Since when has skateboarding become a standard by which we judge black masculinity? Prior to Lupe Fiasco and Pharrell Williams, you would not see skate culture—promotion of local skate shops, perfection of kick flips and ollies, etc.—in music videos. Back then, the culture had an explicit expression whether it was Mr. “Skateboard P” himself or Lupe’s “Kick, Push” video—featuring a series of images of Chicago’s skate spots.
There’s nothing cooler than a snap-back wearing sneaker pimp (Black hipsters) and anyone that wants to keep up with the cool will need to add a camera around their neck. Remember how Chris Brown’s video for “Beautiful People” made you want to create a cinematic collage of your greatest nights while you imagined that your friends were all celebrities? Now that I think about it, one of the coolest videos employed a visual style that was first dissed by Banksy in “Exit Through the Gift Shop”; describing such a piece as the creation of “someone with mental problems who just happen to have a camera.” Hipsters, Black ones in particular, are developing an aesthetic appreciation for randomly jig-sawed, but thematic, video clips. These hipsters—that end up contributing films to this breaking genre—are packaging young Black consciousness into art. In other words, they are expanding the space in which Blackness can be nurtured.