S-T-A-N STANS, a jiggy term for referring to over-obsessive fanatic(s) of celebrities in our modern digital world. While the term itself might make your memory hark back to the self-titled song, “Stan” by Eminem released over two decades ago and the imbedded meaning behind the lyrics of the song. Today, Stans have metamorphosed from a single fan to a large cult-like sect of individuals who are devoted to spread the gospel of their favourite (colloquially called—fave) celebrities.
While many stan groups today rather just engross themselves with promotion of their fave, say for example, the notorious Wizkid FC stans who have shown that music promotion should not be one-sided, that is, from the record labels and the artistes themselves but a collaborative effort of everyone who has the best interest of that artiste at heart to help make the artiste and his/her project a global phenom; for over a year, not a day passed by without one seeing a post of Wizkid’s transcending “Made in Lagos” album and its eventual “Deluxe Edition”. Truth be told, the power of stans in developing an artiste and keeping him/her relevant cannot be undermined.
While it can be argued that stans have done more good than harm in the music industry, I mean, who does not like their ego getting stroked? A feeling of reverence? A tip of the hat? Getting called to the high table? No one! No matter how humble one tries to act or appear to appease the public’s subconscious, one would still like that feeling of importance whether minimally or on a grand scale, everyone loves being accoladed and that is where fans and stans come into play.
A notable occurrence of stans unrivalled viability is the case of Buju TYE now known as BNXN, wherein award-winning UK-based producer of Ghanaian origin, JAE5 asked his Twitter audience to recommend dope fast-rising singers in Nigeria for collaboration purposes and his comment section got swarmed by armies of Daniel “BNXN” Benson, ultimately landing him the job and magic was made. Another is the bustling Icons of Laycon who tirelessly promote, recommend and preach his works to anyone interested, even to opposers who come online to bash Laycon’s songs/projects, repaying the hate with resilient advertising of their fave or is it the case of the international BTS Army of BTS or Barbz of Nicki Minaj or the legion collectively called Beehives of the Queen Bee, Beyoncé we should discuss? Giving respect when it is due, the roles of stans will only grow in importance. Major thanks to social media for allowing these individuals air out their views.
For every good side there is an equal but opposite bad side, isn’t it? Stans are not excluded. They always want to be right, feelings of entitlement slowly creep in, deluding their views and blurring the lines between fandom and sheer insolence, obscuring their thinking to one which makes them feel they can do anything and everything they desire without consequences. Stans eventually start to think they can clone whatever their fave does in real life, a funny example was in 2008 when fans or should I say stans of Rihanna known as the Navy were cautioned against bringing umbrellas to RiRi’s concerts due to safety reasons as they may try replicating the rigorous dance routines of Rihanna from the “Umbrella” music video which may lead to casualties. Fans, especially younger generations of stans of Hip-Hop powerhouses like Lil Wayne and Future have succumbed to drug use because of the fervent persuading lyrical content of such coming from their fave who speak highly of such substances as if they were the Messiah to their problems in life.
The dominant disdainful conduct of stans incessant arguments over why their fave is greater than the next compeer, the urge to defend their fave irrespective of them being condescending to the compeer or the urge to stick through thick and thin (as it may seem) with their fave, even when the fave is adjudged wrong, accosting insults and curses upon anyone who who has a contradictory opinion to theirs; these we witness everyday surfing the internet, especially of top artistes stans always spiting one another, down to the lowest of lows, sharing secrets about one another, dragging innocent family members into their mess, breeding unnecessary hate among themselves, making the online world unbearable for neutral users.
We could go on and on, naming scenarios of stan wars but time is not our best friend. The latest one which ensued was that of Davido versus a ‘rival’ stan group member, known as Mister Mdee. Before narrating the ordeal, it is no news that stans stoop low to accusing their fave’s peers, particularly one considered an adversary of deeds he/she did not commit, or laying blames on him/her or his/her closest companion to cause bad blood between them. Such was the case of Twitter user Mister Mdee who tweeted some horseshit statement pertaining to Davido’s paternity of his son, boldly claiming Peruzzi as the son’s father.
Davido would not take such accusations lightly, warning ‘rival’ stan groups, “Say all you want about DAVIDO …. but DO NOT MENTION MY CHILDREN” even going further to post a picture of his accuser to the public, leaving Mister Mdee vulnerable, thankfully nothing regrettable happened.
Stan wars did not start today and obviously will not end today but can it be stopped or curbed to the barest minum? I want to believe so. One way it can be minimised is by the faves addressing their stans. As much as we live in a free world, we should remember there will always be consequences for our actions, this the faves can do by public statements encouraging stans not to take the love for them and their crafts to the extreme, thereby avoiding needless cases of misdemeanours. Although not highly recommend, a second way is following in Davido’s footsteps, by faves being passive aggressive with their stans or those of their ‘rival’ but making sure not to cross the lines so as not to endanger their stans or those of their ‘rival’. A little bit of fear, morbid if necessary, will stop stans from overly crossing the line, always wanting to be reasonable in their doings.
Social media is a tool, a git and a curse, so if possible, faves do well not to brood perceived hatred between themselves and their colleagues, therefore reducing the reckless talks and ignorant banter between their stan sect and those of their colleagues.
We do not have to wait for a case of violence between stans cults, God forbid one or some lossing lives before stern mandates and strict actions are undertaken; to the stans, they should also try to peacefully coexist with one another. I will leave with the words of J. Cole: “They act like two legends cannot coexist“, can they? They surely can.