Have you ever asked yourself, “What’s with that 3 hat Chance the Rapper’s always wearing?” We were curious too. Aside from piles of chains, designer garms, fresh kicks and gold teeth, most rappers don’t really have distinctive individual style, save perhaps for Kanye West’s #dadcore look. With a single baseball cap, Lil Chano from 79th has found himself a signature look that makes him stand out from the rest of the rap crowd. So what’s the meaning behind Chance’s choice head accessory?
First off, he’s always loved wearing baseball caps, and it was a form of rebellion for the rapper as a teenager growing up in Chicago. Chance told GQ about his hat obsession in a cover story back in February.
“I used to always rock a cap when I was in high school and get them taken away. It was an excessive amount. Like, so often that at the end of each school year, there would be a box of all the confiscated caps. After they gave back a few caps to other kids, they would just give me the box because the rest were all my hats. So I think, in one part, it’s a rebellion.”
Prior to the “3” hat, Chance frequently repped his home team with a Chicago White Sox hat, and even released a few of his own official redesigns back in 2016. Deciding to switch things up with a new signature chapeau, he settled on a digit that would represent many important things to the rapper and family man.
So what’s so special about the number 3? In that same interview, the Chicago rapper explains its meaning:
“I wanted to put something else on the hat. And so I decided to do “3.” I just thought that that made the most sense because it was the third project. Also, I was having a lot of trouble figuring out what the title of the project was going to be and what typography to put the title in. The original title for the project was, uh, The Magnificent Coloring Book. But that’s just so many words and it looks so shitty, no matter how I put it on the hat.”
So there you have it, the 3 stands for Chance the Rapper’s third mixtape Coloring Book, which followed his debut mixtape 10 Day in 2011, and 2013’s Acid Rap. Chance has also found that the number has taken on multiple meanings for him since he started wearing the hat – “I’ve rationalized it to myself that it stands for the third mixtape, the Holy Trinity, and the three-pronged family of myself, my daughter, and my girl.”
There’s a good chance 3 is his lucky number, as he was wearing the hat when he won 3 Grammys at the 59th edition of the awards ceremony earlier this year for Best New Artist, Best Rap Album (for Coloring Book) and Best Rap Performance (for “No Problem”).
You can cop your very own 3 hat via Chance the Rapper’s official web store right here.
For more meanings behind hip-hop icons, read about what Cardi B’s hit song “Bodak Yellow” is all about right here.
- Cover Image: Angela Weiss / Getty