Punk culture was all about subverting the established sense of normalcy. People have since argued whether the movement's fashion or music was more successful in doing so. Malcolm McLaren, the most powerful force behind both components of the culture, once stated that "fashion was much more important than the music. Punk was the sound of fashion." In other words, the visual and aesthetic disruption that punks created was the foundation of the culture, and the music was merely the voice articulating what the clothing and style already expressed.

There's no way one aspect could have existed without the other, and the coexistence of the two allowed punk's legacy to continue beyond its immediate context. The style and the music were both creative outlets that rebelled against mores that had settled over a complacent society, and taught youth once and for all that they could live by independent political, creative, and aesthetic rules—an ethos later manifested in hip-hop. It's no accident then, that Malcolm McLaren went on to become one of hip-hop's biggest and earliest proponents in England.