Each week, FADER Media Style Director Chioma Nnadi will comment on the throwback style and fashion of a Suite903 artist. Today’s Re-Issue: Soul II Soul.
At the height of their popularity Soul II Soul opened a store up the street from home in London, and on sunny days I would often see Jazzie B and his crazy pineapple dreads driving around top down in a convertible. They mostly sold merch at the shop, but to be honest I never went inside because I was too young and too shy to go unsupervised. There was a set of twins in my brother's class at school and their mum managed the place. She was super petite with a huge mane of gold fizzy curls down to her bottom (also worn pineapple-style), and I vaguely remember having a girl crush on her. Her twin sons appear in this video for "Get a Life," and are super-adorable and perfectly styled (aged 6), and there is a moment of insane cuteness towards the end of the clip when the brothers rub noses.
Soul II Soul were more like a big happy family than a band, and I think that overarching sense of inclusion and good vibery resonated with a lot of people at the time. Their lyrics were uplifting without being preachy ("Be selective! Be Objective! Be an asset to the collective!") and the style was easy breezy and swagger-laced without trying too hard. Not that I'm advocating a return to cascading dreadlocks, it's just that their positive vision and sense of togetherness is sadly missing from the scene today. Plus, no dude on Earth can rock a pair of circular mirrored shades quite the way Jazzie did.