The Internet is a wasteland, but many have always found themselves in the desert.
Broadcasting on TV and the radio are still relevant, though those vehicles are waning as smart phones and tablets keep us informed, forcing an up-to-the-minute news culture.
News is made now from social media posts and the new reporter is a Twitter troll or Instagram antagonizing “follower.” One thing is clear though, the rules for transparency have been both raised and blurred as the Internet’s personal nature provides a clarity into things once deemed mysterious.
Case in point, Cash Money Records CEO Bryan “Birdman” Williams came to popular NYC radio station Power 105.1 FM show/online spectacle, “The Breakfast Club”, confronting its three hosts, DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlemagne the God, about tarnishing his name.
The head of the label that houses Lil' Wayne, Drake and Nicki Minaj was more than a bit heated, exploding with veiled threats and intimidating personalities surrounding him in apparent battle formation as they entered the studio.
In his words the hosts need to, “Put some respect on my name.”
Williams seemed extremely agitated with the hosts and even stated that he could have stepped to the most outspoken, Charlemagne the God a few times earlier when he knew where he was at.
The encounter had all the elements of a shakedown. In the past, based on the marketed image we know of the “Baby” turned “Birdman”, he is a menacing sort that should be taken as a serious threat to your personal safety. After all, he is a self-purported former drug lord from New Orleans that converted street hustle into corporate rap savvy.
But that image seemed to be manufactured by cameras rolling in coordinated contrivance. Today, with the increased clarity the lens provides, delivered through the vehicle known as the Internet, we truly see it all.
Williams acted like his former moniker of “Baby” as he threw a tantrum live on the airwaves and for our personal enjoyment.
Why? Because the stories that usually hit gossip websites and have a vague picture attached to a one-sided narrative wasn’t present. This interaction we all could see and decipher for ourselves. The overblown bombast of this man deflates his self-promoted demagoguery and our suspicions about his weakness are becoming closer to the truth.
Williams, much like Kanye West and all the other manufactured “celebrity” oddities that are more popular than nourishing, forgets that we once knew their image, not them. When they reveal themselves through unscripted, uncoordinated marketing planned outbursts, we realize now that we wouldn’t want to grab a beer with them.
The "Started from the bottom and now are here" effect is lost, and what is left is the ramblings of a spoiled brat propped up by corporate America to prop up sales. The benefit we all received was clarity on who he is and how he handles his emotions.
Co-dependent (psychological term; look it up) and utterly alone in a room where the entire world resided for those few moments and soul bared, Williams truly seemed like a baby. The myriad images of entourages, luxury cars, jewelry and general mean-mugging now seem ever more childish and protecting.
Baby needs his blankey. We saw his carefully marketed image ruined in a few minutes and received a glimpse into the soul of a man enamored with smoke and mirrors.
However, all “artists” and famous-for-nothings need to understand that the new great legitimizer is the Internet and we are all watching with a lens so clear we can see a welt on a baby’s behind from a million miles away.
Frankly Give A Damn is a continuing column based on the cultural ramblings of life voyeur Rhett Butler.