It takes a lyrical genius to blow people’s minds in rap. Generally speaking, the lyrics have to show some type of intelligence, and the delivery has to be concise and as clinical as Benzema in the box. For fashion lovers, it’s easy to have our passion overlooked in rap. But in these 10 bars, rappers took what we love and spun it, merging two of the most beloved aspects of creativity.
“Acne my jacket from Sweden, my chicks don’t exactly know English” Pick It Up – A$AP Rocky, Famous Dex
This is the first fashion related-bar that came to mind when writing this list. A$AP Rocky has had his fashion woes well documented throughout the years, and often he’s come out looking like an icon. In Pick It Up, Rocky takes Swedish multidisciplinary fashion house Acne Studios and references what they’re well-known for.
From their bombers to their Leather jackets, Acne Studios has shown mastery in the fit and quality of their garments. Pair that with a female companion who doesn’t speak English, and you have an American rapper experiencing high-quality European traits both on his arm and wrapped around his arm.
“I got you singin’ like a rockstar McCartney, she interstellar like Jupiter,” Purple Heart – Dave
On paper, this bar doesn’t seem mind-altering. But when delivered, Dave refuses to pronounce the “ar” in interstellar. Instead, he opts for an “uh” sound, making it sound like he’s saying she’s into Stella.
Stella McCartney, the daughter of Beatles legend Paul McCartney, recently got herself into the spotlight for her vegan and sustainable garments. Her brand is known for being smartly chic, attaining luxurious lifestyle garments without using leather or fur.
“Think what that money could bring/ I’d buy everything/ Clean out Vivienne Westwood In my Galliano gown” Rich Girl – Gwen Stefani and Eve
If this song has been released today, it would have been pitted side by side with Thot Shit by Megan Thee Stallion for the undisputed bad bitch anthem. However, this 2004 release can be looked back on as a classic.
This bar translates into today’s Vivienne Westwood popularity, as today the brand has sprung into mainstream popularity. With their affordable jewellery and ability to take over trends, the English label has continued to be a force to be reckoned with in fashion.
“Am I shallow ‘cause all my clothes designer? Dressed smart like a London bloke, before he speak his suit bespoke, And you thought he was cute before, Look at this pea coat, tell me he’s broke” American Boy – Kanye West and Estelle
Although this bar isn’t directly quoting a fashion brand, this Kanye West line speaks to just how creative he can be in his lyrics. Not only is he referencing how suave he is, but he’s also putting down his competition to Estelle.
For centuries, Englishmen have been the poster boy for what it means to be posh. From the bespoke suits that Kanye references to the handmade goods and immense tailoring, London is truly where its at.
Literally, the entire first bar of Raf – A$AP Mob, Playboi Carti, Quavo, Lil Uzi Vert and Frank Ocean
Raf Simons, Rick Owens, JW Anderson and Gucci are just a few of the fashion labels that get referenced in the first bar of Raf. Based on the lineup, did you expect any different?
The A$AP Mob have been well-known fashion aficionados since their formation in 2007. The rest of the star-studded cast includes jewellery fanatic Quavo, Number (N)ine loving Playboi Carti and everyone’s favourite eclectic dresser, Uzi.
“My Adidas, Standin’ on two fifth street, Funky fresh and yes, cold on my feet, With no shoe string in ’em, I did not win ’em” My Adidas – Run-DMC
Running it back to this classic bar, it’s easy to forget the impact this song had on the three stripes. Their members recount performing on their Raising Hell tour and seeing fans dripped head to toe in Adidas tracksuits, with Superstars on their feet. The presence and power of one song were enough to transgress people’s fashion completely.
Run-DMC became the first rap group ever to sign a major endorsement deal, period. Never mind the fact that it was with a major sneaker and athletic brand like Adidas.
“I made ‘Jesus Walks,’ so I’m never going to hell, Couture-level flow is never going on sale, Luxury rap, the Hermes of verses, Sophisticated ignorance, write my curses in cursive” Otis – Otis Redding, Jay-Z and Kanye West
Arguably two of the most revered artists in rap, Jay-Z and Kanye West, collaborated on Otis and blew the minds of rap fans. Ye delivered this bar with the masterful flow, exercising his GOAT status in a way that forces you to bob your head and smile as he delivers this infamous bar.
He compares his lyrics to Hermes, the luxury fashion brand that is known for its impossible-to-acquire Birkin bags. The label is considered one of the premier hyper luxury labels that we see on the streets of fashion meccas.
“Always rocking shit I never seen or I never known/ Name grown overseas, fitter Sergio Tacchini shirt, real creeper slippers YSL see the logo on my zipper” Gangsta in Designer – Schoolboy Q
Schoolboy Q makes a reference to one of my personal favourite fashion labels in this bar. Associated with “the casuals,” Sergio Tacchini sits among Stone Island and C.P. Company as the face of football fanatics worldwide, eventually working its way into football hooliganism.
The brand saw a massive rise in sales around the 1960s when top-flight English sides would travel across Europe to play other regarded clubs. While away, English fans could soak up the local fashion sense, eventually taking home brands like Tacchini and Stone Island to flex when they got home.
In 2012, Schoolboy Q saw the wave and road into delivering this hard bar. The rhyme also references YSL creeper slippers, or loafers, high shine patent leather dress shoes that have slowly become a grail for those into formalwear.
“I see both sides like Chanel, See on both sides like Chanel “ Chanel – Frank Ocean
Both a play on words and a reference to a designer label, this Frank Ocean bar plays with Chanel’s historical logo and his ability to see both sides of a situation. This logo can be dated back to 1921, when the Chanel N°5 fragrance was released. Chanel’s original name was really Gabrielle. But, she was given the nickname Coco as a youth. So when she created the logo, she used the double C as a reference to Coco now and Coco then.
“In Dior they call me Mr. Baby, they know who I am, BB belt hold up my pants, Louis pouch hold the FN, Big Balenci’s, I don’t care for fashion, do it ’cause I can” Off White VLONE – Gunna and Lil Baby
Easily the most modern representation of the style we expect from rappers, this Lil Baby verse alludes to what we see him wearing daily. Outside of referencing the usual culprits like Christian Dior, Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton, Baby talks about BB belts.
B.B. Simon has risen in popularity since the early 2000s when rappers found the belts. As they are covered in Swarovski crystals, the belts fit the certain luxury and flashy persona that rappers were going for. Today, the belts have played a major role in shaping the raps fashion culture.
More on CULTED