Criminals Love Yankee Caps—And It's Jay-Z's Fault?

By MXL on 9/16/2010 12:52:00 PM

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I just read a pretty stupid story about criminal fashion in New York.

From the NY Times:

Gym-locker heists, bank robberies, daylight holdups — these New York City crimes have only one thing in common, and it is not the culprits.

It is the Yankees caps they wore. ...

Yankees caps and clothing have dominated the crime blotter for so long, in so many parts of the city and in so many types of offenses, that it defies an easy explanation. Criminologists, sports marketing analysts, consumer psychologists and Yankees fans have developed their own theories, with some attributing the trend to the popularity of the caps among gangsta rappers and others wondering whether criminals are identifying with the team’s aura of money, power and success. ...

One criminologist said the trend might be a result of what could be called the Jay-Z effect.

The rapper Jay-Z has worn a Yankees cap for years — on his album covers and in his videos — and has helped turn the cap into a ubiquitous fashion accessory for urban youths (“I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can,” he boasts in one song).

Criminals might be wearing Yankees merchandise not because they are fans of the team, but because they are fans of the cocked-hat look popularized by Jay-Z and other rappers, said the criminologist, Frankie Y. Bailey, an associate professor at the University at Albany, who is writing a book about the role of clothing and style in criminal cases.

“He wears it and makes it look cool,” Ms. Bailey said of Jay-Z and the cap. “It’s almost like the Yankees have acquired a kind of street rep, a coolness.”

Are they trying to attribute the crimes committed in Yankee caps to Hip-Hop? This, of course, is only one of the theories offered in the story, but it is easily the most absurd.

My thoughts after the stretch.


It's so absurd because Yankee paraphernalia is probably more popular in America than that of any other sports team in the world. Considering that notion, I'm sure that if you took a poll or did a study on the sportswear worn by people doing ANY-damn-thing — going to the grocery store, gardening, changing diapers, filing their taxes, etc. — there's a strong chance that Yankee apparel would be the most prevalent. So by throwing Jay-Z's name and "gangsta rappers" in the mix, all they seem to be trying to do is further criminalize Hip-Hop and its fans.

But hey, maybe I'm being too serious here. Basically, my feelings about this entire issue can be summed up with one image:

'Nuff said.

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