There’s only one Akademiks we acknowledge — and it doesn’t have a Twitch account.
This streetwear brand’s flavor was New York City to its core, if not its pronunciation (out-of-towners, say it with us now: en-EE-chee), but its appeal was universal.
5. Cross Colours
With its loud, pan-African color palette, Cross Colours was the perfect garb for hip-hop’s early-’90s love affair with Black nationalism, its rise dovetailing with that of acts like X-Clan and Public Enemy (and, for some reason, Marky Mark). There were no better threads to fight the power.
4. Karl Kani
Long before Khalifa Kush became stoners’ green standard, there was a sartorial KK blazing the hip-hop fashion game. Everyone from The Notorious B.I.G. to Eminem has lyrically paid homage to one of the originators, Karl Kani.
Admit it: You wanted to sign to Roc-a-Fella Records, but your bars were weaker than the service on your two-way pager. But alas, there was another way: Throw on a Rocawear fit, and throw your diamond in the sky.
2. Sean John
Velour suit game so silky!
When Ladies Love Cool James appeared in that legendary GAP commercial, rapping the illest subliminal product placement ever (“For us, by us — on the low!”), the FUBU hat on his head might as well have been a superhero cape on his back. Any piece from this Black-owned brand was liable to make you feel fly, too.
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