Over the course of 2017, hip-hop overtook rock as the most popular music genre, broadening their core fan base to appeal to a wider audience. Despite the diverse listening base that hip-hop boasts, there is a certain class of fan that harbor incredibly similar characteristics to each other, often found awkwardly dancing to Post Malone in the corner of a party. The members of this group are known as white hip-hop fans (henceforth referred to as WHHFs). Although they have different names, identities, and backgrounds, WHHFs are cult-like, and they all share common traits with regards to their favorite music genre.
They often cite Eminem as one of the greats, if not the greatest, in hip-hop
Don’t get it twisted, Marshall Mathers has immense technical skill and has given hip-hop some of its most memorable performances (The Marshall Mathers LP, Rap God). However, in any discussion of great hip-hop luminaries, WHHFs will always force Eminem into the conversation while discrediting similarly technical African-American artists. Even worse, they will argue that The Marshall Mathers LP is a better album than good kid, m.A.A.d city.
They loudly sing along in the car. . .
Driving around with all of your friends, the aux controller will inevitably play “G.O.M.D.“, kicking the hype level of the entire car up a notch. Everyone at the red light looks over to the group of white people screaming in the Honda Civic (your own personal Mirth-mobile). With the entire car quivering from the bass, the WHHFs chant in unison at the top of their lungs, “YOU WANNA KNOW JUST WHERE I’M AT WELL LET ME TELL YOU ‘BOUT IT,”
… until they come to a slur
If there’s one thing which has been established about the racial climate in America, it is that white people cannot use the n-word. With many hip-hop songs containing this slur, WHHFs face a slight issue in singing along with their favorite songs. Continuing with the anecdote, the car will continue blasting “HANDS UP, EVERYBODY RUN, COLE OUTSIDE AND THEY SAY HE GOT A GUN,” At this point, the WHHFs will look around and mumble the slurs that follow, turning down the hype level of the car.
They will over-analyze the lyrics
There are some songs which require more than superficial attention to fully understand. For example, Kendrick Lamar’s “Mortal Man” questions the benefits of fame and celebrity while commenting on racial unrest in America. WHHFs will take this too far; sometimes, Gucci Gang just means Gucci Gang.
They will over- or mispronounce rapper’s names
When discussing hip-hop with a WHHF, most have absolutely no idea how to pronounce a rappers’ moniker. 2 Chainz morphs into 2 ChainzzzzzzZZZ; Lil Pump turns into Lllillll Pump; Jhene Aiko is pronounced as Juh-Henn-ay Ae-ee-ko; and most of them will give up on RZA, GZA, and SZA.
They will over- or misuse hip-hop slang
Referring to their friends as their “crew” or “homies”, the WHHF will overuse slang to the point of their speech pattern being mistaken for a racist impression of gang life. Building on this, WHHFs will frequently misuse slang terms. Unless you live in Los Angeles, chances are you don’t know what “flock” means in a slang context. WHHFs will disregard this and use these terms incorrectly without so much as a second thought.
They think that they can freestyle
If you look through a WHHF’s YouTube history, a plethora of the results will be titled “[Insert artist here] Type Beat“, for the sole purpose of honing their freestyling skills. They will boast about a “legendary” 6-minute freestyle they dropped the other night; however, when asked to replicate the results, the WHHF will fantastically fail. The results will either be overly profane, or shallow and boring. Either way, there will be too many ad-libs and fillers.
They think that they can make hip-hop beats
The WHHF, along with their inability to adequately freestyle, believes that they can play producer and create their own hip-hop beats. Striving to be the next J Dilla or Metro Boomin, a WHHF will create a poor imitation of the trending sound and invite you over “to the pad to hear some heat,” There will be no “heat” to be found, but rather a disjointed, unmastered, garbled mess of synths and drum patterns which even the nimblest of wordsmiths couldn’t navigate.
They are apologetic about liking hip-hop
One of the unifying characteristics of the WHHF community is their guilt about liking hip-hop. When asked about their favorite music, WHHFs respond, “Oh, hip-hop mainly…” as they trail off and look down sheepishly. This trait is especially prevalent when talking to African-Americans about music, for WHHFs recognize that hip-hop is primarily an African-American art-form and therefore feel guilty for enjoying it. This shouldn’t be the case because…
They are normal, everyday people
Everybody should be allowed to enjoy what they enjoy! Just because hip-hop has African-American origins, it is still an art form which can be appreciated by everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity. WHHFs have their own preferences of music, and it is totally normal for them to find enjoyment in hip-hop, just as it’s normal for someone to enjoy country or rock or jazz. Let’s give them a break (except for the freestyling; NEVER let them forget this)