Observations from a proud straight male

Is "zesty" the new "hardcore"?

First thing's first, it should be apparent to anyone reading this who may have missed the word used before, what "zesty" means. Word to Simon Stone...


I am inclined to recall back in the best years of hip hop, like before it was on it's deathbed as it has been for the past several years now that men would do manly things. Sparring verbally and sometimes physical altercation would take place as a result. Joe Budden getting his face chipped notwithstanding, it seems that no one is terribly interested in these things these days.
I couldn't breakdance for shit and while we weren't "poor," we couldn't afford for me to have an enormous Radio Raheem boombox with "20 D batteries," so I was left to witness and come to love what I loved about hip hop, as a musical genre and the spillover to hip hop as a lifestyle as well, which I gladly embraced, being a product of my generation/environment. Being a young brown child, I looked like these rappers, since all black people look alike. My preferred style of dress somewhat fell after theirs, word to the 8 pairs of Shelltoe Adidas I own (and the 4 I painfully jettisoned when moving 5 weeks ago). Like it or not, I was hip hop, and right now I will claim to be what hip hop was.

Things being as they are, we've seen things change. Sadly, though, we've not exactly seen the change for the better. Rappers went from the Lee Jeans and shelltoes to baggier and baggier (and sometimes colorful) jeans from the likes of Karl Kani and Cross Colours. Looking back now, it seemed that the more unabashedly "street" hip hop became, with rappers more and more openly embracing gun violence and crack sales in the mid-90s, the looser our clothings became. The late 90s saw a turn back to normalcy, what with the embrace of the "mafioso" rap, rappers started donning suits and ties in their videos and appearances, and clothes followed suit. Maybe people weren't going to slap on a suit and tie to go catch the bus and work at KMart, but at least they began buying jeans that were not 4 sizes too big to show off their drawz, which matched their fitted. Take it for what it is worth, but this might have been my favorite time in this whole progression. Personally, I was in Girbaud Brand X, Levi's Silvertabs and any number of Enyce cargo jeans or velours at the time. Working in the store that sold most of these wares made for easy access, given a generous employee discount.
I seriously think that, as far as fashion goes, I fell into that space and STAYED there while everyone else followed hip hop into a deep deep rabbit hole, and things have only gotten worse.

What I am talking about, here is skinny jeans...
You know you have seen them, some fucking hipster walking through your local shopping mall wearing a pair of size 30 low-rise KNOWING he needs to be in a 34 or better. It is so much to the point where people are even putting the shit in their album covers:



If you are so lucky as to have not been cursed with having to have heard that hunk of shit, please do yourself the continued service of NOT going to Google to find out more about them. You'll thank me for it.
The colors are back, but where we dealt in colors like dark greens and reds, maybe a non-standard blue with Cross Colors, these fruits are out in lime greens, bright oranges and reds and so forth, with all kinds of shit stitched on the pockets! I was in Urban Outfitters with the lady not too long ago (their toys and trinkets section is the SHIT!) and wandered into the mens' section just out of curiosity and ALL they sold were skinny jeans and Vans shoes. Needless to say, the guy working the section was extra lispy, as were about half of the people shopping up there. Call me a homophobe, call me judgmental, call me an asshole, I will be ALL of those right now, but I was extra uncomfortable and got my ass back downstairs to my woman with the quickness.

Drawn to my attention this week is how young boys -- think high school age to maybe sophomore in college -- are apparently going out in public DRESSED alike!!!
I had not specifically noticed it until mentioned in an IM conversation the other night. Out in public, dressed like another individual, doubly sad in that you're dressed like another individual of the same sex. This is suspect behavior when taken in ANY context other than...
  1. You're in a R&B group
  2. Your group is performing or otherwise tending to some business of the band
  3. Your "outfit" is actually a "uniform" and you're actively on your way to complete said task requiring that you be dressed in uniform.
  4. Sporting attire, again en route or actively participating in a team event.
No exceptions.
ESPECIALLY no exceptions made for you to be in the mall (or on the bus stop waiting on the public school bus, as witnessed any given morning this week) wearing matching skinny jeans and extra tight shirts to show off your nipples.

Research for this assignment found me on a site that actually ridicules people who actually put themselves (and with them, anyone who is unfortunate to have to witness) through this shit. Enjoy with me and have a laugh at the expense of others here.
We have T.I., who we would be INCLINED to think is a "thug" of sorts, on songs talking about "swinging his Louis rag (bandanna) in the air" and the bag that said "rag" matches.
We have Shawty Lo, with Gucci Mane (who, by the way, looks like he stinks) and Soulja Boy (whose zestiness has been documented in the pages of this blog) going on about THEIR "Gucci Bandanna."
We have an unreal amount of these filthy shines going on and on and fucking on about what accessories they have on that match whatever OTHER accessories they're wearing at current. Weren't the chicks in that movie "Clueless" doing the same thing? [see what I just did there?]

I find myself in the unenviable position where I am just not fucking GOING to agree with any opinion differing my own on this topic. I can't possibly imagine why MALES would want to subscribe to fashion sensibilities reserved for those who possess vaginas.
Even more strange is the blind eye that has been turned to it. I will go without giving any MORE specific attention to someone who has been starring in a no-longer-funny internet meme for something that happened almost 2 weeks ago now. Just know that he and his merry brand of zesty muppets he is often seen with are guilty too.

I am thinking myself in circles, here...
It just dawned on me that this is the second renaissance of this very kind of behavior. The last time was in the 80s with Prince and his folks, which was right in line with when Michael Jackson decided that being a black man was no longer good enough and that he would rather be a white woman [you damn right I don't pull punches].
This was the time when men in the public wore colorful sweaters with leather fronts and had jheri curls so luxurious that they made women jealous. Stony Jackson status. I could never be any more glad that I was born in 1979, so I could successfully avoid the entire era where that kind of shit -- which was immediately followed by S-Curls and wave "kits" -- was cool.
Alls I know is that I am afraid to bring a child of any gender into this shit. Perhaps I should just lay low for a few years and see how this whole thing pans out.
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