Wednesday, June 24, 2009

We Used To Wednesday Pt. 2: Black Music Month Tribute

It's just a matter of days before the 2009 BET Awards. So I've been reflecting on the music that impacted my life for the past week as we get closer to BET Awards Sunday. I started with the 70s and 80s, then Making the Band Monday, and now "We Used to Wednesday" is upon us again.

So let's think back when we used to dress like the music stars we so adored? Remember damn near every kid on the block borrowed something from Michael Jackson's wardrobe--the highwater black pants with white socks and penny loafters, or the infamous one glove, and then the most coveted item--that red jacket from either "Beat it" or "Thriller"?

For the Hip Hop heads, remember when the fellas used to rock whatever Run DMC or LL Cool J was sporting. The "fresh" Kangos, suede Adidas sneaks with the fat laces or no laces at all, Can't forget the black leather jackets, gold chains, Gazelles, and sweat suits. RIP Jam Master Jay!

Do the ladies run this m****k! Hell yes! Okay ladies remember when we used to search high and low for big hoop earrings, perfect pair of black biker shorts to show off our thickness, and multiple silver or gold bracelets or just colorful thick ones. I'mma take you back! One third of Shalamar influenced my first hoop earring purchase.

Can't forget the "Round da way girls"! Remember when we used to scare our mothers to death by coming home from the beauty shop with the asymmetric bobs? Then to keep it "fresh" and "fly" we added the door knocker earrings, belt buckles with our names in them, and again those ever popular black biking shorts. At that time, these 3 ladies definitely turned it into a fashion statement.

Speaking of hair, think back to when young boys wanted to rock that Gumby-esque hairstyle Bobby Brown wore in this sexy video. Funny, now everything is about the mohawk!

Front if you want to, but those loose fitting bottoms Bobby Brown rocked in that video were brought to the mainstream by Mc Hammer. But "Hammer pants" as we called them weren't really anything new, just a fashion statement borrowed from traditional African garb.

Knee pads! Who would've thought that knee pads would become a fashion statement in a music video? A pretty girl in knee pads meant hard core dancing was about to take place. Mary J. Blige wasn't the first to do it. But I'd be willing to bet this woman helped bring it to the mainstream. So why knee pads? Was it a principle of need or pleasure?

Okay this last entry brings things more current. This woman was born under water with 3 dollars and 6 dimes. Her Afro-centric vibe seemed to make headwraps, ankh rings and funky bracelets more than a mere fashion statement. They seemed to represent a way of thinking.


Anonymous said...

Great post!
But if I'm not mistaken Janet Jackson really started the Knee pad trend in the "Pleasure Principle" video in the late 80's. All the black girls were trying to be like Janet Jackson from "Control" and all through the 90's she was that chick.shit she got chicks in the industry still swagger jacking to this day. said...

I failed to mention too that her hairstyle in the Pleasure Principle video started a fashion trend too.

Pleasure Principle also inspired my first pair of tight black jeans. Anybody know if the letters printed on that tshirt mean anything?