Updated: Jul 19, 2020
I’ve covered live performance a lot on this blog, from how to become an opening act to what tools to have on hand to ensure you’re ready for any opportunity. It came to my mind the other day that I haven’t really talked about a key part of creating your image, which is your style. Many rappers and musicians in general have their signature clothing they wear on stage that becomes a part of them almost as much as their music does. So, what does that mean for you? It means you should read ahead to learn how to enhance your image with your unique style.
1. Find out who you are
Ah, the struggle of life, right? Except in this case, you aren’t choosing what to throw thousands of dollars into as your college major. In this step, don’t overwhelm yourself by jumping straight into putting outfits together, but instead think of what is it that you like… what makes you unique?
Do you have a favorite color? Or a favorite brand?
Are you flashy or more casual?
Do you want your rap image to portray an alter ego that you yourself don’t feel comfortable letting out?
The last question is important. When you’re rapping, you can play a character that is 100 percent unapologetically you. Being on stage doing what you’re best at can give you an unprecedented amount of courage and confidence to shine as yourself.
2. Put your twist on images that have already been done
Pull inspiration from your favorite rappers, but make sure it portrays who you are at the end. For example, Eminem notoriously wears shirts with other rappers he admires on them, along with cargo shorts and sometimes a hoodie. G-Eazy wears sleek black, making him dapper in a way. One of these styles is more casual and the other is stylish.
In today’s environment, you have to stand out, however. So unless you’re Eminem himself, picking up a hoodie out of the closet won’t work. What if you exclusively wear a particular brand of hoodie? Or you only wear one color? You’ll eventually be known for the consistencies that make you unique. This can also include pairing your outfits with accessories that you don’t often see on stage.
3. Buy affordable clothes to start out
Listen, I’d love to go on stage in Off-White as much as the next guy, but if you’re not making money with rap yet, I wouldn’t blow hundreds or thousands on your performance clothes. In fact, I would recommend finding any way possible to save money for the more important aspects of music, such as recording and equipment.
There are many websites where people go to sale their used or unwanted luxury clothes. Sometimes, you'll get lucky enough to land designer fits from last season for a remarkably low price. One of these websites is Vestiaire Collective. When you use this link, you can browse some of the best deals available right now. Another website is frequently used website for buying designer brands is Farfetch.
Once you decide if you will be stepping out in full suit or in jeans and a T-shirt, you should complete your outfit with accessories of some sort. Disclaimer: I am definitely not telling you to load up on fake diamond jewelry to look impressive, but kind of like a tool. Instead, I am suggesting subtle additions such as necklaces, dog tags, watches, or belts. On the other hand, if you can afford a real diamond chain, go for it.
Also, don’t be afraid to go big on sneakers. A huge selection of the most popular shoes on the market can be found on Flight Club.
My last key tip: Be consistent and unique. This is about building an image that you want people to associate you with, so pick something you’ll be proud of, and something that shows who you are. Don’t switch it up a lot once you decide… own your style, and defend it from naysayers.
*This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that I will get a small commission if you purchase from my link with no extra cost to you :)*