Music | Outlooks – Social media takes centre stage
Just lately, two rather remarkable events involving the fabled likes of Azealia Banks and Macklemore and social media have occurred. Firstly hip-hop star Banks, who is only just fresh out of her recent beef with the unwaveringly ascending deep house duo Disclosure, is now facing another act of transparent ignorance. On that occasion, Banks aborted their on-going collaboration due to the brothers apparently being “like, really rude in an interview” and it is now that Azealia has chosen to emphasize her current state of being “tired of having to consult a group of old white guys about her black girl craft” in a tweet. As her raft of tiffs and controversial tweets outline, she undeniably favours the golden rule of there being “no such thing as bad publicity” and it is interesting therefore to note that there is such a range of things that music artists have begun to find appropriate to share with the generality of the music world via social media outlets.
she undeniably favours the golden rule of there being “no such thing as bad publicity”
Indeed, on this same day we witnessed a glaringly magnanimous occurrence of social media expression involving none other than Macklemore’s Instagram. Straight after winning no less than 4 Grammys, the hip-hop artist published the text he sent to Kendrick Lamar highlighting his dissatisfaction in winning “best rap album” award as it in fact appeared that he was cheering for Lamar to win. Macklemore, rather questionably, decided that it would better to make this good-willed gesture public, supposedly to ensure that everyone is fully aware of his kindhearted nature and even more curiously, it must be acknowledged that this was done not during the acceptance speech but in a digital form of the screenshot of the very text instead, which he posted on his Instagram, along with selfies and pictures of mojito drinks.
Whereas those in the spotlight of the mainstream music scene have always had a tendency to seek drama and attention in order to make money out of their image as well as music, it nevertheless seems evident that as the involvement of social media in our everyday life rises it empowers the onslaught of public scandals within the music scene. We are now by no means unfamiliar with all sorts of drama; the ludicrous incident between Kanye West and Jimmy Kimmel alone (see http://www.nydailynews.com/
entertainment/gossip/kanye- west-jimmy-kimmel-bbc-spoof- article-1.1469246) should be more than enough to prove that.
we are now by no means unfamiliar with all sorts of drama
In tweeting as she did, Azealia Banks did not just post an angry, arguably racist comment – she also practically entreated to be “bought off” from Universal, the renowned recording label she has contract with. It was a statement that seems to have provoked the movement of a boundary in terms of things that are supposed to be private but steadily become part of the culture of the music industry. The power of the full-of-bling competition of shouting down each other on the internet moves onward to become a more competitive part of the industry than ever. While countless promotion tweets become boring, scroll-downworthy material, the text message history of Macklemore along with Kanye West’s hysterical all caps tirades successfully become the flashy highlights of the contemporary mainstream music scene rather than uninteresting side stories.