In the early 2000s, Lil Wayne took the music by storm with his distinct style and unique fashion choices. One particular era that became synonymous with his name was the “Bathing Ape era,” a time when Lil Wayne embraced the iconic Japanese streetwear brand, A Bathing Ape, taking his fashion game to a whole new level.
During this era, Lil Wayne became an influential figure in the hip-hop fashion scene, showcasing an outlandish and bold sense of style. He effortlessly combined luxury brands with streetwear, but it was his love for A Bathing Ape that truly became his trademark.
On November 8th 2023, Lil Durk announced that he’d be droppin’ a single called “Smurk Carter,” showin’ love to Wayne’s influence on the culture. It’s pretty cool to hear Durk reference Wayne’s flow on the track. In the music video, directed by Jerry Production, he cleverly incorporates several references to Wayne’s iconic BAPE era, he’s rockin’ BAPE from head to toe, takin’ inspiration from Wayne’s “Hustler Musik” video back in 2005. Do you think Lil Durk did justice in payin’ tribute to Wayne’s legacy?
A Bathing Ape, often referred to as BAPE, was founded by Nigo in 1993 and gained popularity for its vibrant and eye-catching designs. Lil Wayne quickly adopted BAPE’s signature camouflage print, which became a staple in his wardrobe. From BAPE hoodies and t-shirts to accessories like hats and sneakers, Lil Wayne was rarely seen without donning the brand’s iconic ape logo.
What made the Lil Wayne Bathing Ape era stand out was his ability to mix and match different elements of street fashion. He effortlessly combined BAPE pieces with other high-end designer labels, creating a unique and edgy look. This fusion of high fashion and streetwear resonated with fans and fashion enthusiasts alike, establishing Lil Wayne as a trendsetter.
Okay, let’s talk about Durk on “Smurk Carter”. The cover art for the song showcases Durk with Lil Wayne’s tattoos on his face, which is quite interesting. Furthermore, the way Durk delivers his lines carries a hint of the Louisiana rapper’s style. But the most notable homage comes from the flow itself. There is something about the rhythm that strongly brings to mind the timeless essence of Lil Wayne.
Beyond clothing, Lil Wayne’s influence extended to the sneaker culture. He often sported limited-edition BAPE collaborations with major footwear brands like Nike and Adidas, turning heads and inspiring sneakerheads worldwide. His daring choice of footwear added another layer of excitement to his already captivating style.
The Lil Wayne Bathing Ape era also had a lasting impact on the fashion industry as a whole. It propelled A Bathing Ape into the mainstream, making the brand highly sought after and elevating its status to cult-like proportions. Other artists and celebrities began embracing the brand’s unique aesthetic, further cementing its place in pop culture.
Lil Wayne’s fashion choices during this era not only showcased his individuality and creativity but also symbolized a larger cultural shift towards embracing streetwear. It brought the worlds of high fashion and urban street style together, proving that fashion is a medium of self-expression that knows no boundaries.
The Lil Wayne Bathing Ape era remains an iconic moment in fashion history, with its boldness and audacity still inspiring fashion enthusiasts to this day. It perfectly encapsulates the power of personal style and the ability for an artist to redefine fashion trends. Lil Wayne’s influence during this era will forever be remembered as a revolutionary force that pushed the boundaries of style in Hip Hop culture.