Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Got My Vans On

The Pack video for "Vans" is out (hat tip to DifferentKitchen for the heads up) and it looks and sounds great. At first glance it comes off as more or less a commercial for Vans, but it's actually a lot deeper than that. By advocating that sneaker lovers toss their "Coke Whites" aka Air Force Ones in the trash, The Pack is also staking out new cultural territory. They represent their hood, but they're trying to do it their way, independent of East Coast street style archtypes. After all, what's more New York than a pair of Uptowns?

And you can look at the way these kids embrace the skate scene and call it superficial or just fashion, but it's not. Suburbs and cities are becoming more segregated places and these kids represent that mash-up of cultures.

One final thing I like about the video is the way women are represented. There's at least one video ho, which is fine because I've never had a problem with working women, but I appreciate the fact that her t & a is is balanced by a bunch of other females who are representing a look that is more about flossing fresh street style rather than just flesh. Also, in the dance circles, the girls are given a a fair amount stage time to show off their own slick moves. If these kids inherit or at least battle out the South for rightful ownership of the hiphop mantle, I would be okay with that.

As usual, I pulled some screen shots from the video to comment on:

^^Vans grafitti

^^Vans shoes AND sox

^^A female member of The Pack crew shows off her hightop Vans (note how the video in this scene is framed with the Van's checkerboard)

^^Ouch! Coke Whites, aka a pair of Air Force Ones getting tossed in the trash!

^^It aint really hyphy if there aren't some dreds flying!

^^God help you if you're a men's urban retailer and you're not carrying printed hoodies in your stores for fall. Note to Vans: this member of The Pac is a size 10.

Update: Wow, wow, wow. I just came from ProHipHop, where I learned that MTV will not play The Pac's video because of all the Vans mentions. I understand MTV not wanting videos to turn into a platform for products, but there's got to be some grey area there where exceptions are made. Hiphop has always had a push/pull relationship with iconic brands. You can't just ignore that aspect of the culture, much less ban it out of existence.

Another Update: A commentator let me know that's it's not The Pac as I originally wrote (and have now corrected), but The Pack. I don't where I conjured up my off spelling, but I have a suspicion that it has something to do with Tupac.


mirateck said...

The Group's name is NOT THE PAC. It is:



Lois said...

Thanks very much for pointing that out, Mirateck. I made the correction.

Clyde Smith said...

DJ Miratek's coming across a little snappy isn't he?

I should mention that he's the one that got me on the Pack originally. And he's usually not quite so curt. [lol]

Clyde Smith said...

Damn, mispelling Mirateck was a total accident, not a subliminal.

[I'm trying not to harass New Yorkers so much these days so I like them to know when I'm NOT giving them a hard time as well as the reverse.]

Lois said...

LMAO! Hi Clyde. I've been meaning to visit you and thank you for the links love. First impression, yeah, I thought snappy, but you just can't tell online. I think a lot of people write how they speak, which comes across harsh on paper. Anyway, I'm going to be laughing ALL MORNING on how you left the "C" out of Mirateck. And continue to harrass New Yorkers. I'm one and as far as hiphop goes, I'd say they deserve it!

Clyde Smith said...

You're right, you can't tell online. And DJ Mirateck is a very busy man.

When I first started ProHipHop, I used to harass various writers working for high profile sites that couldn't get Jay-Z right. Almost every post like that I did ended up with a glaring spelling error on my part.

I'd actually learned to watch for that but, obviously, there's some kind of message here.

From somewhere or other.

See ya

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Anonymous said...

where can i get hoodies like the ones in the video

Lois said...

I'm not sure what brand he's wearing. Maybe it's LRG? Here's a link to an online store: