Why Does Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst Wear a Red New York Yankees Hat?
It's one of the most recognizable looks in rock and metal of the last 25 years, but how did we get here?
Let's find out!
Why Is Fred Durst's Red Hat Iconic?
Fred Durst's backwards red New York Yankees hat is one of the most iconic looks of late 1990s and early 2000s rock and metal.
The hat stands out for its red color, which is notably not one of the traditional colors of the Yankees, whose blue and white pinstripes are iconic in their own right.
With the high visibility of Limp Bizkit's music video due to heavy rotation on MTV, this wide reach helped propel the image, which aligned with nu-metal's amalgamation of rock, metal and rap/hip-hop.
Why Did Fred Durst Choose This Specific Hat?
While many would probably like to believe there's some wild story behind this hat, Durst's reasoning is excruciatingly ordinary.
"You never want to think that you’re going to have a clown costume that everyone’s always going to want to see you in but that’s what it was," Durst told Metal Hammer in 2014 regarding the notoriety his baseball hat garnered.
"I got a red cap back in the day, it was my good luck hat and I just wore it," the Limp Bizkit frontman added, downplaying the decision, "The next thing I knew, I saw tons of people wearing the hat and you don’t have control of who wears it."
The image was co-opted by a lot of people, which wound up distorting Durst's own image, heaping a reputation unto him that wasn't representative of who he was as a person.
"I would see bullies who were misinterpreting the whole thing. I would see them from the stage in their red caps, beating up other people just there to have a good time and they were dressed like me! That killed me. I took it so personally," he continued, "I’ve been trying to shake off the responsibility I felt for that for years. I’m not responsible for how people act but I felt that way and it cut me so deep.”
Wasn't the Red Yankees Hat Famous Before Fred Durst Wore It?
Yes, it was!
Before Durst sprung the look on the rock and metal masses, film director Spike Lee reached out to manufacturer New Era to request a custom hat — he wanted a red Yankess hat with white lettering. With Major League Baseball's approval, the red hat was produced.
Lee famously wore this custom hat at the 1996 World Series, which the Yankees won, establishing a dynasty that saw the franchise capture another three titles in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
“[Producing a red Yankees hat] turned out to be a huge advantage for our company,” New Era Senior Design Manager Brian Radko told Pro Image Sports in 2014, “I loved it. The Yankees are a baseball team, but they represent Americana, so our designers are part of pop culture. It is cool to be part of it.”
How Did Fred Durst Help Further Popularize the Red Hat?
Although Fred Durst wore a red Yankees hat prior to the release of the music video for the 1999 Significant Other hit "Nookie," the overwhelming success of the song put this image in front of the eyes of millions of impressionable fans. The video received heavy play on MTV, which had a young generation as their captive audience.
How 15 Nu-Metal Musicians Felt About Being Called 'Nu Metal'
13 Bands Other People Make You Feel Bad About Loving
Gallery Credit: Chelsea Smile