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The Yo Hat
The 3XL Life of a Hip-Hop Emblem
© 2012 James LaFond

Solar Panel for an Ass-kissing Machine

I had spent four years of high-level hell playing the benign disciplinarian stepfather to a hundred adult employees with a wide array of socialization issues; among them every intoxicant known to man. Among my duties was the enforcement of the company dress code. One of the dress code stipulations was that no cap worn on the job was to be worn reversed, like a gangbanger. This was a very practical consideration for our customers. I employed many young men who wore hats when working the store front. Our customers needed to be able to clearly differentiate them from the wannabe gangbangers that sometimes crowded the same area in their crude attempts to woo my teenage cashiers.

I am a man who has always distained hats, keeping only a rain hat—which I disliked—for long distance commutes in the rain. My janitors were mostly destitute so I would buy them a hat, place it on their head; and then, when common sense dictated that they had to reverse the thing so that the bill would not get caught in the bailer, or so that they could squeeze behind the soda machine for that brat’s rubber ball, or so the steam from the mop bucket would not collect under the bill and fog their glasses, I was compelled to admonish them for breaking dress code. All of this necessary and childish policing of perfectly responsible men was due to the culture-bending ascension of the yos.

Yos are young [None of them have gotten old yet, thank God.] ebonic speakers and advocates of the hip-hop lifestyle. Most are black, many are white, and some are Hispanic. I have thankfully not run into an Asian yo. But he is certainly skulking out there somewhere, and I think I own a hat designed to grace his noble brow.

Just after resigning the above despicable position, I decided to take daily five mile walks to shed some of the stress-induced management fat around my waist. You see, my solar panel, when exposed to the elements, will overcharge and leave me in a brownout situation. I walked up to the local ghetto men’s attire shop and perused the hat collection. The hats were all overpriced and were of the hated ‘yo’ [I’m sorry, ‘fitted’ hat is the criminally correct term.] configuration. I had little choice though. If I ventured into the suburbs on my hat quest the solar panel would have been toast on that hot July day in 2010. So there I was, having my head measured by the Korean proprietor, who found my interest in the hat perplexing.

The Insidious Hat

I donned the mighty crown of every ghetto king and immediately discovered that it could not be worn comfortably with the bill forward. This hat was well-constructed of 100% wool by a child slave in Cambodia who had certainly already been sold to an amputee fetish brothel in Thailand after a stitching accident by the time I purchased his handy work. In frustration I bore up under the pressure in the middle of my hairline. Then, after developing a headache a half hour into the walk, I carried the hated head-cover. Finally, after an hour in the sun, my scalp started to burn. Then it happened, I reversed the hat, placed it on my grey-stubble dome…The dogs I passed began to whine rather than bark, every man I passed hustled to his car to avoid my wrath; the women swooned in repressed desire; and the world was suddenly my chump…

To this day I wear this hat because of its heavy construction when it is cold, and am pleased by the way it keeps snow and rain from running down the back of my neck. I must say that I have a love-hate relationship with this hat—which I think will soon result in his murder. His name is Yo by the way. Yo has caused me much embarrassment when my middle-aged friends ask me if I am trying to ‘blend in with the yos’. I have to answer ‘no’, but even that rhymes with yo! In fact, my answers have become so in depth—in hip-hop terms that is, consisting of multi-syllable responses as they do—that I have been moved to write this piece.

Crashing the Hip-Hop Party

You see, I am not alone. When I board the bus almost every old guy is wearing his hat reversed; partially because working class men have traditionally done this on the job, when the bill gets in the way, but mostly because we can’t find a hat with a normal bill in Baltimore City. Even many of the major league ball caps are now coming with the oversized bill that makes the wearer look like Daffy Duck as a drag queen and causes that uncomfortable pressure in the forehead. And the hip-hopsters have adapted, have maintained their distance from civil society, by choosing to wear the yo hat, their urban battle-helm, in a variety of useless attitudes.

The yo hat evolved from the fact that men who worked and played in hats reversed them when it came time to work hard, squat down behind the batter at home plate, or fight. The degenerate yo generation warped this century-old tradition into an insidious post-modern threat. The yo hat has now reached what I believe is the high tide of its social influence, something like the Army of Northern Virginia just before Gettysburg. There is a next logical step. But first, let us explore the symbology implicit in the various methods of using the yo hat for manhood displays.

Thus Spake the Yo Hat

Interpretations courtesy of Kathy, a mid-western ‘player’ abducted at camera point in Bethany Beach Delaware in early summer 2012.

(#1) Mom just paid my cell-bill so it’s time to download porn. I therefore have no time to intimidate you. You get a pass chump.

(#2) Lock up your daughter and hide your wife!

(#3) Mom won’t upgrade me to 4G so I want some attention. Please fear me!

(#4) I am a menace to society.

(#5) I’m ready to throw down but just want you to respect that, not actually kick my scrawny butt.

(#6) I’m a sneaky menace to society.

(#7) Okay, I may not instill fear, but at least do me the honor of not accepting me.

(#8) [Pre-coital] I am a ho-mackin’ machine yo!

(#8) [Post-coital] I told you that I was a ho-mackin’ machine yo!

Vince Save Us!

The next logical step in yo hat evolution should be taken up crusade-like by Vince, the Shamwow! infomercial guy. Vince, please design a set of eight matching hats. Each hat will be worn comfortably with the bill fitted to the position desired. This will increase sales geometrically and may even call for the design of a yo hat man-purse to carry backup hats in case of a mood change.

Well Mom, you asked me to write something to improve the living conditions of my fellow earthlings. This is my contribution to Western Civilization: the Eight Alignment Yo Hat Carry All Hip-Hop Fashion Statement.

James LaFond, 7/27/2012

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The woodsman     Jul 8, 2017

8 times the hats, 8 times the slave laborers, 8 times the amputee fetishist brothel workers. Your degenerate plan is plain to see!
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