Posted by: thecyberkrib | May 14, 2008

The hipster (hop) debate

hipsters (NYC) - photo by TONE

A divide has been created over the past couple years, between the traditional hip hop scene, and the current trend of “hipster hop” which I shall refer to it as for the duration of this post.

I will be one to admit that on a whole, the hipster scene is a fake ass fad that will blow through on the short-term, and eventually tail off. However, especially among the crowds that flock to hipster hop shows, it’s clearly visible that younger folk or older trend riders play a false roll of cultural representation to the classic hip hop era. They do this without having any sort of education or even genuine interest about hip hop culture.

Some may defend fashion is simply fashion, and you can’t really critique someone for wanting to be fashionable to fit in. However, when that fashion is clearly a facet of a distinct music and culture, it can really anger those who are a genuine part of the culture.

In some cases, I will give respect to the merging of electro and hip hop, recognizing that early electro formats were after all an influence upon hip hop music in the first place. However, without that clear understanding of what music formats have been an influence, it’s a shallow means of brushing off a core hip hop fan basically in a statement that your hip hop is boring, and ‘my new twist on it is the cool shit’.

In any case, all the hipsters reading this, you’re not hated on until you prove that you’re uneducated. If you can throw on your 80’s gear, but at the same time tell me about Leaders of the New School, K-Solo, and Ultramagnetic Emcees, then you’ll be fine in my book – you deserve the right to play that role.

Cool Kids = doin’ it right

Spank Rock = doin’ it wrong – terrible

I just recently caught the following video series by Mazzi of Brooklyn based S.O.U.L. Purpose, and he does a fairly good job of discussing this issue – not in 100% agreement of all that’s said, but it’s more accurate than it isn’t.

Lesson A

Lesson B



  1. hipster hop= mad fucking lame!

    *stop wearing shitty clothes that make you stand out like a sore thumb!

    *stop growing ironic mustaches!

    *stop starving yourselves you skinny ass toothpick hipsters!

    *stop looking awkward, dancing awkward, and making awkward ass lame-o music!

    I mean god damn!

  2. Totally agree and disagree at the same time. I mean, you don’t have to know where music came from to make good music. I personnaly would love to hear what kind of music someone who lived in complete seclusion would come up with. Original is good.

    But at the same time, bandwagoners suck. If you just do it cause it’s cool, think you can make a buck but know nothing about it, than that’s lame. And too many people are doing that.

    However, in Hip Hop, I’m getting tired of hearing about rappers go on about living the life, coming up from nothing. If they’ve really studyied the history of hip hop than they should try to progress it into new relms rather than repeating what their influences have already done.

    S.O.U.L. Purpose is dope. Real hip hop still wins everytime. But I’m not gonna hate on Cool Kids or even Spank Rock, even if what they’re doing is just a knock off of 2 Live Crew. I haven’t heard much of anything sounding like 2 Live in the past 15 years but I’ve heard way too many KRS One wannabes. Refreshing in an unsatisfying way.

    Music is all good, it all has it’s place and purpose. Real talk.


  4. I’m what you could “label” a backpacker/hipster hop head, but there’s something to acknowledge, alot of the so called “hipsters” are trying to dive into different aspects of hip-hop, we don’t say what it should or shouldn’t be, well, atleast I don’t. To each their own, I think hip-hop is a canvas for whoever to put their creativity forth, a canvas that can be formed to any artistic degree. I love the lyricism, the great production work, and I don’t just find it in “Hipster Hop” I listen to everything from NaS to Del the Funkee Homosapien, J-Dilla to Gang Starr, Aesop Rock to Ghostface Killah, and my list goes on, I’m just a hip-hop junkie that likes digging for the art and the music.

  5. Cats hating on “Hipster Hop” is like the cats hating on Rakim & KRS for changing the game in ’86-two years after I was born! All scenes are “trendy” until they come up with they church scripture of which the members get pissed & that scene dies out for most intents & purposes. Some of hipster hop sucks, like some underground and some mainstream-or rather MOST music in all these genres suck and so, listen to the good cats! IDC wat the label of the music is really, I enjoy a progression so I fucks with anything from Just Ice to Kanye, NWA to Rick Ross. Its about the bands, not the genre.

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