Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of negative things about musical artists on social media platforms and this is a topic I just want to quickly talk about. This (hopefully) isn’t going to be a long article, rather I just want to express a few main points that have been on my mind. I’m a sucker for reading the comments and looking into other people’s opinions in hopes of coming across someone who feels the same way I do. As someone who loves putting their thoughts about music out everywhere for everyone to see, I also like seeing other people’s thoughts on topics as well. But opinions always come with bias and that bias is insanely prevalent. I understand that we’re all allowed to voice how we feel about a certain new record or artist, but I’ve seen people going as far as making “fake” fan accounts, creating hateful merchandise and being extremely single minded in general. Some of these comments, articles, and videos are scathing and more often than not, are just rants rather than well put together arguments.
I really don’t even know where to begin with this one, so maybe I’ll start with the one that bothers me the most. I’m going to avoid name dropping because there’s really no reason for it. But the worst thing I’ve ever seen is “fans” who make hateful merchandise for artists because they don’t enjoy the things they put out. This is something I don’t come across very often but when I do it’s something that bums me out like no other. If you don’t like a particular artist or musical style, there’s nothing wrong with that. There is a problem, however, with overstating your dislike of an artist or style by going as far as to make merchandise to promote it. The whole point of merchandise is to be able to wear your favorite artists and express your enjoyment for them without having to say it. If you don’t like an artist or their music, I can guarantee you that first of all, nobody cares, but second of all, what’s the point of wearing something that expresses your dislike? Put that energy into a positive outlet and work on things you enjoy rather than on things that cause you obvious discomfort.
Another important thing I’m seeing is the term “sell out” which is being thrown about like candy at a five-year olds birthday party and I’m sure that NOBODY really understands what that means. “Selling out” is being used in a way that’s putting a negative connotation on artists who are trying out new things and moving away from the type of music they started out with. And that is ABSOLUTLEY NOT what “selling out” is. (Okay, maybe I lied, this topic is the one that probably bothers me most). But in realistic terms, artists are meant to CREATE and if you only like them for a certain genre or timeframe, then you’re a fan of the GENRE and not the ARTIST. I can’t stress this enough. Especially for bands or artists that have been around for close to twenty years, why on earth would anyone expect them to keep making the same kind of music their entire career? I’ve seen lots of newer records be completely dismissed because instead of being labeled as “experimental” and “new”, fans are angered because it’s not what they expected or wanted. So, the easiest way to let out your frustrations is clearly to go online and angrily comment on a bunch of posts about how “mainstream” and “pop” an artist has become, even if they were rather mainstream and well known to begin with. A much better way express this would just be to say “you know, maybe this just isn’t my cup of tea and that’s fine”.
While there are so many more problems I could get into, I’m going to end off with the creation of social media accounts to troll or just provide a “hate train” for music and artists. I’ve come across strange accounts that have titles, photos and bios with/about an artist but only post content that completely trashes them. I’ve seen tweets from accounts saying very unnecessary things about artists but their profile picture is of said artist, along with Instagram accounts seemingly dedicated to an artist but their bio states they were blocked by them. These “fan” accounts are becoming much more common and the only explanation I can find is that the people behind them are fifteen year olds who are taking advantage of their use of social media. I even remember being around the age of thirteen and disliking certain people and looking up YouTube videos titled “Why I Hate So And So” just for validation. As embarrassing as that is to admit now, that’s just a childish thing we all did when we were kids. The only difference is that at the time, I didn’t have a smartphone to DIRECTLY COMMUNICATE to these people. And the best part about all of that is, is that the people who provide the most negative feedback don’t even have valid reasons to back themselves up with. To go along with my first point, just like the hate merch, I know people have better things to do with their time than complain online about things they don’t like.
What I just really want to get out there is that you’re completely allowed to feel whatever way you want to about your musical choices. If you like something, that’s great. And if you don’t, that’s fine too; state your reasoning and move on. There is absolutely no reason to create social media accounts to anger certain fans or wear shirts shitting on someone’s favorite band. I don’t understand this festering of such negative emotions; it really gets you nowhere. With that point, there’s also no way anyone can consider themselves a fan of ANY artist in ANY if they’re constantly making hateful content about them. I don’t care if you claim things like “I like their old stuff better” or “I’m a huge fan of this certain record but not other things”, I don’t believe you can call yourself a fan in any capacity if you’re being so extreme in demonstrating your distaste.
I’d just also like to point out that although I want my blog to be a safe space for all music, there are obviously going to be some opinionated aspects about it. That’s a given considering music is subjective and sounds different to everyone. But I just want to put out there that I would never want to intentionally upset someone over my opinions (no matter how dramatic they may seem) and I hope that is crystal clear. I know there are plenty of things that I write about that many others will disagree with and that’s completely fine. I will respect other’s choices as long as they respect mine. I just want everyone to be able to enjoy whatever they choose, without others making them feel lousy for doing so.