Some musicians save their voices for singing and rapping, but the more famous and opinionated have been stretching their vocal chords for other purposes with startling regularity, circumventing their publicists with hot-takes on social media. Evidently, lyrics just won’t do sometimes. For better or worse, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have increased the height of everyone’s soapbox and cranked up the decibels on their bullhorns.
At the start of the year we saw Bryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen both make political statements by cancelling their shows in Mississippi and North Carolina due to those States’ newly formed anti-LGBT laws. There’s so much political turmoil in the US that you can fully expect more artists to come out swinging their activist haymakers.
But not everyone’s opinion is as informed or as socially conscious as The Boss’. For whatever reason, a lot of talented musicians use their platforms to hate on other artists or the entire opposite sex.
Today, in an homage to the high school yearbook I recently found in my attic, I’m setting the odds on which artists are most likely to make certain types of “statements” in 2016. Which of these classmates is the most likely to say something political, something sexist, something inflammatory? Gather round the cool kids’ table in the cafeteria to find out!
Artist most likely to …
Make a political statement:
Green Day vs. Beyonce vs. M.I.A.
With Green Day supposedly coming out with a new album this year, you know some of their songs will be politically charged. Lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong is active on Twitter and has no problems lashing out on topics regarding censorship, Donald Trump, and the annoying music terminology of “pop-punk.” The time is right for a Green Day middle-finger to the current establishment because that’s what punk is all about.
Will Beyoncé continue to push Black Lives Matter? Or will there be something cause that she wants to trumpet? Bey has recently upped her political activist game, and something tells me she’s not done ringing the alarm. Currently she’s dealing with a Lemonade fallout, but don’t forget that her finger is firmly placed on the African-American pulse and she’ll have no problem flicking the switch from personal drama to racial issues.
M.I.A took exception to the Black Lives Matter movement. She came out swinging by asking, “What about Muslims and Syrian refugees?” This British artist of Sri Lankan descent grew up with a dad who was a political activist, and her own visa status in the United States is often complicated due to her outspoken activism and commentaries on oppression against Tamils, Palestinians, African Americans, and more. You can expect Mathangi Arulpragasam to continue putting American hypocrisy on blast.
The verdict: Beyoncé is a 3/2 favorite over Green Day and M.I.A. to make the next political statement.
Make a fashion “statement”:
Lady Gaga vs. Young Thug
Lady Gaga has actually kept things pretty tame fashion wise. She ventured into acting and picked up a Golden Globe this year for her performance in American Horror Story: Hotel. But with a new album confirmed to be dropping later this year, she’ll be doing a ton of press and appearances. How can you top a meat dress? Gaga isn’t shy in making a fashion statement and this year she could go all out in shaking up the red carpets and magazine covers.
Let’s not forget about Young Thug who admits that he has more women’s clothing in his closet than anything else. I don’t judge. Being a tough-guy rapper doesn’t always mean wearing sweat pants, team jerseys, and Jordans. Thug’s fashion stylings are a worthy complement to his experimental approach to rapping. He might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the dude has no problems cutting out a niche within the hip-hop community by rapping about money, haters, women, and drugs, all while sporting golden dreads and a dress.
The verdict: Lady Gaga is a slight 4/5 favorite over Young Thug to make the next outrageous fashion statement.
Make a sexist statement:
Chris Brown v. T.I.
Chris Brown making sexist statements isn’t anything new and, quite frankly, how he still has any semblance of a music career is beyond me. But apparently there are people who look past his many transgressions and still buy his tunes. He has been on many sexist rants and recently commented on his ex-girlfriend’s Instagram photos. The dude just doesn’t get it and is constantly in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.
T.I. made his own sexism clear when he made some ridiculous comments last year regarding Hillary Clinton’s bid to be the next President of the United States. Anytime you start a sentence with, “Not to be sexist but …” something sexist is about to come out of your mouth.
There was a huge amount of backlash regarding T.I.’s comments, so hopefully he’s not as dumb as Chris Brown when it comes to continuing to be a moron.
The verdict: Chris Brown is an overwhelming 3/7 favorite over T.I. to make more sexist comments in 2016. You just can’t fix stupid.
Make an inflammatory statement about another artist:
Azealia Banks v. Noel Gallagher
Azealia Banks has gone all out on Twitter, slamming Beyonce for her Lemonade song and video. This isn’t the first time Banks has ranted on Twitter. She has gone off on Lady Gaga, T.I., Iggy Azalea, Pharrell, and even A$AP Rocky (to name just a few). She gets far more attention for her public feuds than she does for her music. This is a woman who compared the LGBT Community to the KKK. So you can see what we’re dealing with here.
Noel Gallagher, meanwhile, has never minced words and has always been a tad controversial when he shoots from the hip in interviews. In the past, he has ripped into other artists like Zayn Malik and Adele, not to mention his brother, Liam.
There’s a quaint aspect to Gallagher’s venom; he seems to prefer traditional media to social. But with an Oasis documentary set to come out in 2016, the former frontman of the band (and now current singer for the High Flying Birds) will have ample opportunity to spew more artist-on-artist hatred with the old-school press.
The verdict: Azealia Banks is the 2/3 favorite over Noel Gallagher to continue her star-bashing ways; she can’t help herself. But you know we’ll still get another Gallagher rant before the year is out.
Photo Credit: Asterio Tecson [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.