If you've noticed things around you being a lot more radical than usual, it's probably because Zubaz, the pants with attitude, just celebrated its 25th anniversary. Founded by Minnesotan bodybuilders Dan Stock and Bob Truax in 1988, Zubaz have since gone on to symbolize the unapologetically action packed, in-your-face comfort of the late '80s and early '90s, an ideal standard that keeps people wearing them today. We at the Weekly are celebrating a quarter-century of Zubaz by assembling a playlist of some of our favorite Zubaz-centric jams.
FULL DISCLOSURE - This list was compiled while wearing Blue/Red Zubaz Zebra Pants.The Road Warriors - "Tonight"1986
Two of the first to really make Zubaz cool in the '80s were professional wrestling superstars Hawk and Animal. Whether you knew them as the Road Warriors or the Legion of Doom (or by their real names Michael Hegstrand and Joseph Laurinaitis) you knew not to mess with them, especially when it came to high fashion. And what goes better with facepaint and spiked shoulder-pads than Zubaz? Credited as the visionaries who has the original idea for Zubaz, it shows the duo's talents weren't limited to the squared circle. Here's a song the boys did in the mid-'80s during the height of music and athletics colliding.Serengeti - "Dennehy"2006
Indie-rapper Serengeti has, for years, been one of the most creative entities in the underground hip-hop world. He's had so many ideas that he had to create an alter-ego. Enter Kenny, a Chicago man of simple tastes who gets profiled in his song "Dennehy." While the track is an interesting slice of Kenny's life named after his favorite actor, his passion for "da Bears" cannot be understated as emphasized by the character's love of the his Chicago Bears Zubaz. It's something anyone whose own a pair of the pants can relate to.Miami Dolphins - "Can't Touch Us"1990
But why relegate the football Zubaz fun to just the Bears? Zubaz were inescapable in NFL promotional clips in the early 90s, and when they collided with the trend of athletes recording music in the late 80s, you had an explosion of comfy testosterone. The 1990 Miami Dolphins recorded their take on MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" called "Can't Touch Us," which also includes the subtle truth that you should never touch another person's Zubaz. That's a sacred bond, especially when they're Super Bowl bound.Ill Bill - "Peep the Zoobaz"1994
Years before his time with classic underground rap group Non-Phixion or even his solo notoriety, Ill Bill was cooking up some of the most ominous rap demos this side of 1994. One of the standouts is "Peep the Zoobaz." While Zubaz is misspelled in the title, which gets a pass as this was when misspelling words in hip-hop was at its all time coolest, the song does capture the excitement of showing off a fresh new pair of Zubaz.I spoke to Bill about the song's origin earlier this year
, and it shows how answering the door in Zubaz can lead to being immortalized in song.My Chemical Romance - "Welcome to the Black Parade"2006
Earlier this year,Gothamist writer Jake Dobkin
decided to, as the slogan says, "Dare to be Different" andchronicle what it was like to wear Zubaz for a day
. In his experience, he thought of then recently-disbanded emo outfit My Chemical Romance's "Welcome to the Black Parade." Naturally, the combination of the ultra-rad pants and the visceral rock of MCR lead to begin lifting weights behind his desk. We at theWeekly
aren't necessarily promising you that wearing Zubaz and listening to the right music is going to turn you into an adonis, but we can confirm at least a 20% increase in overall badassery.
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While the "Harlem Shake" craze might be a few crazes ago by this point, the 25th anniversary of Zubaz warrants a revisit for Throwback Thursday. There's not a whole lot known about this particular incarnation, other than it was uploaded by YouTube member Tom Schmockelberry, but there's such a dazzling array of Zubaz at exhibition that we had to include it.