This is not, by any means, an anti-Beyonce rant. If you came here expecting sympathy for that school of thought, I’m sorry to disappoint. Despite the fact that I don’t really listen to her stuff, I’m in no way ashamd to admit that yes, Beyonce is dope. In fact, when you think of the woman’s consistency and work ethic alone, there aren’t many artists today that are worth stanning for if not her. But I’ve already told you the trouble with stans. In addition to being supportive to a fault, stans can also affect other people’s ability to enjoy or get into an artist as well.
We live in an age where it’s absolutely possible for a person to never hear a solid minute of the most popular musician in the world if they choose not to. I exercise this right with many of your favorite artists, trust me. If you’re smart enough to never listen to urban radio and never turn to the music video station, who’s to say you can’t block out music entirely? Music blogs allow you to pick and choose the type of music you want to hear and seek out, so there’s really no reason to listen to mainstream pop music if you’re not into it. I say that to say this: somewhere outside of your immediate circle of influence there are people who don’t listen to Beyonce, out of deliberate avoidance or because they’ve just never really been exposed to her solo work in any real capacity. But nothing can repulse a potential fan than listening to a stan gush. You should not be talking about how an album is classic before it’s even completed the download process. Who can take that seriously? Give it some time, sit with the music and think critically and honestly about it. In the modern day, I think social media has ruined people’s ability to process music and TV shows, etc without checking into Twitter and Facebook to give a live play-by-play of everything they’re hearing and watching. For this reason, live social media reviews aren’t worth a fart in a stiff wind.
The most annoying side-effect of Beyonce stannage is that where one extreme goes, another will surely follow. While stans gush, those who don’t like Beyonce feel the need to stand up and be counted in different ways: “I’m just saying I don’t think she’s all that”. Yes, and you “just say that” every time there’s a new release. We got it. Then, of course, there are the trolls who act as if the woman is complete trash just to throw their two cents in on the topic du jour and attract the ire (and attention) of all who will listen. On one hand, you have exaggerated adoration and on the other you have the contrarian response that says “hey, look at me, I didn’t drink the Kool-Aid!” Neither extreme helps the normal people come to a conclusion about the music or the star herself. It just makes them wanna get the hell out of there at top speed.
Some people just want to listen to music, not be part of a machine and I’m sorry to say that Beyonce cultists make the machine less attractive by leaps and bounds every time the woman drops an album. Granted, Beyonce’s unique, significant place in music history is set in stone. She doesn’t need to acquire another fan as logn as she lives, but what is a fan’s job if not to share their love of an artist with others? It becomes difficult to do that, though, when people have got you hidden from their Facebook feed or muted/unfollowed on Twitter because they’ve grown weary of your constant stanning. Ultimately, people will do what the hell they want to do with their lives and social media, but there’s always a down-side to stanning and chances are, you’re doing less for your favorite artist than you think and keeping people from enjoying them who might be interested if they didn’t think the artist’s current fans are all complete lunatics.