With Kanye, A$AP and hip-hop’s finest dressers happily occupying the style throne, setting sartorial standards with trend-leading taste and a willingness to experiment, it’s down to the next generation of stylish hip-hop stars to follow suit. Here are six of this year’s up-and-coming heirs apparent.
NEW HIP-HOP STYLE ICONS II
By Sam Higgins, 17 October 2016
Following in the footsteps of Atlanta hip-hop alumni like Future and Young Thug should be a daunting task, but the latest rap star breaking out of the ATL, the drowsy-sounding, auto-tune employing, boat-obsessed Lil Yachty, couldn't care less about comparisons. Aside from his unique sound and vibrant beaded twists, the self-confessed ‘king of the teens’ already has a Yeezy presentation appearance under his belt to boast about. And if you needed more proof of the 19-year-old’s style nous, just take a look at how he stays true to his nautical name on stage here, pairing a Breton tee with a navy neckerchief that, along with his hair, illuminates his 'fit like a sartorial lighthouse.
We see you Isaiah Rashad, keeping stylish company with labelmate and king of tracksuits Kendrick Lamar. Indeed, the simple fact that the Tennessee rapper’s name features on the Top Dawg Entertainment roster – also home to well-dressed wordsmiths Lance Skiiiwalker and Schoolboy Q – is arguably evidence enough of his sartorial prowess. But after a slot in our latest edition of stylish videos of the month, and this impressive blend of orange plaid perfection and grungy goodness at the BET awards, his place on our list is locked in. Extra points for the socks and sandals combo, too.
Having produced for the likes of Future, Young Thug and 21 Savage, it’s safe to say Metro Boomin knows how to piece a track together. It seems the rising artist has no trouble piecing together an outfit full of streetwear staples either, print clashing like a pro at SXSW in an on-trend camo jacket and Supreme graphic tee. You should probably agree with our style prediction, too, 'cos if Young Metro doesn’t trust you... well, you know the rest.
Away from the camaraderie of his seven-member rap collective, or 'boyband', Brockhampton, Kevin Abstract is left to shine in his own right. And while his music video aesthetic often focuses on him in a motorcycle helmet (leaving much to the imagination), when up on stage showcasing his genre-hopping blend of hip-hop and trap, his impressive style is clear for all to see. Just look at Abstract here, serving up a dose of sartorial expression through a print-clashing combo of checkered tartan shirt and Breton tee. Abstract, sure, but great.
If you find yourself on stage with A$AP Rocky and the hip-hop and fashion mogul is shouting you out, you know you're doing something right. If you’re fronting a VFILES catwalk show in a highly-sought-after Supreme patchwork jacket, rapping to a standing ovation from Young Thug, you’ve pretty much smashed this whole 'being cool' thing. Take a bow, Playboi Carti.
Lil Uzi Vert
More so than ever before, the up-and-coming hip-hop elite are taking their aesthetic as seriously as their music. Lil Uzi Vert – like Yachty and Carti – is championing the new wave of dyed twists, street-ready designer threads and a nonchalant attitude to experimentation. From coordinating his hair with his orange VLONE tee in the video for Money Longer, to taking the stage in an anime-print tee and black trousers with studded strapping, you don’t have to look far for an example of Uzi’s unique style.