Watch ‘Horse Power,’ Our New Documentary That Highlights Hip-Hop’s Impact on Polo Ralph Lauren

Founded in 1967 by Bronx-born Ralph Lifshitz, Polo Ralph Lauren has dressed everyone from presidents to Olympians to your favorite rappers. Except, said rappers weren’t getting seeded or personally styled by the company up until more recently.

Hip-hop has served as a pro bono marketing agency for the billion-dollar fashion house for nearly three decades, but not anymore. Finally, Polo is recognizing the influence rap music has done for the brand with the 25th anniversary re-release of both its Stadium and Snowboarding collections, and placing rappers Thirstin Howl the 3rd and Meyhem Lauren in ads.

It took hip-hop a long time to get here, though. What started out in the streets of New York by the Lo-Lifes—a Brooklyn street crew whose preferred uniform was Polo—eventually seeped into the region’s hip-hop scene, turning a thing like Raekwon wearing a Snow Beach pullover jacket in the “Can It Be All So Simple” video into an unforgettable moment. Rap took something that was made for upper class preppy white kids and made it their own. “Our culture is based on taking things that aren’t meant for us or weren’t intended for us and making it ours,” as Just Blaze puts it.

With music provided by Thelonious Martin and featuring Raekwon, Just Blaze, Big Boi, 2 Chainz, ASAP Ferg, 88-Keys, Young Dro, Daymond John, Dapper Dan, Fonzworth Bentley, Thirstin Howl the 3rd, and other original Lo-Life members, this documentary explores that juxtaposition. Watch Horse Power above to learn about hip-hop’s love affair with Polo Ralph Lauren.

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Complex Announces ‘Horse Power,’ A Doc About How Hip-Hop Impacted Polo Ralph Lauren

Polo Ralph Lauren has been the unofficial gear within the hip-hop scene since the late '80s/early '90s, where legendary rappers like Raekwon (and the iconic Snow Beach pullover), Grand Puba, and more brought the clothing line to the forefront in their own unique way. Those who know their Polo history are also aware of the impact of the Lo-Lifes, which Complex has chronicled in the past.

In February, we'll expand on Polo's rich history within hip-hop and the conversation around it with our two-part documentary entitled Horse Power.

The documentary features commentary from 'Lo heads in the music and fashion industry, including Just Blaze, Raekwon, Tyson Beckford, 2 Chainz, Michaela Angela Davis, ASAP Ferg, Young Dro​, Fonzworth Bentley, and many more who shine a light on its history, their relationship with the brand (good and bad), and why Polo will never go out of style.

“Our culture is based on taking things that aren't meant for us, or weren't intended for us, and making them ours,” Just Blaze explains, while others like Dro and Ferg detail their excessive spending habits on the product. 

“They took it out of that white little safe lighthouse,” Davis adds, “and brought it into the streets.”

Watch the teaser for Horse Power above and look out for part one of the documentary to drop Tuesday, Feb. 13 on Complex.com and Complex's YouTube channel. Part two will be available Feb. 14.

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