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.

1 of 9
  • Kanye Dropout Polo Bear Homepage Marquee
  • Polo 20th Anniversary Sweater with Cross Flags
    Polo 20th Anniversary Sweater with Cross Flags
  • Snow Beach Polo
    Snow Beach
  • Polo Indian Pointe Poncho
    Polo Indian Pointe Poncho
  • Japan Spellout Anorak
    Japan Spellout Anorak
  • Vado Polo Vest
    Vado Polo Vest
  • Young Dro Polo
  • Kanye West Polo shots
  • Tyson Beckford Polo

Check the next page for some of rap’s most memorable lyrical references to Polo…

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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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