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The music industry is full of big personalities, so it should be no surprise that it’s also rife with drama, too. No genre seems immune, with everyone from pop artists to rock bands and rappers having some kind of problem with someone else in the scene. We know that they have talents with their voices and their instruments, but it seems that some are also great at adding some drama to the mix. And no, they’re not all suddenly into musical theatre!

Taylor Swift at an awards event

Why Do They Do It?

There are several theories, one of which is just that creatives are particularly emotive and angsty people.

When people are talking about drama, you’re all likely to get media attention. As the old saying goes, “all publicity is good publicity”, which means that their platform elevates the status of whatever the problem may be to new levels, because way more people get invested.

Of course, it’s not just common in the music industry – many other high-profile people find themselves at the centre of some pretty juicy scandals, too. Trash talking may actually be useful for reasons other than media coverage.

Poker player Phil Hellmuth has used trash talking to his advantage in the card game. He’s been nicknamed a “poker brat”, but a decade after he began insulting fellow players, he managed to cash in; his insults actually got those he was competing against to put their money in bad. After all, poker is actually a game of strategy. All kinds of deceptive behaviours trick poker opponents into believing that their hand is different than it actually is. By distracting the competition with insults, they’re likely to think you’re trying to hide the fact you’re not doing well – when this is anything but the case with Texas Hold’em expert Hellmuth.

When you bring this back to the context of music, it’s possible that using insults to your competitors can also make you look edgy; and therefore quite literally give you an edge.

Who Does It?

The kinds of dramas that we see in the music industry are as varied as they are complicated. When it comes to pop, you’ve got Katy Perry and Taylor Swift’s long-documented feuds, which haven’t been specifically confirmed (but more notably, they have not been specifically denied).

Then you have issues between exes, with relationship breakups between artists being particularly public news. Just look at Ed Sheeran’s lyrics in “Don’t”, which are reportedly about Ellie Goulding, or even Little Mix’s song “Shout Out To My Ex”, which literally addresses Perrie Edward’s ex-flame Zayn Malik of One Direction fame directly.

Rock bands are edgy enough without whining, but they do need to live up to their names for street cred. Empty threats and trash talking others have long been a part of things! Being brothers notoriously couldn’t even keep Oasis members Liam and Noel Gallagher happy together, and their pair’s family feuds have often come at the detriment to the harmony of the band – after all, this drama is internal!

Then you have the “emo feud of the century” that happened between alt-rockers Brand New and Taking Back Sunday in the early 2000s, the story of which has found its way into lyrics and keeps fans polarised to this day. And yes, it all started over a girl.

The list continues; to mention everyone would honestly keep us here all day. We suppose that some of these guys are using the poker technique on their rivals – although they might not be at the felt, they’re trying to bluff their “opponents” into losing an argument or even just their cool.

Will This Ever End?

Honestly, probably not. Bands and artists really need to have made a name for themselves before slinging insults, but providing this is done, nobody really seems to care about how unprofessional it is. As long as they keep using their personal problems to make for great songs and lyrics, it’s not like audiences seem to care, either.

Long may their drama continue!

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Is just a guy who got tired of bothering his friends talking about music, and decided to create a blog to write about what he loves the most.
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