Monday, January 3, 2011

It's Hard Out There for A Celebrity

We have non-profits to support all kinds of causes - underprivileged youth, breast cancer research, babies with cleft lips, but none for a cause that has for years affected many individuals.

Celebrity Life.
It's tough. Real tough. Stonewall Jackson.

Imagine this:

Case Study 1: You're a B-list rapper, you just performed at a show to dozens of fans, and you get back to your Extended Stay Hotel... All you want is some sleep and rest. But to your dismay... there are 3 fans standing outside of your door asking to... *gasp* TAKE A PICTURE WITH YOU. How rude is that?!?!? How dare people who buy your music, travel across town, break curfew & their piggy bank, risk punishment for their entire senior year of high school by attending your show and then... on top of that... have the nerve to want to take a picture?!?
This is the sad, horrific life that Wale has to live every day. The preceding story prompted the following tweet from Wale, a DC Native, and hip-hop artist most known for his ability to rhyme motherf***a with motherf****s on the Waka Flocka hit, "No Hands":
It's sad how many people think it's ok to follow an artist to the hotel..and wait outside his room for a picture..really. - Wale.

Case Study 2: You are a musical genius. Everyone's favorite picture of you is one where you're juggling 6 Grammys in your arms for the sorta-eponymous album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill." You are the original singer/rapper, way before Estelle and Drake. You're all set to perform for a show at a Brooklyn venue at 8 PM. But you're running late. The audience gets fidgety, but accepts that this is what often happens at concerts. 9 PM rolls around, and people are starting to worry nervously if you're stuck in traffic... 10 PM hits... and the fans are thinking, "Man, I can't believe I rushed here, I coulda stopped at Coldstone and got a Cookie Don't You Want Some" in the Love It Size!" 10:30 PM... The fans are now angry. They search their pockets for a receipt, anything to scribble out a sign to you. One even makes a play off your track Lost Ones and writes, "You Just Lost One." But what reaaaaaallly.... grinds your gears... is that your keyboard player who was ridiculous enough to be on time, puts up a sign that says, "I Was On Time" on his keyboard. You paaay this guy and he has the nerve to side with the fans, the ones who bought your music, and incidentally... his paycheck too... but..... STILL!!! HOW DARE HE! So at Midnight, when you show up, and all these blasphemous signs are thrown in your face by your fans and keyboard player, you are reasonably peeved! As the crowd boos/applauds, you tell them: "If you're unhappy, you're welcome to go back and ask for a refund... I apologize for being late, but there's a lot that goes on in getting this out to you... I don't apologize for that... When I hear people complain, I don't know what to tell you... I know I'm worth the wait."

Case Study 3: Chris Brown. The heartthrob that stole our hearts, made a horrible mistake, apologized, and still can't seem to earn forgiveness. People across America are still mad at him, including Raz-B, former member of B2K. When will this guy get a break? Just because his tweets are read by millions of people, he's required to restrain himself? Just because he can afford someone to monitor his public image, he's required to do so? Just because teenagers across the world, are already gripped by homophobia, many possibly molested, he's supposed to refrain from cheap potshots at someone who requires a full explanation before you even know who he is? ("Whose Raspy? Raz-B? Who's that? B2K?.... Sounds familiar, what they sang?.. Bump Bump Bump? Wasn't that Diddy? Oh they were singing in the background? Oh ok, I think I know who that is. His brother was in Immature. Nah, the other one? Oh...")

It is really hard being a celebrity. I'm so thankful that I'm just a 9-5 peon. We got it made. We don't have to worry about owning Black cards, astronomical bank accounts, adoring fans, and getting booed when we show up for work late.

Tell me why you're grateful you're not a celebrity. If you're interested in seeing a video of how horrible this life is, watch Lauryn tell you:


  1. I couldn't imagine being a celeb. What would I do if I HAD to get a table everytime I went to the club and party in VIP?? I don't think I could possibly live without getting drinks spilled on me and my feet stepped on by randoms in the "common folk area." I'd miss it too much. Not to mention the line to get in and cover charge! I gotta have my "wait in line time" to get ready for the showdown with the crowd. Imagine if all the pretty women in the club were asking ME to stand near ME! I'd be so offended. I want to maintain the traditional standards of chivalry, where I approach the women. Eff this celeb ish. I'll stay regular.

  2. I have never wished for fame/celebrity status and never would. The money, I'll take, but all that comes with it, in my opinion, isn't really worth it. Paparazzi trying to get a shot of you taking out your trash or going out to dinner so they can sell it to a tabloid for $1000s; people feeling that you are part of the public domain and therefore deserve less respect and little to no privacy - it's crazy. I think it's a societal problem that people put these "celebrities" on a pedestal and expect them to behave up to certain expectations. They are just folks out there trying to do a job that, lucky for them, they get paid a lot to do. If you're a singer, I expect you to sing. If you're an actor, I expect you to act. That's it. I don't need to stalk you at your hotel or at Wolfgang Puck's and you can say what you want to say to whomever you want to say it. Do your job (which includes being on time for concerts) and we're good. I'm buying your cd/dvd, not your personality. Maybe if the public would let these people have lives, they wouldn't snap off the deep end.

  3. i was with you until you got on breezy. hes obviously made some mistakes. but raz b got what he was asking for. the chris brown and rihanna chapter has been over for quite some time now. raz b doesnt know one thing about chris brown except that.

    chris brown has had a target on his head ever since rihanna. so now if he so much as defends himself now hes the bad guy? nahhh thats not cool.

    but wale and laurn? not cool

  4. Tamara:

    I agree with you! Just like you recognize that fame and celebrity status comes with a cost, these people do as well. So to be so publicly upset isn't fair. If these people need a place to air their anger with the public (the people who buy them the shades to hide behind), they should have these conversations amongst themselves. But it is kind of like a slap in the face when you have a "this is me, deal with it" attitude or an ungrateful attitude for your fans. If no one showed up at a Wale concert, or tried to get a photo with him, he'd be complaining about his poor marketing.

    You can't have it all!

  5. also being a celebrity sucks. who wants to live their life by the illuminati?

  6. im not making an excuse for wale or lauryn. but the chris brown part doesnt deserve to be here

  7. Chris Brown, more than anyone, is aware of the repercussions of an angry outburst, whether it's physical or verbal. He's suffered the consequences enough to get an idea of what happens. So why continue to do it?

    When you and I have arguments with people, our audience is much smaller than the millions Chris Brown reaches. With that audience comes a responsibility, especially if you're interesting in getting endorsements and or album sales. If anything, it's a smart fiscal and public relations decision for him to keep his mouth shut in certain situations, or at least not make his opinion so public. In case you're not aware, this is what Chris Brown said:
    "Why when the money was coming in, you weren't complaining about being butplugged, homothug... Grow up nigga, dick da booty ass little boy."

    He said this to someone who is a molestation victim. Sure, Raz-B was wrong, but he has nothing to lose, so who cares? Chris Brown on the other hand is throwing every opportunity to boost his image and marketing value down the drain. If Chris wasn't a celeb, it'd still would have been wrong for him to go off the way he did. But because he is a celeb, it's even worse.

    By the way, Chris Brown did exactly what Raz-B wanted him to do. He gave him attention. Raz-B won this battle. He got quoted in CNN, something he probably would have never achieved, if Chris Brown hadn't jumped into some "Twitter beef."

  8. why do we we set these celebrities to biblical standards? they're people just like us. i rarely hold my tongue if i dont have to. and if i were to ever in my small insignificant life become a super star, i wouldnt change my character. chris brown is a singer/actor. not a civil rights activist. and unless u can quote him..i dont recall him ever downplaying his fans

  9. I hold Chris Brown to a respect standard. He was disrespectful, rude, made anti gay comments, and made fun of someone who was molested! And he did it publicly. If you did that, I'd blog about you too. Asking someone not publicly humiliate someone, is not asking them to be a civil rights activist. Is Breezy paying you???

  10. Well I already think I'm a celebrity, so I'll just say that I don't think I behave in this manner :-p Every time I have a performance I show up on time...regardless if the fans do or not.
    On the rare occassion that someone wants to take a picture with me, I do so regardless of the time or place (check my FB pix lol)
    Whenever I tweet or update my FB status, I always disguise the shots I take at other people as hip-hop lyrics. If Raspy would've tweeted about me, I probably would've just picked the lyrics from Biggie's 'What's Beef?' (Check the lyrics to see what line I'm talking about) That is all! *Drops mic and walks off stage*

  11. ::sighs::

    People who aren't celebrities often times secretly envy the lifestyle. Simple. If it were not so...they wouldn't pay so much attention to celebrities.

    Same time...celebrity life MUST be somewhat complicated. Look at Michael Jackson's life. Overexposure can be a bad thing. Not all glitter and gold as it seems to people. So I guess the grass is always greener on both sides.

  12. lol at Anonymous #2's sigh.

    Because people pay attention to something doesn't denote envy. The Craig's List Killer is something like a celebrity now and people paid attention the film & documentary about him. However... I'm not sure they're envious.

    I do agree that celebrity life is complicated and has it's significant downside. I don't think fans should have to pay for the troublesome side of it though with late shows, ignorant tweets, and annoyance at their appreciation though.


I love to write, but I love to read even more. Please share your thoughts, musings, or evidence of your visit.