A few days ago I read this book that was getting hella buzz all up and down my timeline on Twitter. There were people talking about how it changed their lives, how masterfully it was written and countless other monuments of praise built in its honor. I can be a bit hipster-y sometimes and avoid things simply because everyone else hypes them up. But I’d given this book like 8 months to simmer and folks were still singing its praises at least once a week. So I said OK, lemme get into it. The book wasn’t horrible. But it also wasn’t worth the genuflection I saw on my darn social media so very often.
Which made me wonder…how much of the hype is genuine interest and how much of it is just being swayed by the hypebeasts. Now, typically, the term hypebeast is used to describe fashion fanboys/girls. In the fashion world, the hypebeast wears whatever is the trend being talked about the most at any given period in time, never cultivating their own style. Their swag is derivative. Their opinions about trends and cutting edge items are null and void.
This same kind of hypebeasting happens in other industries of entertainment. I’ve noticed an uptick in it particularly in the world of literature online because that’s the island on which I reside. I’m consistently seeing books, essays, thinkpieces and hell tweets, hyped beyond belief only to consume them and being left feeling as if I must be missing something because seemingly everyone else is so damn amazed.
But I honestly don’t think I’m missing anything. Today, in fact, I saw a tweet that spoke to the credence given to a project, piece of art, movement, whatever simply because of our connection to the creator of said thing. I see this happen a lot on social media. It’s an odd phenomenon, but I’m sure is old as time. I just wish people weren’t so hyperbolic about the most mediocre shit.
And that’s not to say that you can’t big up your friends who are creators and doing dope shit because that’s the antithesis of how I live my life. I mean, I have that I’m the president of one of my friends’ fan club in my friggin’ Twitter bio for Pete’s sake. You will find me heaping praise upon any of my friends when they’re doing some dope shit at any juncture, but I also won’t hype some shit up just because of the person associated with the project.
I don’t do false praise and hollow adulation. I have to really be invested in something before you see me talking about it non stop. I wish more people took this road, tbh. Because it is super easy to see when someone is genuinely excited about a (dope) thing versus when they’re excited about the creator of the (subpar) thing. And that breeds more mediocrity being release into the universe & like that Great American™ Sweet Brown said, “ain’t nobody got time for that!”