Bandwagon Fans: What Jay-Z, Rihanna, and White Girl Mob Have in Common

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This past Monday’s eve at 11:59 EST, the twitterverse was abuzz with word that Jay Z and Kanye West ‘s Watch the Throne was the best album to be released this year, and possibly the decade. Thousands of hundreds on Facebook agreed. Nothing wrong with being a committed fan, but seeing as it was one of the first highly anticipated albums of the millennium to avoid the plague of premature leakage, my eyebrow immediately raised with the realization the majority of people proclaiming the project’s awesomeness were doing so before they had even heard a single track beyond “Otis.” Instantaneously iconic, when the clock did strike midnight heralding in August 8th, a moment in music’s history officially began as “Hov” and ‘Ye are now tracked to sell more than 500,000 copies, and poised to break iTunes one week sales record which was previously set by Coldplay in 2008.

So here’s the question. Was the music driving the fans or were the fans driving the music? Consider this. A few weeks ago, controversy ensued after news broke that Rihanna had ousted Lady Gaga as Most Popular Mistress on Facebook with a timely boost of 100,000 fan “likes.” What once used to be college play has turned into big business. Pulling receipts, Boston-based viral marketing firm ViralMS.com, which offers a service that allows users to purchase Facebook “fans,” confirmed that for $7,799 someone had indeed bought Rihanna’s popularity for a very specific reason. Perception is Everything. Gaga fans were shook and outraged. Millions of Rihanna fans felt duped. But how mad can one really be when they have allowed their value of an artist to be largely based on how much someone else values them first?  Known as “The bandwagon effect,” scientist say the phenomenon occurs when people often do and believe things merely because many other people do and believe the same things. This is the very odd era we now find ourselves living in.

Which brings us to White Girl Mob. Called “Multimedia Artists”, these three ladies are each very…special. Their online “following” has built them higher than any lyrical foundation they could ever attempt to lay claim to. However the interest in their social status had enough pull that WGM member Kreayshawn signed to Columbia Records earlier this summer with an originally rumored one million dollar recording contract. Feel free to check out one of her illustrious freestyles for yourself and decide if you think she is the proverbial real deal or a great example the bandwagon fan effect is having on the music industry (LINK).

The truth is the dynamic of fans/followers holds major weight in today’s world. Whether one is a superstar artist with record labels shelling out big bucks to secure their social stock; an out of work job seeker looking for employment in a social currency focused economy; or simply a pre-pubescent 7th grader in a small town trying to figure life out. None of us are immune.

Try this quick self-check. Do you count your twitter followers? If so how often? Clock your FB comment likes? Toggle your tumblr #’s on the weekly if not daily? If so, what do these numbers tell you about yourself? If not, how have you avoided the “Bandwagon Effect” so many are succumbing to? We are now forced to contemplate a question very similar to the age old chicken or the egg conundrum…what came first, the artist or the fans?

As for Jay Z and Kanye’s Watch the Throne, I still plan to listen to it…but decided I’m going to wait a bit until the echoing chorus of the band fades out allowing me to better hear their music for myself…

- @SamanthaGberry

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Welcome to the Frequency-News-Sheet (FnS) on The Urban Daily. Our blog is all things industry news related from a fans voice, with an insider’s experience.

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