Think Like A Stan: The Four Stages Of Meeting Fellow Music Snobs » VSB

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Think Like A Stan: The Four Stages Of Meeting Fellow Music Snobs


***Hello, everyone. This is your Champ here, and I’d like to welcome my homie Nat Lavender to the VSB pulpit. It’s her first time and shit so give her a hand***

Music has always been one of the easiest forms of social capital to exchange. And by that, I mean you can’t walk two blocks down the road without tripping over some asshole who wants to stop you and share their half-baked argument about how Kanye making an entire album of Kim Kardashian’s fart sounds is really a self-effacing tribute to the darkskinned White woman.

As a music lover, I sometimes find it difficult to connect with others who have both reasonable taste in and good ideas about music. That’s why I’ve written this handy-dandy not-really-a-guide-but-I’m-the-DJ-here-so-it-is-today about the process of bonding with fellow music lovers.

Meeting People

The most common dilemma with meeting kindred music aficionados is weeding out the bad ones. This will be the most infuriating and hilarious part of the process and is something you’re most likely doing at all times anyway. This stage will be marked by gems like “I don’t listen to rap because it’s too violent” (maybe from a country fan who enjoys listening to songs about women revenge-killing their boyfriends).

This is where you might meet the chick confidently telling you that Jay-Z isn’t in the Illuminati because she’s the president thereof, and if you want she can send you pamphlets, and since they’re responsible for the molly trend in hip hop she can send you free samples if you want, and isn’t this conversation GREAT (the correct responses are no thank you, yes please, and PLEASE don’t stab me, in that order).

Screening Phase

Once you’re done surfing through red flags and lust-fueled denial about the direction of LL Cool J’s career, you have a smaller pool of people who’ve managed to convince you that their taste in music could probably make them more qualified to manage artists than Diddy. But since that’s true of just about anyone, you still have some work to do. This is the point where you very politely don’t slap the White dude who tries to (wrongly) correct your pronunciation of Spottieottiedopaliscious and give him his strutting papers. You might also not-so-politely tell him that long ‘o’s are for wack niggas, except when they aren’t.

During this phase, people will give you the safest of their opinions—liking ‘classic’ rappers, hating easy-to-hate artists, building love shrines to overrated dead people.

They’ll probably tell you that they like Dilla, even though your mama, your auntie, your neighbor’s dog, and the confused kid down the street who gained 100 lbs. working at Krispy Kreme will probably say the same. The point is, there isn’t anything flawed about these opinions, but you legitimately will not learn a single thing about them as a person. You’ll be doing a lot of acting like you give a damn about mediocre albums, too.

Note: This is also where you’ll meet a lot of people who “thought I was the only one!!!” to listen to world-famous musicians, because something about hipsters and special snowflakes and intellectual autofellatio. AVOID THESE PEOPLE AT ALL COSTS.

Third Date

Finally, after noticing a suspicious correlation between J. Cole fans and people who only eat vanilla ice cream and moving past the psychic death of someone telling you Wiz Khalifa has the best flow in hip hop, you find people who really have something to offer in their collections. This is when the relationship starts getting fruitful and you can really start sharing. Maybe they heard an amazing Hiatus Kaiyote remix that you never would have looked at because… let’s be honest, you’re probably not looking for remixes to anything White people made, even if they’re talented. This is like the person who tells you about the pho at the Thai spot that you never would have found/ordered because real niggas don’t mess with that ‘Asian fusion’ stuff. His mama named him Clay, I’ma order pad thai. Or something like that. You beautiful ‘alternative’ people, you.

Trouble in Paradise

Finding a like-minded music lover has its downfalls. For one, you’re bound to run into irreconcilable differences—Houston rap vs. Tennessee rap, A$AP Rocky’s mouf vs. Waka Flocka’s mouf, Miguel vs. women who lack spinal injuries—but this isn’t the real danger. There is no greater spawning ground for unadulterated assholery than a meeting of two self-proclaimed music lovers.

Posturing over music tastes alone is one thing—you can easily find yourself outgunned by a gaggle of rabid Lil B stans who refuse to admit that he does sonically sloppy shit because ‘OMG BUT HE’S BEING SO SUBVERSIVE.’ But with your newfound soundmate, you can posture together, and everyone knows being a douchenozzle with support is the best way. Soon, you’ll find yourself loudtalking no one in particular about how “OMG KEITH SHE’S NEVER HEARD DAFT PUNK MAYBE WE ARE THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO LISTEN TO THEM!” Look, this I’m-totally-being-ironic-even-though-I’m-definitely-not moment will not go over well. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself sinking into a pit of Portishead and Chance the Rapper and White people who wear keffiyehs and losing all your friends and you’ll never know where you went wrong. But OH MY GOD did you hear this amazing new Kid Cudi it’s like he’s trying to make bad music now and we’re so countercultural and edgy and shit.

Real friends let other friends know when they’re being distasteful music snobs. And knowing is half of pretending you know everything.

***Nat is a Cleveland native and longtime reader who spends most of her time reading psychology articles and attempting to confuse White people. She thinks she’s a paradox, but suspects she’s just really lightskinneded. You can find her @PurpleLikeRawr***

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Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at Or don't. Whatever.

  • ChaoticDiva

    First of all…if you’re really a DJ, that’s flippin awesome…me too!

    Second, I swear I go through this with people all of the time. Once, I dated a guy who claimed to hate hip hop, except for the instrumentals, and prefered Enya-esque music. Needless to say, that was one of many red flags for me.

    But yes, +100 for this post.

    • The Champ

      “Once, I dated a guy who claimed to hate hip hop”

      was he Black?

      • ChaoticDiva

        Yes. This is how I know black people do come from Mars.

  • Jay

    Not sure what I just read but an ecstatic YES to both Portishead and Chance The Rapper.

  • I absolutely adore Chance the Rapper’s voice.

    • Jay

      The melodic rap thing hasn’t been done as well in a long time but the ninyeh nyeh nyeh nyeh thing gets old though…

      • Yea….I actually didn’t download that track on Acid Rap.

        • Jay

          That track?? That’s his go-to ad-lib throughout that whooooole mixtape. It’s just a little weird and nasal… Acid Rap as a whole is a new classic though. In other news, I just heard Stuart Scott say “Pitch, don’t kill my vibe” in regards to an MLB highlight. SMH.

          • There’s like a track where it’s all he says though. I know he uses it often throughout the mixtape lol

            • Jay

              You’re talking about NaNa with Action Bronson… that’s actually one of the best songs on the whole joint.

              • Love Action Bronson, I want him to cook for me one day (among other things). But I just can’t take him saying that over and over again.

                • To’Mas Que Fuego

                  Yeah that guy makes me hungry (Action Brunson). I like the NaNa song wit Bronson, but Smoke Again’s my favorite cut from that album. Love that beat. His melodic flow is perfect for it too.

                  • The Champ

                    “Yeah that guy makes me hungry (Action Brunson).”

                    literally or figuratively?

                    • Abu Husain

                      Has to be literally. Dude laces all his songs with food references.

                    • To’Mas Que Fuego

                      Literally. Apparently he used to be a gourmet chef or something like that and he actually raps about it. He’s also a full figured fella. Combine that with his past career and he instantly has more credibility than 99% of the rappers in the game today

                    • Sahel

                      Shots fired at Ricky Rozay

                    • Oshun

                      HOLD THE EFF UP.

                      Full figured fella?! Like he got boobs and hips the whole sheebang, curves?! lawd.

                    • To’Mas Que Fuego

                      I don’t know bout the hips (the boobs are most likely there, but he doesn’t show em off like Ricky Rozay). As the REAL country folks would say “He’s a biggun”. See link above posted by NatLavender

                    • NatLavender

                      For your Action Bronson needs:


                • Shamira

                  I’m not trying to be snarky here or anything, but I dont understand why I should listen to Action Bronson when I could just pop in Supreme Clientele and get a better version of the same thing. I feel the same way about Joey Bada$$ et al. Like, if y’all are just going to reiterate the 90s rapping style, why cant I just bump the peeps that did it in the 90s? *shrug*

                  I just realized I sounded like one of THOSE curmudgeonly people….welp.

                  • Kema

                    I dont know who this Action person is but imma agree with you

    • The Champ

      chance the rapper is a name I refuse to google

  • Val

    Wow, this whole post went over my head, but I felt really hip reading it.

    • Sahel

      Dont read the post. Be the post

      • Jay

        There is no spoon…

        • Sahel

          Use chop sticks

    • The Champ

      many of the references went over my head as well, but I can relate to the spirit. how she feels about music is how I feel about basketball

    • b sweet

      Overwrought for sure. Enjoyable, although not relatable (to me anyway. Im sure PA got it)

      • Val

        Hiya, Breezy!


        Yep, this post was tailor-made for PA.

        • b sweet

          It’s b sweet, not breezy, but hi Val nonetheless (waves and blows a kiss)!! If you see breezy tell her I said hi i miss her also.

          • Sahel

            You can tell by the buns shes sweet

            • b sweet

              Thanks Sahel. Have a bite. Lick the frosting. They’re sweeter than they look.

              • Sahel

                *Plays Drakes hold on we going home for b sweet*

              • Val

                You’re playing with fire saying that to Sahel. Lol.

          • Val

            Sorry, b sweet. The cupcakes confused me. Lol.

  • *puts on ray-bans and goes back to listening to Sonny Sharrock’s free jazz Space Ghost Coast to Coast OST*

    • The Champ

      you win

  • McNairian

    Chance the Rapper is one artist I can’t fool with. Maybe it’s because Joey Bad@$$ and cursed out got my ears on lock.

  • Sahel

    Declares the race to name the most obscure artistes and music genres open. Y nombrarios con pasion

    • To’Mas Que Fuego

      U don’t have a chance bruh. Malik’s gonna win that race.. the Perverted Alchemist is the only one that has a chance to beat him

        • Rachmo

          Is this guy Ethiopian by any chance?

          • He is Sudanese. I have some Ethiopian music if you want some though.

            • Rachmo

              His guitar style reminded me of Northern Ethiopian music. Maybe due to the proximity of the two. And I will never turn down Ethiopian music.

              • Sahel

                Thats what she said

      • The Champ

        If this was 99, I’d be there too.

    • WIP

      Let’s not and say we did.

  • What??

    Youtube SNL’s “Girl you wish you hadn’t started a conversation with at a party”. I think this is her.

    • The Champ

      shots fired?

  • kidvideo

    I guess this is tha post where i shout out Kool Keith.

    • The Champ

      i’ve always wanted to like kool keith more than i actually do

  • Jay-D, MBA

    While I accept that I am a music snob and act as such I always find it amazing when people tell me that I can’t listen to or shouldn’t even know a certain song/artist/band/genre because I am too young, black, woman. (e.g. “You don’t know nothin’ about that” – Well, clearly I’m playing it so I must know something).

    I tend to take the “set low expectations route” that I’ve learned from some of the men I’ve been in relationships with *insert “I’m just average” here* and let my 1TB+ collection do the talking for me. It’s better to show you what I know by giving you a glimpse of my collection, to watch your eyes go wide ’cause I have that obscure track you’ve spent a lifetime searching for. It’s cool, just breath, I’ll dropbox it for you, but try not to underestimate me again, ‘mkay pumpkin?

    Happy Monday Ya’ll!!

    • The Champ

      don’t tell me not to underestimate you

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