Hip-hop/Spirituality/Freethinking. Speaking for all underdogs!
This Skirt Thingy…
By Khalil Amani
I don’ beat all hell outta wrote extensively about dudes wearing kilts & skirts. (See "The Spook Who Sat By Hip-Hop's Door" and "Lord Jamar Has a God-Complex" at www.khalilamani.ning.com) I have deconstructed the likes of Lord Jamar’s angst for kilt-wearing, but for some unknown reason, not nann one none of those blogs made it off the cutting-room floor! (I guess some subjects are off limits even to the “World’s Most Dangerous Site?”) Side-eye. I don’t have a problem with doods wearing kilts or skirts!
In some hip-hop heads’ minds, skirt-wearing is the feminization of hip-hop, which is being spearheaded by the oh-so-controversial Kanye West. Most recently, Omar Epps sported a skirt on "The View" and once again, tha god Lord Jamar had a conniption-fit on Twitter. Straightway, comedian/actor Marlon Wayans came to Omar’s defense and a war-of-words on Twitter ensued between Marlon and Lord Jamar.
Coincidentally, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) was recently photographed in a skirt, as these ignant Americans would call it, but in reality it’s called a “wrap” aka “sarong,” which is worn by men of different cultures the world over. I wore that exact same kente cloth sarong to a club for my first book signing (2000)–and niggas was like, “WTH?” But chicks dug it!
Confession! I bought a black Scottish kilt waaaaay back in 2001—before any rapper had the balls to wear one! That thang was baaaad! It was pleated all the way around with an over-sized bobbie-pin and a leather belt attached to it. I never wore it though. Ended up giving it to a white kid that was into that Gothic shit. My fashion sensibilities were like that at 41 years old!
(Public Nigga Announcement! Africans, Egyptians and Moors didn't invent PANTS! Europeans did!)
Soon after that, many rappers donned a kilt, including P Diddy, Snoop Dogg, Andre 3000, Kid Cudi, ASAP Rocky, Trinidad James and of course, Kanye West.
So I pose the question. Is Kilt/skirt-wearing really the feminization/emasculation of hip-hop? Why do some “go hard” (should I pause?) over kilt-wearing while saying nothing about niggas saggin’? I don’t get it, because, indeed, saggin’ will go down in the annals of hip-hop fashion history as one of the worst accoutrement statements ever! (Think Kwame’s polka-dots, Kriss Kross’s backwards pants and Kid & Play’s High-top fade. Saggin’ is “worser” than all of that combined!)
Have we forgotten how Grandmaster Flash & dem dressed in rap’s advent?
In the pantheon of “Things That Fuck Up Hip-Hop”—where does kilt-wearing stand? Saggin’, poppin’ Mollys, Worldstar, Mickey Mouse lyricism, over-saturation of dope-boy/gangsterism rap, beefs, Macklemore (for many) and any other things niggas complain about—why does this skirt thingy get niggas panties in a bunch? Mad respect to Lord Jamar, but since I’m older than he, I can take him to task without those sentimental hip-hop cries that I should stand down.
It’s quite pathetic hearing Lord Jamar try and steer this young person’s culture. He’s like an old washed-up boxer sitting on the front porch (or, in this case, Vlad’s couch) telling the young’uns war stories—lying to the kiddies about what hip-hop is—upset that the white kid has mastered his toy (rap) and the gay kid is beginning to stand up for himself and speak his truth. Indeed! Lord Jamar is hip-hop’s version of Napoleon Dynamite’s “Uncle Rico”—who so desperately wishes that Kip’s “Time Machine” could take him back to 1990 just to get one more chance at being quarterback in the State Championship game. (See what having children will do? Keep ya current on cult classic movies!)
I'm old as fuck, yet I get it! It ain't about Tims, oversized T-shirts and FUBUs no mo'! (Unless you shop for your shoes at Walmart!)
Worrying about if black men will become “girlie-men” (Thank you Arnold!) should be the last thing on hip-hop’s mind! Clothes don’t make you gay or feminine! A man wearing a skirt isn’t gonna make him desire another man anymore than saggin’ will make a nigga a gangsta. It’s all fashion and fashions and trends come and go.
Rappers/actors wearing kilts and skirts haven’t caused a decline in teen pregnancy in da hood. Rappers wearing skirts has not soften up the genre known as rap. (Still homophobic as ever!) Rappers wearing skirts hasn’t allowed the first openly gay rapper to break through into mainstream. (Shout-out to gay rappers Lasto, Bone Intell, Kaoz, Bry'Nt and the rest! Still rooting for y'all!) And I have as of yet to see any young high-school age boys wearing skirts to school. It’s safe to say that the demagoguery of the likes of Lord Jamar and many of you overly emotional Internet trolls is just some empty rhetoric without one scrap of evidence, scientific or ghetto, to support the notion that hip-hop (black men) are being emasculated and feminized (i.e. turning guys gay). In the words of that Right-Wing wing-nut Bill O'Reilly, I say to you Lord Jamar. “Stop bloviating!” ("The art of speaking for as long as the occasion warrants, and saying nothing" or, as James Brown once sang, “Talkin’ loud and ain’t sayin’ nothin’!”)
Marlon Wayans was right! Niggas need to save up some coins and get out of the hood! Travel! See the world! Expand their worldview and stop thinking about masculinity and homosexuality in the context of hip-hop’s narrow-mindedness. And if you can’t afford to see the world, there’s always the friggin’ Internet! You can travel from your roach-infested Project!
Lastly, what does it matter what another man wears? Some new-jack Sigmund Freud might suggest that a man commenting on another man’s fashion sensibilities is latent homosexual tendencies rearing its head. I’m tellin’ you. This skirt thingy is so overrated!
Khalil Amani is a blogger for AllHipHop. He also writes for DJ Kay Slay’s Originators Magazine & Straight Stuntin Magazine. Amani also writes for Hoodgrown, Maybach and Sext Magazines. He is the author of six books, including the ground-breaking book, “Hip-Hop Homophobes…” iuniverse.com 07). Amani is gay hip-hop’s self-proclaimed straight advocate. Visit The Coonerific One at http://www.khalilamani.ning.com Follow on Facebook/Twitter @khalilamani. Youtube @ yahweh 12 Khalilamani@yahoo.com