The garments form Genius, formerly Rap Genius, features the hottest and greatest from 1997

Rap Genius was once just a lyrics website that allowed users to annotate lyrics from their favorite rap hits. Shakespeare has Sparknotes; Kanye has Rap Genius. The website, which has recently dropped “Rap” from its name, has launched its first full-size streetwear collection inspired by the year 1997.

Genius created a polo shirt branded with ‘PUFFY WOODS’. The name alludes to Puff Daddy’s tribute to Tiger Woods who, that year, became the first non-white golfer and the youngest person ever to win the Masters Tournament. It was also 1997 when Fiona Apple won ‘Best New Artist’ award. In her candid acceptance speech, she declares “The World is Bull***t,”which is now also the slogan of a Genius long sleeved tee.

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An oversized tee pays tribute to the Tunnel, a railroad terminal-turned-club for the hottest acts and the coolest kids during the era. Shop signs saying “Strictly Hip-Hop” is converted into fabric prints. Versace also cemented its relationship with hip-hop that year when it clothed The Notorious B.I.G for the Hypnotize music video. This seminal collab is remembered with printed tees. Versace’s Medusa medallion is rehashed into a compass/mandala hybrid of a logo.

It was also in 1996 when the wildly popular Spice Girls turned “girl power” into a global phenomenon. Genius commemorates the girl group movement with hoodies contrasting colors of black and pink.

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In 1997, the blockbuster Titanic first hit cinemas and millions of eyes welled up to “My Heart Will Go On”. The Titanic genius shirt recalls the song and the songstress. The song title and Celine Dione is turned into album art from a 90s underground hip-hop act.

The collection obviously has not placed enough premium on originality. Yeezy, Vetements and Supreme all have obvious influences on the silhouettes of the pieces. Nevertheless, drawing to its deeply sentimental audience with an obviously serious respect for music, a $30 t-shirt can be an easy sell.

Genius

Rap Genius was once just a lyrics website that allowed users to annotate lyrics from their favorite rap hits. Shakespeare has Sparknotes; Kanye has Rap Genius. The website, which has recently dropped “Rap” from its name, has launched its first full-size streetwear collection inspired by the year 1997.

Genius created a polo shirt branded with ‘PUFFY WOODS’. The name alludes to Puff Daddy’s tribute to Tiger Woods who, that year, became the first non-white golfer and the youngest person ever to win the Masters Tournament. It was also 1997 when Fiona Apple won ‘Best New Artist’ award. In her candid acceptance speech, she declares “The World is Bull***t,”which is now also the slogan of a Genius long sleeved tee.