like any trend-based culture, hip-hop isn’t immune to seeing the old become new again. Case in points: Naughty by Nature are touring; we’re about to see a remake of The Warriors; and high-fashion is pilfering the classic black tracksuit that artists like Run-DMC made cool back in the day.
As we see more and more people reminiscing about classic sounds of the 70s with Grandmaster Flash and get fitted for Oakland Raiders Starter jackets, there’s no denying that nostalgia has become a big part of modern hip-hop.
What’s next? What artist from the Wayback Machine will make a triumphant return? What garment that we thought flamed out in 1998 will rise from the ashes? Will all future mixtapes be released on cassette??
Below are the odds of what I see making a comeback in hip-hop culture.
Odds on Hip Hop’s Next Throwback/Comeback
When you get older, there’s something comforting about hearing the music you grew up with. For the music industry, nostalgia is a money-making machine, and hip-hop artists know that they can cash in on your longing for your youth. This year and going into next, several seminal rap acts are going on reunion tours.
As mentioned, Naughty by Nature is embarking on a 25th anniversary tour. Digable Planets and The Black Eyes Peas are also looking to come back for a little extra love. Bad Boy Records is releasing a 20th anniversary box set and doing a Bad Boy Family reunion tour which will probably sell out arenas in the States.
Odds on next reunion tour:
- Fugees: 1/1
- DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince: 3/2
- Outkast: 3/2
- N.W.A.: 2/1
- G-Unit: 15/1
Recently the film and television industry have done great things for the hip-hop genre; from last year’s N.W.A. film that got the Oscar snub, to The Get Down, Baz Luhrmann’s love letter to the 1970s (currently on Netflix).
Hollywood studios see green when it comes to retelling of hip-hop’s greatest stories. There is already a Tupac film (All Eyez on Me) coming in November 2016, and we could see more biopics follow. Who’s going to be profiled next?
Odds on the next hip-hop biopic:
- Def Jam: 2/1
- Wu-Tang: 3/1
- G-Unit: 4/1
- J Dilla: 6/1
- Beastie Boys: 10/1
- The Roc Boys: 12/1
- The Notorious B.I.G. (a better one): 25/1
Odds on the next hip-hop TV/movie sequel/reboot:
- CB4 sequel: 4/1
- Friday sequel: 5/1
- White Men Can’t Jump sequel: 10/1
- Boyz n the Hood sequel: 15/1
- “In Living Color” reboot (TV): 20/1
- “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” reboot (TV): 50/1
Hip-hop has long been on the front lines of what’s trendy in fashion. It’s rather funny to see how things have progressed over the decades when it comes to urban wear. Just like the music, fashion trends always make a comeback; look at what we’re seeing from the A$AP Rocky/Guess retro collaboration. Even Drake is getting into style by wearing 90s brand Cross Colours.
From overalls to Fila jumpsuits to Adidas Gazelle sneakers, nods to the 80s and 90s abound in hip-hop fashion right now. There’s no reason to think we won’t see more of the past in the future. What’s next? Vogue says that the early-200os could be setting the trends over the next couple of years.
Odds on what fashion trends will make a comeback
- Baggy clothes: 2/1
- Trucker hats: 3/1
- Wallet chains: 4/1
- Oakland Raiders/Chicago Bulls Starter jackets: 6/1
- Headbands: 8/1
- Shutter shades: 10/1
- Bubble coats: 15/1
- The tall tee: 20/1
- Ski goggles: 25/1
- Ed Hardy: 50/1
- Moon boots: 55/1
- Kriss Kross-style backwards pants: 90/1
Not all elements of hip-hop’s past fit nicely into a category, but they could still make a comeback, nonetheless. Here’s what I see making a resurgence in hip-hop culture next …
- Increase in popularity of cassette tapes: 1/1
- Breakdancing/dance competitions at clubs: 3/2
- Graffiti wars: 2/1
- Two-way pagers: 50/1
- “Raise the Roof”: 500/1
Feature photo: public domain.