In a generation where the phrase “out with the old, in the new” is overwhelmingly embraced, rapper Macklemore created a song praising the old and outdated with his hit “Thrift Shopping”. The song describes the new, “hipster” trend of wearing second-hand clothing and states that it has become more fashionable today than wearing the latest Gucci piece. Its meaning and cultural relevance are analyzed in Dawid Kolbiałka’s anthropological article,”Popping Tags”.
For his article, Kolbiałka starts with an analysis of the music video. He describes clothing from the 80’s and 90’s, Macklemore riding around in a fur coat, and a DeLorean. All of these factors are representative, Kolbiałka states, of the hipster trend and its use of “material culture” from previous decades. Material culture is defined as “the physical evidence of a culture in the objects or architecture that they make, or have made”, and is most commonly used in archeological studies. This word was not used by accident. Kolbiałka goes on to compare Macklemore, and all hipsters for that matter, to an archeologist, “digging” and “searching” through the clothes of a thrift store (described as a cultural heritage site) as an archeologist would a dig site. This is where the use of thrift store clothes as material culture comes into play. The fact that being a hipster is currently cool and trendy proves that they have become a symbol of current culture through the use of artifacts from previous cultures.
In conclusion, Kolbiałka’s article shows the comparison of hipsters to archeologists through their procuring of material culture from the recent past, and the representation of this through Macklemore’s song and music video.