Last week, rapper Gucci Mane married Keyisha Ka’oir in a lavish ceremony. As I scrolled through his Instagram, something struck me about the way the couple was dressed. Mr. and Mrs. Gucci Mane, like many rappers and their significant others before them, looked like the villains in a JRPG.
What differentiates a JRPG villain from an anime villain or even a generic fantasy villain? Well, it’s not just about a chilly nobility or a degree of pomposity. Both of these things were certainly present at Gucci Man’s wedding. Here’s the groom cutting their $75,000 cake with a diamond studded sword:
Dressing like a JRPG villain is also about wearing too much shit, and also doing the goddamn most. Look out Ka’oir’s wedding dress, for example:
She could have stopped at the feathered train, or even the meticulously embroidered and bejeweled detailing on her neck and cleavage. That is already too much, and if you shine a bright light on her I am afraid she’d blind someone. But the girl had to also wear a crown, which, I believe, also has diamonds on it. If that doesn’t say “I am impossibly powerful, have a multi stage boss fight and want to rule and/or destroy the world,” I don’t know what does.
Mane and Ka’oir aren’t the first rappers to embrace the JRPG aesthetic. Rapper Young Thug, on his album cover for Jeffery, dabbled into the art of “too many things.”
Wearing a voluminous dress designed by Alessandro Trincone, Thugger looks a little like lavender-toned Sephiroth. Androgyny is a big part of JRPG villains, whose aesthetic often ironically pairs gentle, fey looks with immense power and cruelty. For Young Thug, it’s just a matter of being true to himself. In his featured ad for Calvin Klein he said that he thinks “there’s no such thing as gender.” Jury’s still out on whether Young Thug will stab your girlfriend in the back at the end of disk one.
Nicki Minaj’s video for “Pound the Alarm,” a song that pretty much blows, was shot in her native Trinidad, and she wears an outfit for Carnival, a festival held on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. While Carnival outfits are always over the top, and usually feature feathered wings, jewels, bikini tops, it’s hard to say she’d look out of place as the megalomaniacal villain in an installment of Final Fantasy.
Nicki pretty much already is a JRPG villain in that I don’t know what she wants, I don’t think she knows what she wants, but is also devastatingly attractive and undeniably very powerful. It fits that she’d surround herself with an entourage of color-coordinated minions as she does in this video.
Unsurprisingly, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West regularly look like they have some kind of nefarious plan to live forever using the life force of the planet. They absolutely embodied the vague, but definitely evil motivations of a JRPG villain than when they dressed for the Balmain runway show during 2014's Paris Fashion Week.
Kanye’s jacket is out of control—there are so few occasions to wear a floor length black jacket with gold embroidery, but by gum, Kanye found one of them. It’s Kim that really takes the cake, and it’s all owed to her long standing affection for all things skintight and sheer, as well as her inability to accessorize for shit. There is simply no reason to wear a white and gold collar and matching cuff bracelets, but she’s going to do it and no one can stop her. She kinda gives me Aversa from Fire Emblem Awakening vibes. Both these women never saw a chunky boot or oversized necklace they didn’t like. True, Aversa has considerably more cleavage, but Kim also wore a blazer with no shirt later in the week, so I think it kind of evens out.
In terms of impossible, impractical cleavage paired with painted on, impossibly sparkly, horrendously accessorized outfits, nothing compares to Lil Kim at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards.
Kim is sitting directly at the crossroads of “way, way too much going on” and “I don’t even know how you got that to stay on you.” It is so absurd it loops all the back around to iconic. But what we’re here to talk about today is that purple pasty. Video game breasts are a mystery unto their own. So often, while playing a game with a sexy large breasted woman, do I think “how?” JRPGs take this to another level, with outfits that somehow only cover an areola-less nipple. Few have attempted such looks in real life. Lil Kim—she dared.
JRPG villains wear absurd, impractical, dramatic outfits with way too many elements to them and cut outs in surprising and revealing places. Rappers have everything it takes to make those looks work: a lot of money. Still, while you wait for Kingdom Hearts 3, keep an eye out for what Mr. and Mrs. Gucci Mane, Nicki, Kanye and both Kims wear on red carpets and beyond. Without a doubt, you’ll see something similar in an upcoming game.