There’s nothing louder or eerily scary as when a fan sees their favourite artist or celebrity. There’s adrenalin rush and the thousands of “Oh my gosh! Its him” or “Man look, LOOK! Its really her!” that will have your head in a spin. That type of genuine appreciation from the obvious admirer of the said person’s work and talent is evident at that moment, and the demigod we support walks amongst us commoners.
Sometimes, famous people make us feel like we are commoners; below them, and we should be honoured to be in their presence because they breathe a select reserve of oxygen unlike any other being. Please.
Yes, maybe the only person who recognises me is my primary school teacher whilst your presence attracts hundreds of people, but is that reason enough to belittle me? You are human and I, maybe not many, understand that. You have feelings and personal stuff to attend to. You may be rushing to the studio to record a classic I’ll cherish forever or maybe you are rushing to the post office to pay your electricity bill. Even so, I believe a little courtesy goes a long way. There is the saying “You’ve got to be cruel to be kind” and I believe that should be applicable as the last resort.
Which brings me to the point of social networks. Take Twitter for example, you follow your favorite artist and chances are they won’t follow you back. That’s fine. People log on with different agendas, opinions, slander and insight. Artists are normal tweeps when on the social networks. I won’t lie; I’ve seen some harsh comments about certain artists – mostly unwarranted slander. Any other person would respond harshly or ignore the slander. This however becomes an issue when artists choose to respond to slander and subsequently seem like they are ignoring all the important info given or asked by fans. If you can make time to respond to slander, you surely have time to answer a fan when they ask you where they can get your album.
I believe some artists can’t keep the balance between being a known personality and acting like a human being. Yes, unwarranted attacks are not fair on you but do you prioritise that over the people that support you? Euphonik once said, “You didn’t make me”. He is right in one aspect only. We are not his mother but we did make him the household name he is. He is one of many who believe in that notion. Even with a large amount of hard work, without fans, you are entertaining yourself. DJ Cleo did the most horrendous thing by insulting a fan’s mother who asked when is he dropping his next album. Whether he felt insulted by the n-word, the isJosue is the tweet was a fan wanting to support.
Respect amongst humans is idealistic but the truth of the matter is, not everyone will have nice things to say about you. You as an artist, are at risk with your response because of the very public platform you have found yourself on. Sorry. Fame is not fair. You can ignore the slander or address it carefully or choose to lose the respect of the people who actually support you. I will not be seen supporting someone who insults people’s mothers. Which has become a reoccurring rebuttal from artists which begets the question: the fan (or hater as they call them) may have insulted you or your art, why is your rebuttal to their mother?
If they insulted your mother, I employ you to insult theirs. Such disrespect shouldn’t be tolerated. No human can ever insult another’s mother and be treated kindly. Artist or fan, I don’t care. I cringe when a known personality will stoop to the “Yo Momma” swear words. Has this become a battle on who can spit the filthiest swear words? How is that pivotal to your career? Your income? Your talent? Your fans?
Joe Budden once said: “You bought the music not the n***a that made it”. We don’t know you personally as much as you don’t know us.
Respect my support and I’ll respect you. How you treat people has some influence on how I now see you as a person, which is bigger than you being an artist. You are a human being in the limelight, your actions ripple across thousands, is that the image you want people to see you as? Uncouth?
Some food for thought.
Written By: Written By: Siphiwe Zwane (@SDotJR) and Lerato Mannya (@MzLee_)