Black History Month 13: Wu-Wear- Garment Renaissance

February 13th, 2008 by | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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pictures taken from comics.org and GIS.
Fifth–hold on, turn the beat off
I had to turn the beat off for this
You talking ’bout you an eighties baby?
You thirty seven years old!
You was born in 1968!
And I open the Daily News…
How is the “King of New York” rockin’ sandals with jeans?
Open toe sandals, with chancletas, with jeans on
How is the “King of New York” rockin’ sandals with jeans when he 42 years old?
Back to business!

–Cam’ron, “Gotta Love It”

In those days, your whole ave was the spot
The scene locked with Lee patches, Cazal glasses
Suede Pumas and rumors of rap not lastin

–Buckshot, “Think Back”

Honest to goodness, man, it’s time for some real talk. Enough is enough! I guess no one gave Cheryl Lynn any love for this a while back, ’cause I’m probably gonna end up reiterating a bit.

Stop making black characters look bummy. Honest to goodness, man. There’s just no excuse for that to leave your house looking like you just woke up. Let me go down the list up top there.

Dashikis: It isn’t 1988 any more. Seriously though, I’m not trying to be a hater, and I’ll admit that a young David Brothers had a leather Africa medallion or two back in the day, but the height of all that was almost twenty years ago. I realize that Amazing Man (awful name) is trying to be all about black empowerment and Katrina and all that, but he’s leaving the house dressed like he got into a fight with a bedsheet. You could probably get away with a kufi, but that’s it. The dashiki is way, way out of date. If you aren’t from Africa, you probably shouldn’t be wearing one. Just FYI.

Mohawks: I shouldn’t even have to explain how stupid this looks, because you should already know. Storm rocking a mohawk? They used to call her Super-Perm in elementary school. How’s her hair stay up? She isn’t Grace Jones, man. Don’t go there ever again, seriously. It looks ridiculous.

Mullet and jheri curl/perm: Bishop looked ridiculous when he first appeared and he didn’t stop looking ridiculous until he shaved his head. What in the world possessed Lee/Portacio/whoever else to give him that look? I have never in my life seen that. He’d have been better off with a rat tail, or maybe an M cut into the side of his box fade on some Kid-n-Play tip. He works better as a bald head, anyway. Shut ’em down.

Afros: My mom had an afro back when they were cool. That was a few years before I was born. I get that we need the old nostalgia blaxploitation thing… but c’mon. Afros are stopping points on the way to braids now. If you see a dude with a fro, his hair isn’t long enough for cornrows. This is also generally true for women. Do you know why this is? It is because afros are incredibly tough to take care of. My hair is short right now. A quick brush and I’m gravy. With an afro? You’re looking at twenty minutes in front of a mirror and hoping that you picked out the back of your head so that you don’t leave the house looking like you just woke up. Then you spend the rest of your day hoping that you didn’t dent your afro with the handles on the bus, by walking under that low hanging branch, or by doing anything ever, basically.

Jakeem Thunder: Oh man, we are gonna fight. You mean to tell me that a sixteen year old black kid from Keystone City, which is basically Detroit, who was a straight up latchkey kid is going to leave his house looking bummy? When he’s on a team with like four females?

Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan. You gotta be kidding.

First, Jakeem would not be coming with those smedium shirts and short jackets. He looks like an idiot. Where are the always fashionable Polo shirts? You buy jackets a size up if you’re wearing shirts that are a proper size.

And the backwards cap? Whoops look at me I’m Jakeem Thunder I live in 1996 also I wear K-Swiss and Saucony instead of Pumas or Timberlands.

No on the backwards cap. That’s not how anyone wears it any more. It’s all about the tilt. Example:

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If you’re going to wear a baseball cap (and you shouldn’t to begin with), you’ve got it facing forward and at an angle. It might be bent, it might not, but it isn’t gonna be so bent it’s broken. In reality, Jakeem would have either a fleet of hoodies or a skull cap. See below.


See that? Shirt a proper length, white undershirt (or wifebeater) underneath but not showing under his sleeves, jeans crisp and properly fitted. Loose, but not ridiculously loose… I’m not feeling the glasses, but hey, do you. Find your look.

It’s not hard to make a character look right. Khari Evans does it. Adrian Alphona did it. Before drawing people, at least check a fashion or pop culture magazine! Look at The Source or Vibe or XXL! Give us something up-to-date to relate to!

’cause man, cool kids don’t dress like Jakeem Thunder. Maybe they did ten years ago, but not now. It’s like Clinton Sparks says… Get familiar!

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11 comments to “Black History Month 13: Wu-Wear- Garment Renaissance”

  1. I think we can let Amazing Man slide since he’s rockin’ his grandfather’s uniform. It’s supposed to look dated. I like the fact that it looks dated. There’s a sense of history there.

    You’re five million kinds of right about everything else though. Especially Jakeem.

  2. Sigh, poor Jakeem Thunder. I’m surprised he doesn’t get beat down once a week. Where is the long T?

  3. Cheryl: The thing is, that’s not his grandfather’s uniform. His grandfather just wore a fairly traditional superhero costume (though with a Luke Cage style tiara).

  4. I gotta give the Amazing Man costume props though, because I was all like “Where’s the A? Where’s the A? You can’t not have an…. Oh, there it is.”

    But yeah, he’s really reminding me of that one guy who just sort of loomed around the background of scenes in the latest Harry Potter movie. Guess that’s sort of a cross between Magical Negro and Black Lieutenant Syndrome

  5. So, uh, lots of good stuff in BP this week, but Johnny and Ben seem strangely unshaken by all the throat-slitting and death-sentencing going on.

  6. Oh, and to be way more on topic, doesn’t Jakeem have the backwards cap and all that as a creepy reference to that character we saw in the original Kingdom Come? I mean, the outfit made a little more sense when that book came out.

  7. Hoatzin: Call me crazy, but I still like the costume. It’s dated. It makes me think of some dude in his 40’s who is stuck in the Soulsonic Force era and refuses to leave. He’s the older guy on the block who runs the Community Center with the decades old sports equipment and just doesn’t understand these kids today. But he wants to help them. It’s cute. Like my dad still thinking that gators and suits with wide lapels are still the business.

  8. Isn’t Keystone City in Kansas now? Or it might be on the other side of the Missouri border. It’s fluctuated a lot in recent years. I think it’s Missouri now. I think DC fashions might be slightly different than ours. There’s no other excuse for Jakeem not being correct.

    Sometimes I miss Luke Cage’s ‘fro, but not for any sensible reason. Just because it reminds me of my youth. Think about it though- he must have needed some kind of adamantium cake-cutter in his back pocket just to pick that thing.

  9. Keystone’s in Kansas and Central is MO. However, while it’s geographically in Kansas, from the beginning of Johns’s run its vibe has been very Detroit–a heavily unionized blue-collar factory city that loves its hockey team. (Go Combines!)

  10. […] Lightning (Sparkess?). In combination with something straight out of and the fact that Jakeem dresses and acts like a black kid from the […]

  11. Oh wow I just love this blog. I love T.I., nice pics of that wonderful rapper. I simply can not wait to read more considering I really like comic book characters. Thanks and nice post!