Tupac’s Enduring Influence on Style!

Tupac's Enduring Influence on Style! Tupac Shakur in Above the Rim, 1994.

Tupac and style

“But you know what? When you said that last time, I was kinda trippin’, right? But now, you’re right. I am crazy. But you know what else? I don’t give a ****. I don’t give a **** about you. I don’t give a **** about Steel. I don’t give a **** about Raheem, either. I don’t give a **** about myself. Look, I ain’t ****. I ain’t never gonna be **** and you less of a man than me, so as soon as I decide that you ain’t goin be ****, *pow*! So be it. You remember that, ****. ‘Cause I’m the one you need to be worried about. Partner!”-Tupac in the movie JUICE (1992).

One of the most memorable monologues from a pivotal scene in the film JUICE starring Omar Epps. JUICE was the first movie that inspired me to buy a pair of boots, because Tupac was wearing the 40 Below Timbs unlaced, with baggy jeans that draped and sat perfectly inside the boot throughout the film as he played the sinister character of Bishop.

Pac had his way of making unorthodox pieces look dope. The movies he starred in never drifted too far away from his own personal style, instead he made the characters he played adapt to his personal style. Even long after Pac’s passing we still see his influence in style and fashion today. The kids are wearing overly baggy jeans and oversized overalls again. Many of the pinterest mood boards for style inspiration have a vintage photo of Tupac in the 90s dressed in oversized baggy clothing. Tupac’s style like his music and legacy has transcended through time and he will always have an influence on the culture.

Tupac fashion in film

One of my favorite movies of all time is the film “Above the Rim” which casts Dwayne Martin, Marlon Wayans, Tupac Shakur, Leon Robinson, the late Bernie Mac, and Wood Harris which is about a young black male from New York ‘s lower income housing trying to make it to the next level of collegiate basketball.  Tupac’s character is “Birdie” the antagonist to Dwayne Martin’s protagonist character “Kyle Watson” in this film. The most interesting detail of this film was the wardrobe styling for the characters. Tupac’s style being the most memorable out of all the characters because he sported a full camo army fatigue outfit with boots and a bandana tied around his head with his signature wrap of tying his bandana ends around to the front of his head. Tupac being from the West coast was able to incorporate his East Coast influences into his style and mixed the two to make it his own. Wearing that full camo army fatigue outfit with boots was a heavily east coast influenced outfit but pairing it with wearing a bandana was bridging together the west and east coast style influences.

Lastly, in that movie Tupac’s last outfit he was wearing was a 100 miles hoodie from the 100 Miles brand, (in which your favorite Canadian rapper also wore recently to a NBA game). The calligraphy of the 100 miles hoodie was very similar to the signature Karl Kani used for his clothing line. Tupac was a Karl Kani ambassador and was a fan of the clothing brand so I would assume he gravitated towards the 100 miles hoodie because of the similarities between the calligraphy between the two brands. Karl Kani was a very popular brand in the 90s and you can see Tupac wearing Karl Kani in many photos as he was one of their biggest billboards.

We all watched what he wore

Witnessing Tupac become this superstar growing up I definitely paid attention to what he was wearing and to how he was wearing his clothing. When it comes to fashion and style it’s not so much about the name brand of clothing you’re wearing but more so about how you style it to fit your personality and Tupac always made sure to wear his clothes how he saw himself. Pac was always able to express himself through his clothing and it added to his legacy and music. Many fashion designers have stolen the style of baggy clothing as it was once deemed “gangster”or “thuggish”  and have incorporated that style into their collections over time. Now they call the technique draping. Tupac was definitely a pioneer for not only the evolution of style but also creating a lane for kids and future fashion designers to create oversized looks and clothing.