How Colonial and Hip Hop Fashion are Similar

Major Ball Sweat
Major Ball Sweat

By: Billy BeerSlugger

In the 18th Century to “wear layers” took on quite different than it is currently understood. Whereas today when you are told to wear layers it is out of function, to keep you warm in the cold. In Colonial times wearing layers upon layers of clothing and adorning yourself with a  powdered wig were signs of affluence, status and wealth. We’ve all seen renderings of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the get-ups our founding fathers were wearing and probably think nothing of it. However, have you ever been in Philadelphia in July? If you’re doing anything outside, even just walking around you are going to be sweating profusely and that’s wearing shorts and a t-shirt. So in the name of high fashion and status our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence in layer upon layer of unnecessary clothing in 90 degree temperatures. The Colonial gentleman typically donned underdrawers, breeches, leggings (“spatterdashes”), a robelike banyan or waistcoat, formal full-skirted coat or informal frock, outer cloak, hat, and cravat around the neck. I’m not sure what took more guts, to proclaim Independence or risk heat exhaustion from doing it.

So how does Hip Hop and Rap fashion relate to Colonial fashion? Because the same kind of “fashion as a status symbol” is essentially ingrained in the hip hop culture. How many rap songs do you hear that do not brag about money or cars or jewelry or expansive fashion?

I'm Rich Bitch!

Drinking Cristal Champagne more for it’s price tag than it’s taste. Fashion in the Hip Hop culture is more a symbol of status then it is of function, just like our fore fathers. How many times have you seen the emblem of a Mercedes Benz ripped off to make a necklace? How many rappers have gotten gold or platinum front teeth implanted? Certainly not necessary but definitely shows people you have a lot of disposable income.

Now this isn’t to say that most, if not all, cultures do not have a status placed on articles of clothing and accessories. Your girlfriend or wife probably won’t go out of the house without her Coach or Louis Vuitton purse. I know in most circles in corporate America that a really expensive watch denotes wealth where it will generally perform exactly the same as a watch that costs hundreds or thousands of dollars less. And sure the WASP section of the American population is probably just as enamored with expensive name brands as the hip hop culture is. I guess you really don’t hear white people talking singing about owning status symbols and the hip hop culture may be a little more likely to take their perceived level of wealth and status to an extreme. To each their own though, can’t hate on a brotha’ for flaunting it.
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By: Billy BeerSlugger

We’d like to thank the many BeerSlugger’s out there that support our site and read our crappily written articles.

Being that this is the 22nd century I figured we’d bring BeerSlugger out of the dark ages and allow you guys to use all your little crazy social networks, social bookmarks and all that other bullshit.

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It’s Friday so I’m going to get drunk now. Enjoy your weekend and thanks for logging on.


William J. BeerSlugger

Fathers of American Beer – Joseph Schlitz

The man actually looks like Ulysses S. Grant
The man actually looks like Ulysses S. Grant

By: Billy BeerSlugger

There is a common theme among our Fathers of American Beer so far and Joseph Schlitz is not likely to stray from that theme too much. Schlitz was a native of Mainz, Germany and emigrated to the United States in 1850 settling in Milwaukee.  Schlitz was hired as a bookkeeper  by August Krug.  In 1856 he took over management of the brewery after Krug’s death and two years later married Krug’s widow, Anna Maria.  Eventually Schlitz changed the name of the company to Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co.

So in keeping with the traditions of the Founding Fathers of American Beer, Schlitz was born in Germany, emigrated to the U.S. and married into the family of an established brewer.

The company began to succeed after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, when Schlitz donated thousands of barrels of beer to that city, which had lost most of its breweries.  Many of Chicago’s breweries that had burned were never to reopen; Schlitz established a distribution point there and acquired a large portion of the Chicago market.

Schlitz died May 7, 1875, when on a return visit to Germany; his ship hit a rock near Land’s End, Cornwall, and sank though his body was never recovered.  After his wife died the company stayed in the hands of Krug’s heirs.

The Schlitz brewing company flourished for most of the 1900’s and in 1902 Schlitz surpassed the 1 million barrel mark and thus earning the title of World’s Largest Brewery taking it from fellow American brewery Pabst.  It would continually be one of America’s top breweries for the next 70 years until an alteration in production methods to meet demand while also cutting costs changed the taste of the beer.

A once proud bran was thereafter relegated to cheap beer status and eventually fell out of favor with the working class.  The company was sold in 1982 to Stroh’s after a brewery strike and continually falling sales left Schlitz in a financial mess.

The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous” is now brewed in small quantities by Pabst Brewing Co. which effectively means that it is physically brewed by either Lion or Miller Brewing companies since Pabst does not actually brew any beer.

I particularly liked getting Schlitz-faced in my early years.  Always found the beer to be O.K. as far as value buys go and I’m glad to see it making somewhat of a resurgence.

Pluck You

longbowBy: Billy BeerSlugger

Plucking the Yew!  Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured soldiers. Without the middle finger it would be impossible for the English soldiers to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore incapable of fighting in the future. The famous bow was made of the English Yew tree and the act of drawing the longbow was known as “plucking the yew” or “pluck you”. Much to the amazement of the French, the English won the battle and began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French and saying “We can still pluck yew. Pluck you”. Since “pluck yew” is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodental fricative ‘F’ and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger salute.

It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as “giving the bird”. And yew thought that yew knew everything.

The Hundred Years War:

The Hundred Years war lasted more than 100 years, about 116 years, though there were intermittent periods of peace.  The war was actually a series of conflicts historians used to describe the Edwardian War (1337–1360), Caroline War (1369–1389), the Lancastrian War (1415–1429), and the decline of English fortunes after the appearance of Joan of Arc (1412–1431). Overall, the reason for fighting was for the Rule of France which was vacant due to the Capetian line of French kings inability to produce a male heir. The two party’s pursuing the throne were the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet which, after more than 100 years, the House of Valois won.

Happy Fake Independence Day!

26602218_72f7f4431bBy: Luan Zuccarello

Do you get that patriotic feeling while you attend your BBQ, firework display or ball game? Sorry to burst your bubble but like most holidays the 4th of July is a fraud. The actual legal separation from Great Britain happened on July 2nd when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence. I guess our founding fathers went out and got wasted that night because the hangover lasted till July 4th, when John Adams came up with the brilliant notion that they should write this down. The Declaration of Independence was drawn up but was not signed by everyone until the end of August 1776. My advice: party like a rock star from the beginning of July till the end of August. You are bound to celebrate the birth of our nation.

Fun Fact – Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe all died on July 4th

Note: This article was published on the 8th of July but written on the 3rd.  Billy BeerSlugger was too busy drinking beers and manning a grill in honor of our founding fathers to get it in there.

Fathers of American Beer: Adolphus Busch

adolphus_busch2By: Billy BeerSlugger

Adolphus Busch was a German born co-founder of Anheuser-Busch along with his father-in-law, Eberhard Anheuser.  He was the second youngest of 22 children and the family worked in winery’s and brewing supply.  He immigrated to the United States in 1857 with three of his brothers and settled in St. Louis.

In 1861 he married 17 year old Lilly Eberhard Anheuser and had 13 children. Busch served in the United States Army during the American Civil War for 14 months.  It was at this time that he learned his father had passed away and that he had been left a portion of the estate.

He used the money to start a wholesale brewing supply store.  Four year later he bought a share in his father-in-laws brewery (Bavarian Brewery) and the resulting company was called, Anheuser and Company.  In 1880 Eberhard Anheuser passed away and the name was changed to the Anheuser Busch Company.

The Anheuser Brewery was a rapid success. In 1891 he bought the trademark and name Budweiser from Carl Conrad and thus the most famous American beer was born.

Busch was intent on making his products a national brand.  Probably the most notable and ambitious endeavor was the creation of a network of rail-side ice houses which allowed the brewing industry’s first fleet of refrigerated rail cars to deliver beers to remote locations.  After Busch found a method to pasteurize the beer to keep it fresh the beer could now be shipped all over the country.  It was these two advances that made Anheuser-Busch become the successful, nationally recognized brands of beer that you find in the beer store today.

On November 18th 2008, the merging of InBev and Anheuser-Busch closed, creating Anheuser-Busch InBev which may or may not have made Adolphus roll over in his grave.

Some of you may be wondering why a German born brewer is one of the Fathers of American beer.  Well a majority if not all of the men on this list come from German descent.  If there’s two things Germans are good at it’s brewing beer and killing Jews (ohhh, that’s a bad joke).

Indian Giver

cryingindianBy: Billy BeerSlugger

Someone recently accused me of being an Indian Giver. It got me thinking about the etymology or whatever the origins of this terrible racial stereotype came from.

First I’m thinking we essentially ripped off the Indians for their land and they asked for it back.  Our Forefathers got the Indians drunk and either got them to straigt up sign over the land rights or sold them beads and whiskey for it.  I can just see British Colonists at the local watering hole laughing about the Indians asking for the land back after being swindled out of it.

In my extensive research consisting of Wikipedia and some other shit I made up, it seems that American Indians expected something of equal value in return when they gave you something.  Apparently if you didn’t offer anything they asked for the given item back.  Probably just a cultural misunderstanding between American Indians and British/American Colonists but I think the Indians are getting a really bad rap about this.  I mean even in our Imperialist, Manifest Destiny conquering of North America someone had to feel really bad about this.

It’s only until the last 15 years or so that we as a country have begun to try and pay the Indians back.  What did we do?  We gave them tax free Casino’s.  Hilarious.  Let’s give them a place to get drunk and lose their money.  Does no one else see the irony in this?

I’ve decided not to use the racial stereotype “Indian Giver” anymore and I’ll be visibly upset if you call me one even if I did give you that half bottle of Old Grandad thinking I’ll never drink it then asking for it back after the bar closed.  I may even shed a single tear like the Indian pictured above.

The Fathers of American Beer

By: Billy BeerSlugger

While two or so of our writers are putting the finishing touches on the final entries in to the Greatest Athlete of All Time Debate, I decided the next series I would focus on would be the Brewers that put American beer on the map.  Men like Adolphus Busch, Frederick Pabst, Frederick Miller, Adolph Coors, D.G. Yuengling and Joseph Schlitz to name a few.

Every week or so I’ll be profiling one of the Great Brewers from America’s infancy.

Next week also look forward to the new BeerSlugger Babe of the Month.