After presenting the trophy for the Video Music Awards Best New Artist, Jay-Z walks behind the curtains to his private room. While on his way, he encounters a few of his friends so they converse for a short period of time. As he enters his room, his comrades are playing some music and dancing. Much to my surprise, I do not come across anyone who is wearing khaki pants and polo shirts that fit just right, conversations including complete sentences, and dancing that leaves one with their hair messed up and clothes wrinkled. To see such things on someone in Jay-Z’s private room would leave that person culturally uncomfortable. It is clearly evident that Jay-Z belongs to the hip hop culture.
As I’m observing Jay-Z’s attire, I see that he has on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt. What classifies these items as part of the hip hop culture is that they are of a baggy fit. His T-shirt is not tucked in but is hanging over his pants. He has his left pant-leg folded up once and it appears that the back pockets are slightly below his rear end. Both pieces of clothing display without a doubt that they are one or more sizes too big for him, which shows that he is on a different level of comfort than those outside of the hip hop world.
Awe-struck by his appearance, I notice that the clothing he is wearing is of a brand name called Roca-Wear. Others in this same culture put on clothing with this exact same name, so it’s well-known throughout the hip hop community. His jeans have Roca-Wear printed down the left leg and on the right-back pocket. He also has this brand name on the front of his T-shirt in big, bold font that covers the entire chest area. The initials RW are printed on the back of the T-shirt near the collar area.
Another eye-catching trait is the bright colors of his outfit. Jay-Z’s pants are royal blue with a fading white effect in the quadriceps area. The printed letters on the jeans are also white. The item of clothing that is covering his upper torso is vertically divided in two down the middle, with royal blue covering the left side and white on the other. The word Roca, which is located on the left side, is printed in white and Wear which is on the opposite side is in royal blue.
When he greets his companions, he says “waz good” or “waddup wit it?” Throughout his conversations, I could hear him state phrases such as “I feel ya” and “you know wat I’m sayin.” He also mentions “I see you daddy” a few times. His companions are also using similar phrases in response to him and their conversations continue on without any hesitations. As they depart from one another, I hear Jay-Z say to them “holla at yo boy” and “get at me” as they head their separate directions. Throughout the entire conversation, he speaks with an accent that sounds completely out of the normalcy of what is heard on television or in classrooms.
When hanging around and relaxing, he has on music with a very strong, powerful beat that consists of a number of different sounds from a bass from drums to computer generated hand claps. Also, the lyrics are clearly not like any other. As the song plays on, the lyricist speaks with a very fast and uncommon voice and rhymes basically everything that is being said. Upon hearing this music, it sounds as if the beat and the lyricist are in the right place doing the right things at the right time, making sense of everything going on.
While Jay-Z blocks out everything and everyone around him except for the sound of music, he starts to move his body rhythmically to the music he hears. He starts to throw his hands in the air and bounce up and down and from side to side. His head nods as if he is saying yes but he’s doing this in unison to the beat of the song being played. He also moves his feet in a gliding motion from side to side and front to back. I notice that as he is moving around, it appears that he’s restricted by certain boundaries.
It clearly shows that the hip hop culture stands out in today’s society in more ways that one. The attire that Jay-Z portrays would grab the attention of anyone because of the bright colors and would be abnormal in comparison to what the public would consider to be a common outfit. The baggy fit that is seen is a requirement to be considered a part of the hip hop world. In noticing other characteristics, color-coordination and the brand names of clothing are important essentials in this unique culture. Everything that is being worn on these hip hoppers has to match.
Other traits that distinguish the hip hoppers from others are the lingo and the accents used. It is very uncommon; therefore it sticks out like when Shaquille O’Neal walks into a kindergarten classroom. What is common to the world are phrases such as “how have you been,” “what have you been up to,” “call me,” and “get a hold of me.” Instead, these cultural foreigners say “waz good,” “waddup wit it,” “holla at yo boy,” and “get at me.” Though these statements sound completely different from one another and the hip crowd doesn’t have a very educated sound, they have the exact same meanings.
Hip hop dancing is considered to be in a universe of its own. Dance moves which require the feet to move in a gliding motion from side to side and from front to back, which is called the C-walk, is not what the public will view at a dance party. Other hip hop dance moves such as the Harlem Shake, Bouncing, Breaking, and Popping are all things invented and utilized in the hip hop nation and cannot be found amongst any others. It I ever want to be a hip hopper, I better start watching MTV and BET.