I earned my stripes so my wets match my rugby

from CZARFACE – Hazmat Rap Lyrics on Rap Genius


Earning one’s stripes” is an idiom which means to prove that you deserve a particular position of responsibility, such as a highly regarded MC like Es does.

The origin of the phrase comes from the stripes worn on the uniform-cuffs of officers in the U.S. Navy to show their rank. When awarded their stripes, officers go through a rite of passage called the “wetting-down ceremony” … thus, the stripes have the nickname “wets.”

Likewise, rugby jerseys are often striped — and similar to the cuffs of a Navy officer’s uniform, the jersey of the rugby football club of Boston (Esoteric’s hometown) is striped with black and gold.

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