Two decades in the game is evidence enough that Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon has influenced countless rappers’ lyrical style, but when The Chef stopped by “RapFix Live” on Wednesday, he was made aware of another significant influence: fashion.
“RFL” host Sway pointed out that Rae and the others members of the seminal hip-hop collective from Staten Island made brands like Ralph Lauren’s Polo line iconic, even playing back a clip of Chris Brown explaining how the rap pioneer’s fashion in the video for “Can It Be All So Simple” affected his own sense of style all these years later.
“Raekwon had this jacket on in the ’Can It Be All So Simple’ video, and I was like, ’I need that,’ ” Breezy told MTV News. “I remember calling my homie Mike B like, ’Yo, I need this jacket. This jacket is like $3000 online so I need you to understand that we gon’ have to look for this. Get it. I don’t care, I need it.’
Lex Diamonds, draped in a classic Fila sweatsuit — as an example of the look he designates as “Fly International” — thanked Breezy for paying homage and shared why he has such a passion for fashion. “I was a fashion whore,” Shallah told Sway. “I grew up like that because when you come from the poor neighborhoods, that don’t necessarily mean you broke. So we came up watching the older dudes around the way get fly. We looked at the people who looked good and we want to emulate that. So for me, that was always a part of my thing because all my homies was fresh. We ain’t have $50 in our pockets, but we had $400 worth of clothes on. All that to me was part of living in hip-hop culture.”
The Only Built 4 Cuban Linx MC recently worked with the always fashion-forward Kanye West on Cruel Summer’s “The Morning,” but didn’t fully agree with one of ’Ye’s most recent fashion choices.
“Would I rock a kilt?” Rae asked, referring the leather skirt Yeezy wore onstage for the 12-12-12 benefit concert for Hurricane Sandy victims in New York City last year. “Yeah, I’ll rock it in Ireland. I’ll rock it in Dublin. Me personally, I been out there. I had a show that day. If I woulda had one, I woulda said, ’Yo, give me the Burberry lookin’ one.’ But I wouldn’t actually rock it onstage. Sometimes you wanna jump out the window but everybody can’t do it. So when you see these guys challenge this fashion, it’s because they feel they put it together right. And at the end of the day, that’s all you gotta look at is how you walk out the door.”
Did Raekwon influence your style? Let us know in the comments!