Who Could It Be?

by - August 27, 2010 - - Comment Now »

This Monday (my birthday), the Yankees and Jay-Z will launch co-branded merchandise to be sold at Yankee Stadium (I’ll take profitable ventures for one hundred Alex). It isn’t the first time baseball’s most storied franchise has teamed up with the man who claims to have “made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can.”

Last year, Beyonce’s husband performed at their World Series parade. Mr. Knowles/Carter is clearly associated with a particular fitted cap. But did he actually make it more famous than a Yankee can?

Because this site doubles as a fansite and because many of you would probably accuse me of having a Jay-Z shrine, you’ll probably see where I’m going with this (a place I shouldn’t go since these thoughts have no business actually being committed to cyber space by a reasonable person)…

I do believe Jay-Z made the Yankee hat more famous than any one particular Yankee has. I lived in Maryland in the late 90’s and when Hov said “Hat cocked can’t see his eyes/Who could it be/With that new blue Yankee on/Who but me?”, Yankee fitteds began popping up everywhere (this also coincided with the return of a Yankee dynasty).

He has since referenced that piece of apparel in other songs, “I put on for my city and when I’m dead and gone/I’ve got one last wish/Put my Yankee hat on” and I don’t think it is pure fandom on my part to say that his words have cultural influence. He helped usher in the throwback jersey craze and then switched that to a button up style. He helped popularize Crystal and then helped quash its popularity in favor of more recent Patron references. And has anyone heard autotune recently?

Yankee hats looks awesome and the Yankees may be the most iconic organization in the history of sports. Their success is more responsible for their notoriety than anything else. But I honestly believe Jay-Z has had more influence in turning the Yankee cap into a fashion symbol than any one Yankee ever has.

Am I sane or waving Jay-Z pom poms?

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