Kid Cudi's Coachella Crop Top Should Be Embraced, Not Shamed

This year's Coachella Festival was full of surprises. On the high end, Beyoncé stage-bombed her sister Solange's set for an impromptu dance breakdown, while Nas and Jay Z appeared together onstage. Although the long-awaited OutKast reunion left the crowd unmoved, Kid Cudi's crop top saved the day and picked up the audience participation slack.

Initially, the sight of Kid Cudi in a stomach-baring top and cut off jean shorts instantly whisked me back to the early '90s, but after I shuddered and rejoined the 21st century, his fashion choice actually didn't feel all that bad. But some not-so-flattering tweets indicated that others weren't so forgiving.

To that I say, man, hip hop men have it hard. As artistic beings are prone to do, rappers often experiment with different forms of creative expression, whether it's collaborating with an artist in another musical genre or crossing over into film/TV. But when it comes to fashion, history has proven that hip hop men must tread lightly, especially with trends that are perceived to be outside of the box labeled "for men."

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The inevitable flack doesn't stop Kanye West from rocking designer masks and kilts onstage and Snoop Dogg faithfully maintains his manicures, so by that same token Kid Cudi should continue to wear his crop top. Aside from the fact that it's a) Coachella and b) about to get unbearably hot outside, critics need not forget that he's an entertainer — not an office secretary. In other words, dress codes don't apply. Besides, if all musicians walked around in identical, uninspired clothing, we'd be bored and there would be no Fashion Week (gasp!). And no one gives rock stars shit about wearing tight pants so why should rappers be limited to closets filled strictly with over-sized tees, jeans and Jesus pieces?

There's no debating that the rage against Cudi's crop top has something to do with people viewing it as a threat to his manhood. Meanwhile, I'm using Cudi as inspiration to avoid eating a hamburger at 1 a.m. so that I too, can become a proud member of summer 2014's crop top club.

Finally, anyone who questions Cudi's manliness and chick magnet potential because of his so-called feminine outfit should probably just ask Mick Jagger.

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