Five DJs on How Black American Style and Beauty Shapes Black Culture Globally


Gogo embraces the fullness of the different kinds of Black beauty that make up her look today. When she’s spinning, you’ll rarely find her without a designer bag slung across her body. She favors a “natural” beat, uplifted by lush lashes and ’90s-style lipstick and liner. If she’s not swinging mile-long braids to pulsating grooves, she’s outfitted in a unit that falls past her waist. Her style is one-part tomboy, one-part South African material gworl. “A lot of us are wearing African labels, are wearing beads, are wearing colors,” she says. “There are African luxury brands that we’re tapping into.”

Location: New York City

Playing: House, hip-hop, reggae, dancehall, Afrobeats, and R&B

Identical twins Angel and Dren Coleman’s Bronx upbringing has been instrumental in shaping how they present themselves today. When you’re raised in the birthplace of hip-hop, it’s kind of unavoidable. While the rest of America saw the Bronx aesthetic — sculpted hairstyles, gold teeth, intricate manicures — as déclassé, to Angel and Dren, they were aspirational.

“I could not wait to get press-on nails,” Dren recalls. “To me, the designs always said so much about the personality and self-expression of that woman.” When her mother finally allowed her to get nails put on in high school, two of them broke off in as many days, but the experience was still thrilling. Everything, from choosing a design to the delicate ballet her fingers had to perform once they were on, was affirming. It was a Black girl’s rite of passage. 

“I associate a lot of my Black American beauty references and choices with nostalgia,” Dren explains, citing Janet Jackson, Lil’ Kim, and Aaliyah as women she and her sister admired when they were growing up. The combination of influences come together in Angel and Dren’s overall look. Their hair is always worn long, the skirts short, sporty, and tight. Their heels are stilt-high, but low enough to comfortably bust into a dainty-but-soulful two-step. Their skin-clinging garments often have mesh panels or cutouts. The makeup is consistent: winged liner, wispy lashes, mattified complexions, and a dusting of highlighter on the cheekbones.

The pair’s bread and butter? Layering modern-day tunes over eclectic rhythms from around the globe. Their appeal is multigenerational, mixing songs any Gen-Z’er would know word-for-word with the ones your auntie remembers from her college days. 



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