As social media changed recording artists’ relations with their fans and made some aspects of the industry more transparent, those fans have become more and more invested in the concrete markers of their favorite artists’ success. Artists have encouraged this somewhat, celebrating milestones like chart placements and sales awards on their social media, which has only made fans more enthusiastic about achieving those milestones.
However, some fans have been known to take this way more seriously than even the artists themselves, organizing streaming campaigns to juice their faves’ stats and even turning downright mean in their efforts to prove they support the “best” artist. Some, like the Barbz, even turn on Nicki Minaj’s collaborators when she misses out on No. 1s — which you’d think they’d be used to, but nobody ever said common sense was a prerequisite for membership.
In a recent interview with Complex, Nicki’s “Move Ya Hips” collaborator ASAP Ferg addressed this odd tendency, reacting to the hashtag some Barbz trended when the Floor Seats 2 tracked failed to reach No. 1 on the Hot 100: #ASAPFergIsOverParty (it debuted at No. 19 after extensive campaigning). Some of them apparently blamed Ferg for the disappointment, claiming he failed to “submit” sales numbers to Billboard for review in time. For his part, Ferg seems to accept that it comes from a good place of rooting for Nicki to win, even if they do overreact based on misconceptions of how things work (misconceptions that have been propagated and encouraged by other stars, like Tekashi 69).
“Man, I love all the passion, because that just shows me how far her supporters are willing to go for her,” Ferg enthused. “I would want my supporters to do the same thing. But it got to the point where it was just like, okay, all right. We have to be real with ourselves. Why wouldn’t I want this song to go number one? And there’s no such thing as giving in your sales to Billboard. They collect that themselves… I don’t know who gave them that information. I’m a huge fan and pleased to work with someone like Nicki, so that’s an opportunity that I wouldn’t even want to mess up for myself. You know, that’s the best way to describe them: super passionate. And I don’t fault them for that. They’re just super passionate, and I love it.”
Read the full interview here.