Over the last few weeks I have been gripped by the thought that I might be turning into a hipster. I live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I joined a kickball league, and for the last 2 weeks I have actually been collecting compost. Am I a full-fledged member of the ironic subculture now? Did I give up my old tough New York City identity? Let’s see: I don’t wear super skinny jeans or suspenders, but I did drink a PBR at a bar last night and went to an indie rock concert…hmm this analysis might be harder than I thought.
While you probably are wondering why I began a blog about hipsters when this is supposed to be an entertainment forum, I am here to tell you that the two are very much related. In fact, Hollywood, in my opinion, is going through a hipster identity shift just as much I am. To name this trend I have chosen the following terms: “The Hipsterfaction of Hollywood” or “Hipstermaggedon.”
You see, when I was growing up, Gaga was just a game and not a Lady, Battleship was a board game and not a Rihanna video (oops, I mean movie), and women who dressed like Zooey Deschanel were the weird best friends who lived down the street (see: Kimmy Gibbler) not the hot new roommate. Actors like Brad Pitt and Tom Hanks were always clean-shaven and never thought about growing handle bar mustaches or doing movies like Larry Crowne (Forrest Gump riding a vespa anyone?)
Now-a-days though, as in the now-a-days after the release of Garden State, I can’t go a day without seeing my favorite actors/artists donning super skinny jeans and or ironic t-shirts. Take a look at the music scene, for instance: Kanye West raps about skinny jeans almost daily; Justin Bieber owns only wide brimmed glasses; and Lil Wayne? Let’s look at him in a lil more detail.
Lil Wayne broke out with his solo album “The Block is Hot” in 1999 and for many years was known as a “tough guy” rapper. Sporting the famous “tear drop” tattoo and “iced’ teeth, Lil Wayne became the epitome of gangster rap style. He had spent time in prison, and for the most part stayed away from the tight fitting, wide brim stylings of hipsters. Lil’ Weezy was on track to maintain his hip hop style as he released songs like “Drop the World” and “Can’t Stop Partying” and all seemed fine. But as we know, hipstermageddon was upon us and the 2011 VMA’s happened.
To promote his album “Tha Carter IV,” Lil Weezy stepped onto the stage not in his usual low hanging pants and sideways hat but rather in zebra jeggings, neon red shoes, a bright blue watch, and a pink bracelet. Are you kidding me? Is that the same Lil Wayne? Was that really him playing electric guitar and singing?
Unfortunately, fans, yes that was him, and yes he was trying to sing whilst playing electric guitar. Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. aka lil Wayne aka Lil Weezy had been hipsterfied.
Ok. So maybe you aren’t that surprised that a musician decided to wear a crazy outfit (see: David Bowie, See: The Darkness, See: Mick Jagger). But what about movie stars? They typically maintain a certain Hollywood Chic no matter what trend is hot.
Yes, this could be very easy and I could name actors like Michael Cera, Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto, Maggie Gyllenhaal or Ellen Page and call it a day. But I won’t do that. We all know that they are hipsters and there are many, many more. But how about the old school guys like Johnny Depp and Edward Norton?
Johnny Depp and Edward Norton starred in all of the bad boy movies when I grew up. Movies like Donnie Brasco, Blow, Fight Club, American History X, Once Upon a time in Mexico, Rounders, 25th Hour, and Secret Window. They were the kind of actors who could be tough on screen but then would always show up in a nice black suit at awards shows. Now though, it seems like they are taking roles that just don’t fit with their old style. I, for one never thought I would see Edward Norton making a cameo appearance as Izzy LaFontaine in Modern Family, let alone play Scout Master Ward in a Wes Anderson film. And Johnny Depp on stage with The Black Keys? Ok maybe not so surprising, but still. This is the guy who played George Jung and Donnie Brasco, not someone who plays with one of the biggest hipster rock bands.
While I admit I don’t think I could ever safely say that Edward Norton is a hipster, Johnny shows up to awards shows now in cowboy boots so he is definitely full in. I also have to put it out there for Ed Norton because if Lil Weezy can wear zebra jeggings, maybe Derek Vineyard (American History X) will start showing up in suspenders and capris.
As I go back to my own internal hipster analysis, and leave you pondering about hipstermageddon, I leave you with this poll: