There’s so much to be talked about when it comes to hip hop culture. Over the years, the love hip hop has received has been met, expectantly, with stereotypes and misguided and inaccurate ideas. Expectantly; perhaps because we were ultimately introduced to just a part of the culture – the music aspect – and were made to regard it as what the whole culture encompasses. We thus grew with s sidelined view of hip hop; making it’s acceptance and its due acknowledgement difficult. The necessary (re)education is represented in the yoyo tinz tee; seeing as it attempts to represent hip hop in its entirety; by projecting the different elements of the culture.
First, there’s the dj on the turntable. Djing- an art which is very rudimental to hip hop culture; and yet has received very little or no acknowledgement. It is not enough that the work and its practitioners is regarded as relevant; but that it is done without the exclusion of women practitioners. The design makes a humble attempt at creating an awareness and acknowledgement of women in the art of djing.
Next to the dj is a graffiti artiste. Graffiti- A language, very political and social, once and still used by artistes to question and to out their feelings about society, forms a valid element of hip hop. Given the nature of this art, it was once frowned upon, pulled out of the “artistic circle”. Graffiti finding its ties with hip hop was complimentary as it both stands for a singular cause- to amplify voices from the streets for the streets. Ghana preferably has its fair share of these radical advocates of graffiti. Shouts to folks like Bright Ackwerh; who happens to be the artist behind the design on the tee.
Then there’s the character representing (Break) Dance: It’s also been an expressive tool used by many to tell stories or make statements. In the hip hop scene, it has been a vehicle in settling feuds – where dance group converge and “battle” it out, all the while, having fun in the process.
Last but not least, there’s the figure with a raised fist, wielding a book. A powerful representation suggestive of the importance of having information and also disseminating that information from generation to generation.
Lastly, there’s rap music; which overwhelms all the other elements of the hip hoop culture. It seems to be the particular element easily recognisable to all “hip hop lovers”. Rap music was used as a mechanism from the onset to speak back at the inconsistencies meted out to the black community. It tackled both social and political issues in its rhymes and bars. The figure on the shirt puts out the swag/attitude that rap artistes invariably exhibit during a performance.
In light of the above, it becomes essential for every lover of hip hop to acquire a shirt as this one; which comes in two main colours; black and white. And guess what? Each figure there represents actual persons involved in the hip hop scene in Ghana.
Contact yoyo tinz for your very own. Hip hop is here to stay.
Written by: Nii Armah