Tik Tok fans ruin artists – review
Ali Fernand – Features Editor
Tik Tok has ruined the way our generation listens to music.
If anyone has been on TikTok or Twitter in the past week, you probably have seen the videos from recent Steve Lacy concerts. He recently had a song “Bad Habit” go viral, specifically, because of TikTok. It is a great song; I think it deserves the hype that it has gotten. However, this has created an issue for his most recent shows. There have been clips surfacing of the crowds at his concerts and how lifeless they are. None of them know the words to his songs. They do not even know more than the chorus of his most popular song.
As someone who has kept up a bit with Steve Lacy since high school, this is extremely frustrating. I specifically remember listening to “Dark Red” in the car with my friends. He has a great discography, and I was hoping that this recent virality would get people into his music. However, it seems like a lot of people only know songs from the section that is shown on TikTok.
There was a recent controversy of him smashing a camera that was thrown at him on stage. People were very critical of this. Obviously, it is not a positive interaction but if something was thrown at me, I would react the same.
I enjoy TikTok as much as the next Generation Z person. I have often praised the app for how easy things can blow up out of nowhere and allow people to discover new things. In fact, I was really excited at the thought of it making it easier for niche artists to get more mainstream attention. I am a hipster, but I do not want to gatekeep. The idea of my favorite artists having top hits because of a viral song on TikTok is exactly what I would want to see.
Another artist that comes to mind for me is Doja Cat. Not to be a hipster, but I liked Doja Cat before she blew up. It was 2018, she had just released her meme song “Mooo!” which got attention on twitter. I immediately loved her. She was such a genius for making a song that is both lighthearted and well made. Then her release of “Tia Tamera” in 2019 with Rico Nasty absolutely blew my mind. Doja Cat was made for the intersection of music and internet culture.
Then there was the viral “Say So” dance which I thought was funny because I had said that was my favorite song on “Hot Pink” when it first dropped in 2019. This dance was monumental. It skyrocketed Doja from a niche internet rapper to a mainstream pop star overnight. Unlike Steve Lacy, Doja Cat continued to have hit after hit. It seemed like any song she had ever made had the potential to go viral. Songs that were never meant to be singles were becoming top-charting.
Doja’s success is completely deserved. She has a unique style, aesthetic and ear for music. However, I do not think that her mainstream success has been healthy for her. She has openly talked about how much she hates her fanbase. There were many incidents in this past year that led her to have outbursts, specifically, on Twitter.
Even though the “Say So” dance was over two years ago, I do not think that Doja had the time to adjust to pop-stardom. She went from being an internet-obsessed small musician to a main topic of conversation way too fast. This is not healthy for anyone.
The fans created by TikTok are completely toxic to the mental health of musicians. With an already exploitative industry, I can understand why they have these outbursts. Their fans do not care about their music that they have spent years crafting. Despite recent success, Steve Lacy and Doja Cat have both been making music for around a decade. Of course, they are going to be frustrated when their audience does not know their music or they feel an entitlement to their time.