Do you know why houses are houses? They are essentially a place to store stuff. There was a point in which you needed space to store things like farm grain and food stuffs to survive the winter. We have moved past that. Yet, we only want BIGGER houses and then proceed to fill it with things just so it can be full! But once this occurs the virus has already infected the inhabitant. We are now a certified consumer. Not only must we buy things, we must show it off. We stop caring for sheer quality and start caring for sheer social statement. Housing becomes all about market. Clothing becomes fashion.
We need to shake it off, like Taylor Swift teaches us. Get rid of houses! Get rid of fashion! Get rid of status! We use these things to provide for us a sense of worth when we are lacking. This inevitably bites us later on when we get addicted to chasing status for status' sake and we lose the things that made us before we needed fashion to make up the gap. All we have left is the Gap (nice).
Do you ever wonder why Jordans are so highly prized in the hood? It's because they are perfectly positioned at a price level and a status level. The ability of a hood nigga to get a pair of shoes whilst living in squalor is at the perfect limit. What's $200 when to actually move out of the hood would cost so muchore and would be so alien with not readily available results. When the chips are reallllly down, that instant gratification is sooooo sweet. And I get that. But it's still wrong, especially wrong for the sharks that feed off it. Nike! And now it's gotten to the point that the hood throws itself at these sharks rather than the other way around. Companies don't have to market towards the hood. They simply market, "your valuable if you have this". And then the hot hip hop song features a line with a brand name in it, always in a "I have this and you can't afford it" type of way. It doesn't matter if the aesthetic sucks or the shoes don't perform. Status said that these have utmost status, so therefore get these to achieve status....nothing more, you still have to pay your electric bill, Gucci will not bankroll that.
Is there anyway for us lower people to stop trying to be like the high ones? Is there a way to fundamentally understand that the dreams they're selling us aren't real? Can we make our own culture? But Hasheem we have rap! We sold that. We have fashion! Not anymore, fubu is gone, now we glamorize obscure European brands. We have graffiti! Banksy. We have sports! When is the last time we invented a game? Or ran the league?
We have World Star! Well...... we do. And we should be proud of it. There is nothing like world star hip hop. There isn't a video site that so acutely captures an essence of culture anywhere else. World star shows us that there is a third option. We don't have to be sell outs to the 'man' or be crushed by his system. We can celebrate ourselves for the benefit of ourselves solely.
Can we expand back into design with this spirit? Can fubu rise again? Imagine the low overhead of a fashion company. A small office space, some sewing machines, and some fabric. Just imagine how desirable would it be to have a distinct 'hood' clothing company that isn't trying to be nation wide. A company where people from the community come in, try their hand at clothing and hey, if it's successful, people in your neighborhood would say, "yo I just copped this new shaniqua piece". And it wouldn't be about status, it would simply be a nice piece of clothing. Slowly we create local typologies. A Charlotte fashion will be inherently distinct from a Seattle fashion.
Slowly we get our culture back, a culture that isn't in opposition or agreement with the 'man', but just 'is' independently.