Check Your Headgear 

When live hip-hop lets you down, just overanalyze everyone's hats instead.

Let us now discuss hats. Specifically, the hats at your average hip-hop show. More specifically, the hats at Lunar Heights' CD release party.

Let us discuss hats because we would rather not discuss Lunar Heights. Nice guys, lovely name, hot new album (Crescent Moon), lousy show on a Saturday night at Berkeley's Shattuck Down Low. First off, the trio was catastrophically blown off the stage by its opening act: Prozack Turner and Marc Stretch of Foreign Legion, joined by stylish Beyoncé-esque crooner Shania D for a spastic, overexcitable, and weirdly wonderful set of wise-ass goofy rap. Spitting into such a powerful hurricane is bad enough, but the Lunar Heights set that immediately followed quickly devolved into a vicious cycle of unfortunateness:

1. Two minutes of an okay song.

2. Okay song ends super-abruptly.

3. LH's two MCs both laugh that nervous a-ha-ha-ha laugh that clearly says "After this set, I'm going to throw our DJ out a window, and I don't care that this is a basement venue."

4. Protracted silence.

5. "Okay ... who's louder? The left side or the right side?"

Both sides are equally quiet, alas, because everyone is checking out everyone else's hats. Choice of headgear is the single most important decision a live hip-hop showgoer will make. In the case of the universally most popular selection -- the classic baseball cap -- even the angle of the bill is scrutinized by fellow Down Low patrons for clues as to your personality and demeanor.

You're not taking this seriously enough. Fortunately, Down in Front is taking this all too seriously. Let us now scrutinize the most common hip-hop headgear choices, including a geometric analysis of the whole cap-bill-angle thing. Though primarily a male phenomenon, this applies to the fairer sex as well; as Cervantes wrote, "Ladies is pimps too."

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