On Kanye West, Azealia Banks, and Feeding Trolls Versus Reporting News

On Kanye West, Azealia Banks, and Feeding Trolls Versus Reporting News

kanye-west-headshotIf there’s one constant in the world these days, it’s the music website coverage of rants by artists like Azealia Banks, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, and the like. And just as those reports remain in our news rotation, so do the inevitable comments from annoyed readers. There’s a consistent outcry from some folks asking why we (and other sites) are covering these “stories” and giving diva-like artists the time of a day for something other than their actual music.

My first reaction to these comments is that the rants, particularly the ones we cover, are indeed news-worthy. In the case of Kanye West, he’s done fewer interviews than pretty much anyone else in the music world these past few years. Thus, his onstage rants become “news” because they are the only means of trying to figure out exactly what he’s thinking, where he’s going, and what makes him tick these days.

Should we be so concerned with these topics? Maybe not, but when it comes to someone as huge and influential as Yeezy, it’s difficult to turn the other cheek. That is especially true when he tones down the frustration to announce that he has new music coming. To deem that not worthy of coverage would cause at least a quarter of our posts to fall into that category. Sure, those pieces tend to arrive with album artwork, release dates, track lists, guest feature and producer announcements, and other information, but, again, someone like Kanye will not (and doesn’t need to, really) reveal that type of information on anyone’s terms but his own.

Where the coverage of his onstage rants hits its breaking point resides in whether or not he’s saying anything new or interesting, relatively speaking. Do we (and like-minded sites) need to report on his thoughts about designer labels, for example? I say no, unless you write for a site that regularly writes about the fashion world. Similarly, do we really care what he has to say about MTV’s Hottest In The Game list? Yes, of course we do. Not only is he on the list this and every year, but, again, this is a case of him breaking his press silence to voice his opinion on a timely topic. It also further propels the discussion aspect of the news, as it will lead to comments from fervent readers saying they agree or disagree and why. This is where the line between music sites and message boards can be blurred, but why is that a problem? What’s the point of having a comments section if not to create and fuel a hopefully intelligent discussion? I understand that the comments too often cross the line into absurdity and hatred, but that’s the way of the world (no EWF).

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  1. Atiba Taylor
    Mar 06, 2013 @ 18:20:00

    the absurdity of the community is that the comments and rants of the kingpins at the top often influence the thinking of those at the bottom Zach, good or bad, like its if you can’t be them or be like them them get with them. on point bro

  2. Atiba Taylor
    Mar 06, 2013 @ 18:17:00

    the funny thing is the audience , many of us the readers, live and thrive off what the Gods of the music industry are saying, in a world economy where your freedom is not a state of mind but how much money you earn or how much you can command at the gate. An incredible talent to create hits, or remix, or rap does not equate to a grand insight on the daily reality of billions of people just trying to get by and find interesting music to listen to.

  3. William Minty
    Mar 06, 2013 @ 15:01:00

    Well put. I browse this site religiously making sure to tick off each article from my RSS feed. I might fall into the category of people that see some of this as gossip, but if I feel like indulging it, then I check it out. If I don’t, I leave it.

    I dont usually comment, though I drop the lazy like on a few in the comment section. Thats for two reasons. 1) I’ve become accustomed to not voicing an opinion due to seeing war waged in the YouTube nature of generic thoughtless and classic hater-like comments. And 2) because you guys aren’t slipping in the slightest.

    I barely stray from here to get my music fix. You guys do a fantastic job, keep it up.

  4. Andrew Martin
    Mar 06, 2013 @ 14:23:00


  5. Andrew Martin
    Mar 06, 2013 @ 14:23:00


  6. Andrew Martin
    Mar 06, 2013 @ 14:23:00

    thank you!

  7. Andrew Martin
    Mar 06, 2013 @ 14:23:00

    Thanks man.

  8. Zach Moldof
    Mar 06, 2013 @ 14:08:00

    well said Andrew. i think, for whatever reason, the internet generation does not abide by “if I don’t like it I will not pay attention to it.” Folks have this much more childish and petty demeanor of, “if you didn’t want me to react negatively you shouldn’t have put it on the internet.” Internet comments provide an oddly democratized playing field where people give in to just about any impulse without thought or censorship be it racist, idiotic, self-obsessed, sexist, just plain hateful or otherwise.

    As far as the validity of these rants and outbursts, they carry an additional importance as well. These are, for better or for worse, some of the most visible characters within the society of young contemporary American musicians and music-involved individuals. Whether we like it or not, all of us identify with Azealia and Kanye at some level. These are 2 figures whom very many people identify with as musicians, or music-involved individuals. Coverage like this is in many ways the basis of a community.

  9. St8us
    Mar 06, 2013 @ 12:55:00

    thumbs up

    Mar 06, 2013 @ 11:24:00

    jyeah (c) mc eiht

  11. Ix AP xI
    Mar 06, 2013 @ 10:34:00

    Well said. If people don’t want to read posts about Banks beef or Kanye’s ridiculousness, there’s plenty of other links to good music/news on the homepage that they can choose from.

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