In the early 2000s, hip-hop culture had a lot to offer regarding music and fashion. The overly criticized music genre of the 80s and 90s entered the mainstream in the early 2000s attracting a large following from people all over the world. However, the hip-hop stars of the 90s such as Tupac and Biggie had passed while the remaining Wu-Tang group was almost breaking up. It is at this time when everything seemed to be fading that stars like Lil Wayne, Eminem, Ludacris, and 50-Cent entered the hip-hop world with a bang.
The entry of new artists into the mainstream hip-hop industry contributed significantly to the changes in the fashion industry. Some new trends such as wearing headbands dominated the market while some favorite fashion items of the 80s and 90s like baggy jeans remained significant in the early 2000s. Hip-hop stars like Jay-Z and 50-cent introduced a cloth line for their brands attracting large clientele from hip-hop enthusiasts. The gold teeth (grills) replaced the popular gold chains and bling of the 90s while excessive tattoos became a norm for most stars. Below are some of the significant trends in the 2000’s hip-hop fashion industry.
New Era Fitted Caps
Hip-hop artists such as Ludacris and 50-Cent wore the New Era caps to various public events and their early 2000 music videos. Rap artists like Fat Joe and Chris Brown also collaborated with the New Era Company in the promotion of the brand, which became the best-selling hat retailer at that time. Wearing the hat with the shiny gold sticker was a stylish way of proving the authenticity of the brand among hip-hop artists and enthusiasts.
Wearing long t-shirts that extended to the knees became the trend for most famous artists. The long t-shirts became a visible hip-hop trend in the 2000s with most artists rocking them during summer. The fact that you could purchase several of these tees for a dollar and the ability to match them with almost anything was reason enough to get one. However, they did not get last for long after the press criticized them badly and most clubs banned them.
Emerging Clothing Brands
The artists of the early 90s identified with various brands from other companies. For example, Aaliyah was renowned for sporting Tommy Hilfiger while Biggie identified greatly with Coogi sweaters. However, the early 2000s saw most rappers and hip-hop stars commercialize their labels. Some of the popular brands of that time include Rocawear by Jay-Z, Vokal clothing line launched in 2001 by Nelly, and the G-Unit clothing by 50 Cent. Other brands that started later in the decade include Yeezy by Kanye West.
Camouflage Clothing Items
The camo pants worn in a low-slung manner were a common 2000s trend for both men and women in the hip-hop industry. The pants not only allowed the stars to blend into a jungle-like look but also gave women an edgy look, which was important at the time. The women’s camo pants did not last long until the hip-hop stars replaced them with more feminine prints and fabrics. However, the men are still wearing camo clothing items to date.
Mitchell and Ness made throwback jerseys one of the coolest and trendiest outfits in early 2000. Most hip-hop stars wore them in their music videos creating a spur among the fans who purchased the Brooklyn Dodgers and other rare brands. Cheap imitations and knockoffs of the jerseys entered the market leading to increased demand among hip-hop fans. However, the trend did not last long before it began fading in the mid-2000.
Blingy moments are common in hip-hop fashion from the four-finger rings and the roped chains of 1980 to link chains of the ’90s. The 2000 hip-hop artists such as Lil’ Flip came with a flashy way of defining hip-hop fashion. The rapper appeared on different occasions sporting either platinum or diamond grills.
Sweatbands remained sports attire until early 2000 when hip-hop stars began wearing them on in their music videos and other non-athletic contexts. Rappers like Nelly had a way of incorporating many headbands at the same time. The more a headband matched your outfit, the better it appeared.
A trucker hat was one of the significant fashion items of early 2000. The big rig drivers wore the hats until the beginning of 2000 when they became a fashion staple for the hip-hop stars. Artists and hip-hop enthusiasts would customize the front to suit their style and preferences. Alternatively, they opted for an attractive logo that screamed fresh and trendy on wearing it. The hats did not last long in the industry before fading out.
The whites received negative backlash while wearing du-rags until Eminem and Mac Miller wore them. The fashion item became more of Eminem’s signature attire throughout the 2000s after he wore it during the launch of Shady, his clothing label. Du-rags attracted a large following from Eminem and Miller’s fans including the white men who were uncomfortable wearing the attire before.
Air Force Ones
This pair of kicks was one of the big things in the early 2000 hip-hop industry. The shoes depicted both the hip-hop and the basketball culture. An artist released a song and video about these shoes, so you can be sure that it was one of the most coveted attires of the time. Some people with these kicks would go extra lengths of placing a rubber band at the bottom of their pants to maintain the crisp look of the shoe.
It is evident that early 2000 was a defining moment for the hip-hop fashion industry. There was a significant transition from the more dramatic streetwear of the 90s and 80s to more subtle fashion items. Most women in hip-hop also changed their outfits from baggy jeans to more tight clothing. However, the artists and rappers continued to use music and to revolutionize people’s way of living and attract a large following all over the world.