Over the course of history, Black people have been quite the trendsetters. We’re both followers and leaders at the exact same time. For instance, there was the whole slavery problem where so many folks tried to be like their homies who they saw get on the Amistad party boats, only to never return from whence they came.
But then came the amazing trend that had to have been started by the parents of one Harriet Tubman (née Altamina Ross) who decided that they would be uber-creative with her name, which is a trend that lives on in hoods across America as every one of us knows at least one person with three capital letters in their first name. Some of us even know people with more than one apostrophe.
Some of us even know a person named N”DBiane’. (Okay, I don’t personally know her, but I saw her name in the graduation program for Douglass High School (Atlanta, GA) class off 2007 – Panama)
Fact is, Black America has seen its fair share of amazingly omnipresent trends. Today, The Champ and I will discuss some of the biggest nationwide trends in Black America. Get like us.
1) Sprewells/Spinners – Though more people know them as spinners than Sprewells, the guy who choked out PJ Carlesimo is the reason for accidents galore over at least a 2 year span. I can’t be the only person who hit the brakes prematurely as I was driving thru a green light because the idiot with the spinners looked like he was still moving into my path. This trend was so big, K-Mart was even selling knock-off plastic spinners which made their way onto Mexican (no Gem) cars from San Diego to Maine. Except it seems that most Mexicans were on the economy package and only bought 3. Odd.
2) L.A. Gang Culture – Boyz In Tha Hood and Menace II Society sparked a gang surge like none other in the early 90s. I myself joined two gangs. From Dickies to ’64s to the amazing sound of Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg in suburbs across America, Black America’s fascination with all things LA sparked possibly one of the riveting HBO documentaries ever: Banging in Little Rock. Every major southern and midwestern city saw gang violence escalate like never before. And jheri curls. Which much like spinners, caused more accidents than it was worth.
3) Throwbacks/Retro Culture/Skinny Jeans - At one point, people were wearing jersey’s of people and teams that never actually existed. I should know, I am the proud owner of at least 20 jersey’s, at least 10 of which are for teams Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew or the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen have never heard of. But nothing was/is worse than the skinny jean, overly colorful 80s retro vibe permeating Black America right now. Gumbies, thick rope chains, jeans that outline your wheezer – all were bad ideas in teh 80s so they’re even worse now that we have a reference point of the 80s to remind us how bad we all looked. Thankfully Jay killed throwbacks, though that unfortunately led to…
4) Grown-and-sexxy – Jay says button ups, so Kanye throws on a sport jacket over his button up, with some tennis shoes and the next thing you know, metrosexuals everywhere where rocking the Kanye special. Only problem is, striped button ups are pretty hideous by nature so the jacket didnt help at all. But since nobody really knew what grown-and-sexxy meant, and since most of us don’t have daddies, we figured Kanye and Jay-Z were as good a role model as any.
5) Sagging – We’re black. We like jail. Amen.
trends the champ’s noticed and sh*t
1) the iverson effect
while jay-z, michael jordan, tupac, obama, and mr. marcus have each influenced in our community in some way, there’s no one who has altered as many lives as allen iverson, a man responsible for spear-heading two separate trends
a) the ceaser/even steven ***if you remember, fifteen years ago the fade was still the default go-to haircut for the majority of young black men. now, the fade is reserved for preachers, men from los angelos, mike tomlin, virgins, rapists, and retards. this mass eschewing of the fade begin when a.i. started rocking the ceaser his sophomore year at georgetown***
b) the ubiquitous tats ***while there has always been a certain segment of the population with multiple tattoos, people without multiple predicate felonies (basically, people like me) didn’t really start rocking them until after iverson’s second year in philly. now, you’re likely to see both bloods and black nuns rocking “thug life” tats on their necks and wrists
2. the frohawk
while kanye, kanye’s shag, and a few other ambiguously heterosexual contemporary male artists usually get the credit for this, the recent mohawk trend can be traced back to eva pigford on america’s next top model, proving once and for all that straight young black males have a strange tendency to pick and follow the gayest fashion trends possible.
3. the late 80′s-early 90′s black pride boom
i dont know if it was public enemy’s popularity, the airing of “a different world”, or a chemical reaction created by the last remains of jheri curl juice. whatever the cause, black america experienced an extremely sudden and extremely strange boom in black pride for a three year span, with 1990 serving as it’s apex. sudden because it seemed to come and go with the same quickness, and strange because it wasn’t uncommon to see a person walking through the hood with some kinte cloth nikes and two giant african medallions over an all white polo jumpsuit. with that being said, my hbcu alliance hampton university short set and matching X hat was kind of hot.
4. knockoff fashion
anyone doubting the thundergoat’s popularity just needs to remember how much of an influence the “timberland boots” she rocked in her and jay-z’s horrible me and my girlfriend video influenced us. for a four year span, you couldn’t leave the crib without tripping over a bootlegged lime green manolo boot heel. when you combine that with the burberry knock off trend (which snowballed into louis, gucci, fendi, and every other high end label that pittsburgh strippers are likely to name their kids after) she also started in that same f*cking video, you have concrete proof that beyonce’s the brain to our human borg.
i’m sure we’re leaving a few out. people of vsb.com, are there any other transcendent trends that we missed?
—panama jackson and the champ