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This week on Life Full Circle Radio we are asking the question, what happened to true swag?
By Miguel Lloyd
At the risk of sounding like a real ol’ head and borderline curmudgeon, when I saw this picture that is circling around the internet, I was immediately floored. Pictured above are two young dudes, one with his jeans on his hips, the other with his jeans unbuttoned and below his….package…taking a picture like they are the most suave dudes on the planet. Well for some of y’all reading this who’ve been stuck in a cubicle ignoring BET, YouTube and your kids for the last 15 years, that is Bow Wow (formerly Lil Bow Wow) and Soldier Boy. Two very popular rappers and sometimes actors in the game. The way they and many of their colleagues in the entertainment industry are dressing are the source of your discontent with your sons, nephews and neighbors fashion choices.
Now for some who know me personally, you know that I went through, just like many of us, phases in fashion that we will never understand. The Kwame polka dots, house music rayon shirts and those silver toe shoes many of us wore, we will never live down. However, I am proud to say that I never owned a pair of hammer pants. They were just whack!
I am not trying to dump on youthful exuberance or their form of self-expression. What concerns me and many like me is many of the choices that being made show very little vision and are irreversible. It goes well beyond skinny jeans that will go out of style like the Jerri curl. Face and neck tattoos are becoming as important to your outfit as, a Gucci belt or a pair of Jordans. All while black unemployment is double the average of the rest of America. For some of the younger fashionistas reading this and wondering what one has to do with the other. Well if you have black or brown skin and you have tattoos that are in places that cannot be covered up by a polo shot, you’ve made a decision that may influence people who may not employ you. Unless you want to work at McDonalds, wash cars or cut grass.
Many of us ol heads who have tats or black greek brands, have them in places you might see on our follow through during a round of golf, or during a pick up game of hoops, not when we are simply walking around in the mall. When we chose to make those personal expressions, we did it in a way that if we were a Kappa or we wanted to honor the memory of Tupac or another “dead homie”, it was on a “need to know” basis, not for mass consumption. Thats not the mind-set of many anymore.
Young men and women are not leaving much to the imagination in the choices they are making in their way of expression. They are wearing them for all to see, whether we want to see them or not.
On this weeks show, we will ask the question, Where did the “Swag” go? Are these young people making mistakes or is it much adieu about nothing.
Miguel Lloyd is a blogger, radio host and Media entrepreneur. He hosts a weekly talk show called Life Full Circle Radio. The show includes super producer, Nikkia Ganey with hot topics, Seshmi Robertson with Entertainment, Elton Gumbel with Sports and Alton Drew with the Politics365.com Politics segment. Join us this and every Wednesday night for the lively conversation by clicking HERE!
By Miguel Lloyd
When I received the news of brother Heavy D passing, the first thing I thought was, “Wow”. Although I am a product of the hip hop generation and love the culture, because of the direction it has gone in, I don’t listen to hip hop the way I used to. I know my story is similar to many of you. There is something about playing “The Chronic” or Redman’s “What the Album”, around my kids that doesn’t exemplify being a good father.
When we were coming up, just like any other teenage kids we were rebellious sneaking to watch and listen to artists that most of us weren’t asking our mothers a fathers to play in the boom box at the cookouts. Than there was Heavy D.
This brother blended the fun stuff, with dance music, a little classic R & B, at the same time blending in his Caribbean roots. He definitely was “parent” friendly. His classic Mr. Big Stuff, grabbed a sample from the classic Jean Knight track and modernized it so we would “wop” to it. At the same time, the video infused 3 generations of party goers to show what his goal was. Make music that generations would enjoy.
As the new jack swing era came about, he continued to drop hit after hit. Songs featuring famous models, in the videos for the ladies to enjoy to hard core tracks with Biggie Smalls and Busta Rhymes, he always appealed to the masses of fans. He was really at the beginning of the merger of the hip hop and R & B community becoming one community.
As the culture continued to evolve, there seemed to be less room for artist like Heavy D. so like most of us, we lost touch with the brother. But than came Twitter. In this world we can reconnect with whom ever we want. The record companies and networks don’t determine who we “follow”. He had just dropped an album that he was marketing and had a surprise appearance on this years BET Hip Hop Awards. A whole new generation was exposed to the Overweight Lover.
With his tweets, I would see the evolution of the man and it was what many of us probably expected. Youthful exuberance had evolved to that of a father and mentor. His last tweet simply had 2 words…
Brother…Heav, I’m sure I speak for many when I say, you’re spirit on Earth was a blessing. I hope that it will inspiring many young men to be emulate your class & style and ladies to require the men in their lives to live upright as you presented yourself.
One love brother…
Miguel is the host of Life Full Circle Radio Check him out with the entire crew. Nikkia Ganey with hot topics, Seshmi Robertson with Entertainment, Elton Gumbel with Sports and Alton Drew with the Politics365.com Politics segment. Join us this and every Wednesday night for the lively conversation by clicking HERE!