When rappers' personal lives spill out onto their social media accounts, things can get ugly.
One of the main things that fueled Future's career reinvention, which began with Monster, and dominated the majority of 2015, was his breakup with Ciara, his onetime fiancée and mother of the most recent of his four children. Coupled with his disappointment in Honest, the separation spurred a furious spree of projects that all exorcised his demons in one way or another. Monster's "Throw Away" illustrated how one-night stands could still be haunted by the memory of Ciara, Beast Mode's "Just Like Bruddas" dealt with the public's negative perception of the split, DS2's "Thought It Was A Drought" viewed the breakup through the eyes of addiction: "I'ma choose the dirty over you." Without revealing too many actual details, Future got his point across via artistic expression-- not necessarily in the most respectful way-- but blinded by rage, he channelled his feelings into some truly disturbing, affecting music. It was much more enthralling than some sadsack breakup album (word to Robin Thicke's Paula) and a much better strategy than going and running his mouth to TMZ, who I'm sure would've loved the juicy details.
The most recent struggle that the former "Body Party" pair are facing is a battle for their son (actually named Future)'s custody. But instead of saving this subject matter for the next "classic" mixtape he's hinted at, and once again letting personal turmoil influence his music, Future did something very out-of-character: took it to social media. The words "This bitch got control problems" seemed much more stark and hateful as a standalone tweet than they would have as song lyrics, left out in the world to be shared and retweeted by his loyal Hive. More Twitter-based allegations (which were later investigated by TMZ) followed, with Future complaining about the difficulty of seeing his son and confessing that he had lost his patience. I had to feel for him, I really did, but at the same time, I questioned his decision to make all of this information public, rather than a subtle-yet-effective barb in a new track. Making millions of people aware of his custody battle won't do anything to influence the actual case-- this isn't some cause that's helped by "raising awareness" or donating money-- as we've seen time and time again, it just creates a toxic anti-Ciara sentiment among his fans.
When the recipient of such online slander is someone of even lesser celebrity stature, things get even more lopsided-- just look at the recent Fetty Wap/Masika Kalysha conflict. Kalysha began by publicly claiming to be pregnant by Fetty (a suspect move in and of itself), but then Fetty took things to a whole new level of ugly by responding, "Bitches posting pics now the world going crazy, she need a come up I understand that, that career lookin bad." Claims of gold-digging flooded Kalysha's mentions, Fetty offended quite a few fans, and then TMZ made things even worse by digging into details about the birth control (or lack thereof) that was used, and the couple's heated argument about abortion. Who needs to know this stuff? Young Thug also recently ranted about not being able to see his children on Twitter, again disparaging people who lack platforms for response (telling a few of his baby mothers, "I'm embarrass for people to even no I knew a bitch that look like yall") and doing absolutely nothing to help his case.
If these were merely futile attempts at gaining custody or tone-deaf recreations of Micahel Jackson's "Billie Jean," they'd be pretty harmless. But they really do create a toxic fan response that's similar to the one that Meek Mill's confused prosecutor witnessed last month. Spurred by the summer's beef, Drake fans allegedly "blew up" Noel DeSantis' phone, begging for her to arrest and convict Meek for a probation violation. Knowing zero legal details, acting purely out of some misguided devotion to their favorite rapper, these people wanted to send a man to jail. Think about that for a second. It may seem like an isolated example, impossible to replicate, but it's just this whole pack mentality of social media taken to the extreme. Calling a woman you've never met a "bitch" or flaming somebody's Twitter account saying they don't deserve to see their kids are just smaller steps on that train of thought, to blindly go where some rapper's angry tweets tell you.
Depending on their level of devotion, fans will invariably side with their favorite rappers when issues present themselves. Lil Wayne vs. Birdman, Drake vs. Meek Mill, A$AP vs. Spaceghostpurrp all have their root in disputes that are about money, music, and/or cred, and while fans can and will take it too far, it's almost impossible for these beefs to not spill out across social media. That's part of life as an entertainer, especially in a music genre that holds beef in such high regard. But when someone who's not a star, who doesn't have a platform to make their side of the story heard, gets publicly dragged into the mix, that's when these conflicts become lopsided and ugly. Usually, it's in the form of a woman getting thrown under the bus, shamed for anything from trying to provide for a child to making claims of abuse, but usually silenced in the end. On the off chance that it's a man who's on this receiving end of some public disgrace or another, as was the case when Nicki Minaj broke up with Safaree Samuels, chances are he'll get more coverage and act a complete ass.
Save the personal affairs for the lawyers and the lyrics, Twitter is for cracking jokes, announcing new music, or best of all, staying silent until something important happens. Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments.