Polo and Hip-Hop, an Oral History [Pt. 2]
Thirstin Howl III (AKA Big Vic Lo): My favorite symbol is the cross flags. Ever. I mean, I’ve worn cross flags from head to toe. So anything with the cross flags is good. That’s my favorite shit. It depends on how you put it down. But that’s my favorite logo. So if I could put together a thousand pieces with that logo on it then I’m good.
Raekwon: My favorite piece was probably definitely that Snow Beach shit. And the gooses. The gooses back in the days. With the light saber stripes in the middle of the jacket. Shit, if they made them shits right now, I bet you mad cats would go back out and get ‘em though. But I would definitely say the Polo gooses, though.
Just Blaze: The Snow Beach… I had it shortly after it came out (in 1993), and I happened to lose it six years ago when a bag was stolen from me at JFK. It turned out the bag was actually stolen by an employee after I checked it. So form that I lost a lot of my best pieces, and I ended up having to buy another one. Luckily, I caught it before the Polo re=explosion happened. So I didn’t get beat over the head. I probably paid around $600… But to be honest, even though I love that piece and it all starts there. The piece that I’m probably most proud of is the pants that go with that. A lot of people don’t know about or have the pants. There were ski pants that went along with that pullover. And they’re super-duper rare to find. And a lot of times if you do find them, the letters are chewed up, they’re peeled off, the paint is cracking. I got ‘em in perfect condition. Mint. They were never worn.
Dallas Penn: I’ve had tons of sick pieces. Right now there’s a piece, the Japan Spell-out Anorak. That’s what I’m desirous of right now. I don’t have it yet. Because again, for me, it’s aspiration. It’s trying to get it. Shit that I’ve had or sold on eBay, I’ve had those. This is a piece I have not had yet.
VADO: My favorite Polo piece is my vest that I wore in the “Talk to ‘Em” video. My first video with Cam, I had wore this custom Rugby vest. It was leather on the top, and it had patches. It had a “R” patch, and number 5 patch. Navy blue with the brown leather tops. It was crazy… That’s something that I framed. ‘Cause it was my first video with Cam, first video in the game. And it was a custom exclusive Rugby vest that no one else has.
88-Keys: It’s my 2006 Fall Collection Polo Indian Pointe Poncho. It’s actually called the striped Serape Poncho. It’s my favorite piece because I knew it existed— I saw the image of it somewhere— and I just went on a hunt for it. I went to all my contacts here in New York. From people who worked at the department stores to people who worked at the Ralph Lauren stores. And nobody knew what I was talking about… So then I started my cross country trek for that poncho. I called several stores then I wound up hitting the jackpot in Troy, Michigan. I called up the store in Troy, Michigan and spoke to one of the sales associates who knew exactly what I was talking about. He was like, “Oh yeah, we have one more left, it’s in the window right now.” I was like, “Aw man, this is it.” Like to me, that was my Snow Beach pullover. As soon as I got it, I made a trip to the Ralph Lauren store on Madison where my friend works. I was visiting him just to show him the poncho. So I went in there, as soon as I walked in, it was so weird. I describe it like, it felt like I walked in there with Paris Hilton on my arm. Everybody just stopped and stared at me. Sales associates, shoppers. And this is at the Ralph Lauren store, ‘cause no one has ever seen this. I was completely layered up, I had all the gear. I had the Indian Pointe Coyote Cap, I had the boots which were like 8-inch high boots. I had the Indian Pointe Mohwak Tack jeans. I had a sweater on, the Indian Pointe sweater. And then I had a Henley underneath. I was completely layered up. And then I had the Indian Pointe poncho on. I went and found my man, took it off, showed him the Ralph Lauren Polo tag in the back— just to seal the deal and make it official— and I also had the Indian Pointe Coition scarf. So I was like, “man, say somethin’.” So that was like my defining moment.
Victor Ving: Snowbeach Hoodie.
Sean Price: Back in the days, my man Henry. He had a goose, man. It was green. It was green and brown. The bottom part was green, like dark olive green, and the top was a leather brown. And he had a leather cookie on the arm. Wooohhh. That shit was awesome. The old orange snorkel. With the horse on it. Some simple shit. I loved that shit. I wish I could find one of those again.
Jose Hustle: Olympic jacket: Michael Phelps sent me the shit… Big shouts out to my nigga Michael Phelps.
Young Dro: I think my favorite piece would be the all pink. I got the pink top. I have the original Polo handkerchief, like the red, gold and green, that’s how I be kicking it.
Check the next page for some of rap’s most memorable lyrical references to Polo…