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L.A.U.S.D. presents… Curly Tops and Nautica Jackets

Before Ed Hardy, True Religion and Evisu jeans began suffocating young men’s lower bodies thus causing mass sterilization (Could the plot of “Children of Men” be a prophetic warning of what’s to come because of this?), the hood was all about rocking true name brands that were intended for the rich upper class, but found its way to the ghetto in baggy form. Only the realest nuccas in the hood had the right and privilege to be rocking gear from the holy trinity of name brands: Ralph Lauren’s Polo (I’m still to this day a Polo head. Lo Lives for life!); Tommy Hilfiger; and Nautica.

So when I saw the title to this mixtape, I couldn’t help but get a nostalgic feeling that brought about a ear to ear grin to the god’s grill. Me personally, I was all about the Polo polo’s and rugby’s; Tommy Hifliger jean jackets with the suede collar and his knits with the patches on the chest and sleeves and the Nautica fleeces with the reflective stripe on the hood. Oh my gawd! The golden years of hip-hop fashion.

It was only a matter of time before dudes paid homage to the white men (and Taiwanese dude who founded Nautica) who pioneered the ’90s fashion of hip-hop. So on Curly Tops and Nautica Jackets some of the best from the underground scene were called on to lace this mixtape with their take on the ’90s fashion movement.

Dudes like Convinced hit the nail on the head on “Starter Jacket” with his lines, “I had the Tommy Hil fly shit with all the fly kicks/Jordans early Saturday morning, front of the line shit/Gap hat, Guess pants, Polo rugby’s/but British Knights didn’t fly, oh no, buddy! Cross Colors, naw bro, those clothes ugly/the object of fashion is to not look funny.” Will someone please copy and paste that last line and send it to Kanye West and Jim Jones. Thank you.

Also I was loving how Dome Kennedy was able to describe missing out on a shorty on “Miss Donna Karen” by saying, “She’s like that one Polo jacket that you missed on sale…” back in those days it was all about ballin’ on a budget, and if you missed a dope Polo/Nautica or Hilfiger jacket on sale, you’d hate yourself for the rest of your life. I know I still do.

All in all I was loving the concept of the mixtape and the sounds it produced. It was stylish music that you could literally get dressed to and just start feeling yourself before walking out your door. I myself was listening to laid back, mellowed out “We Made It ‘09” while throwing on my RL Polo pullover and just started feeling dipped with my bad OG fashion self. I ain’t trying to walk down no runway, na’mean. I’m just trying to walk down my block and still feel like a man. And by that I mean feeling confident in the fact that I can still reproduce.

But still, as much as I was loving this joint, some of the hooks on the songs were a little off for what was going on with the song. Like the hooks on “Today’s My Day,” “Miss Donna Karen,” and “Polo.” But a few weak choruses weren’t enough to keep this mixtape from being off the hook. The music was inspired by my favorite fashion era and the MCs and artists on this mixtape captured its essence with their words and scenarios. Not an easy feat at all.

So all I can say now is keep your weak ass—not too mention tight ass—Ed Hardy’s and True Religion crap. As long as Ralph Lauren keeps making Polo, North Face helps me maintain in the winter with their jackets, Girbaud drops baggy jeans, Timberland creates construction boots, and $5 black tees exist, baby I’m good and fertile.

Honorable Name Brand Mentions from the ’90s: Eddie Bauer (Underrated), Helly Hansen, Perry Ellis, United Colors of Benetton, DKNY, Coogi (still going strong), Bear (The poor man’s North Face), Old Navy (The poor man’s Gap), Chaps (Can’t Have A Polo Shirt), Trezeta boots (The spikes that would come out the bottom of the heel came in VERY handy on many occasion), Iceberg History (After Snoopy they had nothing for us), Mecca (When they started throwing out those Indian, Aztec and African tribe colors, they lost me) & Fubu (The only name brand who’s real clothes looked bootleg and bootleg clothes looked better stitched than the original).-The Infamous O

Hottest Joint: “We Made It ‘09”

Weakest Joint: “Today’s My Day” (Only cause of the chorus)

  • freakyfiki

    The Hottest Outfit in the 90′s:

    Coogi Sweater
    Brown Polo Boots with the buckle
    Maurice Malone/Polo/or Guess Jeans
    Pelle Pelle Soda Pop Leather Jacket

  • O

    I’d kill for those old school brown Polo boots. Classics.

  • Stevie B

    I never really been a Coogi head but for me it was the Polo visor with the matchin polo shirt the light blue denim jeans pre washed I even had the polo socks with the sneakers white with the navy blue trim. And the wind breaker because it might get cold at night early spring or early fall. I was never to keen on mixing brands.

    In the 90′s it was two kinds of people those that mix brands and those that dont.

    • yoprince

      .. true story, you couldn’t mix brands.. we called it “perpetratin” in ATL… i don’t know if that was a nationwide term

      • O

        Nah, in NY you were able to mix brands as long as you did it smooth like, na’mean. Me personally I would always rock Girbaud or Guess jeans cause those were the best baggy fit. Other brands were a little young on the kid.

      • Gee-Gee Boogie

        Yep, If you were Polo–you were Polo’d down in the ATL. If you rocked that Nautica, you rocked it down to the socks AND the drawers…NO MIXING or “perpetratin’.” Especially if you were going to The Gate that weekend!!!! HAA!!!

  • O

    Back then Coogi only had those $500 sweaters. Now they have the hood sh*t. I heard the dudes who owned Fubu actually bought a stake in Coogi and brought about the cheaper colorful crap to the table for hood rich niqqas. I was the brand mixer, can’t front. But Tommy Hil and Polo were my favorite brands. Like i said, to this day Polo makes those classic looking joints so i still fucks with them.

  • http://myspace.com/dnezmzuic DNEZ

    this is classic work… good lookin on the post! we here!

  • vanessa

    While Tiron is a wonderful emcee, that line you quoted as his is actually from Convinced. Just want to make sure we’re giving credit where credit is due :)

  • O

    Random memory, my homie Ever (He was a Godbody) would only rock Nautica cause it was founded by an Asiatic original man. I felt where he was coming from, but dunn… I loved that little man on the horse and that dragon looking emblem on my gear.

    • Stevie B

      lol Whats todays Mathematics God?

  • O

    Wisdom build/destroy being born by cipher…

  • O

    The worst was when bootleg Tommy Hilfiger shirts were in style. Obvious bootleg shirts that had weird stitching were the fad in the late 90′s. I refused to partake in such blasphemy…

  • Stevie B

    That basically took us to the era that we are in now God. These females young cats and fake men think its ok to rock fake clothes. Lined up at canal street in broad daylight. That was a serious no no at one point. And I dont mean to get all spiritual but if you wearin something fake on your body what does that say about your character. Mind Body and Soul must be one. Peace God, Bless the Earths and all the Seeds

  • Gee-Gee Boogie

    Sho’ nuf yoprince… If you were Polo–you were Polo’d down in the ATL. If you rocked that Nautica, you rocked it down to the socks AND the drawers…NO MIXING or “perpetratin’.” Especially if you were going to The Gate that weekend!!!! HAA!!!

  • aggzworth

    “Todays my day” is my SHIT… Hook is the best part…