Rapper clothing lines were a rarity once upon a time. These days it seems like rappers get a clothing line as soon as they get a deal, which is unfortunate. Rappers are busy people and it’s hard being a great artist in two demanding industries. Only a few have been able to pull it off. Some just put their name behind a line to make a quick buck which in turn diminishes their personal brand because the clothes are so trash. Faithful stans will rock their garbage even though kids make fun of them in school. It’s fucked up when your heroes don’t care about your feelings.

It all started with Naughty By Nature. They had a shop in New Jersey where they sold clothing with their signature logo on them. The Wu-Tang Clan, under Oli “POWER” Grant, took that idea and expanded on it, making Wu-Wear the first nationally distributed rapper clothing line. Other soon followed suit to much success. Jay Z and Puffy are still eating off Rocawear and Sean John, respectively. But for every fondly remembered line or thriving brand, there are even more that fell by the wayside. Sometimes due to bad business decisions, and plenty of times because they were hot garbage. Here are 25 rapper-owned clothing lines we can remember, ranked from worst to best.

 

25. Todd Smith

Image via MTV

Rapper: LL Cool J

This line looks like a terrible Ed Hardy knock off. LL always manages to play himself. Has anyone besides the dudes in this photo actually rocked Todd Smith?

24. Shago

Image via Buzzfeed

Rapper: Bow Wow

LOL

23. P. Miller

Image via OC Weekly

Rapper: Master P

Master P is good a creating tax write-offs. No Limit sneakers were like a Frankenstein made up of And 1, Jordan, and Nike. Yuck.

22. TWIsM

Image via Complex

Rapper: Shaquille O’Neal

Shaq is about as much a “rapper” as anyone on this list is a bonafide clothing designer, but hey, you tell Shaq what dreams he shouldn’t have. At least dude had a record label by the same name and everything. The World Is Mine had a cool name, but couldn’t compete with the Meccas and Enyces of the day.

21. Rich & Famous

Image via HipHop Wired

Rapper: Snoop Dogg

Snoop had a clothing line? Get this trash outta here. Stick to smoking weed, Uncle Snoop.

20. Last Kings

Image via Hypebeast

Rapper: Tyga

NO THANKS.

19. Vokal

Image via Stylist

Rapper: Nelly

This was Nelly’s clothing line, so no. Maybe it popped off in St. Louis for a hot second. Unfortunately, it never made it far enough to produce branded facial band-aids.

18. Bushi Sport

Image via Business Pundit

Rapper: Busta Rhymes

The only person who wants to dress like Busta Rhymes is Busta Rhymes. Crazy how the leather top hat didn’t turn into a fad. Hipsters failed us on that one. Now Busta looks like a Dominican barber.

17. Nostic

Image via Kris Sportwear

Rapper: Jim Jones

Jim Jones really tried to make this trash happen. A better name in retrospect would have been “Noxious.” Jones’ current line, Vampire Life, fares considerably better. Kinda by default. We still got love for Jim Jones, tho.

16. Outkast Clothing Co.

Image via Bad-Perm

Rapper: Outkast

Listen, we used to rock some Outkast pieces because they were easy to boost from Burlington Coat Factory. But while the line may hold some nostalgic cool factor, the line took the worst parts of Big Boi and Andre 3000’s respective styles and blended them together. Poorly. 3 Stacks’ own line was miles better, because of course it would be.

15. Shady LTD

Image via Hot New Hip Hop

Rapper: Eminem

Eminem is far from a hip-hop style icon, but there was a time when that creepy old-ass looking dude getting good pussy in high school was wearing a Shady LTD cap or hoodie. Beyond Shady LTD, Eminem also managed to produce some of the illest Air Max collabs of all time, but sadly many of them remain unobtainable grails since you had to cop them via auction.

14. G-Unit

Image via MTV

Rapper: 50 Cent

Fact: Complex used to share an office space with G-Unit clothing back in the day. When they went out of business, one staffer at the time found out because he saw them packing boxes. He promptly took photos and reported on it. That right there is real #journalism shit. Very informed Opionon: Only cornballs wore G-Unit. Especially those fake Jordans Reebok tried to sell us.

13. FJ560

Image via Style Bistro

Rapper: Fat Joe

FJ560 had the butter soft leathers you could cop for cheap on Canal St. back in the days. The line only lasted about a year, but the button-ups, jorts, and velour suits weren’t ‘that’ bad.

12. Akoo

Image via PR Web

Rapper: T.I.

The only people we’ve seen wearing Akoo probably get it for free. But props to T.I. for throwing one of the more hilarious shopping pranks as of late—he tricked several fans into a shopping spree then made it seem like they had to pay. The video’s worth watching alone just to see T.I. ham it up for the camera watch the video below. It’s why you can never hate the dude. He’s too damn likable.

11. TrukFit

Image via Blkdmnds

Rapper: Lil Wayne

Did you have to suck dick for Trukfit? Nah. Wayne tried to put his brand on with that line but ended up associating it with fellatio forever. While it’s not terribad, and they put out decent pieces that Zumiez kids and core streetwear customers alike both eat up, it’s not exactly leading the conversation.

10. State Property Clothing

Image via Bad-Perm

Rapper: Beanie Sigel

We used to come up on rare State Property fits at either Forman Mills or Burlington Coat Factory. The best part about this line were the stash spots incorporated in the clothing. Just in case you needed a place to hide your krillz.

9. Sean John

Image via Hause of Rihanna

Rapper: Puff Daddy

Diddy might have a stable of ghostwriters but he belongs on this list nonetheless. He had a nice run with Sean John. Their velour, and denim suits were always simple and high quality. And yes, that’s Rihanna in an all pink Sean John velour tracksuit.

8. Rocawear

Image via Celebrity Clothing Line

Rapper: Jay Z

It’s the Roc! Jigga and them cashed out and ran the the early 2000s in every facet of the game. Clothes, movies, rap, they came to conquer it all, and they did just that. I still rock my ‘Money Ain’t A Thing’ shirt from high school around the house:

7. Play Cloths

Image via Star Pulse

Rapper: Pusha T

Pusha definitely tries, but not sure if he’s taking it as seriously as say Puff, Ye, or Jay. Still, Play Clothes has some chill pieces here and there. They have a couple decent sneaker collabs with Saucony under their belt, too.

6. Benjamin Bixby

Image via HipHop Wired

Rapper: Andre 3000

Andre’s line was promising but like his solo career, it was just a big tease. The preppy football player look was kinda ill but never really caught on as much as it should have. The fact that Ralph Lauren’s Rugby line went out of business is a testament to this. The bigger reason Benjamin Bixby didn’t live up to its full potential? Probably a dude named Kanye West who came along and signaled a tectonic shift in hip-hop style.

5. Naughty Gear

Image via WWD

Rapper: Naughty By Nature

Naughty Gear was the first rapper clothing line. The group had a shop in their hometown of Newark, NJ where they sold various street brands of the day as well as their own label. It helps when your group logo is dope enough to put on clothing and not look suss.

4. Dipset USA

Image via Walk-In Store

Rapper: Cam’ron

​The Diplomats made a strong comeback last year. Cam released a couple tapes and the gang got back together. However, the introduction of their clothing line has made us forget about the lackluster music as of late. The hoodies, hats, and tees all look great. Walk up to a hipster and ask them to name a track off Cam’s first album if you see them rocking some Dipset gear. If they can’t name one, rob their ass.

3. Yeezy Season 1

Image via Black Vibes

Rapper: Kanye West

I’m not the high fashion kinda guy, and I get the Yeezy hype because black designers are rare. But personally, I’m not feeling the footwear just yet, and I’m not willing to go bankrupt so I can look like a cozy homeless person. Because those prices will make me homeless.

2. Wu-Wear

Image via Lil Wayne HQ

Rapper: Wu-Tang Clan

The OGs of this rapper clothing line shit. My uncle had a Wu-Wear leather jacket that I used to sneak out the house and wear to school. The Wu set it off with some real gritty streetwear before the term was an Internet buzzword. DJ Greg Street recently had Raekwon as a guest and showed off his ill vintage Wu-Wear collection. In return, The Chef exhibited A-1 folding skills:

1. BBC Ice Cream

Image via Youtube

Rapper: Pharrell

Pharrell was able to make BBC Ice Cream into a real street brand only to be found in boutiques or on BBC’s website. The designs are fresh, the materials are quality, what more can you ask for? It helps that Pharrell takes this business seriously as opposed to just treating it like something to put his name on for a check, as our extensive oral history can attest.

Unlike other lines, BBC has been the master of reinvention and staying relevant. When #menswear was really popping off, Pharrell got designer Mark McNairy to make the more upscale Bee Line. When street goth was really ill, BBC Black provided the brand’s take on the trend while remaining true to its roots. And remember the frenzy that happened when they dropped those all-red Timberlands?

 

 

 

via: complex

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