Diversity, escapism, and becoming Pop
The status of Hiphop in the year 2022
With street fashion and rap music equally at their peak, Hiphop in Germany is bigger than ever. What is shaping the culture in 2022? We identified three meta trends.
Openness to new subcultures
Next to techno, some incorporate fun punk or nu metal into their music. One of the shooting stars of 2022, T-Low, comes from a fairly young hip-hop milieu: the emo trappers. Grunge is a frequent inspiration here. Rap and emo have been married internationally in the early 2010s. With T-Low, the genre can now be found on the German charts.
Kitschy samples are also en vogue, matching the Y2k trend in fashion. Nostalgia can be escapism, but Gen Z does not want to go back to the past. The musical and fashion quotes in hiphop culture are less an homage than a creative mash-up learned on Tiktok. Sometimes they are a plain mockery of times when society was less aware of its proximity to the abyss.
There used to be many youth cultures, now most of them are movements within hiphop. Youth cultures have been assimilated. Gen Z artists sample even more influences than the millennials before them. You see more and more skateboards in the hiphop world, be it through street fashion brands like Kiosq or rappers like Makko. Just as with basketball, the new closeness of skateboarding and hiphop closes a circle that began in the nineties.
The proximity between rap and street fashion is more significant than evener in 2022. German street fashion is bigger than ever, young rappers put a lot of emphasis on fashion. A generation of young brands is breaking into the mainstream. They grew up on Instagram and are closely linked to the success of their respective designers. The biggest of these brands, Peso, was founded by influencer Justin. Achraf Ait Bouzalim, whose brand was joined by fashion platform About You, is similarly successful. Others, like Low Lights Studios from Düsseldorf, are on the verge of breaking into the mass market.
In street fashion, too, it will be a matter of adequately spelling out hiphop’s position as a pacesetter in pop culture, balancing mass appeal and avant-gardism, escapism and attitude. Currently mass appeal and escapism are in the lead, but the counter-movements are big enough to keep the culture in balance.