Whether it be a chain, a fresh pair of shoes or a throwback jersey from a team they have no relationship with at all, rappers need things. Not just want, love, or enjoy...need. After all how can anyone tell how good of a rapper you are if you don't look extravagant and utterly absurd? While chains and throwback jerseys are a recent trend there has been one article of clothing that has been an accessory since the days of dance parties and B-boys; headwear. While most of us wear a hat to keep or head warm or keep the sun out of our eyes, rappers wear them to make a bold fashion statement. Maybe that statement is, I'm rich bitch" or maybe it's "I'm 35 years old and balding and I don't want anyone to know I'm too old to be rapping" but regardless rappers have always had a certain fascination with dome pieces for their dome pieces. So all you hip-hop Sherlocks out there, grab those cool hats and a magnifying class; it' time for an An Absurdly Detailed Investigation into shit rappers wear on their head.
I know it might not be the most popular or best example, but whenever I think of rapper headwear LL Cool J comes to mind first. I close my eyes and can see him in a red jumpsuit with matching fluffy Kangol. No other rapper has been synonymous with headwear like LL is with Kangol. I don;t know if he was an official spokesman, but I'd have to think he'd get a free Kangol or two. Honestly, if it weren't for L, who would be wearing Kangols? Even your retired Italian uncle wouldn't be rockin' em, so thanks Cool James!
Now, if you are a Kangol expert, (which, safe to say, you aren't) you'll notice that LL's fuzzy bucket Kangol is a bit different than the one
, and I think I like it more. It seems like the bucket hatness really adds to the unique, absurd and fuzzy vibe; without the bucket hat,
would only be a little silly. Credit goes to LL for making a style that is best for albino kids at the beach and fisherman cool for rappers. While it has been a while since I've seen a fuzzy Kangol version, the bucket hat has been making a real comeback recently.
has been spotted wearing one (although it's more like a bathtub or water tower than a bucket) and so to has
looking fetching in his Louis Vuitton knockoff bucket hat.Rappers young and old are rallying around the bucket hat, but the leader of the new wave of bucket heads is obviously
; just look at all those hats. Nobody has ever worn more bucket hats in one picture ever (I checked). He even rocks them in videos! Chidi-ching-ching could buy
more bucket hats.
The bucket hat...
. While it might be the toast of the town, the bucket hat is still rivaled by a classic that might never go away, the fitted. Trying to figure out the first rapper to wear a fitted was too absurd even for an absurdly detailed investigation. I don't know who the first was, but Jay Z might just be the go to guy. I mean he made the "
". While you and I and Jay Z rock fitted caps of our favorite teams, rapper swear them with no regard to their sporting allegiances (
). Seriously, don't every try to find out where an emcee is from by looking at his or her headwear; that emcee rocking the heat fitted is really from Nome, Alaska. Jay seems like the only one who stays committed to repping his teams on his big ol' head, a true man of principle.
While Jigga and LL are obvious kings of headwear, there is one artist who isn't immediately synonymous with hats, but is right up there with the greats; Swizz Beatz. Now, nothing beats
, but that won't stop him from trying. A quick google image search shows you the extent of his hat fetish; there are more pictures of him with hats than without. The (
) fitted might be his signature look, but he is a connoisseur of all kinds of hats from
Swizzy can rock it all. Speaking of bandanas, remember this guy?
Rocking a camo bandana on your head and neck was a total game changer. You should have seen fashion week after that video; it was like an army training center. While Juvenile is my favorite example, the clear winner of the bandana game is the one and only
. Nothing says tough guy like a white bandana that looks like the curtains in his sisters room. Actually the really godfather of the bandana game (
) is Tupac. That backward, reverse tie up method changed the game. It became pretty much the only way to ever wear a bandana unless you are on the Oregon trail and need to protect against Mary's dysentery germs spreading. For all he did for hip-hop, no achievement was greater than making this a fashion statement.
Now, this last picture might have been better as the introduction, but is so damn amazing I had to end with it. None of this, not the bandana, not the Yankee fitted, not this abomination, would be possible. I am talking of course about, Grandmaster Flash and The furious Five. The message here is that if you want to look cool, you have to wear some wild ass shit on your head. If you can rap in leather hats, or headbands, you can rap in anything. More like Grandmaster Flash and The Fabulous Five!
There are a few other trends here and there, the snapback, the bomber hat, and of course,
but none of those hold the candle to any of the styles above and they certainly don't beat Grand Master Flash and The Village People. That picture is just too great. I don't want to say it's the only reason I wrote this, but it basically is. Summarizing all the absurd things rappers rock on their heads is impossible in only a thousand words, so I will need your help RefinedHype nation. What am I forgetting. Free Detox shirt to whoever can find a picture of a rapper in a sombero.