During our Toyota “Lakers Voices” live chat with Kyle Kuzma, I tasked him with a very important question: who’s the Drip King out of his young teammates?
We’ve overheard LeBron James – and Kuz, Brandon Ingram or Lonzo Ball – use that term before, as you may have if you listen to rap.
An up-and-coming fashion aficionado, Kuzma’s answer provided the kind of insight that I felt needed to be summarized in print form … and further investigated through subsequent conversations with Ingram and Ball.
Let’s start with the Q&A from Kuzma:
MT: If you had to pick a Drip King out of Ingram, Lonzo and Hart, who would it be?
Kuzma: B.I. He’s more of a Hype Beast. He’s wearing all the labels … Louis Vuitton, Givenchy … You know what he’s wearing because you can see on his shirt. Nah, he puts it all together well, he can really dress. I like B.I.’s drip, for sure.
MT: For people that aren’t currently updated – and I wouldn’t consider myself fully updated – drip is essentially just a different way of saying swag?
Kuzma: It’s swag, but there’s a difference … you can’t just be drip because you’re swag. Some people are fresh, and some people have drip. Fresh is just like, basic jeans, a nice lil’ shirt, a bag, whatever. But drip is, you’re wearing something different that people don’t really usually wear. Something that is out there. To me, that’s what drip is.
MT: I’m considering you an authority on this matter, that’s why I asked you. Could you give us a couple examples from guys on the team?
Kuz: Like, Zo and J-Hart … fresh. ‘Bron has some drip. He doesn’t wear jeans. He’ll put the trousers on with some nice socks. Suede little jacket, stuff like that. B.I. has some drip. Of course me. I din’t want to put myself in there, but... (and) Beasley’s got a little bit of drip because he’s just totally different.
MT: Is it generally more expensive to have drip?
Kuz: No. Not at all. You can wear (whatever brands) and be swaggy*.
*Lonzo Ball disagrees with that statement. Stay tuned.
MT: So, Kuzma gave you the Drip King title amongst your fellow young teammates. Can you clarify the difference between drip and swag?
Ingram: Drip is like all designer (gear). But really, it came from where all the rappers wear jewelry. You see the Migos have on eight or nine chains. They might a watch on each wrist. Bracelets. But I think that’s where it originated from.
MT: Now I have to say, rappers have been wearing jewelry for a long time…
Ingram: Yeah but just the new age rappers.
MT: OK, so doesn’t it literally mean that the ice from all the diamonds is dripping?
Ingram: Yeah, that’s kind of what it is. It’s in all kinds of different songs where they’re talking about ice, dripping, terminology like that. But I think swag is when you can wear anything and get away with it. So I feel like I got both. It doesn’t have to be a name brand at all. I can wear a regular jogging suit, and it looks nice with a nice pair of shoes that might stand out.
MT: Can you make a plain t-shirt drip? Does it have to be Gucci?
Ingram: Depends on how you wear it. Everybody can’t have on a Gucci t-shirt, and then the whole ‘fit don’t match.
MT: And Kuz mentioned that you wear a lot of designer gear, but correct me if I’m wrong, it doesn’t have to be from a designer to drip?
Ingram: Nah it doesn’t have to be designer. It just has to look good, stand out a little bit, not too much. Don’t overdue it. You might throw some jewelry on.
MT: Do you think Kuz has the most drip on the team?
Ingram: No!! He said that?
MT: Well, he just included himself on the list with you, LeBron and Beasley, to be fair.
Ingram: Nah! That’s me! Most swag and most drip.
MT: Look I’m not here to judge … anyways, Kuz also said Lonzo and Hart are fresh, but they don’t have as much drip. Thoughts?
Ingram: I agree with that. I’ve seen some Lonzo fits that look really good, and I’ve seen some where he can go back home and try again.
MT: Your teammates have weighed in on swag and drip, but I felt we needed to get your take.
Ball: To me, it goes hand in hand. Drip can be referred to as clothes or jewelry, swag is how you wear your clothes or jewelry.
MT: Wow, you really summarized that very clearly!
Ball: (laughs) I’m much smarter than those two!
MT: I mentioned to Ingram that I thought drip derived from hip hop, with rappers talking about their diamonds/jewelry literally dripping… yes?
Ball: That’s true, that’s drip. That’s what I’m saying. It evolves from jewelry.
MT: What are some examples of an outfit that drips?
Ball: You gotta wear a lot of chains. Stuff that’s blinging. Fancy shoes. Dripped out. It’s simple.
MT: Does it matter if it’s a designer brand or not? Ingram said it doesn’t have to be.
Ball: Definitely has to be designer. I don’t know anything that’s not designer that’s drip. It costs. B.I. is probably the head there … all his ‘fits cost a lot of money.
MT: Kuz referred to Ingram as a “Hype Beast.” Can you define that for us?
Ball: A hype beast is someone who only wears designer, pretty much. And I like B.I.’s fashion.
MT: How many guys on the team have drip?
Ball: Lance (Stephenson) is in the drip category, he comes in pretty iced out. B.I., obviously. Kuz is more on the swag side – he doesn’t really wear too much jewelry. LeBron is, well, he can do either way. I’ll say (Rajon) Rondo is clean swag.
MT: Kuz also drew a distinction with “fresh,” and said that applied to you.
Ball: Yeah you know, I try to wear my (Big Baller) Brand here and there. I try to wear designer a couple times. Mix it up a little bit.
MT: Look, I’m just trying to make sure my shoes match my shirt. That’s important, I feel.
Ball: Yeah, sure, sure. You gotta match. Sometimes Kuz doesn’t match, though, but that’s OK because he’s out there.
MT: OK ‘Zo, thank you for the education.
Ball: Yup, that’s pretty much the whole fashion world from my sense.
EDITOR’S NOTE: After speaking with the three young guys, we also checked Urban Dictionary, which defines drip as: “When your bling is iced out but that (stuff) melting from all your hot bars, you got the drip … just another word for immense swag.”