When fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger launched his eponymous model in 1985, his target was to sell a lot more than just clothes—he preferred to current market a way of life. Now a big name whose signature polos and daring coloration techniques are etched in pop society, Hilfiger definitely succeeded. But there’s no denying he had assist from some of hip-hop’s greatest gamers alongside the way.
We can see music’s early embrace of Tommy in legendary advertising strategies and purple carpet pictures from again in the ’90s. A-listers like Aaliyah, Destiny’s Child, and TLC posed in head-to-toe Hilfiger, helping the manufacturer establish its identify. We can also chart Tommy’s increase by analyzing tune lyrics on Genius.
It’s prevalent expertise that a brand’s “it” element will increase exponentially when it’s pointed out in music lyrics. A Genius look for reveals that Tommy Hilfiger has been part of the cultural conversation because the early ’90s, when rapper Grand Puba very first repped the fashion designer on Mary J. Blige’s 1992 observe “What’s the 411.” In the years due to the fact, the brand name has been name-checked in above 1,000 songs—often as a signifier of the most assured, interesting, and ambitious women and gents.
Browse on for an in-depth investigation of how Tommy Hilfiger’s modern-day twist on prep has captured the awareness of music’s best names for much more than 3 decades.
“Top Gear”: Tommy In the ’90s
In the ’90s, Tommy Hilfiger was a single of the hottest new apparel makes in hip-hop, interval. In the course of the decade, Tommy was title-checked in at the very least 88 tracks, starting with the title monitor off Mary J. Blige’s 1992 debut album, What’s the 411. The 1st verse of that common song goes to rapper Grand Puba, who delivers what is almost unquestionably the first Tommy reference in well known audio.
Girbauds hangin’ saggy,
Tommy Hilfiger best gear
An additional early Hilfiger lover was Shaggy. The reggae fusion superstar presents the model a huge shoutout on “Luv Me, Luv Me (Remix),” off 1998’s How Stella Acquired Her Groove Again soundtrack. On this early variation of the track, which functions Janet Jackson on the chorus, Shaggy sets his sights on a lady who rocks Tommy in magazine adverts.
At any time you design, girl, an quick fire
In some way your power with Tommy Hilfiger
’Nuff dat designer, wan’ know your title
Other artists to massive-up the brand name in the ’90s include A few 6 Mafia, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, and Gang Starr. In his 1998 tune “Sweet Love” Wu-Tang member Approach Gentleman reminds us that Tommy Hilfiger is also in the fragrance sport.
Appreciate you search miraculous, brown-eyed passionate
Substantial cheek-boned, Tommy Lady cologne, you smashing it
The checklist curiously does not include Snoop Dogg, even though the West Coastline icon gave Tommy a big strengthen when he rocked a striped rugby shirt for the duration of his efficiency of “Lodi Dodi” on Saturday Night time Dwell in 1994. According to legend, the product bought out throughout the place the really subsequent working day.
Holding Continual in the Early Aughts
Tommy Hilfiger did not shed steam in the new millenium racking up a overall of 91 mentions from 2000 to 2010, most of which positioned the company as a additional recognized model.
For a several rappers, the brand was existing in some of their most vital memories. On the 2009 track “Miss Donna Karen,” rapper Dom Kennedy remembers donning Tommy the very first time he achieved his particular another person.
I had the polo with all the patches on it that say Hilfiger on the back when I met her
For other MCs, Tommy served as an official marker of neat. On his 2001 keep track of “This Existence (Anghellic),” Tech N9ne offers that he’s “preppy like Hilfiger.” 8 yrs later on, on 2009’s “Champions,” rapper Sir Michael Rocks of hip-hop duo The Awesome Kids set his individual new spin on rocking Tommy attire.
Hilfiger jacket zipped to the base of my neck
The checklist goes on and on. Functions like UGK, Fat Pat, and Philadelphia hip-hop pioneer Freeway also mention the brand name in early-2000s tracks.
Again Once again in the 2010s
In the 2010s, many thanks to a combination of ’90s nostalgia and a new technology of children identifying the manufacturer, Tommy mentions exploded in hip-hop. No much less than 741 songs from that decade reference Tommy. In terms of these looking back again, no person reminisced more sweetly than ScHoolboy Q, who will take time in his 2014 keep track of “Hoover Street” to thank his grandmother for always keeping him hunting contemporary.
Grandma stated she liked me, I instructed her I beloved her much more
She constantly bought me issues, that we couldn’t afford to pay for
The new Js and Tommy Hill in my drawers
At the exact same time, lots of ’10s rappers residing in the current had been repping Tommy. On his 2015 viral dance smash “Milly Rock,” Brooklyn rapper 2 Milly features about sporting designer threads although busting his signature moves.
I Milly Rock on any block
In my Tommy boxers, and my Tommy socks
Other ’10s-era Tommy lovers consist of Mick Jenkins, DaBaby, A$AP Rocky, Equipment Gun Kelly, Danny Brown, A$AP Ferg, Chief Keef, Lil Yachty, Princess Nokia, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Younger M.A, Oliver Francis, Lil Uzi Vert, and Roddy Ricch.
Subsequent Up for Tommy
If there’s just about anything the last three a long time of lyric mentions have demonstrated us, it is that Tommy Hilfiger is firmly planted in the planet of audio and pop tradition. More than the last two yrs on your own, the brand has additional 177 mentions to its previously-remarkable checklist. And the shoutouts continue to placement the label as the excellent accent for music’s go-getters. These days, if you are hunting to make moves, Tommy’s a solid model option.
Harlem-born rapper Dave East has the suitable notion on his 2020 song “Benefits.” In the track’s second verse, he spits about reaching for Hilfiger when he’s wanting to change things into significant gear.
If it was an Audi, I did a Hilfiger match
YouTube star-turned-Def Jam rapper MAJ also equates Tommy with ambition and results on his 2020 music “Exotic Events,” the place he can take a split from his demanding agenda to indulge in the lavish way of life that his tricky work has afforded him.
We do not normally social gathering, pull up in a Ferrari
Tommy Hilfiger all more than my human body
Drippin’ Fiji, there is no have to have for Dasani
As Tommy lovers, East and MAJ are in fantastic business. Soaring stars like Lil Durk, Cochise, and BlocBoy JB, as properly as hip-hop legends like Curren$y and Redman, have also referenced the brand name in music launched in the 2020s.
On the lookout at Hilfiger’s lengthy heritage of lyric mentions in excess of the very last handful of a long time, it’s very clear that the brand understands how to evolve in tandem with music’s tastemakers. And with its current present day prep collection and platform inspiring communities to “make your move”—a campaign spearheaded by Grammy-successful, Golden World and Emmy nominated performer Anthony Ramos —Tommy won’t be disappearing from the musical universe whenever before long.