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George Watsky, a young musical artist has recently caused a small debate on Youth Radio’s Twitter feed. His music video called, “Kill a Hipster,” focuses on gentrification — specifically the invasion of “hipsters.”
He uses popular places to describe what he sees happening in his community. The most memorable part of the hook is when Watsky raps, “Starbucks where the skate park stood,” which is even something I can identify with in Oakland.
Throughout the music video, hipster zombies take over Watsky’s neighborhood and eventually — his song. In the end, the zombies end up getting stabbed or their heads get chopped off.
Normal zombie stuff, but not everyone seemed to think so.
Some viewers on YouTube have gotten defensive over being considered a hipster. And Twitter user @OKcouncil, said the video was too violent, and even though it’s tongue in cheek, “advocating for murder” is not okay.
We spoke with Chinaka Hodge, who is featured in the song, about the controversy. She defends the video. “No one’s advocating for violence. I can’t say that any clearer, but I do think there’s something violent about co-option of culture, displacement of neighborhoods. There’s something very violent about the folks who are living on Section 8 housing or [single room occupancy] right here on 14th and Broadway — who can no longer afford their living conditions,” she said.
Hodge grew up in West Oakland and has seen big changes in the cost of living. This inspired her verse for the song. She opens the video with an ad-lib, “So many white people in West Oakland.” When I asked her about it, she pointed out the map graphic in the music video. “You see West Oakland on the map, but you also see East New York, there’s parts of L.A. that are on the map as well. So we’re really trying to talk about an American phenomenon.”
Tell us what you think @youthradio!