I remember watching a video a few months ago of Elon Musk speaking at Recodes’ annual Code Conference where he questioned whether or not we’re computer generated entities living within an AI powered virtual reality, indistinguishable from reality itself. It’s an interesting argument and something i’ve been pondering ever since.
I often think we mistake public meltdowns from celebrities as sign of their fragile mental state, i’d argue that these meltdown’ are symptom of the continued blurred lines between social media and real life. Warranted, there are times when their reactions are over top, often belying any sense of self awareness and reason. But we tend not to take into consideration the sheer amount of stimuli and input they receive on an everyday basis. Every misstep or mistake is responded to with a barrage of unsolicited opinions from complete strangers, which would be enough to drive even the most sane amongst us crazy.
There’s no better example than Meek Mill Vs. Drake beef that engulfed the entire hip-hop community last year. Artists in the same way as sports teams can be fraught with bi-partizan loyalists, hell-bent on defending their guy/girl to the hilt whilst destroying their rivals, this is no surprise. But what caught me off guard – and Meek Mill touched on it too during the interview – was the impression that somehow Drake had ended his career for good. Yes, we all accept Meek Mill didn’t win that particular beef, he took way too long to respond and from the outside it seemed as if he let the internet run him off Twitter all together – further cementing Drake’s diss of “trigger fingers turn to twitter fingers”. But outside of that reality exists another reality, where after getting publicly annihilated by just about everyone, Meek Mill was still commanding six-figure walk-in fees from clubs and a captive audience awaiting the release of his 3rd album ‘Dream Chasers 4’.
He might not be on the same level he was once was pre Drake beef – first week sales for DC4 are good (50K) but not great (his last album ‘Dreams Worth More Than Money’ sold 246K copies first week) – but ultimately being able to support your family and friends through artistic endeavours is reason enough to celebrate.
The court of public opinion is a loud one, sometimes it can be seem as if the whole world is has turned its back on you, but you have to constantly remind yourself on that you’re never as good or bad as they say you are; you’re somewhere in the middle. And that’s okay.