It's not about being "hip" but instead about being true to yourself.
When I tell people I like jazz, many respond with, Oh, I love Kenny G. It's not as if there's a society of jazz aficionados with secret handshake. However, it's our heritage and cultural and it demands respect. Mingus, Davis, Nestico, and others are American Composers. Many people overseas view them the same way as many view Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and Mozart. Want to be a blind sheep and follow the masses and dictation of what's hot and popular? Go ahead. I'll stick with the thinking man's music, thank you very much.