"A B C, It's easy as
1 2 3, as simple as
do re mi, A B C, 1 2 3,
Baby you and me girl..."
The barely old enough Michael Jackson captured the hearts of America when he fronted the Jackson 5, leading his four older brothers in an ode to schooling the ways of love. Little Michael and his brothers put the funk into pop music, and when they shimmied and jived in their bellbottomed threads and platform shoes, the only thing that could top their style was the groovalicious apple cap.
The apple cap was a floppier version of the poorboy/paperboy cap from the 30’s, but instead of fitting snug on the noggin, the cap perched atop the head in social defiance. The ultimate in funk, the apple cap featured a soft, floppy, 8-gore crown and a soft brim. A series of triangles sewn together created a circular crown that formed a bubble-like shape (apparently, someone thought the shape looked like an apple) when worn on the head. Each individual triangle could be a different color or material, creating a psychedelic explosion of funk and fun. The construction also allowed for a wide range of sizes, and the hat reflected the ever-increasing extremes of 70’s style.
When funk reached its most outrageous by the mid-70’s, the apple cap became as bold and as oversized as the elephant flares at the bottom of the skintight polyester pants. The caps grew in proportion to the massive afros that were in style, and helped to create visual balance against the bottom-heavy flares and platform boots. Worn mainly by black youths with the halo-like afro, an apple cap perched on the head guaranteed a funky good time.
The apple cap returned with the 70's revival of the 1990's. The cap got even more outrageous than it was during its heyday as it was adopted by the hip-hop and rave cultures. Wild geometric prints and bold primary colors intermingled with fuzzy velvet fabrics, and the crown poofed up to look like a Jiffy Pop popcorn pan. Paired with the outrageous jester and Dr. Seuss hats of the rave culture, the apple cap lost its über-coolness and became just another comic gesture during the colorful era of rave regression. The club kids, decked out in pacifiers and baby teething ring necklaces, mocked the flamboyance of the apple cap. Even though they looked like babies, these kids learned their ABC’s, but they didn't know funk.
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