‘The Overlord of Fresh': How Prince’s Lovesexy Style Influenced Early Hip Hop Fashion Trends (and Vice Versa)

By 1987, it was clear that Hip-Hop as a musical genre and as a cultural phenomenon was not going to be the passing fad many believed it was destined to become. The emergence and eventual sustainability of Hip-Hop proved to be somewhat of a quagmire for many black artists who got their start in the 1970s and established themselves in the early 1980s. Some artists embraced it, others would rebel. Many believe Prince was among the latter given a selection of statements he made in interviews. However, when one looks beyond his words to the music, the swagger, and especially the fashion trends of the Lovesexy era, it is clear that Prince not only borrowed from Hip-Hop culture, there were also a number of trends that unbeknownst to most originated with him. This presentation will look at five ways Prince’s Lovesexy era fashion influenced fashion trends in Hip-Hop’s Golden Age and the influences he drew from this period and incorporated into his own sense of unique style.

Aisha K. Staggers

Aisha K. Staggers had her first major publication, an album review, in The New Haven Register while just a sophomore in high school. Another series of reviews published in The Hartford Courant followed. By the time she reached college, Aisha was writing for the literary magazine and interning at a local radio station, ABC-affiliate as a writer in the news department and in the A&R department of an independent record company. As a graduate student at Fisk University, Aisha asked Dr.Raymond Winbush to chair her thesis because 1) he was one of the most renowned voices in black culture and academia, and 2) he was a Prince fan. His scholarship and guidance led Aisha to an early career as a professor of social sciences and later an administrator in higher education. Aisha has also served as a director of education and policy research centers and on the staff of legislative commissions. She previously served on the Executive Board of the CT Young Democrats’ Women’s Caucus, an avid campaigner and has remained active in politics and public policy.