Although most people remember “Jump” as the preeminent Kriss Kross tune, the “Warm It Up” video is significant on a few levels. First, this particular video was the genesis of the fad of kids wearing their clothes backwards. This trend became so pervasive when I was in junior high that the school district actually had to enact a written policy to ban people from wearing their clothes backwards, which is bona fide proof that I grew up in the ‘hood. However, I’ll have to admit that my old Blackhawks Starter jacket looked pretty bad-ass turned around.
This leads into my second point, which is that this video encapsulates how important it was during those first couple of years of the 1990s to have the right Starter jackets and jerseys. (For more insight on this, Peter Schrager of Fox Sports wrote an fantastic post a couple of months ago on Deadspin regarding his purchase of a New York Giants Starter jacket as a youngster.) The type of Starter wear that you had directly correlated with your social status in school. It would have been simple enough if everyone could just buy a Bulls or Raiders Starter jacket (the coolest teams to have at the time), but at least at Brookwood Junior High School, having the same Starter jacket as someone else was a fashion faux paus on the same level as two girls wearing the exact same dress to prom. My Blackhawks Starter jacket ended up being a solid choice since it represented a hometown team that wasn’t overexposed (or, in today’s case, not exposed at all) while having same color scheme as the Bulls. Plus, the logo supposedly gave me street cred since, as I was informed after my purchase, the markings on the Native American’s forehead look like the Folks gang sign (there really ought to be warning labels for these types of things for ignorant half-Asian/half-white guys such as myself).
Finally, as anyone that remembers this video understands, this was also the first time much of America’s youth was exposed to Chief Illiniwek. The Illini need more recruiting tools like this one.
(This and a ton of other clips are on the Frank the Tank Channel on YouTube.)