I never really knew that people were ever so much into Polo like this. This Complex article has definitely opened up my eyes.
New York was a different place in the ’80s. Times Square—a.k.a. “Forty Deuce”—was littered with pushers, pimps, hoes, peep shows, syringes, and crack vials, a far cry from the advertising Disneyland it is today. It was a playground for Wall Street types, tourists, teenagers looking for a good time, petty criminals looking for a quick come-up, and frequented by various street crews from each of the five boroughs, most notably a Brooklyn collective known as the Lo-Lifes. “We used to meet up there to show off what we had and what we caught.” says founding member Rudy-Lo, who refers to himself as “Puerto Rican Rudy from Flatbush” to differentiate himself from another Rudy-Lo. He continues: “We would be like 25 deep and go into movie theatres with 40 ounces and not pay. That’s how we got our name on the Deuce.”
Unsuspecting tourists and chumps too eager to flaunt the day’s latest threads were preyed upon by opportunistic locals. Dookie rope chains were being snatched on the daily, and various coats were game, especially shearlings and jackets the streets referred to as “Suicides.” Suicides were usually pricey outerwear made by an affluent brand. These days, the NYC youth are putting themselves in harm’s way whenever they rock Marmot Mammoth Parkas, a.k.a. Biggies. Internet personality and Brooklyn native Dallas Penn confirms: “A kid walking around today in a Marmot jacket might get sent up by some other teenagers because that’s coveted heavy right now.”
But the jacket the term was associated to the most back in those days was the Ski ’92 Polo jacket. “We called that the ‘suicide’ ski jacket because if you wore that out in the street it was like suicide. You would probably get killed for it,” super-producer Just Blaze tells Complex in a 2012 interview.