What were they wearing?
- Hip hop fashions influenced by traditional African clothing and Black nationalism: bright colors, big pants, and head wear like fezzes and Kente cloth hats.
- Nike shoes and starter jackets made famous in part by Michael Jordan.
- Baseball caps (worn by The Fresh Prince, TLC, and other pop rappers).
- Two different types of gangster look emerged in the ‘90s: low-slung jeans and bandanas vs. bowler hats and suits.
- For women: Big permed hair, gold hoop earrings, tight dresses.
- TLC and Aaliyah also made it popular to wear loose-fitting pants and oversized flannel shirts with tight shirts of sports bras. Their kind of sexy wasn’t about micro minis and 7-inch heels.
- Hip hop fashion influences showed up not just on the streets of LA, but on runways and in magazines across the nation. Designers influenced by ‘90s street fashions included Isaac Mizrahi and Chanel.
What were they listening to?
- Hip hop!
- Rave/electronica. The LA rave scene in the early and mid-1990s was a nonstop party, with major events occurring nearly every weekend. Parties were thrown in any location promoters could get their hands on, from empty warehouses and lofts to swap meets and strip malls, as well as open air locations like ranches, the mountains, and the Mojave Desert. As larger raves gained in popularity, so did the scrutiny of law enforcement and news media, with news reports often featuring segments about the dangers of raves, warning parents, "Do you know where your children are?"
- Punk, especially Los Angeles-based groups like Suicidal Tendencies (You Can’t Bring Me Down) and Bad Religion (American Jesus)
- Latino rap and pop rap. Latino rap mostly came from the West Coast in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and in the 1990s began to get really popular. Famous artists include Mellow Man Ace (platinum single “Mentirosa”) and Kid Frost (“La Raza”), who later formed a rap supergroup called Latin Alliance (“Lowrider (On The Boulevard)”; a cover of “Tequila”). In the 1990s, these performers and other Latino rap groups started to go platinum and gold for the very first time.