Beliebe in Fan Power

I really wanted the first thing I posted on modern avenue to be about sports, but sometimes you just have to write about Justin Bieber instead. Don’t worry, I’m working on something sports-related, but I’ve just been really busy trying to get Biebs to tweet back so I haven’t had a lot of time to work on it. And for the Justin Bieber haters, this is about more than just him so please stick with me.

I’ve noticed that the people who don’t like Bieber have formed a consensus that the main reason they don’t like him is because he’s “annoying.” I’m not sure about the merit of that statement, because it we’re talking about his voice, sometimes your Fran Drescher is the next guy’s Barry White. Show me a court that can judge annoyance level and I’ll bring you a 17-year-old pop star in hand cuffs. A second reason I’ve heard for Bieber hate is that he is too young to be singing about what he sings about. I didn’t see anyone complaining when Michael Jackson was singing things like “Life with out love, It’s oh so lonely” when he was a whole five years younger than Bieber. And that was 40 years ago, so I think that is an outdated standard. Also, he’s 17 right now. You were doing worse at 15. Finally, we get to the third reason, and focus of this column, and that is that people don’t like that he is everywhere.  He’s a household name, known to music lovers of every genre, whether they like it or not. And if you don’t like that he’s everywhere, what I have to say is, hate the game, not the player. We’ve been thrust into a generation of “artists” whose main focus is the fans. That’s right, fans first, music second.

Cue Lady Gaga.

I’m no expert, but before these pups (Gaga, Bieber, Ke$ha, ect.) came along, the trend of the music industry was at first to replicate and or improve upon the influence of the pioneers of a particular genre. After that, it became about being the best, and being different. Artists worked to create their own sound and to be the best musician they could be. Finally we arrived at the “new millennium”, a place where it’s all about the money (obviously) and what the fans want. The integrity of musicality is lost somewhere between club bangers and cheesy anthems. That’s not to say this is a stereotype for all modern artists, but it’s just the trend I’ve noticed, especially in pop music.

Back to Lady Gaga, who says she is connected to her “monsters” by an umbilical cord. “…I’ve realized that my purpose on the Earth is so much greater than writing hit songs,” she says in a Rolling Stone interview. “Someone said to me, ‘if you have revolutionary potential, you have a moral imperative to make the world a better place.” Now this certainly isn’t the first time an artist has used music as a platform, but again, this is an example of this new breed of artists who are all about the fans. Mind you, with the evolution of the music industry (we’re talking mostly of pop here, but its widespread, too) technology has also evolved, and this is a whole new game we’re talking about. Blah blah blah. But the point here is that “the game” to be hated is that of the connection of these artists and their fans that is more paramount than the quality of their music.

We’re talking Taylor Swift and her shotty vocals that take teen girls from the pages of their diaries to the big stage. We’re talking Justin Bieber following over one hundred thousand of his fans on twitter and retweeting what they tweet to him on a daily basis. Lyrics that focus on fans who don’t care about how their idol sounds, but that their idol cares back. Gaga & Monsters. Taylor & Swifties. Jonas & Jonatics, Ke$ha & Animals, Bieber & Beliebers. Whatever you think the motive, this new breed of pop stars has found its niche, a simple catalyst that rockets them to the mouths of dad at dinner tables and obsessed teenage girls who don’t care if the artist is a robot, as long as the robot looks good and outputs. So don’t hate these artists, hate that it is so easy for them to make it to the top. Hate that musicality is second to star power. Hate that teenage girls are writing direct messages to Justin Bieber on twitter, and he’s tweeting back that he read them.


About Abby Hamblin
Abby is a senior journalism major from Andover, Kansas. She has been a member of the Point Weekly for four years, having served as staff writer, news editor, and now, editor-in-chief. Abby aspires to be a reporter after college, whether that be in sports, politics, or anything in between. She loves exploring San Diego and rooting for all the disappointing professional sports in southern California, as well as supporting Kansas State University. She has interned at the Washington Examiner in Washington, D.C. covering local politics, and also at U-T San Diego covering features and Arts and Entertainment.

One Response to Beliebe in Fan Power

  1. Whitney R says:

    I don’t think this really has to do with anything you were specifically talking about. But my best friend went to the same school as Lady Gaga, Convent of the Sacred Heart in Manhattan, which is an all-girls school. She said she can understand why she’s so crazy and out-there in her music because of that place making people crazy. I just thought that was interesting.

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