Ego Trip: Should Music Stars Keep their Mouths Shut?

With all the superstars in the music industry, it’s hardly surprising that there are a good few inflated egos floating around. In a world where pop stars, rappers and rock stars are treated like Gods, the big-headed and loud-mouthed musician image is never far from the media’s glare. Yet some stars manage to stay on the public’s good side and keep their record sales at a healthy level. How is it that some singers can run their mouth off and still be popular while others are left to wallow in the bad books of the public and the media? Even worse, at what point does their persona become the reason they are famous, rather than their actual talent?

Kanye West is an artist who has built his profile on his arrogance. This is a guy who says his “greatest pain” is never being able to see himself perform live, believes he is a “vessel” that God chose to “be the voice and connector”, and interrupts acceptance speeches at award ceremonies. Yet, the rapper has over 25 million digital record sales and is considered rap royalty. Despite his arrogant disposition, West has produced some of the best tracks of the decade even if his latest album, Yeezus, has failed to sell as well as his previous records. The Gallagher brothers of Oasis fame were once in a similar position. At their height of popularity, they never hid away from feuds with other bands, the media, themselves or even their fans and like Kanye, their records were hugely successful. Their questionable behaviour was mere fun for the media to play around with.

However, once a band or singer stops releasing fresh material and they still run their mouth off, you forget the reason they were even famous. Morrissey, former lead singer of The Smiths, has taken shots at everyone such as the British and American political system to the British royal family. His rants are so well-publicised that many forget that he was once described by NME as “one of the most influential artists ever”.

It’s not rocket science: once a singer produces quality music, we are happy. Yes, the magazines will write their pieces, but unless an artist does something truly controversial (or releases woeful music), they will normally have a large following. Unless, they don’t know how to keep their mouth shut.

When the song 212 dropped in late 2011, Azealia Banks looked to become one of the world’s top female rappers yet she has still to release her debut album. Despite her initial breakthrough, the American rapper has led herself into continuous battles with fellow rappers and record labels. Her outspokenness and twitter etiquette have been known to cause controversy as she regularly criticises just about everyone on the planet. While it may be refreshing to find a new artist who is not buried underneath a pile of PR, if the music starts to suffer then what is the point? Already, the English electronic music duo Disclosure, are doing their best to distance themselves from the 212 rapper after they recorded material with her for her album, ‘Broke With Expensive Taste’. They were reportedly not happy with how the star took to Twitter to boast about the collaboration, leading to the material being scrapped entirely. The jury is still out on the future career of Miss Banks but it may be the case that her fiery personality will hamper any chance of her having a successful career.

We love our singers to have personality and opinions but at what point do they forget they are famous for their talent rather than their egos? Some are lucky enough to keep high-profile careers while others are feed to the tabloids.

Emily Bodkin

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