Queen of Hip Hop V Mag Editorial: “Performing” Culture?

Hip Hop has always been a fascinating part of American culture. Whether it’s debating who the historical greats are or delving deeper in to its meaning, if you’re around a Hip Hop junkie, there’s so much to learn. However, one thing that I haven’t really seen is the commodification of Hip Hop in a high fashion spread. Today, while digging through the archives of Models.com, I found a very interesting spread entitled, “Queen of Hip Hop.” At first sight, I expected to see an artist of some kind that was being showcased. However, as I flipped through the pages, I didn’t. Instead, I saw the embodiment of what I perceived to be hip hop through a fashion editorial lens.

Upon further analysis, I realized that it wasn’t necessarily a recapitulation of hip hop insignia or genres, but more specifically what I perceived to be the performance of ethnicity or specific racialized identities and cultures. Since garb and music are what distinguish many cultures, this is definitely something that was visually explored through each of the images in this fashion spread. To some, it may be unsettling, and to some it may be considered exciting. But, whether you see this as an opportunity to fashion a critique of these images, these are pretty interesting images regardless.  Feel free to leave a comment of what you got out of viewing each of these images. Opinions and perspectives are more than welcome!