The Hype-Beast Manifesto: A Brief Report On Misunderstanding, Mediocrity, and the Misguided Movement of Pop-Culture Parasites.

By Lung.

 

2016 has been dominated by trends and changes within the spheres of music and culture. Coming hand in hand rapidly changing cultural conditions, is the total derision of “the hype-beast.”

We have all seen them; the blind bandwagons hopelessly misunderstanding the very essence of what they are trying to imitate. However, for something that is so heavily reviled the actual definition of what distinguishes a “hype beast” from a “fan” still remains a fairly murky subject.  Where does this line between genuine and corny fall? Why do this people behave the way they do?  These questions, and the nuanced and often blurry line between a “normal” fan or emcee and hype beast has had much greater effects aside from over saturating scenes around the country with cookie cutter rap-actors.

There are many opinions surrounding what qualifies as as a hype beast but one things seems to be apparent, that the mind-state, and true embodiment of the hype-beast seems to relate to something running much deeper than clothes.

At its core, a “hypebeast”  seems to be rooted in  a very misguided desire of connection; to be part of something that they will never truly understand, or have any sort of access to the context or awareness surrounding a particular movement or trend.  

At first glance when attempting to breach the subject as to what a “hype-beast” really is, this author's first instinct was to focus on material markers of what is traditionally considered to be a hypebeast; paying hundreds of dollars for thrift store fashion, an inexplicable obsession with backwoods (despite being completely unable to roll them), and Actavis sweatshirts.

However, upon further consideration, I’ve decided that despite however much being a Bape-clad, dad hat wearing, pharmaceutical warrior of wild & mild cigars and mediocrity may lend itself to the idea or conception of a hypebeast, there are simply too many talented innovators and musicians who share these physical characteristics (for better or worse).

To classify clothing or any physical traits as the defining traits of what it means to be a hype-beast would be a disrespect to the people who originated these trends that the hype-beast imitates, as well as ignoring the deeper desire that drives the hype beast to imitate popular culture.  The line between consumers of culture and a “hype-beast” is much finer than mere physical traits. The true definition of what classifies an individual in this loathsome category runs much deeper than one’s style of dress and what you choose to roll your weed in.

For the purposes of this article, this author has reached the humblest conclusion that a hype beast, at its very essence, is an individual who has never been forced to suffer from the alienation and shame of being unique/ original (and probably never will)  

The hypebeast is perpetually “fashionably late” to the metaphorical culture party, only deciding to show up after the function has passed through the awkward transition of its infancy stage; before the crowds and hype, when the “function” is still  just 15-20 dudes smoking.In the same way that no one wants to be at a party before it's lit, a hype beast will never jump aboard the bandwagon of a trend until it has been completely and unequivocally made the transition from “weird” to “cool”

Innovators, creatives, non-hypebeasts, whatever you may choose to call them, can be compared metaphorically to daredevil surfers, having the courage and to take the risk of riding a wave at the height of its force and power, risking serious bodily harm if the wave suddenly comes crashing down upon them.

In this same sense, creatives and innovators create or invest in trend well before the wave breaks taking the risk being ostracized completely if the trend falls apart. The hype-beast  instead, opts for the safer option: running head first into a trend after the fact, much like a newbie racing with a skimboard, desperate to catch the wake after the wave of a trend has crashed, long after the innovator who both raised and rode the trend has moved on.

To summarize, the hype beast is defined not by their clothes or aesthetic. The defining traits of a hypebeast seem to this author to be rooted in a much deeper desire to be part of something they don’t understand.

Hand in hand with this desire is a reluctance to be associated with anything not considered “cool”, and thus never participating in the creative process because of the perceived social risk of originality.  

Pretty whack anyway you slice it .

 

James McDonaldComment