More often than not, whenever I’m on Instagram or in the comment section of a recent music video, there are die-hard fans voicing their grievances against it. These obsessed fans, or “stans,” passionately reject the new style or approach to music the artist is going for, coming off as stubborn and annoying.
Especially in today’s music industry, this mindset of confining artists to a certain style has run rampant and is only making the experience for other listeners less enjoyable.
Stans are often quick to publicly announce their opinions and vehemently debate against anyone with a differing opinion or viewpoint. A classic example of this is Tyler, the Creator’s fanbase. Stans that originally fell in love with Tyler’s raw and vulgar approach to rap in “Bastard” and “Goblin” albums were quick to voice their complaints once he switched to a tamer style with “Flower Boy” and most recently, “Igor.” Firing back on Twitter, Tyler replied saying that his old music is still available for listening, all the while making fans sound dumb.
What fans fail to realize is that when artists create an album or song, those artists are going through trials and situations that are unique to them. It’s through these varying events that they are able to find inspiration to make music. Certain beats, melodies, hooks and more can all be birthed as a result of the artist’s unique experiences.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to fans when an artist will experiment with new sounds or styles as they are obviously different from who they were before. In the days that follow after releasing an album, thought processes, opinions and feelings can change. It’s ironic that in our 21st century society that is always changing with new trends and ideas that these stans can’t adapt or start listening to someone new.
Many artists have to deal with this mindset and hate. Seen more recently with Kanye’s release of “Jesus Is King,” the album was met with much criticism from fans due to the completely different style and Kanye’s surprise announcement of never making any more secular music.
As I read through all the comments, I couldn’t help but think of Kanye’s “I Love Kanye” from his “The Life of Pablo” album. Rapping about himself in the third person, Kanye talks about missing the old Kanye and hating the new Kanye, amusingly mocking his critics and haters in this song. In the same way, past content artists have released, whether it be music, interviews and more will always be there on the Internet.
There must be change in order to get rid of the detrimental stan mentality, which is so prevalent in the current music industry. Nobody benefits from this kind of mentality. The music that artists have released in the past will always still be there, ready to be nostalgically listened to by fans.