The term Hipster is quite the paradox. The Hipster fad revolves around not being mainstream. This is quite the paradox as hipster culture such as indie music, overpriced coffee, and horrendous Instagram filters have become the norm now. However, Hipsters have some decent taste in music, just not the appropriate attitude.
If I had a dollar every time I saw something like this on my Facebook feed…
For the sake of the argument, we can define Hipster as someone who has a taste for music from underground labels, experimental, and otherwise non-popular music. Anything that doesn’t get radio play is a good way to think to think about it. The negative connotation to the term Hipster is that they feel superior for their far more intellectual tastes in music. This is utter nonsense.
The assumption that everything on Billboard’s Top 100 is inferior or dumb people music simply isn’t true. Pop music is engineered using common chord progressions in different styles and instrumentation because people are proven to like it. The genius of pop music isn’t how it’s written but usually sold. The PR and marketing team play more of a role in mainstream music than ever before and the goal is usually to try to push product. Very rarely will something edgy and different come up on the charts. A great example of this is the website http://soundsjustlike.com. It’s fun to see how everything is same but different.
So why are these people who think that they’re taste in music wrong? I personally have an incredibly broad taste in music. I like my sludge metal as much as I enjoy my British 80’s pop to classical and so on. My personal preference or ‘taste’ in music is no superior to the 14 year old blasting skater punk thinking it’s the end all be all in music and that everything else sucks.. Hipsters who worship Neutral Milk Hotel (In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is actually a really solid album as an fyi and worth a look) think their superior because their music is better. How is it better? Is it better by mass appeal? That can’t be true because anything on Billboard can outsell Neutral Milk Hotel any day of the week. Is it better by musicality? This is purely subjective and there’s no factual evidence to support it. Is it better by artistic interpretation? Well, that’s subjective too. There’s nothing wrong with liking music that’s common on the airwaves. You cannot be lesser of person for liking Lil Wayne or NIcki Minaj. You can be lesser of a person, although, judging those who do and complaining about how The Black Keys sold out while wearing plaid, sucking down Pabst Blue Ribbon with a Camel Turkish Royal in the other hand.