Monday, October 11, 2010

Ralph Lauren And Dipset: A Love Affair

I've joked on both Twitter and Tumblr before about the sheer amount of Polo references in Dipset's lyrics, especially as of late.  For those unfamiliar The Diplomats, more commonly known as Dipset, are a Harlem based rap crew who recently reunited after dominating the east coast rap scene in the early 2000's.  Their infatuation with the brand seems to be a direct extension of the Lo-Head or Lo-Life movement popularized in 1990's New York.  Up until recently Dispet member Juelz Santana had been the most vocal about his love for Mr. Lifshitz's various wears, specifically Rugby.  I'll let him spell it out for you, "If it ain't the Gucci or the Louie then it's Polo or it's Rugby."   Things came to a head this weekend when Dipset affiliated rapper Vado (who has also rapped this gem: "I love Rugby to death. Made that my baby's name.") released his new single "Polo" from the upcoming album Slime Flu.  Yes, this is a major hip-hop radio single dedicated to all things Ralph.  Despite rap's unyielding connection with extremely high-end goods, Dipset seem drawn to the everyman luxury of Polo.  The love affair between Dipset and Ralph Lauren is interesting to me as it represents a perfect snapshot of Ralph's success here in America.  Regardless of what he set out to do, the man did not create a brand.  He created a lifestyle - a very specific lifestyle that an entire country aspired to.  Even African American kids from Harlem who had dreams of ruling hip-hop.  And that very lifestyle is still making it rain for RL to this day.



[Those jeans look familiar.]

-L.A.S

12 comments:

  1. Dude I bet these guys like Nigo and Mr. Rogers. I'm thinking Rugby club collar shirt with madras tie and matching patent leather Bapestas?

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  2. L,
    A few weeks ago while having drinks outside a restaurant in the village with some friends, someone crossed the street came up to our table and shouted "Yeaaa Polo!" while pointing to his and then pointing at mine. Somehow I don't think this is what Ralph had in mind. But hey, to each his own.

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  3. Glad to hear you fuck with Dipset.

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  4. Pretty soon, RL is going to be a popular as Tommy Hilfiger.

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  5. why are the jeans familiar? what are they?

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  6. Anon @6:46- They are these patchwork Rugby jeans that came out F/W 2010, but are off the site now. I think they were special edition or something.

    I recognized them immediately.

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  7. I feel like it's more of a moving along with the surface-trend notion of being "retro" and "high fashion"...rather than actual care or respect for Olde York/Golden Era pioneer shit like the Lo Lifes or any knowledge of how the brand made it's way into the culture. Some typical young dumb ass uptown get-fly/look cute shit. I can say this as a seasoned New Yorker since '81. The only thing separating these cats from Kanye West or that funny lookin' cat in Sa-Ra claimin' "Lo Head" is the fact that street cats and faggot Hypebeast coattail floater kids actually dig Dipset's music cause of its grittier aesthetic. Otherwise, you'd have videos of real Lo heads shootin' more videos in Brownsville and on the Deuce throwing threats in Vado's and Juelz' direction. Shit, maybe it will happen. It's just easier to bully and make a target out of an emo rap primadonna like Mr. West than someone who's actually tied to the streets in some way shape or form.

    Arguments about credibility aside, I just feel funny giving a nod of acknowledgment to a cat who was rockin' True Religion tuxedos and the corny bent brim prep cap steez last Spring...not to mention the swag jacking of some early-2000 Nore slang (yeah I know son did a joint with CNN...but c'mon now). If you go uptown, most of the kids are dressin' like this. The Polo brand never really faded into obscurity in NYC, just that heads didn't find it as en vogue to rap about when compared to Chip & Pepper, Rock & Republic, Prada sneakers, and the lame Gucci/Louie shit that hasn't been remotely fresh since the Dapper Dan days. I find it to be more a reflection of today's rapidly increasing focus on split-second consumerism, more than anything else... anyone can sell a gram or 3 and blow it on some real/knock off African Lo 28th street steez.

    Okay, so I'm seemingly stuck on the credibility thing... I'm a bitter, old, Hip Hop snob...sue me.

    And while on the topic...C.O.C./C.O.T.C. >>> Dipset...all day. I don't care how "retro" that sounds...this newfangled Dipset shit is for the same kids who think Max B and Frenchie's mumblin' asses are rap gods.

    Although, SDE-era Cam >>>>>> most of your favorite rappers.

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  8. Word to your mother.

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  9. So fucking terrible. These dudes are probably reppin' Hollister as well. Douchebags.

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  10. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzYaNjkOwuA

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  11. Were these gentlemen at Myopia Polo grounds in Hamilton, MA filming a video during the summer for the new song? I asked them about it and was told it was about a love of RL Polo.

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  12. @Geng-Grizzly-

    One of the first people on the internet I've seen that speaks the way you do while maintaining good grammar. Good job buddy.

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