Rappers have been shouting out what they’re wearing since the dawn of time, and now more than ever they have become a veritable source for style inspiration, often sharing the gospel of certain designers over others. We’d even venture to say that Future made Gucci cool again before Alessandro Michele became a household name amongst those in the know, thanks to his mention of Gucci flip-flops in “Thought It Was a Drought” off his DS2 mixtape.
Because it seems like it’s Fashion Week more often than it’s not, here are 15 of our favorite fashionable rap songs that will get you ready for your street style close-up outside the venue, or if you didn’t get any invites this season, your online shopping excursions.
A$AP Mob — “RAF”
It was only a matter of time before the rap game caught on to the genius that is Raf Simons, and A$AP Rocky has been one of the Belgian’s designers most notable fans as of late. On “RAF,” Rocky assembles the formidable crew of Playboi Carti, Quavo, Lil Uzi Vert and Frank Ocean to pay his respect, and pays homage to Raf Simons’ first-ever collection from FW ’95-’96 with a dash of SS 2002 for good measure in the music video.
Chamillionaire — “Gucci & Fendi”
Chamillionaire has made many an excellent beat in his storied career, but the one for “Gucci & Fendi” is flat-out murder. Creating its chorus from a pitch-shifted Nas sample, the staccato chants of “Gucci this” and “Fendi that” are colossal in scope, matched only by actual choirs of angels wailing in between them.
Fabolous — “Louis Vuitton” ft. J. Cole
A cover of Soulja Boy’s track from 2011, Fabolous and J. Cole call out gold diggers that won’t stop talking about Louis Vuitton in a slightly smoother manner than Soulja over a gorgeous Marvin Gaye sample.
FACE — “Гоша Рубчинский”
Cool Russian teen Ivan Dryomin aka FACE loves Gosha so much he decided to write a song about him last year, even referencing motifs that have defined the Russian designer’s recent collections – Tommy Hilfiger, the Russian and Chinese flags and “рассвет.” Read our interview with FACE right here.
Father — “Please Stop Making Fake Versace”
Father nails the sounds of this song midway through his first verse when he intones that he’s “poppin’ oxy” while the speakers knock, which really sums it all up. We may never know who exactly this song is meant for (Chinatown sweat shops perhaps?), but we sure as hell wouldn’t want to cross Father; home boy is on one.
Future — “YSL Cheetah” ft. Juelz Santana
Sure, YSL is in the title, but the brands come at you fast and loose in this early number from Future. Across four minutes, he’s able to shout out Gucci, Versace, Christian Louboutin and Burberry, the last of which he smartly pairs with red loafers. Did someone say fresh to death?
JAY-Z — “Tom Ford”
No, he doesn’t pop molly, he rocks Tom Ford, and don’t get it twisted. JAY-Z’s sing-song ode to the titular designer is every bit as decadent and luxurious as one of his creations, exemplified in lyrical boasts like Hov being able to “piss Bordeaux and Burgundies, flush out a Riesling.”
Kanye West — “Christian Dior Denim Flow” ft. Kid Cudi, Pusha T, John Legend, Lloyd Banks & Ryan
There are a bounty of B-sides and demos from the sessions that became Kanye’s masterpiece My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy out in the world, but few of them bang just as hard as this Dior-name-checking jam. Which is impressive, considering Kanye’s verse is mostly just a laundry list of models he wants to engage in oral sex with.
Kreayshawn — “Gucci Gucci”
This list would not be complete without the masterpiece that is “Gucci Gucci” from Oakland rapper Kreayshawn. That infectious, repetitive chorus is a total earworm, referencing Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Prada, but the rest of Kreay’s incredible bars are worth mentioning, such as “I got the swag and it’s pumping out my ovaries” and “I’m rolling up my catnip and shitting in your litter.”
Migos — “Versace”
It’s difficult to remember a time when Migos weren’t everywhere all at once, but that time did exist, and it was the one in which they gifted us with “Versace.” As for its place on this list, how could you not include the song which has a chorus of the word ‘Versace’ repeated 36 times in a row?
RiFF RAFF — “Marc Jacobs”
“Marc Jacobs” is a fine example of early RiFF RAFF, arguably the best RiFF RAFF, with his ridiculous chains and candy-painted vehicles. There is no Marc Jacobs to be seen in the video, but this song could be Riff repeating “Jacobs” over and over in his Southern drawl and we’d be more than satisfied.
Run-DMC — “My Adidas”
Few would have considered adidas a ‘fashion brand’ when Run-DMC released their iconic 1986 single, but their place in the world of style is now indisputable. What is also indisputable is that “My Adidas” is one of the greatest songs of all time, in any genre, measured by any metric (drops mic).
Soulja Boy — “Red Bottoms & Balenciaga”
On this deep cut from Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em before the Balenciaga renaissance (sup Demna?), our boy shouts out red-bottomed Christian Louboutin sneakers and Balenciaga over a hard and grainy trap beat.
Vince Staples — “Versace Rap”
Coming from Vince’s debut mixtape – a seriously slept-on work – “Versace Rap” may have a brand in the title, but that’s where its fashion connotations begin and end. The song is a classic example of the Staples sound: dark beats with an industrial edge that lurk beneath bars that are both witty and devastatingly bleak.
Wiz Khalifa — “Old Chanel” ft. Smoke DZA
Wearing old Chanel never sounded as menacing and eerie as it does on this slow-burner from Wiz Khalifa. Over a guitar-heavy beat that evokes a vintage horror movie, Wiz and Smoke DZA balance swag-brags with an aloof melancholy, lending the track an air of true mystery.
For more recommended listening, check out our list of 10 recent rap songs that are surprisingly romantic right here.
- Text: Jake Boyer & Bianca Giulione
- Cover Image: Diwang Valdez / Paper Magazine