18 years ago, at only 24, the hip hop world lost one of its most talented and promising artists, The Notorious B.I.G. when he was gunned down in the streets of Los Angeles. If his influence on music and on other rappers is undeniable and still felt, his sense of fashion has also influenced a lot of people, and it is often forgotten.
Today, Biggie would have been 43. For his birthday, TRACE has decided to honor him by listing 5 ways he influenced fashion.
We will always love you Big Poppa.
Way before BAPE became a houselhold name for the cool kids, Nigo was just a young, hip hop obsessed designer from Japan. Yet he managed to hand Biggie one of his pieces, a camo jacket. Rappers love the military aesthetics pattern. Biggie wore it in the mid-90s, a longtime before the BAPE craze occured.
If you thought Migos were the first hip hop act to talk about and wear Versace shirts, you are dead wrong! Although Biggie was just like his name suggested it, big, he loved those shirts and even immortalized them in the “Hypnotize” video. This helped Versace’s expansion into streetwear. Since then, a lot of rappers have been wearing pieces by the likes ofRick Ross, Kanye West, Drake, A$AP Ferg, and 2 Chainz.
The self-proclaimed King of New York, who also used the name Frank White (the main character of Abel Ferrara’s movie), deserved his gold crown as a King among emcees. Lil Wayne and Kendrick Lamar clearly drew influence from the great B.I.G. when they recently appeared on the cover of magazines with the accessory.
Rappers love jewelry. While they always compete to have the most original and the biggest piece, Biggie was definitely one of the first emcees to rock the Jesus Piece. He used to rock it everywhere. In 2004, Kanye West, considered as a fashion genius, brought it back and other rappers followed in his footsteps by the likes of Game, Rick Ross, and even Macklemore.
This must be THE piece that defines Biggie’s style. The rapper was often pictured sporting high price colored pieces from the niche knitwear manufacturer based in Melbourne, Australia. It quickly became a streets’ favorite. After Notorious B.I.G.’s death, many rappers carried his legacy by rocking Coogi Sweater like Drake or the A.$.A.P. Mob.