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Right this moment, as I’m writing this, I’m wearing Chuck Taylor Converse Hi-Tops, a Kairos cross, Versace glasses, and listening to my underground hip-hop playlist. In the background, I’m torrenting Samurai Champloo and a few episodes of Hey Arnold. My mind keeps wandering as I try to imagine why American Idol is still on television. I am a hipster. But not the usual, run of the mill, modern, extra-lazy hippie/hybrid hipster of today. No, I am a black hipster…and a nerd, I guess, but that’s besides the point. Black Hipsters are marginally different, precisely because we’re far more stylish and ultimately mean well. I’ll explain.


Is there…is there a typo in this? I just realized that like right before I clicked “Publish”

A black hipster is the result of a combination of general cynicism and a deep exasperation with pop-culture at large. The first of the two stems from being a hater, where you tend to derive a tremendous amount of pleasure and self-validation from finding fault in other people, from their tacky clothing to their general day-to-day existence, which ironically encourages the hatee to better themselves. Your ego becomes dependent on haterism; failing to do so results in several unpleasant “off-days”, where your stinging insults lack that special “bite” that they usually have. A good hater inspires haterism in other people, spreading the general mean-spiritedness amongst the general public like smallpox. It becomes your unspoken job to convert people to the path of Haterism, the Dark Side. Yes, in a lot of ways, being a hater is like being The Emperor from Star Wars but with better skin.

Look, it’s Joan Rivers!

The deep exasperation with pop-culture inherently comes from a few seeds of elitism…or from watching Fox. Being in college gives me and many other students my age an unwarranted sense of smug self-worth, where the classes we’ve taken and the degree we’ve almost earned give our opinions of pop-culture more weight than most others. That right there is pretty much elitism at work. But seriously though, we’re all kind of validated. Pop-culture is beyond stupid, and its many faults actually foster haterism to a startling degree. I used to watch Fox like a slave, now I rarely change from Adult Swim. Seriously, watch television that isn’t Adult Swim like one time. Go on Youtube – which is basically pop-culture’s camcorder – and look up the most viewed video of all time. I’ll save you time, it’s Justin Bieber’s “Baby” with 530 million views.

Then again, with fans like these…

As you can see, it’s…pretty hard not to become jaded by what’s force-fed to our youth. They’ll grow up, fondly remembering how they stood in line for Twilight, how they were so scared by watching furniture move slightly for two hours in Paranormal Activity, and the time-delayed heart attacks they suffered from eating KFC’s Double Down. But eventually, you come to realize that our childhood was only marginally better than theirs. Our generation had boy bands, this generation has a single boy demagogue. Our generation had funny Eddie Murphy movies, this generation has Norbit. Our generation had Looney Tunes, this generation has the 2008 Republican Presidential Ballot. See? Just like Communism, everything’s becoming more consolidated and efficient. And embarrassing. I call it Embarrass-munism.

Just like Marx always wanted.

A black hipster takes these two requirements and molds them into a lifestyle, taking the haterism and elitism and injecting them into every aspect of his or her life, from musical taste to fashion sense. Yes, fashion sense. Apart from the slightly mean-spirited quality of being a black hipster, the one quality that most differentiates one from a regular hipster, or an eco-friendly hippie, would have to be style. Here’s an example.

To compare, at the top is a default hipster. Note the ironic expression. Below is a black hipster:

Notice anything?

What I mean to say is, the common facets of the hipster uniform – the scarves in summertime, the plaid shirts, the completely ridiculous yet admittedly comfortable hats – don’t really apply to black hipsters. We don’t really dress ironically, and we try desperately to not look tacky no matter what we have on. Credit for this kind of experimental but generally aesthetically pleasing style must go to Prince, who is, without a doubt, with his love for purple, rain, guitars, and ballin’ attitudes, the first black hipster.

His clothes are so loud he can’t even hear the audience. But he’s still swaggin’

Currently, we all subconsciously base our sense of style off the two most essential black hipsters of the 21stcentury. You know them well. Of course, I’m referring to Kanye West and Pharrell Williams. No, there’s no need to post a picture with some sarcastic caption. You know both of them. You know their style: aviator goggles, polos, skater punk t-shirts, Mad Men-style suits, chains, designer hats, custom shoes, and slightly skinny jeans. You know that Kanye regularly performs in a blood-red dress suit surrounded by ballerinas and somehow makes it more gangsta than being shot in a low-income neighborhood and then making an album about how nice it is to be wealthy until one day the sheer amount of debt amassed from an aggressively hedonistic lifestyle – one so rich with sex, drugs, and excess that Charlie Sheen would nod his head respectfully at you – with absolutely zero foresight or smart investments catches up and you end up doing reality shows to pay for your multiple alimony and child support payments, like with Lil’ Jon, DMX, Flavor Flav, Chamillionaire, Lil Kim, MC Hammer, or – five years from now – Rick Ross, Lil B, Hurricane Chris, DJ Khaled, Wacka Flocka Flame, OJ Da Juiceman, Wiz Khalifa, Gucci Mane, or Soulja Boy. But I digress.

Moving on…

In case you’ve become a bit concerned about possibly becoming a black hipster, you probably already are. But just to humor you, know that the chances of that happening are rooted squarely in two things: your taste in music, chiefly hip hop, and your degree of daily exposure to white people. Musical taste refers to generally avoiding anything on BET or MTV. That really only leaves underground hip hop to satisfy you, and boy, does it ever. Your daily exposure to white people, and by extension, alternative and indie music, essentially solidifies the hipster elitism within, where you suddenly find yourself armed with knowledge of what’s ultimately “good”, what’s ultimately too mainstream to be enjoyed without feeling dirty, and an annoying familiarity with Friends. In my case, I really never had a chance. I’m so used to being the only black kid in class that every time I see another brotha or sista nearby, it’s like seeing a Mewtwo in Ann Arbor.

Seriously though, how cold is Mewtwo?

Diversifying your life, your taste, and your style is really the best and most important thing about being young. But remember that one day your friend put on…oh, I don’t know…Wacka’s “No Hands” or Katy Perry’s “Firework” and you were all like, “Man…play some Blu…” and everyone rolled their eyes, called you a hipster, and ignored you? That was the moment you became a black hipster.