08 November 2007

San Francisco and the UK - genre (music & fashion) blending?

One bulletin post on MySpace this morning sent me into an explosion of emailing and yelling at friends for their opinions (I am counting on your input, Heron). This is something I don't know a lot about and really want to hear other people's views on. When Arthur asked, I said "San Francisco, the UK, hip hop bleeding into other music genres' fashion, sort of."

So here goes. The bulletin was from Calvin Harris (one of my favorites from the UK of the neon electro variety), promoting this fantastic song (fantasticker video. so good that I made up a word.) by Mitchell Brothers:

Isn't that contagious? Anyway, an electronic artist promoting the hell out of a mostly hip hop song (he produced it). This is not dissimilar to the merging of hip hop and rock that I quoted in the Hadouken! entry, except this time it's less garage and more sparkle.

It made me think of when I visited San Francisco six months ago. My friend Jay was commenting on the culture there and how hip hop seems to have seeped into every other genre. Indie and skater kids wearing Dunks, shopping at Upper Playground, etc. I wonder if there is a parallel of sorts between this merging in San Francisco and what I was seeing come from the UK. I really want to understand this whole thing better. Maybe I'm imagining all of it. I e-mailed my friend Jess, who is from the West Coast and generally very up on things.

She responded with this.
i'd imagine that the hip hop influence on the fashion of other subcultures of the SF-microcosm (and LA, too!) is artsiness begetting (or beshoeing/behoodieing) more artsiness. i think in the indie rock circles, dressing with undertones of hip hop flare is done with a tad bit of irony in most cases. with companies like UP, i think the design aspect and creativity speak to these subcultures that value the aesthetic.

and maybe colors. hipsters/skaters/indie rock scenesters like getting away with wearing garish colors and loud prints.

...i think you might have something, comparing SF and the UK. another interesting comparison might be LA and SF and their interpretations of the same three-way clash between hip-hop, hipster, and indie rock fashion scene. down in LA, i've seen rappers dressed like old school weezer, and hipsters wearing dunks and XXXL hoodies. go figure.
Now, L.A. I really know nothing about. I browsed around The Cobra Snake a bit (he's a West Coast nightlife photographer) and found tons of stuff like this, which seems to confirm it all:

So what do you think? I would love to hear from people from San Francisco, L.A., the UK or anywhere else who could shed some more light on things. All of this reminds me of this entry Noah wrote in September about music lines blurring.

[photos from The Cobra Snake & Uffie]

EDIT | Sanithna exploded into a link frenzy. I linked him to the entry. Here is what he said:
You know, it's really weird about the blending of these cultures. The most lucid explanation of it came from David Gensler. He calls it mash culture. http://www.psfk.com/2006/02/interview_with_.html ; http://www.davidgensler.com/?page_id=2 . The most obvious/mainstream blending of it all for me was Kanye West. This guy who abandons visual art to produce beats, then begins to incorporate high fashion into his image; and recruits people like [Takashi] Murakami to do his design work. See also http://www.thehundreds.com ; http://www.mrkimsays.com/ ; http://www.murketing.com/journal/ ; http://www.catchdubs.com/blog/ ; and just some other things on the periphery of it all: http://www.stapledesign.com/jeffstaple/ ; and if you don't already know these links, here they are for posterity... http://www.hypebeast.com/index.php ; http://www.highsnobiety.com/ ; http://www.slamxhype.com/ ; http://www.honeyee.com/ ; http://riottt.com/ ; and still in the periphery http://www.fecalface.com/SF/ ; http://www.vinylpulse.com/ .

I e-mailed my friend Nate, and he said this:
When I came of age musically I listened to nothing but hip hop because it was so huge in the late 80s and early 90's. I wore Air Jordans every day until I had to wear adult sizes and they started costing way too much. Nike sneakers are just something I'm getting back to... and those hoodies and stuff have huge cross over appeal with people, like Pharell putting them out. I was real punk rock for a long time, but even punk mixed with hip hop a lot in the 80s. Look at the photography of Glen E Friedman; he was shooting punk bands and hip hop bands at the same time. Look at the movie Breakin... Ice T is rapping in it and he is wearing track suits with punk rock spiked belts and stuff... but this Friedman picture says it all; Public Enemy rocking Minor Threat.

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