MindspillThis past weekend, I was informed of the origins of the sagging pants (saggin’) phenomenon prevalent in the Black community. I was told that the origins of the ridiculous fashion faux pas began in the prison system in the early to mid 90’s & it was a signal to other inmates that the “sagger” was sexually available. I was pretty shocked when I heard this & was like hmmmm, how does this correlate with the Down Low plague (if you will). I never thought about where it came from, I just always thought it was dumb & self denigrating.

I know one thing, I am sick of seeing boxers whenever I see brothers in the hood who think they have it going on & additionally sick of sista’s with there nasty things showing. There is just too much underwear flashing going on IMHO.

Anyway to confirm what I was told, I did some “Ghetto Research” online to see what I could dig up on the origins of sagging pants & here’s what I found:

  1. Certain forms of rhyming, rap, tattoos, and dress have prison origins. For example, the practice known as “sagging” where adolescent boys allow their pants to sag — exposing their underwear — originates from jail and prison policies denying inmates the use of belts (because they could be used as a weapon or means to commit suicide). It was exported to the streets on or around 1995 as a statement of African American solidarity as well as a way to offend white society.“ Source Link

    Bygbaby:I disagree here, since when was sagging a symbol of solidarity in the black community? For what I hear, in large the Black community is against this symbol of ignorance.

  2. Claim: The fashion of sagging one’s pants was born of a prison mode of signaling sexual availability.
    Reality: False
    Origin: Sagging, the fashion of wearing pants with their waistbands around the hips (or lower) rather than snugged to the Kriss Kross midriff, has been and continues to be a controversial style of dress. Although this sartorial fad is overwhelmingly favored by young males, it is not limited to them — young women have at times likewise indulged in the urge to sag.

    The practice, which did begin in prisons, worked its way from the hoosegow into hip hop culture. It was adopted by a variety of rap artists, such as Ice-T and Too Short, which enhanced its perceived tough-guy cachet. Sagging can even be taken a step further by wearing the droopy breeches backwards. (Totally Krossed Out, the 1992 debut album of Kriss Kross, shows the pair of 13-year-old rappers doing this.) By 1995 the style had seeped into mainstream teen culture — one no longer needed to be a wannabe “gangsta” to sling ’em low.

    Pants worn this way are kept up by constant hitching, an act that becomes an integral part of the walking style of the wearer.

    While sagging did gain its start in the U.S. prison system, it was not a clothes-wearing style authored by imprisoned homosexuals intent upon advertising their interest in casual flings. Sagging pants became the behind-the-bars thing thanks to ill-fitting prison-issue garb: some of those incarcerated were provided with clothing a few sizes too large. That over sizing, coupled with the lack of belts in the big house, led to a great number of jailbirds whose pants were falling off their asses. (Belts are not permitted in most correctional facilities because all too often the lifeless bodies of their inmate owners have been found hanging from them.) Source Link

    Bygbaby: Seems reasonable enough but the original claim just seems to real to be fake. Let’s not pretend that there is no man on man action going on behind bars. I mean we have seen Penitentiary I-III & most recently Oz.

What ever the case, this is one fashion statement that I would love to fade away. Anytime I see a young man I may just ask him of he knows the significance of his sagging pants.

On a somewhat related note speaking of the ubiquitous Down Low thing here is a Down Low “fact” list compiled by Keith Boykin, check it out here

?: If saggers pants are falling way below their waists, how in the hell can the run from the po’ po’