Illustration of a red and white cat wearing a black graduation cap on a yellow background with red text
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Hep Cat is a term to describe the hipsters of the 1930s and 40s. Hep Cats would dress, talk and act like the jazz performers they idolized. With the rising popularity of jazz in the 30s, “Young white people began to travel to African-American clubs and neighborhoods, especially Harlem, to embrace black music and dance”. This term would later be morphed into the word we use now: hipster.
Some popular "hep cat" jazz musicians of the time include: Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Bing Cosby, Cab Calloway and Benny Goodman.
Ghandi, L. (2013, December 8). Don't You Dare Call Me A Hipster! I, Sir, Am A 'Hep Cat'. [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2013/12/06/249275784/dont-you-da...