RESOLVED: You Look Ridiculous In Your Cincinnati Reds Cap


Some quick detective work resolves a long-festering query – Why does everyone suddenly love the Reds? – but raises new concerns about false idols, misappropriated symbols, and tough-guy conformity. We’re through the looking glass, bitchez.

redscapI started seeing them around New York a few months ago, flashes of red I’d catch from the corner of my eye. On the subway. At the bodega. Cincinnati Reds baseball caps on seemingly every wannabe thug in New York, like they’d all e-mailed each other about their winter wardrobe or made a group trip to Lids. Some caps were flat-brimmed; others shaped. Always bright red, though, and worn with an attitude that seemed to say “don’t f*ck with me.” I totally could have done just that, but figured it wasn’t worth the trouble. I mean I’ve got kids to think about.

It was only recently that I actually decided to research this phenomenon and figure out just why the Cincinnati Reds, who are hardly a winning or popular team, are so appealing to the local BMF population. Was one of their players a convicted felon? Did it have something to do with the city’s famous chili? I should have figured out that the answer would be more inane than anything I could conjure up. The reason everyone wears these caps is 1) because they’re red… which is the color of blood… which is also the color of the Bloods street gang and 2) because Weezy and The Game do it. Awesome! You guys are total posers!

white-thugFar be it for me to tell someone else how to spend their clothing dollars (I wore overalls in the 4th grade), but trying to imbue your wardrobe with street cred derived from a f*cking misinterpreted baseball cap is just sad. It’s red, we get it. And that connotes a life of gang crime, (gang) violence, and (gang) banging, which is totally tough. I understand that the Bloods are very real and very ready to kill you over anything. But you’re taking the 1 TRAIN, FAM, and sitting between a little girl on her way to piano practice and some guy reading Proust. You’re about as tough as a f*cking dandelion.

According to The Game, the “C” (which as we know means CINCINNATI) stands for “Compton,” rap shorthand for “the most dangerous city in the United States.” Which it probably is. But again, guy careful not to mix his whites and colors at the laundromat, YOU’RE NOT FROM COMPTON. And even if you were, it would still be pointless copping some obscure baseball team’s logo for your own. It’s a totally arbitrary conceit, attainable with any team. For instance, I could take a red Phillies cap… and turn it into a symbol for my Pawtucket matadors’ league. Red = the color that drives bulls crazy, and key to my profession; P = Pawtucket, harshest city in the RI. DON’T BE F*CKIN’ WITH THE P-TUCK DORS, MANG.


Of course, there are those of you whose choice of domewear has nothing to do with the Blood/Compton connection and is merely an attempt to recreate the look of your favorite rapper. Sorry, you’re still a clown because:

Lil’ Wayne is inarguably from another planet. The best rapper out there, but completely… non-human.
The Game is a marketing gimmick, not a rapper.
Chris Brownwas on The O.C. (bitch.)

These are the men you’re taking your fashion cues from? Psssshhh. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to see what Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard has been wearing lately. (Plaid!) Fog OUT.

PS – If you’re reading this, Bloods, know that we’re ready to throw down. Lifting Fog has been itching for some gang violence since its inception.

UPDATE #1: In an effort to cut back on my prodigious use of the word “retard”, I’ve cut it out of this post entirely. Not that it won’t be back in the future – my family has a history of relapse – but I know there are better, more intelligent ways to express myself.

UPDATE #2: “More intelligent ways” was not meant as a pun, I swear.

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29 Responses to “RESOLVED: You Look Ridiculous In Your Cincinnati Reds Cap”

  1. mary Says:

    thanks for changing your title. it was extremely kind and thoughtful of you.

  2. Oskar Mullane Says:

    Why do they really wear it? Simply because Cincinnati is the birthplace of modern culture and they are paying tribute. The town’s achievements speak for themselves: The nation’s first professional baseball team (a good idea, copied by many), the nation’s first professional fire department (a good idea, copied by many), the world’s first suspension bridge (that one in Brooklyn was inspired by it). We even invented the first chili and ice cream that would give dysentery to non-natives.

    We Nati folk are used to being smirked at by the coastal set as being backward. I would re-characterize this as insecurity. Really, New York and the rest of the world are in jealous awe of us. My message to them is this: you can’t have it all. It is sad that your city suffers from a massive neurosis to want to out-do everyone on everything. Especially when we know where you got your inspiration. For God’s sake, take a little actual pride in yourself.

    As a current New York resident, I was cheerful when I first moved to the city two years ago to see scores of young subway sprouts donning Reds apparel. For the first year, my reactions were instinctual: “hey man, you from Cincinnati?” To which I usually found the typical responses: “naaah” or “como?” Despite this, I was thrilled to find so many young faces willing to honor the city that has given so much to the world.

    Gang threads, poser threads, homo threads, whatever. If they sport the almighty C- the emblem of Bench, Rose, Larry Flynt, and the finest city and beacon of civilization to ever rise upon the Earth- they’re okay in my book.

    Thanks for the blog, sir.

    • Fact Checker Says:

      The bit about the suspension bridge is just plain false. Check your facts. My father was from Cincinnati, and I would be proud to state this, were it true. Additionally I know the Roebling’s and can assure you it was of no inspirational value to John or Washington, who carefully documented their research.

    • jk Says:

      wow. I am a born and raised cincinnatian living in brooklyn for a few years now. The guy is correct when he says it is plain silly to re-appropriate a sports logo and change its meaning. I mean, come up with a new logo and put it on your own hat. its just dumb to even have to say it.

      The SAME architect who designed the brooklyn bridge ALSO did the bridge in cincinnati. The bridge in cincinnati came first as a test run of the design. It worked, so they did it way bigger in New York.

      I don’t understand Cincinnati’s pride. Most the people i know from there talk shit about everywhere they haven’t been, I don’t know why, I suppose some sort of defense over their insecurity from inexperience and the denial of knowing your town sucks.

      That place is a dead museum, where people scuffle about shrugging their shoulders, asking each other for change. ARE YOU SO DISILLUSIONED THAT YOU COULD EVEN COMPARE NEW YORK CITY TO CINCINNATI, OHIO? you think ANYONE in new york is jealous of cincinnati? ARE YOU INSANE??????

  3. A5 Says:

    Thank you for this blog entry. I am 30+ and recently returned to a Community College only to see all of these wannabe Thugs with Reds caps, not just the red ones, but black with a white c as well.

    These people make me ill, some even disgrace with great Yankees cap as well. oh and people take off the damn shiny sticker, it does not make you look tougher, it just makes you stand out like a punk loser a bit more.

  4. Golden Child Says:

    I’m sorry. This is something that regular white people who grew up comfortably in the suburbs could never understand. Young Black guys don’t care about Major League Baseball or the city of Cincinnati you sheltered retard. It’s just a a classic looking baseball cap that matches well with the latest retro Air Jordans in the famous Chicago Bulls colorway most of the time. Young minorities in urban environments dress like this because of poverty and oppression. We wear baseball hats in “gang colors” because we are not yuppies with six figure salaries living in gentrified whitewashed neighborhoods paying thousands of dollars a month on city rent. Otherwise we would wear suits, khakis and dress shoes everyday like you. We don’t have day jobs where we relax and drink coffee in comfy corporate boardrooms, we wear red fitted baseball caps and expensive basketball shoes, play the streets, work crappy minimum wage jobs and sell weed because you crackers won’t hire us!

    • Greg Lewis Says:


    • destroying kids Says:

      Im gonna stereotype just like golden child this isnt how I feel. Maybe if you “Niggas” who are “always” suppressed by the white man would actually get a good job and save your money in a bank account then we would have more black owned businesses….except you spend all your money on useless expensive jewerly, gucci bullshit, big rims, expensive hats, clothes, shoes, cars…. I could go on and on and stop blaming white people then maybe,….just maybe you could get somewhere…
      But instead you listen to the bullshit rap music talking about having all this money and living the “gangsta life”…and you wanna follow the trend so you spend all the money that could goto something useful.

      Stop blaming us just because we live in the suburbs and make a change if your so pissed off about us.

  5. Child Please Says:

    First off…Golden Child…You’re a freaking idiot!!! I’m sure khaki’s and 3 pieces would be all the rage in the hood if things were perfect. What??? And every minority kid would be he next Tiger Woods…If everything were perfect too!!!

    As far as the original authors “post” goes…The Reds aren’t a popular team? There is only one way to guage that…ROAD ATTENDANCE!!!

    The Reds are consistantly a top 10 team in road attendance…That means people like them! The Reds have been a crappy team since 2001, but in 2006 when they finished an awful 80-82 and they ranked 3rd behind the Red Sox and Yankmes.

    Take a look you freakin’ loser…

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  7. chad Says:

    Why do people who like/listen to emo music dress emo?
    Why do people who like/listen to metal music dress metal?
    Why do people who like/listen to metro music dress metro?
    Why do people who like rap/gangsta music dress gangsta?

    The list goes on and on, they dress this way because thats just what they fucking do! Its what they listen to, its what there into, its what there freinds are into “in most cases”… So they all dress it.

    Why? because they all look up on stage and see there idols dressed this way so they want to dress like them there IDOLS. You mose well ask why do emo’s have emo haircuts and post a ridiculas fucking story on them to? saying that the emo haircut actually come from some model a long time ago before emo and its being used the wrong now and that now emos are running around with some models haircut? why dont you add this model was from cincinnati to? hahaha

    And dont diss on GAME how dare you say game is a marketing gimmick, not a rapper. How do you think he became famous? he became FROM RAPPING!… he was rapping well before he became famous in compton and he has always worn cincinnati red hat’s along with red sox hats and now hes famous you think he just started wearing a cincinnati hat? for marketing gimmick’s? your a fucking idiot if you think that, and now he has fans they wanna dress like him and wear sox hats and cincinnati hats because thats there IDOL… GET OVER IT.

  8. Brett Says:

    I’m from Cincinnati and wondered about the Reds cap being popular in hip hop for a while too.

    You noted 3 rappers/singers, but there are a lot more. Snoop, Dre, Ludacris, TI (I think), 50 cent, and Missy Elliot have all also worn the Reds cap in videos. There are probably more that I don’t know about (Fat Joe? R Kelly?).

    I’m curious to know who the very first person was. My feeling is Run DMC, but I’m not positive. The only Cincinnati connection for anyone is TI, who had a friend shot and killed following a concert here.

  9. Jimbo Says:

    That’s funny. I thought you called the Reds “an obscure baseball team.” It’s the oldest professional sports team in the world, and one of the most storied teams in baseball. Look it up here.

    Other than that, it was a great entry.

  10. Thomas Says:

    Yo I’m from Dayton. I hear you man. I’ve been in NYC since 2006 and wondered the same thing. Im a huge reds fan and I wanna wear my hat but I don’t wanna rep some gang shot that I don’t know about. I’ve taken to wearing the black caps with the white c

  11. GOAT 1050 Says:

    the only part that makes no sense to me is that A; you can buy any hat in any color nowadays and then B: therefore why chose a C or Crips (bloods rival gang) stitched hat, why not do a red Boston hat etc…..Weezy please answer; in rap of course.

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  15. Jason Says:

    The greatest everyday 8 to play the game wore Red’s uniforms. Also, the greatest hitter if all time grew up on Cincinnati’s west side.

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  18. Slipsoul Says:

    I wear Reds hats in Boston as they are my favorite team they have been since i was a little kid but it does drive me nuts when people wear the hats an know shit about them.

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