Hip hop is more than just baggy clothes—it's a lifestyle and a cultural movement. But when you think about the most identifiable aspect of hip hop, it would most definitely have to be rap music. It is through razor-sharp lyrics and banging beats that the voices of different generations are heard. And though the rhymes have changed over the years, rap remains a venue of creative expression for anyone who wants to tread its waters. It sure has come a long way—check it out.
1970s: "The Birth"
It's often said that rap originated in the South Bronx of New York, but exact history gets a little tricky when it comes to this topic. Others locales lay claim to being the birthplace of hip hop, including Los Angeles in California, where the culture is also very prominent. Where it was born doesn't matter—what matters is that it came ot life.
Mid-80s: "Establishing Pillars"
Electro-funk found it's way into the mix, and rap music began to express socio-cultural issues. Other pillars of hip hop were realized during this era as well, such as graffiti art, beat boxing, and break dancing.
Late-80s: "The First Golden Age"
According to hip hop aficionados, this is considered the first golden age of rap because the musicians who came out pushe the creative envelope when it came to beats and rhymes. They set the bar high for the next crop of artists, elevating the art form.
Early to mid-90s: "The Second Golden Age"
Fueled by the creative juices of the first golden age, artists in this period in hip hop's timeline saw heightened success with more of them breaking into the mainstream. This period also concretized hip hop culture as a whole.
2000-onward: "The Future"
Contrary to what many have said, rap is not dead—it's only taken another form. To box it in and limit it to what it once was is not the way of hip hop; it is a constatly evolving phenomenon. So what lies ahead for hip hop? We can't wait to find out.
For one thing, we can all be sure that a staple when it comes to hip hop footwear will always be on the move, constatly adapting to the changing times just like the hip hop does. Throughout each era of hip hop, the Converse All-Star has been a recurring element in many situations—as a shoe that's performed on stage, paced the city streets, been in the recording studio, or even just lounging with tha homies. And because hip hop is more than just music, the style that goes with it crosses borders—just like how artists like Vince Staples, Spanto, and professional basketball player Jordan Clarkson do it. Check out the video below and you'll agree:
Converse and hip hop are like peas and carrots: they just go with one another. Chuck Taylors have featured prominently in urban culture, street style, and rap music, as they can be seen on the feet of some of hip hop's greatest. They are a staple because they can be matched with just about any outfit, and for hip hop, which is always evolving, a versatile shoe like the Chuck Taylor comes in very handy.
In the spirit of evolution, Converse has re-crafted their original Chuck Taylor All-Star from the 1970s, and created a revamped version of it: the Converse Al-Star Chuck '70. Featuring a thicker insole, a premium heavy gauge canvas upper, nickel eyelets, 100 percent cotton laces, and beefed-up arch support, it's a familiar classic with a new twist. Converse keeps it fresh with this re-issue, just like hip hop keeps things fresh every day. And when you put the two together? That's what people might refer to a little slice of hip hop perfection.
For more information about the Converse All-Star '70, click here.