This word originated in the 80’s when the urban clothing style (long, tall ski caps, bright colors, baggy style, backwards baseball cap, etc) was made popular by gang members. People who wanted to look cool began to copy this style even though they were not in a gang. These people were given the name ‘wannabes’ for wanting to look like they were in a gang. Now this term is used do describe many people in varies groups who want to look a certain way b/c of its appeal, not because it reflect who they truly are.
gang member 1: hey man look at those guys over there
gang member 2: this ain't their hood
gang member 1: he dresses like it
gang member 2: nah, they are wanabees
February 13, 2008