The ferals and their "gansta" rap image runs riot in London…

The ferals and their "gansta" rap image runs riot in London…

The London riots are an excellent example of how much damage the Political Correct nonsense and the victim culture promoted to our communities over the years has influenced our youth. The lack of manners prevalent today has contributed to a breakdown in civility. If you don’t have self-respect first and foremost, you cannot have respect for anything else, your partner, your boss, the police, the justice system, or your community – let’s get back to basics and teach our kids that to respect yourself is the first step to becoming confident adults with real self-esteem, not some superficial version better associated with ferrals and their “gangsta” rap image.

Read the following article published in The Guardian this week…

Fashion statement: Young men charged over England’s riots targeted shops selling ‘‘gangster chic’’ items — brands which now have an image problem

Purveyors of gangster fashion aimed at youth have been dismayed that England’s rampaging pillagers found their wares particularly appealing.

When rioters went on the rampage, the shops that suffered some of the worst damage were those belonging to the JD Sports chain.

Peter Cowgill, chairman of the clothing retailer, said as many as 30 of its stores had been looted and the clean-up and replacing of lost stock would cost in excess of £10 million ($A16 million). He said he was ”depressed” by how  quickly things had spiralled out of control. ”Ultimately you have to have  faith in the law and this resolving itself,” he said.

The riots affected a broad range of businesses, from the Debenhams department  store chain, to pharmacists Boots, Carphone Warehouse and discount store Argos,  which said 18 stores had been looted. A report said at least 10 per cent of   retail and leisure businesses had been either directly or indirectly hit by the  riots.

But JD Sports became the enduring image of the devastation. Robin Knight, a  retail expert at restructuring firm Zolfo Cooper, said it was targeted because  it is seen to embody youth culture.

He said: ”It has clearly positioned itself as a purveyor of very aspirational  product amongst the UK’s youth. Currys and Comet [both electrical/computer goods  stores] got raided because they sell high-value products. But JD was very  clearly in their minds as [the place] where they’d get the stuff they aspired  to. JD has almost been a victim of its own success. It worked hard to appeal to  the youth market and, when the country tipped into lawlessness, it still  appealed to that market.”

Branding experts are warning that the riots are a wake-up call for the fashion brands that JD Sports stocks. They have cultivated a ”gangster chic” image and found themselves targeted by looters across the country. Mark Borkowski, a PR and branding expert, said that image was now coming back to haunt them.

”The riots are an absolute disaster for a number of brands. From the day the Daily Mail and the Guardian used that picture of the hoodie equipped  completely in Adidas it has become a massive crisis.

”It has been a wake-up call for many brands which have spent millions developing ‘gangster chic’ and ‘dangerwear’ images.” A rioter dressed head-to-toe in Adidas was pictured on the front pages of most of Britain’s national newspapers last Tuesday. One of the youngest offenders appeared at court this week in a full Adidas tracksuit. The brand, which is one of the major sponsors of the 2012 Olympics, condemned those taking part in the riots.

Renaldo Tekl-Giorgies is taken from City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court after being sentenced to four months for a public order offence and criminal damage

Mr Borkowski said brands have been aligning themselves with gang and criminal culture for decades but had ramped up their association in recent years. This week Adidas will launch an advertising campaign featuring rapper, gang member and convicted criminal Snoop Dogg. The Adidas Originals advert also stars fellow US rapper Big Sean, who recently was charged with sexual assault. Last week Levi’s withdrew an advertising campaign that featured a young man squaring up to a line of police after a public outcry that it glorified riots. The 60-second  film ended with the words ”Go Forth”

What is your view about this “gangsta” rap culture?

The ImageMaker
The ImageMaker
The ImageMaker is a blog that provides short, succinct articles reviewing the key editorial, commentary and opinion pieces in the major international news outlets each week with specialised commentary from an image / brand management and entrepreneurship perspective. Our coverage ranges from front-page news, to Business, Economy, Tech & Science, Life & Culture and anything else that we see fit to comment on. The ImageMaker is also a place for dialogue - we feel that news services today should be interactive and should involve readers. That’s why we offer a prominent space on every page for our regular readers, for up-and-coming players in politics, business, sport or entertainment, and for people who find themselves in interesting places at interesting times, to share their views. Stay informed, and save time.
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Showing 4 comments
  • David McQueen

    I think it is very easy for people to slap labels on young people for the crimes that are committed. It is way to easy to apply labels such as gangsta rap culture and not even really know what is meant by that.

    In your first paragraph I was totally with you around the concepts of self respect and respect for your community. This is something many of my colleagues have challenged both young people and local politicians about. Where you lost it for me was this whole thing about gangsta chic?

    So as somebody who works with youth across the UK allow me to share somethings from my perspective and the vast amount of youth workers who are in this space.
    – According to the Met Police only 1 in 5 arrested were under 18
    – The majority purchasers of so called ‘gangsta rap’ are white teenage girls
    – JD Sports was the main chain attacked but there are numerous other stores where the demographic you mentioned shop such as Sports Direct, USC, River Island, Lillywhites,Top Man/Shop, Primark were largely left untouched.

    In addition you mentioned two people Snoop Dogg (who was a member of the Crips but is no longer) and Big Sean as criminal brands. Why did you not mention Eminem or how about Kate Moss whose credibility and branding increased after she was caught snorting cocaine? Are they not negative role models for brands too?

    Whilst I get your point about branding and association (incidental I like the other posts on your blog) I think you need to be careful about generalisatons. Teenage culture has always been about rebellion be it through drugs, sex and music and companies including Levi’s, Gap, Diesel, etc have always aligned themselves with this. However whilst it is easy to apply the gangsta chic label to this phenemon believe you me, a number of youth workers I know had to go to court to vouch for skater boy’s and hollister wearing middle class young ladies who would never see themselves as part of the gangsta rap culture.

    Dave

    • jonmichail

      Dave,

      I sincerely appreciate your passionate comments and thank you for taking the time to share them.

      For the record the comments on the rap artists Snoop Dogg and Big Sean were noted in the Guardian article by the journalist, not myself. I also appreciate your sentiments about Kate Moss. Yes, it is a serious problem when her drug taking is glamorised as part of the celebrity culture.

      Regarding, generalisations these in the main happen because patterns indicate a certain type of historical behaviour. The generations of the past were rebels with a cause, they wanted to change society for the good of all. Today’s youth is distinct from that past, they seem to be rebelling without real cause.

      I also have worked pro-bono with youth and conducted workshops in the Juvenile Justice System and I categorically can share with you, generally the kids were great but their upbringing and conditioning was a serious matter.

      Who is to blame? Parents, teachers, youth workers, government etc.? I am not sure, what I am sure about is that the politically correct social engineers have played a well orchestrated role in all of this. I encourage you to keep up your great work with our youth, it’s passionate people like yourself that we need more of.

      Cheers,
      Jon

  • David McQueen

    I think it is very easy for people to slap labels on young people for the crimes that are committed. It is way to easy to apply labels such as gangsta rap culture and not even really know what is meant by that.

    In your first paragraph I was totally with you around the concepts of self respect and respect for your community. This is something many of my colleagues have challenged both young people and local politicians about. Where you lost it for me was this whole thing about gangsta chic?

    So as somebody who works with youth across the UK allow me to share somethings from my perspective and the vast amount of youth workers who are in this space.
    – According to the Met Police only 1 in 5 arrested were under 18
    – The majority purchasers of so called ‘gangsta rap’ are white teenage girls
    – JD Sports was the main chain attacked but there are numerous other stores where the demographic you mentioned shop such as Sports Direct, USC, River Island, Lillywhites,Top Man/Shop, Primark were largely left untouched.

    In addition you mentioned two people Snoop Dogg (who was a member of the Crips but is no longer) and Big Sean as criminal brands. Why did you not mention Eminem or how about Kate Moss whose credibility and branding increased after she was caught snorting cocaine? Are they not negative role models for brands too?

    Whilst I get your point about branding and association (incidental I like the other posts on your blog) I think you need to be careful about generalisatons. Teenage culture has always been about rebellion be it through drugs, sex and music and companies including Levi’s, Gap, Diesel, etc have always aligned themselves with this. However whilst it is easy to apply the gangsta chic label to this phenemon believe you me, a number of youth workers I know had to go to court to vouch for skater boy’s and hollister wearing middle class young ladies who would never see themselves as part of the gangsta rap culture.

    Dave

    • jonmichail

      Dave,

      I sincerely appreciate your passionate comments and thank you for taking the time to share them.

      For the record the comments on the rap artists Snoop Dogg and Big Sean were noted in the Guardian article by the journalist, not myself. I also appreciate your sentiments about Kate Moss. Yes, it is a serious problem when her drug taking is glamorised as part of the celebrity culture.

      Regarding, generalisations these in the main happen because patterns indicate a certain type of historical behaviour. The generations of the past were rebels with a cause, they wanted to change society for the good of all. Today’s youth is distinct from that past, they seem to be rebelling without real cause.

      I also have worked pro-bono with youth and conducted workshops in the Juvenile Justice System and I categorically can share with you, generally the kids were great but their upbringing and conditioning was a serious matter.

      Who is to blame? Parents, teachers, youth workers, government etc.? I am not sure, what I am sure about is that the politically correct social engineers have played a well orchestrated role in all of this. I encourage you to keep up your great work with our youth, it’s passionate people like yourself that we need more of.

      Cheers,
      Jon

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