Category: Music


The Theory of Hipster Relativity by Dustinland

If you ever heard someone say or tell you “I was using Twitter before it got popular,” or “Dude, I was like wearing thick rimmed glasses before Kid Cudi made them look cool,” chances are that person is someone who really has low-self esteem but tries to make up for it through social narcissism and an elitist choice of lifestyle. In simpler terms, that person is a hipster. Well, that’s not a nice thing to say but I will try and tell you why it came to that.

Hipster- a word that is so horribly vague that there is no way to pinpoint its meaning or origin. So I will be honest. This projection is only based from what I’m experiencing or more like discovering in my society of 20-somethings and over. I don’t know what the word specifically means or who it is supposed to define but through the shifting of pop-culture between the underground and mainstream, its connotation now is not good. To my understanding, I believe something terrible happened for the word hipster because it is now  branded with a certain stigma. At first, if you were a hipster, you were someone who was cool and unique. A person who brought innovative creativity that changed the way people think and do things for the better. Whether it was music, art, fashion or even politics. The hipsters were people who brought about inspiration in others.

Now, a hipster is someone who believes they are doing all those things but know too well that they are wearing a mask of fakerism and deceit. A hipster does things because it’s “cool” not understanding why or how the choice they made is essential to themselves. The hipster now is not genuine or sincere. The hipster wants to take credit for a movement they didn’t start but wants to highjack for their own personal gain. The hipster now wants all that is good to be drowned in his or her own delusions of confidence. The hipster is a douchebag.

So where did it all go wrong? Well like I said, it started with my social interactions and experiences- on the YouTube comment section of videos,  the parties I go to, and the things I hear. So there are no facts here but I’m making a plea that I hope you can identify with. Sometimes, I just feel like I’m surrounded by people who think they are better than others because they don’t share their same plane of “unique” tastes. Just because someone doesn’t  know what you know or doesn’t agree with you on a certain topic doesn’t give you the right to insult or belittle others. Here’s exactly what I mean:

I don’t know how skinny jeans for dudes became a trend but they did. To be honest, I like them and I even think they are fashionable. It’s 2011, and we’re transitioning from the baggy basketball jerseys of  ’02 to the H&M of body hugging button-up shirts. That’s cool. I have a lot of friends who make skinny jeans look good and more power to them. However, I will never wear them because  they look impractically tight and are clinically proven to be unhealthy for the scrotum. That’s been my thought out decision from day one. Another thing that I don’t like about skinny jeans are the assholes wearing them who think they are so irresistibly cool with swagger and superior to anyone who doesn’t wear them. I remember telling some guy at a party that I didn’t like skinny jeans because they weren’t my style. This guy looked at me  like as if I had insulted his mother. He replied “Seriously? That’s lame bro.” It was as if his crotch-hugging jeans were the foundation of his character and I had attacked it with my honest opinion. To me that’s your hipster. A person who places their sense of being into material things and activities. Desperately wanting to gain the approval of others through those things instead of who they are as a person.

One YouTube comment I highlighted from one user had the cynicism of a typical hipster all over it. “Toro Y Moi is such a great artist. He makes really good music and I’m glad a lot of  people don’t know much about him. The radio plays shitty music and I can’t stand people who think Kesha and Katy Perry are great artists. Those idiots don’t know anything lol.” I agree, Toro Y Moi is a great and upcoming techno artist but I don’t think it’s great that “a lot of people don’t know about him” because they should at least check him out if they like Electronica or techno music. I know I’d be happy if I heard him on the radio but his presence is mostly based online via music blogs and social media.

When I said I didn’t like dubstep and that it sounds distorted to me, some hipster douchebag told me “Man, you don’t know good techno. Dubstep is the greatest thing on earth but only few people know about it. You’re obviously not one of them.” But here’s one of most typical hipster statements I hate the most. “Man, I was way into Drake before you got on him with ‘Best I Ever Had.’ Y’all just bandwagon. Y’all don’t know about that Comeback Season when he was underground.”

Oh Wow! Do you want a freaking cookie? What credit are you possibly trying to claim? Yeah, you’re awesome and obviously a better human being because you heard this song three months before I did. I must be definitley wrong if I don’t agree with you on something that is totally relative to preference. My hat’s off to you for pointing that out and achieving  such an accomplishment. I don’t get it- because I don’t know what you know, listen to what you to listen to, dress like you or do what you do, I’m a loser? I’m an idiot? I’m not cool? I’m not up to your snobby standard of quality to pick out bands people have never heard of? It’s people like that who give the true hipsters a bad name.

First. I don’t get why people need to hold on these insignificant things about pop-culture to uplift themselves or justify whatever they do. It’s coming to downright narcissism. You say you were wearing plaid shorts before some  artist made it popular. Hmm… so how come when you started wearing plaid shorts that they didn’t become popular? Oh yeah, that’s right that artist made plaid shirts popular by marketing them under a brand name but you’re just jealous because you never made any money off plaid shorts. Don’t worry I get it.

So to all the “hipsters,” if you think wearing certain clothes or listening to “underground” music equates to some sense of individualism or higher being than others, you’re dead wrong.  That’s a dreaded misconception that has been placed within our society by ignorant people such as yourselves. The real hipsters do whatever they want  because it is simply  true to their nature. Their style, fashion and beliefs are genuine to them. They love what they do and will share what they have learned with others who aspire to do what they do. Real hipsters don’t need approval of others or go around begging others to follow them. They already have people who want to follow them out of their own will.

Your true hipsters are people like Madonna, who brought about the art of weird costumes and pleasantly strange music only for others like Lady Gaga to follow the same road or Barack Obama who heavily used social media to connect with and make use of younger vote to make history. (Okay, being black helped too)

But all that’s been destroyed by a young society of people that are so narcissistic and think they deserve credit for things they never created but are lucky to be a part of. Sadly, today’s hipsters will never realize that because they are too busy telling others how cool they are because of some obscure band they discovered on Pandora. This is why people hate hipsters.

If there was such a thing as emo R&B then Toronto-based singer Abel Tesfaye would be its pioneer. The artist appropriately goes by the stage name The Weeknd which captures all of the harrowing and crazy nights in his music. Continuing with his tragic trilogy, The Weeknd dropped Thursday this August following the successful embrace of House of Balloons in March 2011.

His first endeavor left a great impression on critics and was described as “a true album, a true labor of love” despite being a mixtape. Thursday follows the same suit of House of Balloons but with more of the atmosphere that’s full of drugs, lust and pain swooning softly with disembodied and echoing vocals.

Despite the raunchy and shallow content, Thursday is shockingly captivating. Songs including “The Zone” are cold and unapologetic for crimes such as infidelity. The lyrics “I’ll give you what you called for/Just let me get in my zone/I’ll be making love to her through you/So let me keep my eyes closed” moan effortlessly over the track. The melancholic “Rolling Stone” flows with constant acoustics that strum along to soft and easing vocals.  Most of the tracks are hard to distinguish from each other at first because of same-sounding elements but are not necessarily repetitive. Through the pleasure and regret, the whole experience of Thursday is like a hypnotic trance that traps you in a wonderful nightmare.

With 180,000+ downloads just the first day, The Weeknd will continue to bring more of those brilliant and fucked up moments. I’m looking forward to how it all ends with Echoes of Silence later in the fall. Visit The Weeknd official website to download The Trilogy here.

A friend of mine put up a status on Facebook asking about good party songs to play. Suddenly, I got the urge to make the ultimate party playlist. Here, I put together a collection of songs that can get any crowd to bop their heads, get goosebumps and more importantly get hype rock. Whether they are hot joints or old classic hits, these are songs you must play at a party if you want to get any action going.

I know there are better sources that pinpoint one’s musical taste such as Pandora but there’s nothing like creating your own playlist from your personal and social experiences.

I called this playlist “The Future is Now”- a bunch of hard-hitting jams influenced by electronica, synthesized sounds and hyper-paced bass. But after all the hype, you want things to get mellow at the end. The playlist features various genres such as rap & hip-hop, alternative, rock and electronica  & dance. Unfortunately, I’m really lacking in some solid dancehall/reggae but I haven’t been keeping up with that genre. Other than that, are there any songs on here that you would play? Or is this collection a complete swing and miss? Let me know if there are other songs that would make a great party playlist.

 

Ghana’s most notorious hip-lifers are at it again- M3nsa and Wanlov the Kubolor are the FOKN BOIS  and they are the same geniuses who brought you Broken Language but now the mischievous duo are now taking jabs at our Nigerian and lesser counterparts with this just-for-laughs joint “Thank God We are not a Nigerians.” Oh and if you’ve never heard of Nigeria. They are like the Canada of Africa. Just obscure and whack. I’m joking sha! I love my Nigerian peoples.

There’s been much anticipation following Beyonce’s latest album, 4 and nobody’s more excited than the energetic pop-star herself. But the unsurprising leak of her entire album before the June 28 release came as a minor disappointment.

“My music was leaked and while this is not how I wanted to present my new songs, I appreciate the positive response from my fans,” according to the superstar.

Still, that didn’t stop critics nationwide from forming their own thoughts about the album 4.

Putting it lightly, the overall census surrounding Beyonce’s latest album is that it feels “different.”

If you were expecting an album full of up-tempo hits like “Single Ladies” or “Crazy in Love,” you wouldn’t find too many of those here. After listening to the whole album, there’s an apparent change of pace from her previous albums. Most of the tracks like “1+1” and “I Miss You” are more of slow burning and low key beats with unusually soft vocals.

Rest assured, Beyonce didn’t leave her eccentric and high-powered style behind. There are still some songs that you can classify as your usual dance hits such as “Countdown” and a buoyant “End of Time while “Party” which has more of a lounge feel to it.

But none of these songs match the energy of Beyonce’s first single “Run the World (Girls).”  It may not live up to her previous smash classics but is a decent radio hit and power-girl anthem. I can even imagine many people posting videos of themselves rocking to it on YouTube.

4 may have received a lot of criticism from deviating from a known formula fans especially are used to but it’s no experiment that went haywire. Beyonce’s studio fourth ensemble is at best an album that went in a fresh direction. It’s definitely not her best work but nothing to be so upset about either. She may completely run the world another day.

 

They say being at the top can get lonely but for Lil Wayne, that is probably a good thing.

The Young Money CEO shared more of that insight in an interview after his crowd-raising performance on MTV’s Unplugged this June.

“People say it’s lonely at the top. It is lonely.  But all I do is dream about all the people at the bottom that ain’t lonely. Thank God, I am alone.”

It’s an intriguing message that ties into his song “Nightmares of the Bottom,” an upcoming single from his highly anticipated new album, Tha Carter IV.

Although MTV is now a fluff station that airs shows about narcissistic partiers from New Jersey and pregnant teenagers, they still go back to their respectable roots of good music with Unplugged- a show that honors some of music’s most greatest and talented artists (excluding Katy Perry) since 1989. There’s nothing like being unplugged. It’s almost like winning an award.

Unplugged lets artists perform live-band versions of their best or new songs before a small audience and it’s a more intimate experience for both the artist and the listener. Only then can you witness Jay-Z rap with unfeigned authority or Alicia Keys sing out her soul while playing the piano. To be unplugged means that you’ve been recognized for your contribution to good music. Now, Lil Wayne has been added to that list.

Before his scheduled performance, the hype was big and the performance even bigger as he performed some of his biggest hits, including a hard-hitting “A Milli” to his 2009 #1 billboard hit “Lollipop.”

Lil Wayne deserves this recognition. He’s the second rapper in a decade to headline the event since Jay-Z. Plus his music is simply dope. He massively appeals to all fans of hardcore rap, r&b, alternative & rock. He’s one of the most unique rappers out there with his signature style of lyrics that are laden with creative puns, double entendres and crazy wordplay like “Sleeping at the top/nightmares of the bottom/everybody wanna be fly ‘til you swat ‘em.”

Which ties back to his song with the repeated message- it’s better to be on top and stay there. Unrivaled.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgrdwuev2b8

 

Here are a few songs that have created a lot of buzz this year. Some are unique, some individual and the rest mainstream hits. Regardless, The Whatever Blog is feeling the real swag behind each track. Especially this one from my friend and new favorite rapper DuJuan Woods with “Toast 2 Life.” It’s an all time favorite and I’m sure you’ll like his hard yet fun style of delivery on the beat. The playlist also features YC’s break-out joint “Racks”, which knocked off Lady Gaga’s “Judas” to third on iTunes and debuted at #1 on Zune Marketplace.

Most notably, TWB couldn’t enough get of YouTube’s “Shawt Bus Shorty” from Be Your Own Boss Entertainment. Even better they came out with a remix of their viral hit. Their spot-on parodies of big rappers are so creative and dope, the lyrics virtually outshine their real-life counterparts.

Finally, some people may be surprised to find Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now” on here but we all know who he has to thank for making this such a hard-hitting joint. Busta Rhymes undoubtedly takes the helm for ripping this song shreds along with Lil Wayne’s signature style and swagger. So what do you think? Is this a solid playlist or can it be better?

If you can shutdown online commerce, inspire millions of people through music and wacky costumes, or upset Catholic churches you may  probably be an undeniable force in pop culture or Lady Gaga.

Don’t pretend you don’t know who she is because she’s probably all around you from the radio, to the web to that annoying friend of yours who keeps singing “Poker Face.” Whether you love her or can’t stand her, (either as a person or a musician) there are several reasons that explain Gaga’s massive stronghold in general entertainment.

One major factor that contributes to her success is obviously her music. She may be still compared to predecessors such as Madonna that “paved” the way for her but in her own right, Gaga has set a musical standard for today’s recording artists. Her two albums, The Fame and The Fame Monster reached number one in several countries and earned her eight Grammys combined, along with a pool of music videos that have earned her a countless stack of awards. That alone makes her an established artist to date.

In addition, most successful artists not only use their music to sky rocket themselves in media but find other  ways to stay relevant  in which case Lady Gaga has done well and that’s an understatement.

Lady Gaga is undoubtedly a pop culture icon because she’s virtually synchronized her music with the power of social media. According to Music Ally, there are 443 million hits for the term ‘Lady Gaga’ on Google and 360 million views of Bad Romance on YouTube. After releasing her latest album Born This Way on Amazon for only 99 cents last May, the power of Gaga mania brought down its servers due to excessive demand. Google also announced  the pop star would  be their spokesperson of their upcoming web-based Chromebook laptops after launching a commercial of the superstar inspiring millions of her fans on YouTube.

Apart from having such a strong social media presence and a successful music career, Lady Gaga of course revels in a little bit of controversy. Controversy generates interest and brings people closer or keeps them in that iconic status. Thus Lady Gaga is no stranger to that either, in fact her weird lyrics and eccentric costumes are always at the heart of such issues. Her latest single Judas (over 48 million views on YouTube), contain the dark lyrics “Jesus is my virtue and Judas is the demon I cling to,” has angered or rather baited religious groups into an upset frenzy. Which has no doubt yielded more hits on Google and views of the controversial videos on YouTube.

Either way, it’s no wonder people either love or hate her music or can’t  get away from the controversial headlines about Lady Gaga, it’s probably because Lady Gaga is pop culture.

Creativity is a welcome trait on this blog and “Hey Ya” by DuJuan Woods clearly exhibits that. Props to  Chris Cobbs from Chemist Productions for coming up with a great sample of “Let go” by Frou Frou that ladens the track with Woods’s stoner-sounding lyrics doing work. He’s also got some sick tracks in the works. My personal favorite is “Toast 2 Life,” a track that defines his swagger and care-free style. Follow him @McFlyHigh11

Every year, the music industry provides us with new songs and hits we want to add to our playlists. Given everyone has different music tastes, I feel as if we have to battle through the onslaught of overplayed radio hits and the shameful promotion of talentless and annoying musicians such as Justin Bieber, Flo Rida and Ke$ha.

With this playlist, I’ve made it my personal mission to share and listen to music I actually like, not because it ranked high up on the billboards.

Fear not, because there is always good music that prevails and discovering good music makes listening to it a more enjoyable experience. Whether you hear a good song in a club, on a blog, a video game soundtrack or simply by word of mouth, chances are that it may be gaining some  deserved recognition. So it doesn’t hurt if you take the time to check it out.

I noticed some songs such as “Like a G6” by Far East Movement suddenly gained explosive buzz over a year after its release. This track has become one of the hottest mid-summer jams. However, this isn’t just another overplayed club banger (Never mind the vocals or how many times you heard it)

What makes “Like a G6” really good  is the snaring and futuristic bass beat with a catchy chorus. The song puts you in the ultimate party-mode and fills you with unshakeable confidence. Don’t take my word for it but it’s definitely a requisite for a dope party playlist if you ever want to have one. There are also some other great songs here on this playlist. Most notably, “Tighten Up” by the Black Keys , which is a rhythm and blues laden  track that rocks the soul. To top it off , this playlist features artists such as Tegan and Sara, Gorillaz and of course Lil Wayne. Enjoy!

Gorillaz feature with "Stylo" single