New Era, Hip Hop, Jonathan Mannion, Jay Z, Yankee Cap, Empire State Of Mind
New Era’s Cultural Origins and Impact On Music Culture

Hip hop/legendary music photographer Jonathan Mannion recently sat down with HYPEBEAST to speak on the impact and influence of the New Era cap. “If I’m going with one cap, it’s the Yankees cap.” The Yankees cap today is synonymous with not only hip hop culture, but also New York, city pride and fashion. In Empire State Of Mind, Jay-Z cited the lyrics, “I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can.” While the New Era baseball cap has become a staple across many communities and collaborating with some of today’s most popular brands, there was a time when the hat was just an idea.

In 1930, New Era decided it would move away from worker’s headwear and paperboy’s, causing them to notice a surge in baseball. They decided they wanted to be apart of that, and in 1934 they produced the first cap for the Cleveland Indians. Fast forward over 50 years later, and Spike Lee would help introduce a new idea that would cause the brand to expand to different color ways, collaborations and variations. Spike, then would ask for the classic navy Yankees cap in a red color way to match his sneakers. This would forever change the game, and from then out, we would see hip hop artists matching their hats with their sneakers and outfits.