by G. Brown
‘They’ say no publicity is bad publicity, but ‘they’ obviously coined this phrase before President Trump learned how to use twitter giving us proof that there is such a thing as too much coverage. But does news overkill spill outside the political arena?
Perhaps there’s no better celebrity to help us answer that question right now than JayZ who has been riding the “daily headlines-trending topics’ wave of publicity since grandpa Knowles leaked news that his daughter had given birth to a boy and a girl. The births were pretty much a hush-hush affair until MSM confirmed that Blue Ivy has a little brother(Sir Carter) and little sister (Rumi). The babies names according to NBC are both related to poetry–‘Sir Carter’ from a poem and Rumi was supposedly the name of a 13th century poet in Persia.
Before the ink could even dry on that story, Jay-Z was garnering even more headlines when he dropped his 13th album—ending weeks of mystery about the new release titled “4:44”. Some of the reviews have been beyond positive like NPR which sums up “4:44” saying “For an MC who’s spent his entire career constructing such a formidable facade, it’s a tall task. But “Kill Jay Z” sets the stage for what becomes his most personal, vulnerable album yet — and arguably one of his best.” Many critics are calling the album a work of art because of its honesty, specifically JayZ finally addressing infidelity charges leveled by his wife in her “Lemonade” album. In one song, JayZ’s lyrics offers an apology to not only Beyoncé, but all women in his past rapping “I suck at love, I think I need a do-over / I would be emotionally available if I invited you over.”….”It took for my child to be born to see through a woman’s eyes.” Endearing–certainly, but it is it sincere or just more guaranteed publicity?
That’s not the only confession JayZ uses “4:44” to reveal. He also shares a family secret that his mom is a lesbian. A secret she cloaked from the world under motherhood by giving birth to four children. And again today, JayZ is topping news with stories that he and friend Kanye West are on the outs. Kanye reportedly is pulling out of JayZ’s Tidal streaming service because Jay owes him about $3mill. Well, let’s check one more time with Jay’s album to see if there are any verses to clear up what this beef is all about—and what do you know— on a track titled “Kill Jay Z” we get these lyrics: “But you ain’t a Saint, this ain’t KumbaYe / But you got hurt because you did cool by ‘Ye / You gave him 20 million without blinkin’ / He gave you 20 minutes on stage, f**k was he thinkin’? / “F**k wrong with everybody?” is what you sayin’ / But if everybody’s crazy, you’re the one that’s insane.
Hmmm….Looks like JayZ got a lot off his chest with this album and hey, music should be cathartic. But can we expect a headline everyday that coincides with this album sending listners running to mp players to hear what JayZ has to say about it? Most of us won’t, because we’re too busy juggling our own drama to deal with some rapper’s, but you know the fandom is full of people who live and breathe by celebrities. This is the problem with the massive void for content in which the digital world—especially digital news– has engulfed society. Lives that should be spent living are instead consumed by trending topics. Look, news is good—it’s a trade which I have served for decades as a journalist. But celebs have gotten smart about playing on people’s emotion and using social platforms to hold their fans hostage with tempting teases of ” I have big news—follow me tomorrow”. Yes, we’re happy when celebs celebrate parenthood, big album sales or hit movies; just don’t dole out meaty morsels and tempting treats like some drug dealer looking for addicts.
Can we get too much info about a celebrity? Let’s answer that question with a question—anybody tired of seeing Donald Trump in the headlines? There’s your answer.
What do you think…are we as readers creating the overkill on some celebrities by consuming all the info? Or are celebrities feeding this frenzy by cleverly releasing tell all albums, reality shows and social media posts?