On his Hard Knock Life tour at the cusp of the millenium, Jay Z commemorated each city he performed in with hometeam sports jerseys. Enter a fad that would weave its way in and out of the culture ever since, menswear or not.
Rocking T-shirts as headwear
For some time in the early 2000s, Hov switched between durags and t-shirts as his preferred form of headgear. Then dudes went home and figured out how to tie their tees around their domes too. Thank God that’s over, right?
Sipping on Cristal
Along with influencing the way people dress, Hov also has a say in the libations they enjoy. And for over decade, gold bottles were the Champagne of choice, but Jay was popping it when y’all thought it was beer.
Ditching jerseys for button ups
Bossily enough, all Jay Z has to do to start (or end) a trend, is reference it in a song. Hov’s “What More Can I Say” included the line, “And I don’t wear jerseys, I’m thirty-plus/Gimme a crisp pair of jeans, nigga, button-ups,” and everybody changed clothes.
Donning Yankee fitteds
Jay Z really did make the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can.
Rapper clothing lines
Yes, rappers have had clothing lines before Jay Z, but none of them saw as much success and impact as Rocawear in the early 2000s.
Rapper sneaker lines
While you sit on your hands and wait for what Kanye has up his sleeve with Adidas, don’t forget where it all started. Jay Z was the first rapper to have his own sneaker line with Reebok’s S. Carters.
Ditching Cristal for Ace Of Spades
After Cristal’s appreciation for hip-hop’s hand in their sales was less than Jay Z deemed sufficient, he did what any rap mogul named Shawn Carter would do. He quickly cosigned a new brand, Armand de Brignac, and flexed the muscle of his influence.
Telling the time with Hublots
“New watch alert: Hublots…” Jay loves a nice, expensive timepiece, so when Mr. Nice Watch shouts one out, everyone knows what time it is.
Telling the time with Audemars Piguets
Again, Hov was always right on time. Get it? Right on time.
Rocking "all-black everything"
Jay Z came on No I.D.’s “Death of Autotune” and straightened hip-hop’s act up. Fed up with the state of the genre, he also swore to wear black for a year straight. And people did that with him, too.
When Hov got tired of telling people what Champagne to drink, he aligned with a cognac brand and told people to drink that. Of course, they listened. Pretty smart move, if we do say so ourselves.
Ditching mollies for Tom Ford
Okay, so Jay Z isn’t exactly the first to rock Tom Ford, but his homonymous Magna Carta track definitely gave the high-brow brand some low-brow appeal. And he also got his own shirt.
Wearing Stance socks
In case you were remiss as to just how influential Hov’s taste is, his choice of sock is also a source of emulation. Though he had been pictured rocking the brand a whole year before his “F.U.T.W” line, D. Wade’s Stance collaboration dropped a few months after Magna Carta.
The return of the big ass chain
Big ass chains have made their way in and out of hip-hop over the decades, but thanks to Hov’s 5-kilo Cuban link chain and his Five Percent Nation medallion, say hello to them yet again.