Andrew Yang finally announced his candidacy for NYC mayor on Wednesday night with the idea to bring TikTok "hype houses" to NYC, among other new platforms.
For those who don't know, a hype house is a collective of content creators who live and work in the same space—think MTV's Real World but for viral video stars. Essentially, these usually posh houses are shared between a group of young people with big followings so they can actively film their content and regularly collaborate with each other.
The idea isn't exactly new. NYC has had its share of artist collectives (Mothership in Greenpoint and the Westbeth Artists' Housing in the West Village), but collectives for young TikTok stars is something pretty alien to us here. Los Angeles is apparently home to many YouTuber mansions—and now TikTok hype houses.
The original hype house was initially thought up by 17-year-old Chase Hudson, TikTok star with more than 8 million followers, and 21-year-old Thomas Petrou, a YouTube star, according to The New York Times. They named their TikTok collective "Hype House" and now it's become a way to describe these types of arrangements.
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On his website, Yang says he would work to "bring NYC to the forefront of new cultural touchstones" by supporting local artists.
"Our administration will partner with larger institutions to help subsidize rent for resident artists in buildings. These up-and-coming creators deserve a place to cultivate their craft and the city has a role to play in supporting their dreams."
"Similarly, our administration would also work to attract content creator collectives, such as TikTok Hype Houses, where young artists collaborate. We need to help create similar artist collectives that utilize new technologies."
New Yorkers unaware of this very L.A. and Gen Z thing took to Twitter to express their confusion and amusement at Yang's suggestion:
Can you imagine a TikTok hype house in NYC? So is it 3 passive aggressive roommates in a tiny apartment having fights because the apartment isn’t big enough for them to all film their TikTok’s at the same time and someone keeps leaving dirty dishes in the sink?— Anne T. Griffin (she/her) #endSARS (@annetgriffin) January 14, 2021
In a way New York was home to the original "hype house" Andy Warhol's Factory.— Feed Me Bridgers™ (@TimDuffy) January 14, 2021
I’m so distraught by the term Tik Tok Hype Houses I need to lay down— Sweatershirt Cher🔸 (@House_Feminist) January 14, 2021
Andrew Yang saying he wants to bring TikTok Hype Houses to New York has “I’m going to add FREE junk food vending machines to the cafeteria” student council campaign vibes— Emma Pintrill (@emmaglen24) January 14, 2021
I feel like lower Manhattan one big hype house in the 1970s— Tim Grejtak (@TheEnergyNerd) January 14, 2021
But Yang is serious about the impact on NYC.
“NYC is the creative capital of the world and if we want it to stay that way we need to engage young New Yorkers," he said in a statement. "The simple fact is the arts, entertainment and tourism industries are going through a brutal depression right now and there’s no idea too big or too small. Silly as it sounds to some, TikTok is a massive social media and creative outlet for millions. Why wouldn’t we try to create news spaces to foster that kind of tool? Undercounting young people’s role in our City’s economic and artistic recovery would be a massive mistake."
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