I remember sometime last year when I wrote about how to avoid being a toxic Stan and I thought I wrote something very sleek but looking back now, it feels weird reflecting on that and cringy AF (excuse my French).
Whether we admit it or not, if we are lovers of music, in some ways known to us or subconsciously, we all are Stans to one artiste (or even more in some cases) and there is nothing wrong with that. After all, what good does sport offer without a little rivalry every now and then? Nothing! Rivalry helps in fueling the passion we have toward our favourite team(s) and player(s) and the sport itself, so much that when our favourite team(s) or player(s) disappoint us, we feel a kind of thorn in our flesh for we know we are going to get roasted by the opposing team’s supporters and invariably that package also is what music delivers in terms of Stan culture.
Damn! Excuse my rambling, as it is, I am writing this piece at just some few minutes past 9 PM WAT on a Friday night, so if you feel the tone of this write-up being too relaxed, by all means you should continue reading. Oh! You thought I was gonna say you should “log off”? No! Never! Plus that exactly is my aim, (in actuality I am just trying to buy time by putting more words than needed but not unnecessary so that you feel annoyed, ya dig?).
Let us be honest, Stan culture has achieved more good than bad but like stain on a white T-shirt, it is only human nature to focus on the negative. This write-up highlights some positives of Stan culture, let us dive right into it:
One thing Stan culture fosters is a very high level of relevacy. One means artistes stay relevant is through Stan culture which they in turn tend use to focus on the bigger goal – promoting their country’s or continent’s culture in form of music, coherently through varying sounds and diverse style.
The motto – “Afrobeat to the world” only began gaining tractions some few years ago but through the wrecking ball effect that Stan culture instills, the world is gradually getting accustomed to sounds originating from Nigeria and Africa at large. There was a time where only one African artiste could be known ‘worldwide’ at a particular instance like the cases of 2Face Idibia, D’banj, Fuse ODG and the likes but thanks to the immense effort put into making music by our favourite artistes, the internet, we now have so many other recognizable name from the African music market like Diamond Platnumz, Nasty C, Shatta Wale, Davido, just to name a few and this Stan culture has helped in many ways to foster through many debates and comparisons on social media and beyond.
Admit it or not, pitching two (top) artistes side-by-side only helps to increase their fame, streams and relevance in the media, all thanks to Stan culture.
2. Healthy Competition:
Buju provides one of the most recent cases in Stan culture helping promote healthy competition. Award-winning superstar producer JAE 5 visited Nigeria and asked Twitter fans to recommend artiste(s) to work with, to which Buju fans, Stans infact, came out en masse to canvass for their fave (Buju) which eventually turned out eventful for all parties involved. This is just a case showing how much Stan culture promotes healthy competition among artistes across genres.
More likely than not, artistes get asked the generic questions: “Are we to expect any feature on your forthcoming album?”, “Who do you plan to work with next?”, “If you could choose any artiste, past or present, who would you like to collaborate with?”, “At this stage of your career, do you have any young or upcoming artiste(s) you’re working with? Or want to give a cosign?”.
Most times, we see Stans compare a relatively new artiste to an OG in the industry, though this might generate some backlash from various online sects, it helps the relatively new artiste come to the realisation that he/she is doing the right thing and with such comparison, it directly or indirectly helps such ones to want to improve on their craft and/or carve a nice for themselves, hence stimulating healthy competition in the music industry.
In the case where artistes answer this type of question: “At this stage of your career, do you have any young or upcoming artiste(s) you’re working with? Or want to give a cosign?” with an affirmative tone, they just passed the baton to the young or upcoming artiste(s) as if it were a sport of relay race, creating room for them to also grow, aiding for a healthy competition among different generations in the music industry as opposed to it being a one-man sport. Once again, thanks to Stan culture.
Still on Stan culture fostering healthy competition for artiste(s), we can debate that it helps in keeping these artistes on their tippy toes, leaving no rooms for slacking off or complacency as they would always want to match or outperform their previous musical releases, thereby creating newer styles, sounds and genres as the days pass by. These artistes put it at the back of their minds to always impress their fans, Stans at large and the conceptualisation is lucid in areas pertaining to self-improvement and discovery of new styles and sounds for their music.
These are just few positives of Stan culture in opposition to always focusing on the negative aspect. Maybe when next you hear the word “Stan culture”, you automatically will not relate it with toxicity and incoherent arguements and baseless facts.