There has always been a kinship between fashion and rap, but recently the relationship has evolved into much more than mere shout outs of certain brands. Rappers are no longer passive advocates of fashion, but are becoming legitimate sartorial contenders in the high fashion stakes. As creators and influencers, they are now sought out for their knowledge and star power as much as their interest. Run DMC’s connection with Adidas paved the way for future rapper/brand co-signs. But, the A.P.C. x Kanye West collaboration, as well as A$AP Rocky’s close relationship with Shayne Oliver, of Hood by Air, and Jay Z’s MCHG song, “Tom Ford,” exemplify how these collaborations have evolved into artist/couture house relations.
While fashion has developed into a symbiotic partnership for some, many artists are still happy simply repping their favorite clothing brands. As a symbol of status, aspiration and success, brands will always be coiled through rap lyrics with the same enthusiasm as love, money and drugs. Whether a vehicle of cultural evolution or a representation of the tastes of the time, fashion’s place on the totem pole of hip hop heritage is definitive. With this in mind, we take you through the A-Z of designer brands, with a lyrical example of their standing in the rap community.*
*This list is by no means exhaustive or conclusive, feel free to add your own fashion lyrics in the comments.