The Black Hipster is somewhat of a mythical creature. Dwelling in the strange land of hilly Woodstock like canyons between acting like a run of the mill white hipster ( which come in two varieties either the snobby hipster or the truly committed dirty hipster) and acting like a run of the mill black kid in America ( who are typically raised with every intention of NOT dressing like they have no money purposely). Black hipsters, more commonly called and known underneath the umbrella of neo-soul swag, are a interesting and varied bunch indeed.
I can’t speak for anybody else, but I know my own black hipsterdom is fairly weird within itself. Unlike the majority of black hipsters, I bath everyday ( with Aveda and LUSH no less… I told you I was uppidity as hell) , I adore designer names, and I have no problem acknowledging or telling someone that the life I lead is definitely one of black privilege. I mean come on lets be super honest, I am writing this entry in a tapas bar in Philly, that serves a seasonal white truffle and lavender honey and there is $75 paella featured on the menu. One of the biggest things hipsters get tagged for is trying to hide the fact that they have stacks on deck. Yeah… that’s not really me. But everything else about being a black hipster fits my bill perfectly…
I write in a moleskin on a daily basis. I wear Ralph Lauren combat boots, designed to look cheaply yet fashionable rugged. I willfully and passionately participate in debates about how Patagonia kicks the shit out of North Face. I know all the words to every song off Nick Drake’s Pink Moon album. I make my own luxury scented body oils. I know the difference between a true Indian sandalwood and a African sandalwood, just by smell. Nothing makes me happier than lounging in beautifully natural and chic places with family and friends. I can tie a scarf about 25 ways, all of them unique artsy. I think chunky glasses rock. I buy artisan ice cream. I live in my Led Zeppelin t-shirts. Yes plural. And I love to eat honey, burn incense and do body art. There is no denying it. I am a black hipster.
But the difference is I am a glammed out black hipster… I admit it and I love it. Think Solange or June Ambrose swag. Just like second wave feminisim. There has been second wave black hipster dom. The first wave of sistahs: Lauryn Hill, Lisa Bonet, and Erykah Badu were all straight up neo-soul with a something else/ something fresh twist. Second wave black hipsters : Corrinne Bailey Rae, Solange, shit even Rihanna on some days, are all black hipsters too. But these bitches are glam. They still burn incense, vibe wicked drum beats and can probably hold their own in a conversation about old school. But at the end of the day, they are glam as hell. That’s the category I fall into.
I don’t claim the neo-soul cliché because I don’t only listen to Mos Def, Common, Talib Kweli or Saul Williams ( who is a total black hipster himself). While I am and can be extreme pro black miltant, I was channeling Frida Kahlo and Alfonso Mucha way before I was spitting bell hooks and Angela Davis. And that’s the thing about being a black hipster, you get to be a enigma undenified. Because even though black hipster is a banner that you can rightfully walk under, that doesn’t nesscaryily means it’s true. Because mean you’re really a black hipster, nobody and I do mean NOBODY will ever fully define you.
I am going to go frolick to Death Cab for Cutie and Sting now.