Kanye West: King of Lazy but Edgy Hip Hop Fashion

“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”

I know that people are sick of music industry’s over-exposed, “L’enfant terrible,” Kanye West, creator of awesome beats and forever of bruised ego, but people should do what I do – buy the albums, watch the performances and look at the pictures. Just block out all the random ridiculous that flows out of his mouth. Ignore the pointless gossip. It’s not like he’s chasing after jailbait or shooting up the place and his music is a welcome diversion from the death cult that rap music has turned into.

So yeah. I’m a fan. That’s right, I still LIKE Kanye and I don’t care who knows. And “Stronger” has the greatest beat I ever heard in my life and is definitely the greatest use of a sample. Who cares if he’s whiny and temperamental? A lot of creative people are. He can at least make fun of it.


BTW: I
hate the SNL site. It is everything the Daily Show archive is not. It’s like they make it hard for you to enjoy their clips on purpose.

Since I’m still working on my latest chapter in the Michelle Obama Fashion Retrospective I thought I’d analyze the fashion of Ye who is in Paris, France with his fiancee, Alexis, taking in the ritzy fashion shows.

Kanye, despite the goofiness is a “fashion forward” guy. I checked out his fashion/style blog via Gawker today and was somewhat impressed with what I saw. It’s flawed and kind of pretentious, but it’s different in a good way, demonstrating that the rusty wheels in his noggin are a-turnin’ and burning with inspiration.

And ‘Ye is willing to wear that inspiration in the form of attire that might make other men flinch. His look is on that border between “nerdy” and “edgy,” much like Pharell Williams. And I do enjoy how both musically and fashionably he likes to bring the strange-o, the Po-Mo and the retro at any given time.

So let’s go to France and check out the couple along with (of all people) Rihanna and Vivica Fox as they appear to be the only black pop stars at Paris’ Fall/Winter 08 fashion week.

The fashion of “I don’t give a Yankee doodle. It is raining outside!” at the Stella McCartney Show.

I call this style “dressing in the dark.” There was no planning. There was no effort to be sophisticated or novel. They literally picked up what was lying on the floor, sniffed it to see if it was funky then threw it on. A good part of high fashion is dressing like you don’t give a shit if people see you in old man emerald green pants and a gray hoodie.

Again with the sunglasses. Never satisfied with just wearing a suit Kanye goes once again for the kitsch of “I don’t care” by rocking a pair of those infernal white ’80s era sunglasses with a ten cent Goodwill eyeglasses strap. Hee and Kim are pictured here at the Roberto Cavalli party.

All right. Who invited Vivica? Does she even still work for a living?

A gray trench and a white bow tie. Very downgrade swanky. It was like he wanted to tip toe up to the edge of posh and decided to stop just shy of “eccentric trust fund baby.” The glasses, which are identical of the ones my dad has worn for 35 years because “they were the cheapest,” really push this further into the eccentric column, which was likely the intent. This look also makes me think of Christian Bale in “American Psycho” meets Taco from “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”

I thought this was kind of cute until …

I saw that it was a gaudy, over-sized sweatshirt with royal blue shoes. The shoes are cute as they remind me of a pair of blue shoes I had when I was 12. I loved them because they looked great with my blue stockings, matching skirt and festive holiday shirt. With my hair flowing down my back, free from the ponytail and braids jail it was normally in, I felt stunning at my piano recital. Sure I’d barely practiced for, but I still looked as fierce as a 12 year old in 1990 could. Fleur de Lise be damned! But my point to Rhianna is she is not me at 12 and this is not 1990. She looks cute and in a way she’s kind of pulling off the tights as pants with a sweater being worn as a dress, but it screams “I tried really hard” as opposed to Kanye and Alexis’ effortless, natty meets lazy chic.

Vivica Fox is proof that even a marginal celebrity who hasn’t worked in a while can still wiggle her way into lush fashion parties in Paris brimming with free alcohol and swag. She looks so aspirational in this pick. It’s like she’s saying, “Yes! You too can make it from a marginal character on ‘The Young and the Restless’ and a failed sitcom with Patti LaBelle and fake your way to the top!”

9 thoughts on “Kanye West: King of Lazy but Edgy Hip Hop Fashion

  1. black snob, your blog is heavy! i love it.as for kanye, he is not heavy lol. I can’t stand him. I just find him so boring and really tired in terms of how he thinks he is so ahead of the game. Just like Rihanna ? This girl’s ascent knows no limits considering she cannot sing. Looks can get you far clearly!Okay enough meanness for today 🙂

  2. aulelia: **sticks fingers in ears** La la la, I can’t here you!See? That’s what keeps me from hating Ye. If I never hear him talk I can still enjoy his music. So I work very hard to avoid his gigantic ego by not watching award shows or any interviews he may give.That said, I don’t really “get” Rhianna either. She’s cute enough, I guess, although I don’t see what the big deal is. She looks like some girl I’d see on the street. Her face doesn’t pop. And as tired as I get of Beyonce from time to time, at least I understand the whooping and hollering over her. Rhianna’s vocals are really nasal and thin, the main success from “Umbrella” was the production, as with “Don’t Stop the Music.” They’re both great pop songs where you can insert any marginal singer and eek out a hit (a la Paula Abdul’s 90s career. Loved “Rush Rush” and “Blowin’ Kisses in the Wind” but damn, she could NOT SING!)But outside of those two songs (and I’m pretty much burnt out on “Umbrella”), I hate the rest of her catalog from “SOS” to “Pon de Replay.”

  3. @the black snob: lol, I am a Beyonce stan to the limit, I won’t even pretend. However, Rihanna is a brilliant example of what type of black girl the commercial music industry likes: the industry wants a black girl who looks white, I am sure that is no secret to all of us who blog but it just fascinates me to no end. One commenter on my blog made a great point on noting that Rihanna made the cover of US cosmopolitan and then went on to say how many dark-skinned girls make it ? I really thought about that for ages because it is very true. Yet, for producers and even general rappers, colourism does not come into it as seriously as it does for female singers. I am going off on a tangent no doubt but for me, it all boils down to the fact that Rihanna and Beyonce are embraced by the fashion pack because they look like malleable (ie, eurocentric). We all have a long way to go as black people.

  4. aulelia: I TOTALLY agree. I remember watching a special on BET (back when they actually gave a rat’s ass in the early ’90s) about how most of the girls featured in music videos where either bi-racial or very light skinned blacks. And nothing has really changed.Black people rarely admit in public that this is an issue, that the ideal beauty in black America is the woman who has the smallest amount of blackness in them.I, as a light skinned person, always felt horrible when men who I dated or were boyfriends would “jokingly” say they would dump me if I ever cut my long hair. The weirdest guy I dated was one who wanted to brush it. Then my ex-husband, who constantly went on and on about how he preferred dark skinned women and about how beautiful they were, married me and admitted that as a boy his dream was to have a pretty light skinned girlfriend with long hair. He was very dark skinned and had a lot of insecurities based on it. After awhile I couldn’t deal with his combination of being both controlling and his hate/jealousy over me with his presumption that I had it easier because I was light.My family is full of people who are dark to light, bright and almost white, so I didn’t see what the big deal about skin tone was. Our family was more obsessed with weight strangely. I didn’t even think I was light skinned since at my elementary school the two lightest girls there were worshiped for their beauty and I was getting beat up by the swings.It wasn’t until we moved to the “white” end of the school district when people kept assuming my father was white and when I put my arm against my palest friend and found we were the same color that I accepted that I must be light skinned. I still don’t “feel” light (possibly because despite the lightness I don’t have white features), but my parents did practically raise me to be a black radical.And I almost was in college. Man, I sounded angry in those newspaper columns.So now I’ve gone even farther off topic than you, Aulelia! But you’re right, skin color and hair quality are the obsessions that black folks NEVER want to talk about. I still remember the stares of the black women in the salon when I had my hair cut short. They thought I was nuts. And I still remember being pissed at Damon Wayans because the dark skinned daughter disappeared on his show with Tisha Campbell and was replaced by a bi-racial girl who was so light she didn’t even make sense in their family (a la “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” before they brought in the second, lighter “mom” Daphne Maxwell Reid.)And don’t get me started on the Cosby Show. “Sandra” and “Denise?” What the hizzell was that?

  5. @the black snob — Your anecdotes are so interesting. Colourism is something that is so ingrained in black people all of nations that I am shocked out of my mind that it has not finished us yet. So many people in my home country of Tanzania bleach their skin and they come out looking two-tone with light faces and dark feet and it just makes me wonder why? My mum even told me that in my tribe, in the old days lol, a bride who was lighter fetched a higher price than a darker girl. It is this exact premium that has spillt over and made people like Rihanna starlets.Rihanna is a troll who cannot sing but because she is light-skinned and has light eyes, she is thus seen as better even by our own! It is scandalous and of course, I am preaching to the converted as all black people know this. What I find peculiar is how colourism does NOT affect male men in rnb & hip hop. 50 cent, timbaland and even Kanye are all dark skinned brothers who are on top of their game (yes, it killed me to say that lol about Kanye) but somehow the light skin thing = success does not seem to ring true. Pharrel fronted an LV campaign ages ago — was it wholly to do with his star power or the fact that he is black and asian and thus “exotic” for the mainstream eurocentric audience ? I think it is fantastic that your parents raised you as a black radical as you said. That is something that is wholly lacking in the United Kingdom, where I live for sure.Did you know that something crazy like 50% of black british guys date white women ? This country is tiny so it pretty much includes all of them. So actually maybe I will give Kanye credit because Alexis is black and beautiful! * – ps/ I won’t go off topic again lol on another post.

  6. OMG — I never realised they replaced the darker girl on the wayans sisters… that is appalling!I like Tisha Campbell – she looks like she represents lol.

  7. i love kanye’s style. and his blog. great post. i think black men like him and pharrell should be the ones young black men are modeling themselves after (fashion wise)…not the jerseys and baggy jeans look that is sooooo old.

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