STAN CULTURE IS ALIENATING FEMALE RAP FANS
Music fans have embraced the term STAN every since Eminem dropped his highly-acclaimed hit song, STAN, in October of 2000. In the music video, Stanley "STAN" Mitchell is depicted as an obsessed Eminem fan who eventually kills himself and pregnant girlfriend over the belief that his fave rapper ignored his fan mail. Eminem said it best when he rapped, "You got some issues, Stan, I think you need some counselin."
Even though the music video was dark, fans adopted the term and started using it in a light-hearted way to describe how much they loved their fave artists.
STalker + FAN = STAN
Today, there is nothing "light-hearted" about a STAN. Who knew that 20 years later, STAN Culture would not only still be a thing but essentially ruining...oops, I mean running female rap. Even though Eminem introduced the term "STAN" to Hip Hop, STAN Culture has attached itself to female rap in the most toxic way ever.
What are STANs in 2020? They are hypersensitive, co-dependent internet bullies who justify leaking numbers, addresses, threats, and taking down social media pages, all because they do not like what was said about their fave.
While STAN culture has essentially been the music culture for several years now, its toxic influence on female rap has occurred within the past three years. STANs are alienating FANs by their obsessive need to convert everyone into idol worshippers. Being a fan of many different artists as possible without harassment does not seem to be an option in the current state of female rap.
Some wonder, in 2021 and beyond, will there still be any room left for regular-degular fans of female rap in a crowd full of STANs?
MALE RAPPERS CULTIVATE FANS, FEMALE RAPPERS CULTIVATE STANs
In Hip Hop, male rappers cultivate fanbases, while female rappers cultivate STANbases.
It is almost mandatory that once a female rapper establishes a persona, she immediately needs to find STANs. You're nobody in female rap without STANs, DAMMIT!
STANNING via Urban Dictionary:
The act of being overly obsessed with an artist/person/character/etc.
While female rappers may get off on the idol-worship at the beginning of their careers, it appears many are growing exhausted by the intrusive nature of STANs. STANs want to control their fave's music, love life, hires/fires, friends, wardrobe, wigs, weight, pregnancies, etc. They essentially treat these girls as
real-life Barbie Dolls that they can take out of the box, play with, and put back when they are done.
Cardi B recently lashed out at her STANs, Bardi Gang, for crossing personal boundaries by speaking on her marriage and constantly harassing her PR/Creative Director, Patientce Foster. A member of the Bardi Gang tweeted, "it's fans right to drag Offset." Cardi B vehemently disagreed and took to Instagram Live to clapback at her controlling STANs.
Cardi B made it clear that STAN or no STAN, there are lines she will not allow to be crossed. She is quoted as saying, "If I wanna come and fucking tell something to my fans, I'll do it. A lot of artists wanna do the same thing. The only difference is they fucking scared to put they fans in they place. I don't care."
Doja Cat is another artist known for telling her STANs, the Kittens, to "hold up, wait a minute." She recently defended her stylist against attacks and did not allow her KitKats to pandemic-shame her after attending Kendall Jenner's birthday party. When STANs asked for some accountability, Doja responded with, “LMAO accountability for taking 4 different tests in one week !?!?!? Bitch get the fuck outta here, you fuckin nerd.”
WHY FEMALE RAPPERS PREFER STANs OVER FANs
Cardi B is right. A myriad of female rappers probably wished they had the courage to curse out their STANs the way they curse out everybody else. However, soon after her tirade, Cardi B offered up an apology because even she was not willing to risk losing a group that can be so easily weaponized against her so-called "haters." STANs' blind devotion to artists is their only advantage over FANs.
STANs really do not give a fuck about the music or Hip Hop culture. Many of them seem to be Pop fans, who slithered over to add gasoline to the media created drama that has been going on in female rap for the past three years.
The three things that Hip Hop STANs care about are:
The aesthetics, beauty, attitude
Hip Hop STANs support the image of female rappers, not necessarily the music. The music has become a perk. That is why being "likable" and "relatable" has trumped talent within the genre.
Believing they have a personal connection
STANs want to believe they have a personal relationship or connection to their fave that no one else shares. This belief often leads STANs to think they know their fave better than their fave knows themselves. This false sense of connection also leads STANs to live vicariously through these women. That is why they are so invested in the personal lives of these female rappers.
STANs tend to believe that female rap is "boring" without a "rap beef." So, they will make up wrongs done to their fave, so they have a reason to "drag" the innocent. It's all for their pure entertainment. There is no consideration for how it could affect their fave's career. That is where we go back to treating these women like real-life Barbie Dolls.
VIRTUAL MUNCHAUSEN SYNDROME
STANs addiction to creating drama and then playing victim is probably the biggest reason female rappers need to stop encouraging this style of fandom. STANs will LIE on any female rapper they perceive as being more successful than their fave. Jealousy runs rampant in STAN culture. STANs really set their faves up when they sit around in their "choo choo" hats, creating bogus "hate trains" out of imaginary disses. This type of behavior really lessens the seriousness of female rappers who have faced legit hate.
Female rappers know that if they deliver on aesthetics, make STANs believe there is a personal connection, and serve drama, they will be worshipped with only a hot song or mixtape to their names. This unspoken agreement between female rappers and their STANs allows those with subpar skills, questionable work ethic, or just falling off to stay afloat in the music industry. This is why female rappers cater to STANs vs. FANs.
BRING BACK THE FANS....STANs SHASAY AWAY
I started off this piece by asking, "In 2020 and beyond, will there still be any room left for regular-degular fans of female rap in a crowd full of STANs?" I believe there will be.
The reason why I am optimistic is not only because newer artists seem to be speaking out more; it's because it appears fewer people self-identify as STANs. The level of delusion that one has to continually be at to be a STAN seems to be draining to some people.
As a FAN, you get to enjoy as many artists as you want, guilt-free. The advantage to female rappers is that FANs understand boundaries. FANs don't try to live vicariously through them. So even if FANs are curious about what is going on privately with a rapper, there is no sense of entitlement. Most importantly, FANs care about the music. FANs will promote the music over drama. Oh, and FANs will defend artists, but they're not willing to dox for them...sorry, not sorry.
"STANs will become who they are STANning. They will take on the personality" - Popcast
FOLLOW THE LEADER
While some of Megan Thee Stallion's peers have gotten comfortable with clapping back at their STANs, Megan has opted for the lead by example approach. She is always reinforcing, being positive. Even during the worst year of her life, she never burdened her fans with negativity and even dropped an album called "Good News" because she wanted her music to positively impact others.
Popcast did a show on STANs and noted that STANs will become who they are STANning. I doubt Megan heard this podcast, but she does seem to be aware of the law of attraction. She is putting out to her FANs what she hopes they will give back to her.
In an interview with the LA Times, Megan Thee Stallion spoke about allowing her fans to pick her next music video. She said, "They’re battling, but it’s so positive. If I can get the whole world to interact with each other as positively as they do, I’m doing a damn good job with my music.”
With newer artists leading by positive example or clapback, along with people tired of being STANs, there is still room for FANs in female rap. With any luck, STANs will soon be asking, "Is there still any room left for STANs of female rap in a crowd full of FANs?"
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P.S. - Bloggers are now cultivating their own STANs to attack peers...TO BE CONTINUED