Bucket hats confuse me. A lot. I think little, boyish, 7-year-old me owned a baby blue bucket hat from the Gap once upon a much more innocent time, but I cannot honestly say that I think they look remotely attractive on any human being over the age of 12.
I noticed, however, that bucket hats have begun appearing in my line of sight much more often, especially at bars and clubs. Questions flooded my mind. Is this seriously becoming a trend? Why? Is it too late to be stopped? And, more importantly, what famous person told kids that this is cool? My research tells me it’s a dude named Yung Lean. Let’s go deeper.
I started with a quick Google search on Yung Lean (is this a first name/last name thing?), who was born in 1996 as Jonatan Leandoer Håstad. Yeah, 1996. How old does that make him, 9? (Edit: I later used my phone calculator and discovered that he’s 18. Close enough.)
Wikipedia tells me that Mr. Lean is a rapper and record producer from Sweden. Impressive. This kid is barely out of the womb and he’s a fucking record producer. Why, then, is his label called Sad Boys Entertainment? He’s 4 years old and owns a record label. Dude has no reason to be sad.
Now, onto the music! The first song I listened to by Yung was Kyoto, a single released in 2013. It sounds like a pretty average modern rap song – heavy on the obnoxious, clapping snare sounds and auto-tune, but chill enough. This isn’t horrible, but where do the bucket hats come in? I needed more material to work with.
The next song that I listened to was Hurt, a song released on a 2002 mixtape, and let me tell you: do NOT listen to this song without watching the music video. The video for this song is like Tumblr vomited onto a small Swedish boy. It’s an aesthetic nightmare. Pokémon cards (including a holographic Mewtwo – where did you get that, Yung?!), Nintendo 64 game cartridges, random nonsensical Japanese phrases, and cheesy computer graphics are just a few highlights of this grotesque masterpiece. Basically, I hated it.
But then the video ended, and I wanted more. I missed Yung’s childish, monotone voice mumbling about pain. I craved it. I wrote this entire article whilst listening to Mr. Lean’s mixtape. I haven’t gone back to his recent album because Kyoto was just not the same; plus, I’m almost out of bandwidth and can only torrent so often.
Enough about this brilliant child prodigy! Back to the bucket hats. Basically, what I take away from Google is that this random Swedish kid threw together some beats on GarageBand, managed to get his hands on a holographic Mewtwo, put on a bucket hat, and told kids to dress like him. This research was useless. I’ve learned mostly nothing.
Did Yung Lean start the bucket hat epidemic, or was it some other divine factor? Was the return of the bucket hat a natural trend rediscovered by the recent 90s craze, or did everyone’s favorite Eastern European preteen inspire the fad? Stars like Rihanna, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, and Pharrell have been spotted wearing bucket hats in all shades of offensive colors (metallic silver? Seriously?). This trend is officially a thing, but I can guarantee you that I will never be seen, by myself or others, wearing a bucket hat. I just can’t do it. Sorry, Mr. Lean. I hope you aren’t hurt. I feel like you’re emotionally fragile.
Jbiebs…Oh my God:
Mr. Lean releases his latest mixtape TODAY. Click here to check it out
Nikki Clydesdale, Online Contributor