Killa Cam, the Harlem Diplomat who spits general absurdities like “I get computers puting,” has had one of the more visible rises to meme stardom as any early 2000’s figure. Wisely, he just keeps running with it.
Always a fashion trendsetter, Cam’Ron debuted a signature line of capes at Fashion Week and recently took our collective fears about the Ebola crisis to new heights by offering an Ebola face mask in his likeness:
For the low, low price of just $19.99, the rapper is selling a face mask with his face on it, a portrait from 2002 when he wore all that pink fur-stuff.
“Wrap it up and protect yourself from Ebola just like Killa Cam!” reads the product’s description on the Dipset site.
In a video on TMZ, Cam’Ron brags that he just “got them shits at the dollar store.” Still, he estimates that about 5,000 of the masks sold at pre-order — meaning the rapper, once known for getting it in Ohio, just hustled the shit out of a cultural moment.
While debatably stylish, the mask is certainly not going to do anything in the way of protecting from or preventing the spread of the Ebola virus. But the idea of wearing any protective gear in the face of potential calamity is one that feels more and more inevitable each day. And, if we are to believe that the political climate affects fashion trends, then Cam’Ron’s move makes sense in a narrative of designers taking the world’s collective apocalyptic fury into consideration when they release new lines.
Hood By Air recently released a line of survivalist garb that seems to indicate some terrible series of events have taken place, and out of the ashes a renewed sense of creativity emerged. Watching the video from the runway, ethnically ambiguous models walk, and sometimes hobble, displaying a sense of determination that makes you feel like you’re already in the apocalypse.
Likewise in China, designer Yin Peng debuted his sportswear line influenced by Beijing’s very real, very dangerous smog levels. Earlier this month in Beijing, smog readings soared past the 400 mark on more than two occasions. Any reading which exceeds 300 is deemed hazardous.
Peng’s designs weren’t Ebola masks, but far more effective smog masks that people in China have been using for years now. Nonetheless, the idea of fashionable preservation is not uncommon.
“I’m runnin fashion man I aint even tryin,’” Cam’Ron raps on A-track assisted Dipsh*t. The industrious fashion icon that he is, he has actually tapped into the zeitgeist. Like he says on Instagram: “Ebola is no joking matter. So if u have to be safe. Be fashionable.”