Polo and Hip-Hop, an Oral History [Pt. 2]

9. 2009 – The New Generation:
Inspired by Kanye and Young Dro, a new generation of ‘Lo Heads emerges across the country. Ralph Lauren begins re-releasing updated versions of classic Polo pieces to introduce them in a new era, and Jose Hustle’s “Been Had Polo” YouTube video becomes a viral sensation among ‘Lo Heads.

Jose Hustle: It was like a current series of videos goin’ around called “Been Had,” that myself and another guy was doin’. He started, and I was like, “well, I’ma jump in.” And I noticed that I had a lot of Polo attire. And “Been Had” is something that you have a lot of, in great amounts. So, like I “Been Had Polo.” I’ve done previous other “Been Had” videos, but that one got the most attention because the popularity of the brand at the moment and I guess the entertainment that people got from watching the video, too… And, I’m not takin’ any credit for it, but after my video came out, it seemed like it really became a bigger surge in Polo.

88-Keys: I remember seeing that video that went around the Internet— aw man, what was it called again. That was hilarious, oh my God. Once I saw that, then I knew what was goin’ on down south.

Just Blaze: Oh yeah. I made a response video for that but I never actually put it out. Just to be funny. Because the stuff he was throwing out was all like Macy’s stuff. It was admirable for a 17-year-old or whatever, but he obviously didn’t have anything worth anything in there. But it was funny. I actually started making a response video as a joke, but as I started pulling stuff out of my closet, I was like, ‘I have way too much.’ I had to throw Polos back in the closet. I was like ‘never mind, I’m cool.’ It was just that moment where it was funny at the time and it seemed like a good idea, but in the execution, I realized how much work it was gonna be, I was just like, ‘nah, never mind. I’m let home boy live.’

Jose Hustle: [Feedback] been mostly positive. Because for the main thing, “Damn, look at his collection. His Polo collection is so vast and large.” And the crazy thing about it is, that was just the Spring ’09 collection. That’s just the shit I got for Christmas that year… On the other hand, of course you had people dissin’. “That shit fake,” or “This nigga’s a clown,” and you can see plenty of diss videos from that. They noticed a lot of small things in the video and then made it a big part of their video. I was like, “Man, this shit’s crazy. People don’t even know me and hate me.” I mean I’m doin’ something right so we can get Nashville that attention.

Victor Ving: This is a joke to me. I think these kids watch way too much MTV cribs. To me, it was always about keeping pieces on the low and just breaking them out when people least expected it. These kids are bragging about factory outlet sale pieces that cost close to nothing. Also, what happened to boosting? I think that Polo and boosting go hand in hand. Why would you show off a $1000 sweater that you actually paid for? Doesn’t that make you the sucker? [I] can go on and on about this, but its all comedy to me.

Dallas Penn: That’s a reality. And at the same time, too, I will in a second’s notice say, “Hey listen, here’s the entire culture. Here’s the whole spectrum of it.” But that’s simply the reality of it. For someone that’s 16 years old now, my personal collection is over 20 years old. I’ve got pieces from ’86. So someone that’s 16, someone that’s 18, they weren’t even a thought when I got some of these pieces. What can we say to that? Even from that day to this moment, Polo still represents aspiration.

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  • http://www.jcalderon.com J.Calderon

    Trick Daddy: Are those Burgle Boy jeans you’re wearing? Hell no Ho, you know they’re Polo.

  • JAFFEjoe

    lol my nigga 88 keys a fool for that poncho story… hahahahaha

  • http://www.poloparties.ning.com POLO PRINCE SEMINOLE SEMI-LO The Big Bad woLf LOsceoLa Sport

    aLL You been had POLO Dudes are Funny! Get your LO up b4 You Show up. 2Ls up & 2nd to NONE, AhhWooo!

  • Father AL

    C’mon son! Nobody said P-wing?!?! Stadium ?!?!

  • Smear

    good shit. XXL NEEDS to follow this up with a feature on the Lo-Lifes: Thirstin Howl III deserves his shine as does up and comin Lo-Life Mehyem Lauren. For that “been had Polo” dude and YoungDro they need to see the true heat the Polo-Rican and Meyhem keep in their closet. Just Blaze and Dallas are crazy with that shit too…… I’d kill for their collection… or Just’s Bank balance.

  • dutchmaster

    what a good article….im coming up in the late 80s, 90s just at the end of the good era (wu-tang, grand puba) to the mid/late 90s…..i remember really being into nautica and tommy….when that shit came out about him being racist, he definitely took a hit, i only bought a little bit of nautica and mostly polo from then on…..and i can’t remember when i’ve bought any other kind of high designer “hip hop” brand other than polo

  • Suicide Kobain

    No mention of Grand Puba?

  • http://www.spag-lo.com SPAG-LO


  • http://www.spag-lo.com SPAG-LO

    >>>> @SpagLO <<<

  • http://www.showyalo.com Wiggz-LO, Extraordinaire

    Amen brotha Spag…once again, the ball has been fumbled in the red zone. I def. applaud the effort and the nod, but the execution was all wrong. With all the fly visuals floating around online, I can’t seem to understand why this didn’t come out better than it did. I used to have a lot of respect for XXL as a magazine, but even that went from sugat to sh*t over the years. Money that obviously did these got hype off the “POLO” remix and decided to whip something together before the competition could get the proper shine. If he really knew the time, he would see it goes much deeper than the brand…hell, even Thirst and Rae kept making references to the sh*t that set it off for Ralph to do what he did, yet all the focus gets put on the overly hype-beasted Snow Beach pully and some clown wit a corny youtube video…man, let me fall back….WWW.SHOWYALO.COM…the real headz know what it iz….

  • http://www.twitter.com/mdmamusic Victorious

    eh’ they tried. i dont know why some people were in the interview but im sure there are a lot of things i dont know .
    the piece vado mentioned was Rugby. not polo. there is a difference. but not everybody know the difference. not everybody gonna care either.
    it is what it is..
    i reached out to one of the brothers in the interview. and connected him up. stay tuned.
    peace to Lo Lifes.
    victorious lo.

  • The Nite Shift

    The Pimp C Reference is originally from Pimp C, but on a song Called “Doin’ the fool” E40 feat. Pimp C, to Short and Pastor Troy

  • Real Nigga 365

    Yall niggas still hating on Jose Hustle ? Seems like alot of yall old heads got offended from the young nigga’s video. Its was entertainment, do something with your life besides collecting clothes for nothing. He’s working on a degree from an HBCU im pretty sure he couldnt give 2 fucks who got vintage polo or who’s a real OG. He’s mentioned with the greats so let the lil nigga get his shine, fall back.

  • http://youtube.com/youngsheed1 Jose Hustle

    Much Luv to all the supporters and haters. I never thought I’d be mentioned with the Polo ambassadors above. Check out my video blog Jose Hustle TV on youtube, much more than Been Had.

    ** Yall so called Lo heads need to grow up, if your collection was soooooo dope as yall claim, You’d be in the article too

  • http://www.luckylogan.com Logan P. McCoy

    I liked Part 1 a whole lot better. I’m biased, sue me. “Guess and lo from head to toe to let you know, who got the props”. Come on… is it because he didn’t say polo in that song. You figure out what song it was.

  • Goose

    Why are you asking Vado and Young Dro’s opinion?? None of these have history with Lo.. Wearing a rugby from 2009 ain’t shit.. New jacks looking like idiots. Let The Lo Lifes tell this story.. Nice one XXL you screwed this story.

  • Young Bodybag

    What is this bullshit? Just Blaze and 88 Keys sucking their own dicks yet DCV gets minimal shine? This piece can’t even be thoroughly appreciated due to the underuse of potential with the interviewees. Dallas Penn, Thirstin Howl III, Ving, Rae and Sean P could’ve done this interview solo.

  • Brass Tacks

    Dro been rocking POLO! The South been rockin POLO! Get the hell outta here with another N.Y. made shit hot first write-up. The whole prep look was in style in GA back when another coast seemed more comfortable in timbs and a bubble down goose necked whatever the fuck Eskimos wear to keep warm in the antarctic. Please stop swinging from NY’s Hang low every time something that’s universally HIP-HOP. Gets written about!

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