Whether it’s the infamous Kanye rants on Twitter, or the consistent outbursts from rappers on Instagram, artists have definitely taken to social media for just about everything.
Hip Hop culture has taken an enormous shift in the past few years, mainly due to the rise in social media platforms. A strong social media presence has the ability to enhance or revive an artist’s career. Gone are the days of extensive public relations teams controlling an artist’s image. [pullquote]“In this generation of hip hop and social media, appearing on a blog is more important than a full write up in Vibe or XXL.”[/pullquote]
In the age where social media reigns supreme, artists have taken full control of how they present themselves to the world. Making themselves easily accessible, fans are more than eager to indulge in every part of their favorite artists’ lives. But has that initial eagerness gone from admiration and genuine curiosity, to ill-intended interest and unnecessary scrutiny?
It has become commonplace for celebrities to interact with their fans on social media. The only difference is that now, they seem to spend more time defending themselves rather than discussing their music or future endeavors. Because of this, it is also becoming more common for an artist’s outrageous tweets or strong clap-back game to overshadow their talent.
In this generation of hip hop and social media, appearing on a blog is more important than a full write up in Vibe or XXL. We learn so much about an artist yet fail to be familiar with why we followed them in the first place. The culture has done a complete shift. There seems to be a strong disconnect between an artist and the record they have in rotation. It’s become difficult to tie an artist to their music. Are we paying more attention to their personal drama than we are to their talent?
Does anyone wonder why Jay-Z is untouchable? Or why Wu Tang has such a cult following? It’s because of their aura, their presence, and their talent. We were able to get a glimpse of their personalities and societal views through their artistry. Anything else was just a bonus and we were grateful to bear witness to it.
As an observer and a fan, it makes me wonder if social media has become somewhat of a distraction. Not necessarily to the artists, but to the fans. Gone are the days of any sort of mystique. Back then, seeing a “Behind the Music” special was a privilege. Thanks to social media, “Behind the Music” is the norm.
Mind you, this is what social media is for, to share different aspects of your life with followers. I get it. However, it seems fans have somehow transformed a space of sharing into a space for relevancy.