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In years past, being called a “hippie” was considered a diss. They were the flower children, the nomads without a clear life direction who just wanted to do drugs and hug trees.
Visto has made the term cool. Since his 2013 breakthrough, Before Euphoria, the singer has put a positive spin on the lifestyle by promoting love through his own pop-infused blend of R&B and hip-hop. Visto simply wants everyone to come together; he’s hugging a different kind of tree.
D.C. rapper Pinky KillaCorn made a splash by reaching into the past. Her remake of Nas‘ “If I Ruled the World” paid homage to Ferguson, Mo., shooting victim Mike Brown. She’s spit verses on instrumentals from 2Pac (“Ambitionz Az A Ridah”) and the Notorious B.I.G. (“Juicy”). In 2012, she released her own mixtape, KillaCorn; “Tequila,” her recent song with singer Jus Paul, is a festive party jam that celebrates uptown D.C. Oh, and Erykah Badu likes her.
Pinky and Visto unite for “What Hippie What,” a hypnotic slow-banger that chides conformity. It’s a positive track that rebukes the disparaging labels of today’s rap lexicon: “Pinky ain’t no bad bitch/Boo, I’m a goddess, a hipstress, a savage.” In his opening verse, Visto summarizes what he’s about: “I’m just doin’ me, and you should try it, too.” Great advice.
“What Hippie What” is a nice tune that connects with listeners on two tiers. The beat—comprised of trunk-rattling bass stabs and hollow synthetics—hits you right away. But the message pushes you to reach higher: You’re not a bad bitch. You’re not just some dude with nothing to offer. There’s a light within you that you should embrace. That’s being a hippie? Cool.
Stream “What Hippie What” after the jump.