The rise of the Ralph Lauren roadman

Grime scene saviours

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It’s official. There’s a new scene, and if you’ve not clocked it, you need to get out more.

From the recent rise in success in such stars as Skepta, Stormzy, JME and Bugsy Malone (Manchester’s finest), there’s a paralleled rise in sports caps, tracksuits and controversial outfit choices.

But why?

It’s almost reminiscent of that kidulthood esque, 2009 movie – Shank – where the UK has been taken over by gangs. Except we have a much softer, privileged version. Rather than jacking you for your iPhone you’ll find them discussing the merits of the new Palace line that just dropped and how they’ve got the pre  order. This has been coming for years.

Since Tempa T declared his “next hype” manifesto, people were looking for something more than just Dizzee.

Private schools across the country were hungry for a new sound, but weren’t ready to imitate its dress code. Now with the near Americanisation of grime, we’re nearly there.

Much like the punk revolution, this culture is based on aggressive, mosh induced music. Even Skepta at his Shoreditch shutdown show sported a jacket with the inscription “anarchy is the key”on the back, not to mention his brief collab with Slaves. It’s the new punk.


It’s the new aesthetic. And if you don’t like it, then in the words of JME, you can “suck your dead great nan through your dad’s batty crease rudeboi”. Impossible feats.

But who are the one’s adopting this look? Funnily enough, the ones who are furthest from road and who still believe Kent counts as “the ends” due to its postcode.

It’s inevitable that people with money adopt this fashion. It’s edgy. It’s dark. It’s aggressive, and it’s possibly the biggest rebellion a parent has ever witnessed since goth. Which when it gets down to it, is the heart of what being a teenager is all about.

It doesn’t matter that these people are replicating a street uniform, the passion behind it remains. Is it a surprise that kids get kicks out of hearing someone say they will suffocate man with about 2 g’s? No. Because it’s the sickest thing they’ve heard in the scheme of a desolate middle class village. It’s raw, it’s alive, and it’s the beat of the UK – the first time we’ve claimed our self a worthy sub culture in a long time.

Shuffling is dead, the Arctic Monkeys Elvis throwback is long gone. Now it’s all about caps, hoods, and 140 bpm.

So when you see these kids on road, know that they’re not coming to fight like Jet Li.

They’re shunning their upbringing and owning it at the same time, and you can’t help but pay attention.