Here’s what's hiding amongst all the camo in the Boyznbucks’ brand new video
Original Braam Lords and arguably the originators of the current wave of streetwear that’s trending in South Africa, there’s no denying the Boyznbucks’ massive contribution to the culture. From dropping new slang to pushing menswear in a brave new direction, even their missteps have made us question our relationship with our problematic faves.
The collective of childhood friends has formed a crew that sees itself as more than mere rappers, and describe themselves on their official website as “a group of producers, DJs and designers”, which to be honest is selling the group short, as terms like “sneakerheads”, “fashion influencers”, “big brothers to a younger generation of South African creatives”, “promoters of South African home-grown street culture” and more could be added to that list.
However, as with all things that capture a time and a place so perfectly, their flame eventually burnt out, and after strong collective statements like the Johannesburg swag anthem ‘Mswenkofontein’ and their Moto Racing Club Collection (blatantly bitten by Rihanna’s SS18 Fenty x Puma) the shared Boyznbucks channels were used solely to push the crew’s solo projects, with scant evidence of them appearing in public or private together.
Rumours of infighting, jealousy and disbanding were rife, which were fuelled by Koolkat starting a new collective, Spova Gang, and Scoop Makhathini providing what was perhaps the closest thing to an explanation via a series of tweets detailing why Boyznbucks wasn’t a group anymore, the most revealing was: “ALL MY N****S MADE IT. BUT IT COST US US… THAT IS LIFE. IF YOU CHOSE YOUR FRIENDS OVER SUCCESS THAN YOU ARE BETTER THAN US” (Sic)
So when one of the most influential groups in SA culture started teasing a reunion of sorts, they not only had our attention, but the rest of the country’s as well. Premiering on the outdoor screen at 71 Juta Street in Braamfontein, Stilo Magolide’s ‘Combo’ featuring Okmalumkoolkat, Riky Rick, Mashayabhuqe KaMamba shows the Boyznbucks at full flex in a simple studio execution reminiscent of OFWGKTA’s ‘Oldie’. The track is a celebration of fashion, of the Boyznbucks’ swagger and Stilo stresses how “More importantly it’s about the emphasis that we started this whole thing even before our music. Our imprint on the industry is unmatched.”
Musically, stylistically and culturally the Boyznbucks are as relevant as ever, which ‘Combo’ confirms, and Mr Party explains his new track as a handing over of the baton of sorts. “It’s up to the youth of tomorrow to carry it through, hence you get the originals and some new faces. Aluta Continua." This has led to at least one fan commenting breathlessly on YouTube how, if groups like the Boyznbucks and Skwatta Kamp are reuniting, then maybe it’s a sign that Jesus is coming back, too?
While we don’t have authority to comment on that, or tell you why Riky Rick didn’t drop a verse, we can tell you that it’s Riky who sets the tone, starting the track by saying: “Boyznbucks are the leaders of the culture, where we come from, the guys who wanted to do things differently, dress nice, look dope, make dope music, different music... And we best friends who have stuck together for so long, so eventually we had to break through.”
Otherwise we’re also in a position to comment on all the AW18 menswear trends spotted in the video, check them out below and let us know if we missed any…
Camo print is the most obvious here and has been a staple of the Boyznbucks’ looks with the undisputed king of camo, Mkay Frash, leading the charge. The video is prefaced by the phrase “aluta continua” (the struggle continues) after which we see all nine members of the crew wearing different iterations of the militaristic print. We’re not going to go to deep into the connection, but will say that there’s further evidence of the trend beyond camo with multiple pockets on apparel, technical outerwear, vests, a duffel bag and tones of expresso browns, mossy greens, sands and camel. Hell, Stilo is rocking a damn flak jacket!
As much a part of 90s hip-hop as big logos and rap beefs were, the puffer is back this season and will stick around for the next. The Boyznbucks know that if you’re going to run the streets and want to stay hot then a puffer is your best bet this winter.
The cross-body bag
Men of style know that even if you’re wearing apparel with multiple pockets, you don’t want to overstuff them and get bogged down by all the weight you’re carrying. When Koolkat drops his verse he even includes a bar alluding to the contraband carried in his cross-body bag, spitting: “what’s in the pocket in the pouch?”
A younger, sportier and much more casual alternative to the heavier outerwear we’ve seen in seasons past, the windbreaker’s tech fabrics make it the most lightweight outer layer you’ll own. Used as a layering piece it adds depth to their looks and can be used to bring in pops of colour wherever needed.
Sneakers are high-tops, silhouettes are bulky, long sleeves are exaggerated and longline T-shirts make a statement. Interestingly, Riky Rick is the antithesis to this trend and goes super-skinny and minimal, looking almost serpentine in an understated Prada tracksuit.
Many of the trends here fall under the greater 90s wave that menswear is currently riding. From bulky sneakers to outerwear like the puffer and windbreaker, there’s also stripes, full tracksuit looks and lots of logos (Red Bull sneakers?! BMW Motorsport trackpants?!).
This isn’t as obvious as some of the other trends listed here, but look closely and you’ll find enough evidence to support the observation. Whether it’s the crafted cross-body bag, beaded bracelets, T-shirt prints or even the pattern on a piece of fabric that’s waved about, these are all subtle nods to the Boyznbucks’ African heritage, something we’ve seen more style influencers like Sho Madjozi and Sjava tap into with the rise of Afrofuturism.
Gen Z yellow (and orange)
Used as an accent, the bright hues stand out against a sea of camo and whether it’s the Thrasher logo, The North Face Basecamp duffle bag, or the moto-x gear that the crew helped take from the track to the streets, the hue makes a big impact here. While they may not have any members young enough to represent Gen Z, as cultural curators they’re able to move between worlds, borrowing from eras that have come before them and tapping into what’s happening right now.
Unlike AKA who has been wearing the same Reebok tracksuit for over a year now, in ‘Combo’ the Boyznbucks show us the category’s diversity via matching tops and bottoms, tricot fabrications, side-stripe details, cuffed ankles, hoodies, zip-through, logos, minimalist, cropped, sportswear, athleisure, designer and more. And while we’re firing off shots at Supa-Mega we may as well take aim at another holy-cow: denim. Despite multiple outfit changes not once do we see any jeans included in any of the Boyzn’s looks. Given the Boyzn's influence on the culture does this signal the death of denim?
Perhaps the first thing you think of whenever the Boyznbucks are mentioned, the crew is known for killing it with their kicks game. This foray is no different and we spotted Puma Thunder Spectra, Fila MB, custom Boyznbucks Vans Old Skools, Nike Air Force Ones, Nike Air Uptempo, Nike Air Max 95 Atmost Animal Pack, Nike Air Maestro II, Puma Clydes, Prada Nylon Tech Sneakers with Double Grip-Strap, socks and slides and a pair of Suicoke Sandals.