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Knittin’ on Chrome

February 12, 2010

As the art of knitting evolves from old ladies’ pastime of choice to hobby a la mode of the fashionable young, DOPE ON A ROPE investigates the influence that the wooly wonder has had on hip-hop’s swaggering fashionistas.

Formerly something your nan did with her hands to stop herself from falling into a Countdown-induced coma, knitting has fast become contemporary cool. These days you can’t sit down for a pint of ale without an art student cracking their wool and needles out next to you. Always at the forefront of fashion, the hip-hop elite have now ‘cottoned on’ to the potential of the hobby.
A new form of hip-hop music has now emerged – ‘ritting’ – whereby the artist raps about their needle skills while creating cutom knitwear. Voice of the disaffected urban youth, DJ Tim Westwood said that it is all the rage at the moment. “It’s basically where cats rap dead simple words while knitting nice jumpers. Lil Wayne’s on it and so are the Cool Kids,” he said.
It recently emerged that Weezy’s dreads were actually knitted by the gremlin himself over the course of a Lord of the Rings marathon. And Jeezy’s ‘Drop the Needle vol 1-37’ mixtapes were recorded during a particularly complex cable knit. But according to some critics this is far from a recent phenomenon.
Hip-hop historian and beatbox legend Simon Schama said the roots of ritting can be traced back as far as the 90s. He said: “MCs such as Kashmere may claim to have a founding hand in the art form, but the truth is that its cultural history is more far-reaching. The original proponents of ritting could most likely be Irish-American frat-rappers House of Pain. Their 1992 hit Jumper Round may be the first significant cultural milestone for rapping while knitting. Dr Dre followed this up in the same year with Stitches Ain’t Shit.
“Kanyeezy has tried to jump on the recent commercial revival of the form but, while producing some very charming sweaters, continues to be a massive dick,” Schama added.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Tom Quickfall permalink
    February 12, 2010 4:09 pm


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