Music based subcultures generally start out as a way for fans of a particular genre to express their love through dress, lingo and attitude. Likeminded music lovers meet up, dress up and create their own movement, driven mostly by clothes and attitude. Some subcultures stick around for a while, and influence many other subcultures to come, while others come and go so fast there’s nothing left but photos and memories.
1. Renegades – The African Heavy Metal Bikers
Africa may seem like the last place you’d find fans of heavy metal, but Botswana’s leather clad Renegades defy all convention, and bring the machismo of metal to their desert towns. These guys are bad to the bone – their style is best described as post-apocalyptic biker, and their lives in the Kalahari Desert region have made them harder than other metalheads worldwide.
Renegades love to ride big bikes. They wear their musical affiliation with pride, and form their own metal bands. The most successful of which is Botswana’s Skinflint, who are seen as musical pioneers who go where no band has gone before by playing an unique form of metal laced with African cultural themes.
2. Raggare – The Swedish Rockabilly Rebels
Swedes are known for being rather reserved and conservative in dress and lifestyle, but the Raggare are proudly letting their freak flags fly.
Raggare love Rockabilly, pompadour hairdos classic American cars and their freewheeling ways exist in stark contrast to the austere way of life that surrounds them. Each year hundreds of thousands of Raggare gather for the Power Big Meet in Västeras – also known as the “biggest and baddest car show in the world – where they meet up to compare cars and clothes and share Raggare pride with their fellow Norse rebels.
3. Juggalos – The Hardcore Clown Faced Fans
Juggalos are the only subculture proud to be called clowns, because their whole world revolves around face painting, Faygo soda and the music of Insane Clown Posse.
Juggalos are kind of a mixed up bunch, which is truly fitting for these disciples of ICP’s hip hop stylings, where one minute they’re talking about chopping someone up with an axe, and the next they’re dedicating a song to God.
These clown-faced hoodlums come together at The Gathering of the Juggalos each year to watch their favorite horrorcore groups perform, take in a wrestling match or two, and generally embrace the uniquely bizarre subculture known as Juggalo.
4. Iraqi Emo Kids – The Dark And Moody Rockers
There’s one thing countries that experience long stretches of conflict, killing and general upheaval have in common – and that thing is sadness. It’s impossible to ignore when you’re surrounded by reasons to be sad, and the popular teen music subculture known as Emo has embraced sadness and made it part of their style.
With dark clothes, dark makeup and a dour attitude, Emo kids wear their sadness on their sleeves, and surprisingly this subculture has caught on in a big way with kids in Iraq. Emo kids are viewed with disdain by the ultra conservative Iraqi establishment, and because many identify the look with homosexuality it has become dangerous to dress Emo.
In 2012, dozens of Emo kids were killed in Iraq by Islamic extremists who see their style of clothes as an affront to Muslim society. Strangely, this hasn’t stopped them from staying true to their Emo roots, and now identifying as Emo is seen as making a political statement. (Source | Photo)
5. Seapunk – The Colorful Hybrid Hipsters
The scene briefly known as Seapunk was the first purely 21st century subculture, and just like most viral trends it only lasted for minute. The Seapunk movement was said to have started as a joke on Twitter, but soon evolved in to a full blown, and very fashionable, music subculture thanks in part to performers like Rihanna and Azealia Banks.
Everything about the subculture has a watery feel- Seapunks dye their hair turquoise, listen to breakbeat music with beats that sound like they were recorded underwater, and sport 90s style clothing with a beachy vibe. This largely club based subculture was said to have died when the style and sound had been fully appropriated by mainstream pop acts, but there are still a few underground clubs that cater to the Seapunk set.
6. Japanese Greasers – The Leather Clad Rebels Who Dance In The Street
The Japanese like to take their subcultures to the extreme. They incorporate over the top clothing, lots of accessories, and other very showy visual elements to make a big impression. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that when they adopted the American greaser look they went all out, with big hair, big rock and roll sound, and big tough guy attitudes.
Japanese greasers keep it real with their pompadours and their throwback look, but their sense of style isn’t the only thing that makes them unique – it’s their street dancing sessions. They combine elements of line dancing, rockin’ out and even a few breakdancing moves to create their own unique form of movement, which they perform for adoring crowds in the Harajuku district of Tokyo.
7. Rivetheads – Futuristic Industrial Fanatics
There’s an even darker place for Goths to go, a place where the industrial music thrives and the dance involves a lot of warlike stomping. They’re called Rivetheads, and they enjoy thrashing around to hard industrial music in their favorite clubs, dressing with a militant/sadomasochistic flair, and constantly looking to the future for inspiration.
Rivetheads don’t like being lumped in with Goths, but prefer to think of their style as an offshoot of fetish fashion. They are also often unfairly linked to nationalist and extremist groups due to their militaristic look, but like Goths theirs is a subculture that accepts all people regardless of creed, nationality or sexual orientation.
8. Trival/Tribal Guarechero – The Pointy Booted Clubbers From Mexico
Folk is still a very popular genre in Mexico, but time marches on and Mexican music has largely moved into an electronic realm. One forward minded music producer, Ricardo Reyna, began combining elements of folk with tribal house rhythms, and created a musical movement complete with its own subculture.
The Trival Guarechero movement soon became popular with club goers, and members of the subculture began to identify themselves by combining futuristic elements with a traditional Ranchero look. The most recognizable parts of the Trival Guarechero wardrobe are the extremely long and pointy boots they wear which make them look like dancing cowboy elves! (Source | Photo)
9. Hardline Straight Edge – The Conservative Side Of Punk Rock
The hardcore scene emerged as a radical offshoot of the punk scene in the 80s and 90s, and was a reaction to the drug filled lives of earlier punks, many of whom died or became hopelessly addicted. Hardcore preached the virtues of clean living, and took on a radical political stance that often included themes of a blue collar work ethic and national pride.
Not content with leaving well enough alone, the Hardline Straight Edge movement sprang from the minds of a band called Vegan Reich, who really wanted to go to the extreme with their beliefs – and their diet. They eat vegan, don’t believe in sex before marriage or LGBT rights, and have generally adopted an extremely conservative way of life, which seems to conflict with their aggressive punk rock look and attitude.
10. Japanese Rastas – Irie Dreadlocks From East Asia
Japan may seem like the last place you’d find Rastafarians and lovers of Reggae music, but their love of Reggae dates back to the 1970s and ’80s, and reggae subcultures continue to thrive in Japan to this day.
Japan had such a large Reggae loving community in the ’80s that Reggae Sunsplash started adding Japanese shows to their touring schedule in 1985, and Jamaican musicians still consider Japan to be one of the few preferable places in the world to tour.
Japanese Rastas sport dreadlocks, red, gold and green gear (as traditionally associated with Jamaican rastas) and their love of ganja has made them outlaws much like their old school Reggae heroes who were under colonial rule. (Source | Photo)