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  #1  
Old 04-23-2003, 08:47 AM
fervour fervour is offline
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origin of wearing pants below the waistline (as in hip-hop)?

A co-worker of mine declares that wearing baggy pants below the waistline started in prisons and that this meant that the inmate was a homosexual looking for sex. This co-worker is hard right-wing. The idea that baggy-pants is gay smacks of the tactic to of villifying one's opposition. Hence, my question: where did the fashion start? and does it at all relate to being gay?
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  #2  
Old 04-23-2003, 08:56 AM
Cisco Cisco is offline
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I heard it started in prisons but I never heard it relating to gays in any way.

They way I heard it was much simpler: They don't give you belts in prison.


If you want to read into it even more I would suppose that the average inmate loses a bit of weight after being incarcerated (less food, frequent excersize) and the pants they were originally issued would start to sag.
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  #3  
Old 04-23-2003, 08:59 AM
RTA RTA is offline
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The story I heard was that they confiscate your belt when you get put in jail, and therefore, if your pants are hanging down, you are fresh from jail and therefore a gangster of some kind, with street cred etc..

A similar reason (supposedly) exists for not wearing shoelaces on your shoes, and for having one or both pant legs rolled up.
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  #4  
Old 04-23-2003, 09:06 AM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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Forgive me for sounding horribly naive here, but I though having ONE pant leg up was an LL Cool J trend.
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  #5  
Old 04-23-2003, 09:10 AM
trabi trabi is offline
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No, I think rolling up one trouser leg actually originated with the Freemasons.
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  #6  
Old 04-23-2003, 09:55 AM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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Heh. Whodathunkit? I just wish they'd get 'em pants that fit. It's positively annoying to see four inches of bad boxer shorts hanging out.
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  #7  
Old 04-23-2003, 09:56 AM
NoGoodNamesLeft NoGoodNamesLeft is offline
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I'll never forget the first time I saw the pant-leg. I was in a waiting room, and this hip-hop guy comes in, sits down, and starts to adjust himself. You know, fixes his hair, re-adjusts his coat, whatever. He leans down, and hikes up one leg of his pants, the sits back and relaxes.
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  #8  
Old 04-23-2003, 02:00 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Nah, the one pant leg thing up has been around for awhile in gang culture before the popularization of it by rap stars such as LL Cool J and the such. At least in Chicago, left-right distinctions were maintained to identify whether you belonged to the Folk or People nation, kind of an American and National League of inner-city gangs. "Dressing to the right" indicated Folk affiliation (e.g. the Gangsta Disciples aka "the GD"). "Dressing to the left" indicated people affiliation (e.g. The Vice Lords.) Hat-tilting, rolling up one pant leg higher than the other, earrings and all those sorts of things were used to designate your nation. Now this was all in the 80s and early 90s that I remember this. I have no idea whether gangs still operate in this manner, especially since pop culture has popularized and marketed this look as urban style.

Oh, and the obligatory Cite. Although many such sites can be alarmist and paranoid, most of the information about clothing and the such does appear to be correct.
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  #9  
Old 04-23-2003, 09:32 PM
fervour fervour is offline
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doh! I thought I proofread my previous post. 1000 apologies for the grammatical errors in my first post. While I appreciate the responses, they are for the most part anecdotal. Maybe some correctional agencies don't issue belts, but some certainly do. Documentation stating that the major prisons don't issue belts would certainly give credibility to Cisco and RTA's explanations.

Thanks for any and all responses.
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  #10  
Old 04-23-2003, 09:41 PM
LanceUSMC LanceUSMC is offline
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Okay, maybe I could help. I grew up in the projects in New Jersey:

From what I understand, pants falling down was/is a prison thing, which is why it started in 'gangster rap'; it was actually on the streets before the videos.

Pant leg up was actually a gang thing. Some gangs did it because it was easier to recognize than colors...once again it looked cool and found it's way into the streets.
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  #11  
Old 04-23-2003, 10:22 PM
UncleBill UncleBill is offline
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No, no no. The rolled up pant leg was so you didn't get it caught in the bicycle chain! You KNOW how the leg of your best corduroys get chewed up that way!
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  #12  
Old 04-23-2003, 10:22 PM
Cisco Cisco is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by fervour
doh! I thought I proofread my previous post. 1000 apologies for the grammatical errors in my first post. While I appreciate the responses, they are for the most part anecdotal. Maybe some correctional agencies don't issue belts, but some certainly do. Documentation stating that the major prisons don't issue belts would certainly give credibility to Cisco and RTA's explanations.

Thanks for any and all responses.

I can't imagine any but the very most minimal security "country club" prisons issuing belts. A belt is a blindingly obvious weapon.
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  #13  
Old 04-24-2003, 01:00 AM
Spit Spit is offline
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I think y'all are missing a huge point here....

Where did this trend really start? With inner-city persons. Being poor, they got hand-me downs from bigger kids, and they hung down around their waists. Hence, the oversized shirts as well.
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  #14  
Old 04-24-2003, 01:22 AM
Valgard Valgard is offline
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Anyone remember the rap duo Kris Kross, back in the late 80s/early 90s? Their big hit was "Jump" and they called their particular style of dress "totally crossed out" or something similar.

Two 14 year old kids, wearing clothes WAY too big for them, backwards. Right after that was when I started seeing other people start dressing that way, including the jeans dropping off the hips with funky boxers showing. Wearing everything backwards didn't catch on but wearing it really baggy did.

They got an awful lot of airplay & MTV exposure, I thought that they kicked off the trend.
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  #15  
Old 04-24-2003, 01:28 AM
Q.E.D. Q.E.D. is offline
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Slight hijack, but what's up with the freaking HUGE white t-shirts all of a sudden? Or is that just a Jersey thing?
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  #16  
Old 04-24-2003, 08:34 AM
fervour fervour is offline
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Cisco - I have spoken with three employees of the Department of Corrections in Alabama who see inmates on a regular basis and am indeed assured that inmates are allowed to wear belts. The state prison population in Alabama is about 26000 ---not the largest prison system but not a small one either. Let me also assure you that the inmates in Alabama are definitely NOT pampered. I have toured an Alabama prison. The dorms are not air-conditioned; the bunks are maybe 3 feet apart; the bunks are possibly 2.5 feet wide. There are probably 150 to 200 inmates in a single dorm. Picture rows of cots very close together and you will get the idea.

I imagine that Alabama is not exactly the trend setting system. So the fact that Alabama inmates wear belts does not preclude the possibility that larger, urban systems forbid the use of belts. Does anyone know this to be factual?
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