Smithsonian Collections

Kangol Cap, worn by DJ Grandmaster Flash

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Data Source
National Museum of American History
Description (Brief)
This cap was made by Kangol and worn by hip hop pioneer, Grandmaster Flash. It is a 504 style cap made of black and white fabric with embroidery at the back of the cap of a yellow lightning bolt through a silver phonograph record with the name GM Flash.
Grandmaster Flash (Joseph Saddler), was born in Barbados in 1958. Growing up in the Bronx, he was influenced by his father’s massive record collection. As a teenager, Grandmaster Flash first experimented with DJ equipment and became involved in the New York DJ scene while attending daytime technical school courses in electronics. The innovations and techniques developed by Grandmaster Flash established him as one of the pioneers of hip hop and deejaying.
The Kangol brand was started in 1938 in England and the name comes from the “k” in knit, the “ang” from angora, and the “ol” from wool. During WWII the company supplied hats to British soldiers and in the 1960s the hats would be reinterpreted by designers Pierre Cardin and Mary Quant. Kangol hats were popularized in the 1980s by hip hop artists like Grandmaster Flash, LL Cool J, Run DMC, and Slick Rick.
Currently not on view
Physical Description
fabric (overall material)
overall: 24 cm x 20 cm x 13 cm; 9 7/16 in x 7 7/8 in x 5 1/8 in
Object Name
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Entertainment
Cultures & Communities
Music & Musical Instruments
Popular Entertainment
Highlights from the Culture and the Arts Collection
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