From its genesis, hip-hop has always been tied to style, whether it's rappers flossing in their music or flexing how they look on the ’Gram. You can't be the best rapper on the block if your approach isn't cool or unique, and you have to be fly in some sense if you're trying to get noticed. Hip-hop's focus on style as an accompaniment to talent has skyrocketed in the age of social media, and modern rap has plenty of artists who have the perfected the blend of both.
Today, XXL shines some light on the freshest, flyest, best-dressed rappers out there. With how close the worlds of fashion and hip-hop are nowadays, rappers aren't afraid to swing their focus onto their gear and revel in the love they receive for them.
There are multiple rap crews that include fly dressers. YSL is certainly one of them, with both Young Thug and Gunna being known for their fashion tastes. Thug is a risk-taker, trying out styles and ’fits that other artists' wouldn't dare. He is the man who wore a dress after all. Thugger can be adventurous, but that doesn't stop him from consistently killing it. Gunna wears a lot of designer and loves bold colors in a variety of his ’fits. He has a style all his own.
When it comes to more seasoned rappers who have long been known for their fashion sense, Wale and Curren$y, two friends whose careers picked up during the blog era, are two of hip-hop's biggest sneaker fans. Spitta is heavily into Bape and other streetwear brands, and Wale has his own passion for kicks, showing off his impressive collection of Nikes and beyond. Both artists moved the needle on style, and they have also gone on to evolve, fashion-wise.
Check out the list below to see some of the freshest rappers from the modern era, and see if some of your favorites made it.
From the very start, Young Thug has always worn whatever he wanted. While much has been made about him wearing a dress and blouses, the Atlanta rapper has also been daring when it comes to designer outfits. Thug also doesn't lean towards the same footwear as other rappers, and has been known to wear Jordans at a time when a lot of artists don't.
Lil Uzi Vert is one of the most respected rappers when it comes to his drip even before he had a GQ interview that focused solely on his closet. Balenciaga, Fendi, it doesn't matter, Uzi probably owns it and rocks it well. His style is unique, from a fit and color perspective, and his on and off-stage outfits have been the talk of the town.
Lil Baby started to put more focus on his gear as his star began to rise, and that happened pretty quickly. The Atlanta rapper wears a lot of designer kicks, and often tends to match colors together while making it fly. He has also gotten off his fair share of Dior ’fits.
He didn't title a series of projects Drip or Drown for nothing. Regularly seen in Gucci, Dior and other high-fashion designer brands, Gunna puts thought into his drip, and consistently delivers. He doesn't shy away from bright colors either.
Megan Thee Stallion's career has skyrocketed over the last three years, and she's shuffled through different styles in this time. She's worn everything from more athletic-style gear, like the pink Off-White two-piece set she wore at her 2019 XXL Freshman shoot to designer styles like her pieces from Gucci, custom-made by Dapper Dan. Nowadays, she's getting high-fashion looks, and has always managed to get busy, no matter the brand.
Westside Gunn was knee-deep in fashion before he became known as the talented street rapper as he is today. He has his own line called Fashion Rebels, which is inundated with patches and heavy lettering and he can also be seen rocking other brands he supports. WSG has excellent tastes in coats, jackets and hoodies, wearing all sorts of brands from Fendi to Hermes while putting it all together with his own sense of style. In addition to that, Gunn is gonna let you know what he's wearing; why not let the people know?
Nicki Minaj is a fashion icon; she took the inspirations of female rappers before her and ran straight to the Met Gala and countless fashion rags. She's been a Wilhelmina model, and understandably so; she's had some incredible fashion moments, including the 2016 Met Gala, when she looked like a superheroine from the future. This is even before acknowledging the bright wigs and attention-grabbing dresses era of her career. Nicki's style has stood the test of time.
Wale is a streetwear and sneaker culture legend, no matter how you slice it. He came up in a time when there weren't many rappers who made sneakers a focus of their persona; he was a standout. His amazing collection of Nike and Jordan kicks, coupled with his ability to stay in tune with modern streetwear without chasing trends, it's clear he deserves his flowers. His style has evolved, and he still gets fresh, wearing more designer clothes and still showing off that kick collection.
Shy Glizzy has worn a variety of looks in his career, and now tends to wear more designer. One of the illest things about Shy's style is his versatility. He puts on utility vests, great outerwear pieces, tasteful accessories and switches between any of them at will. Shy Glizzy has one of the better Instagrams when it comes to rappers in tune with fashion.
A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie exudes the Bronx when it comes to his style. He's fly and flashy in his own way. Being that he's from the X, it's no surprise he likes to stand out from the crowd. His penchant for designer belts finds him rocking everything from Hermes to brands on a need to know bases. He stays in a good coat and jacket, too, plus he loves colorful kicks. A Boogie's style is all his own.
Things have been on the up and up for this 2020 XXL Freshman, and it's showing in her recent style choices. Mulatto tends to give a lot of indie brands shine (and tags them in her Instagram posts), wearing everything from modern dresses to more futuristic ’fits and looking comfortable in it all. As we speak, she's getting more attention for her fashion sense, right along with her abilities in the booth.
Travis Scott is one of the biggest stars in rap. Due to his heightened visibility over the last few years, his style has been a focal point for his fans. From his embrace of earth tones, larger-fitting shirts and all sorts of kicks from Nike (a company he's in business with), he stays fly because he's unique. When a lot of fans try to dress just like him, he's doing something right.
They don't call him Pretty Flocko for nothing. A$AP Rocky has been flexing on the fashion tip from the beginning of his career. He's actually been a print model and a part of huge campaigns with Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci and Calvin Klein, to name a few. Rocky gets busy in both in streetwear looks, like Bape, while looking right at home draped in Fendi. He can do it all and has the confidence to match.
Future been fresh. A long-time supporter of Maison Margiela, Gucci, Fendi and more, the ATL rep makes sure he's consistently in the latest drip, while making every look his own. Future even picked up a deal with Reebok for a bit, likely due to his fashion sense and popularity. Don't be surprised if brands keep showing interest in the FreeBand Gang top dog.
Saweetie's personality and hitmaking ability have kept her in the ongoing conversation of women in hip-hop to keep an eye on. From tomboy looks of baggy pants, a baby doll tee and kicks to designer dresses with heels worth more than a month's rent for a night out with her man Quavo, she stays dressed to impress. Her mix of model looks are all over her Instagram page and those relaxed, but flashy fits prove she's never forgotten her NorCal roots.
Curren$y has been one of the flyest rappers out for over a decade now. Spitta was a streetwear king, proudly rocking Bape and other brands while also being heavy into sneakers. Building a reputation as the modern stoner rapper before pivoting to a motivational example of coming up, Curren$y always remained true to himself. Nowadays, he wears a lot of his own brand, Jet Life Clothing, and always looks relaxed in sweatsuits, shorts and his now patented headband. The sneakers are always crisp, too.
It's Dolph, so of course he's going to be among some of the game's freshest rappers. With a closet full of Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Louis Vuitton and more, Young Dolph is serious about his ’fits. Every time he steps out, his clothes look meticulously put together, even if fashion is something that comes very easy to him. Dolph has mastered the science of making it look both easy and good.
As a member of Migos, of course Quavo was Versace'd down early on his career. Now, he has plenty of variety, being heavily into Gucci, the clothing collab he has with BooHoo Man, Nike and much more. There is no nailing down one particular style for Quavo; he wore pinstriped yellow overalls and a du-rag in the "Need It" video, and it looked cool as hell.
Like his right-hand man Rocky, A$AP Ferg embodies Harlem flyness. While Ferg tends to get a little wilder than Rocky gear-wise, from pastel leather coats and more, it works for him. The A$AP Mob member also isn't particularly beholden to any one brand; Ferg has been seen in nearly everything, including pieces so fresh they're not even on the public's radar. This guy's super immersed in the world of high fashion and it shows.
Offset's style has evolved over time, from being heavy on the silk Versace shirts to now being full of New Era fitteds, tees and letterman jackets. ’Set is really good at using contrasting colors throughout his wardrobe and accessories and that approach helps make the entire outfit pop. He's also a supporter of the more relaxed cargo and jeans trend, and he kills it.
Key Glock has great taste in clothing, but he really excels at cold weather gear. Often seen in ski masks and Moncler pieces, he knows what a good puffer jacket looks like, and what to wear with it. He dons all the fresh kicks, from Jordans to designer, and always keeps at least one pop of color in all of his ’fits.
Tracksuits and one-size-fits-all hats are huge in the U.K., and as Skepta began to crossover stateside, his style got copied pretty quickly. Skepta has plenty of high fashion looks, but he's mostly seen in street style gear. Nike took notice, giviing him his collab, SKAir, which consists of various Air Max models. But the relaxed ’fits aren't all he's flossin'. Polished all-black looks like a button-up with a Louis Vuitton accent he wears well.
Meyhem Lauren doesn't get enough props in these discussions, but he has been showing out when it comes to fresh dressed style for a while. Always good for a vintage Polo piece or some silk garments, Lauren gets fly and never looks stuck in the past. He has a particular style known as his own, and sticks to what he likes.