This list may have you rethinking some of the hats you wear out or at least where you wear them.
The baseball cap is one of the most popular ways to show one’s love for a sports team. This seemingly subtle bit of accoutrement is a clear sign of loyalty for a team that is slightly more involved than that of the casual fan.
Gang members, however, aren’t exactly pronouncing their loyalty to a team when they rock one of these babies. In their eyes, the team logo on the crest of the cap has little to do with sports and everything to do with repping a set. Some of America’s most notorious gangs have claimed sports team logos to signify who they roll with and often who they will die for. So without further ado…
Worn by: The Crips (specifically L.A.’s Rollin’ 60’s)
Reasoning: The Rollin’ 60’s Crip set prefers the Mariners shade of blue, as well as the “S” (for sixty) logo.
Worn by: Almighty Ambrose Nation (Chicago), Orchestra Albany (Chicago), Spanish Cobras (Chicago)
Reasoning: The Athletics’ “A” represents Ambrose and Albany, while the team’s green matches the Spanish Cobras’ colors.
Worn by: Folk Nation (Chicago), Gangster Disciples (Chicago), Black Disciples (Chicago)
Reasoning: “Hoyas,” acting as an acronym for “Hoover’s On Your Ass,” pays homage to Gangster Disciples founder Larry Hoover. Hoover also organized the all-encompassing Folk Nation, which includes the Black Disciples, among other Chicago-area gangs.
Worn by: Maniac Latin Disciples (Chicago), Crenshaw Mafia Gangsters (L.A.)
Reasoning: The “M” logo stands for “Maniac” and “Mafia” for these two gangs.
Worn by: Norteños (Northern California), Stoned Freaks (Chicago)
Reasoning: The 49ers’ red and gold is representative of northern California’s Norteños. The interlocking “SF” logo is supposed to disrespect rival southern gangs, as the Norteños commonly refer to them as “scraps” or “sewer rats.” The “SF” also stands for Chicago’s “Stoned Freaks.”
Worn by: Latin Kings (Chicago, New York), Piru Bloods (L.A.)
Reasoning: Black and gold Yankee hats used to be a staple among the Latin Kings but recently the Pittsburgh Pirate fitted has become more prominent. The “P” logo makes an obvious match for L.A.’s Piru Bloods.
Worn by: People Nation (Chicago), Folk Nation (Chicago), The Bloods (L.A.), Hoover Criminals (L.A.), Puro Tango Blast (Houston)
Reasoning: People Nation reps the Astros because of the team’s five-star pointed logo—a star which also symbolizes the gang. Rival Folk Nation (their main symbol is the Star of David, which has six points) also takes to the Astros’ logo, because the star is broken, which is a dig at People Nation. Thankfully for these gangs, New Era makes different colorways of the hat—Folk Nation takes to the blue hued iterations, eschewing any confusion over who’s who. The Hoover Criminals have adopted the retro version of the hat, which features a distinctive and Hoover-worthy “H” in Old Western typeface. Puro Tango Blast naturally takes to the hat because of the hometown Houston affiliation, and the modern scarlet colored Astros hat plays into the Bloods’ red colors.
Worn by: The Bloods (nationwide), Black Peace Stone Nation (Chicago), Vice Lords (Chicago), People Nation (Chicago), Mickey Cobras (Chicago)
Reasoning: Peace Stone Nation and the Bloods got creative with their acronym game here, with “Bulls” standing for “Boy U Look Like Stone,” and “Bloods Usually Live Life Strong/Smart.” Mickey Cobras, People Nation, and the Vice Lords all endorse the red and black color scheme of the Bulls.
Worn by: The Bloods (specifically L.A.’s Cedar Block Piru)
Reasoning: Despite popular thinking, the Bloods’ usage of the Reds hat isn’t that widespread. Popularized by Lil Wayne and his Bloods’ sympathies (he raps “I’m a grown ass Blood, stop playin with me” on “It’s Good”), and also The Game (who’s from L.A.), the hat became a universal identifier of the Bloods, but that wasn’t necessarily the case in practice. In reality, the Reds hat and the “C” logo is limited to the L.A.’s Cedar Block Piru set of Bloods.
Worn by: The Crips (L.A.), Sureños (Southern California), Latin Aspects (nationwide), Gangster Disicples (Chicago)
Reasoning: The Crips and Sureños are all about Dodger blue. The interlocking “LA” makes the hat the perfect choice for Latin Aspects, and the Dodger “D” emblazoned version of the hat makes it a Gangster Disicples selection.