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Hip Hop Shoes Defined: It’s all about Attitude

 

If you’re hip hop and hot to shop, you’ll know the hip hop shoe when you see it, because it looks good on you!

 

Hip Hop Shoes

by Lance LaHara

Hip Hop Shoes—yeah, it’s all about attitude.
Hip hop shoes—here’s the hip hop beatitude:
You can be small-town kitten or urban ferret,
Ain’t what you wear, but how you wear it!

I’m a word freak, a culture freak, and a shoe freak, so when my editor suggests that I write about hip hop shoes, I put on my interview slip-ons and hit the street to find out just what hip hop shoes really signifies. Come to think of it, first I need to nail down what the basic phrase “hip hop” actually signifies.

Who put the hip hop in hip hop shoes?

Hip hop at its narrowest definition is all about rap—not just rap music, but rap lifestyle. But hip hop lifestyle in 2005 takes in everything from down-in-the-hood gangsta reality to uptown gangsta pose, and even beyond all that to the suburban white youth on mom’s charge card to worker bees of all colors who spend their wage on hip hop accessories like hip hop shoes.

Say what?

What I’m saying is I tried to find a working definition of hip hop so I could define hip hop shoes, and the best I could come up with (after pounding the hip hop streets to query hip hop characters) is that hip hop is less a particular music or style of dress, and more a new variation on the classic designation “hip.”

Hip hop is hip, period

Hip of course means “cool,” “with it,” “the current thing” and any number of other archaic phrases that boil down to “as unlike my parents, teachers, and other authority figures as I can get.” And that primal youth urge to be in every way different from the old folks has been going on since way before hip hop was called “hep” by grandpa and grandma.

All right, okay, but I’m shopping for hip hop shoes. So which hip hop shoes are hip?

The more essential question goes something like this: are there hip hop shoes like there were punk rock shoes (combat boots, etc), disco shoes (Italian dance pumps), and hippie shoes (knee-high moccasins)?

Answer: It just don’t seem to be that way. Hip hop shoes encompass so many styles that it’s more about the individual wearing them—if the person is hip hop, the shoes are hip hop.

Check out the ads for hip hop shoes: you’ll see everything from expensive department store women’s high trend flimsies to Jordan retro basketball shoes.

So my shoes are hip hop if I am hip hop. See these canvas slip on retros I wore to interview you in? Hip hop shoes! Your thick-soled two-tone wingtips? Hip hop shoes! How about your girlfriend’s witch-toed, come-catch-me pumps? Hip hop shoes!

So if you’re hip hop and hot to shop, you’ll know the hip hop shoe when you see it, because it looks good on YOU! The main thing for shoe freaks like you and me is keep buying, keep feeding the shoe closet, and keep refining our hip hop persona.

So one more time, my brethren and sistren:

Hip Hop Shoes—yeah, it’s all about attitude.
Hip hop shoes—here’s the hip hop beatitude:
You can be small-town kitten or urban ferret,
Ain’t what you wear, but how you wear it!

 

Lance LaHara writes unique opinion pieces on life topics for Pulse MEDIA International (PulseMed.org)

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