Apparel: Hip Hop's New Obsession

Rules are meant to be broken, that's one thing for certain. And while many of today's artists, entrepreneurs, and creatives alike tend to agree, no one seems to understand that more than today's designers. Carefree, and virtuously fearless, the fashion industry's rising talent have been feeding the culture it's fair share of unforgettable. Midnight Studios, Off White, Vlone, and more have changed the industry completely. Yet, the ideology surrounding today's brands, in many ways, resonates deeply with that of physical copies of music. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009. Sophomore year of college. It was one of those rare days that made 11 am in the middle of the week feel like a Friday. Nothing could go wrong. Class was finished (as far as I was concerned) so I grabbed my wallet, two tokens and made my way to the bus en route to the ancient artifact known as F.Y.E. Kid Cudi's 'Man on the Moon: End of Day' released in stores that day and I boycotted the radio two weeks prior in efforts to consume the album as organically as possible. I finally made it back to my dorm, ripped off the plastic, popped in the CD, and lost it. 

Who knew having an infinite library of music at your finger tips wouldn’t quite hack it?

It's no secret that the evolution of share site software like Napster ultimately lead to the demise of the compact disc. And as record labels scrambled to fill in the blanks, many fans were left looking elsewhere to fill the void. Who knew having an infinite library of music at your finger tips wouldn't quite hack it? Something was missing. This was proven once more as the introduction of Tidal and Apple's streaming services only added the irrelevancy of physical CDs. Luckily, apparel has found a way to take its place.

There's no question that the packaging behind many CDs, Vinyls, and in some cases tapes, have added to the hysteria surrounding artists. Think differently? Just ask Nardwuar. The gift bearing hip hop historian who's knowledge of your favorite artist is sure produce shock value every time. Unwrapping the packaging of a latest release was rewarding to say the least. Designers today look to restore that feeling. 

Vlone pop up shops draw lines that circle the block. Yeezy releases sell out in seconds. Supreme sold a brick. Tyler had a fashion show, and nailed it. And OVO created a slogan kids hash tagged in to oblivion all summer 16 -- later resurfacing in his latest look book. I think it's safe to say that hip hop's new found addiction isn't going anywhere soon, and for good reason.