Too $hort Weighs In On If Run-DMC's Fashion Caused Hip Hop Artists To Dress Like Drug Dealers
If you ask Hip Hop legend Grandmaster Melle Mel when the genre's fashion made a huge shift, he'll tell you it was when Run-DMC came onto the scene. The group sported looks that, according to Melle Mel, mirrored the hustlers and drug dealers at the time, and soon, everyone wanted to emulate their style. Artists themselves began shifting from the more eclectic styles and moved into streetwear, and over the past few decades, it has evolved into what we see now influenced by both street and prison culture.
"I'm a direct product of that statement because there was a time where I was first being offered opportunities to perform in front of larger audiences," said Short. "And up until that point, I was just a little—if you go look at Wild Style, the movie Wild Style, I was a rapper like that that just, whatever I had on that day, that's what I stepped into the DJ booth with and I rapped. It was no look."
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Too $hort recalled being offered the show and the first thing he thought of was how he would dress. "I'm looking at my influences of '70s funk, you know what I'm sayin'? The music that was the hottest sh*t out," he said. "I'm looking at Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and the rappers that are big, Kurtis Blow, and what they doin'. And then there's Run DMC who's the newest, hottest thing and clearly is the now the coolest sh*t."
"That's the f*ckin' look," he added, "I'm right at that moment when Run-DMC is influencing, they run the whole sh*t. They 'bout to be the new king of f*ckin' rap." So, in turn, Too $hort decided to copy that look, as well. "I get what [Melle Mel] is sayin'. I don't know if I agree that that was the moment, but I do know that was the inevitable evolution. What else would it be?"
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Watch Too $short explain his experience while also weighing on how people often feel as if Hip Hop belongs to them.