The rap on "hipsters" is that they don't like rap. Ostensibly, they're zeitgeist carpetbaggers hopping onto whatever is the hot trend du jour. When Pitchfork and the Fader told them to worship Lil Wayne, Clipse, and Cam'ron, they did, only to distance themselves from the genre when dubstep or chillwave or witch house or chillstep* became the next big thing.
No one told this to Adam Weiss (no relation) or DJ Stereotype, the mustache-wielding and occasionally mullet-clad pair behind the Hipsters Who Heart Hip Hop nights that have gone down over the last year in Echo Park. Granted, their "Swag It Out" nights at the Short Stop spin for Gucci Mane, Lil B, and Soulja Boy with a fervor that would turn Ice-T apoplectic. But they display a deep love of hip-hop that goes far beyond a gimmicky dance or an ephemeral trend.
Though many critics smirk at their record collections from a decade past, Hipsters Who Heart Hip Hop have made it their mission to promote often overlooked or unsung artists, including the Machina Muerte crew and the Shapeshifters as well as the rappers who congregate at the Low End Theory. For all the censure that their name may inspire among hip-hop purists, the Hipsters' approach is one that commands respect and goes beyond ideology or contemporary taste.
They really do love hip-hop, and in a media environment that prizes the temporal and the shiny, it's comforting to know that they promote those whom they like, regardless of popularity and without caprice. And for their first-anniversary show at the Echoplex on Thursday night, they've wrangled a lineup worth braving the unwashed bearded masses for. Performers include Low End Theory beat junkies Free the Robots and Dark Horsemen (the team-up of Dibia$e and Jonwayne), plus just announced suprise guests Ras G and Ninjasonik. Tucson funkster Zackey Force Funk rounds out the beat slate.
On the rap side, they've recruited Labwaste (made up of scene vets Thavius Beck and Subtitle) and Nocando, who has been having a quietly great 2011, officially remixing El-P, being named a Hip Hop DX Next, releasing Mike Eagle's "Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes" on his Hellfyre Club imprint, and unveiling the first leak from his Flash Bang Grenada project with Busdriver.
In honor of the event, DJ Stereotype has compiled a mixtape featuring all the artists on the bill. It's one of the best things that hipsters have done since last year's Twin Shadow record. Admission is $12 at the door, but they may give you a discount if you were at the first Can show in Cologne, Germany.
Download: V/A - Hipsters Who Heart Hip Hop Mix for Pop & Hiss (Left-Click) [MP3]
* I invented "chillstep" Tuesday, but if we keep saying the word, it will become a legitimate genre by fall. I assure you.
Tracklist after the jump.