The Shame of Fame

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August 31, 2010 by DJ Elroy

For years Tiesto has been electronic music’s whipping boy and the butt of jokes in DJ circles… From his propagating of “teh trance aids” to the almighty “Jesus Pose” and his lackluster mixing abilities, he has been the one people love to hate.

But that’s so 2008!

The times are a-changing, and the Deadmau5 hate club has built just as fast as his rise to fame.

But does it really matter? Tiesto is still one of the world’s top booked (and paid) jocks. And as much hate as the Mau5 gets, he’s got more fans than ever. Sure, his social media tiff with Rusko drew some criticism, and his recent collapse during a show had people saying some pretty tasteless things, but let’s face it, the Mau5 has it going on. Hit singles, huge albums, sold-out shows, world tours, and kids everywhere making Mau5-heads. A record deal with Virgin. A chance to be the official MTV Music Awards DJ. And the list goes on and on…


I’d say a large part of the hate comes from those people that don’t like anything or anyone once it gets too big. Some will argue once (or even “if”) an artist has mainstream or commercial success he has sold out; has abandoned the Fans for the Fame. Has become lazy. Or any of the other tired and usually untrue (but not always, mind you) excuses the haters will toss out for not liking somebody. But is selling out (if this is even the case) always bad? No — but I’ll pick this up in a later post…


People want to be the first in their circle to discover something new. And when too many people know about it, they move on to the next new thing. Simple.

It may also be about over-exposure. If an artist is everywhere you look, if the music is in everyone’s mix and monthly charts, if the jock is constantly being talked about on the web, then some people might get turned off. This happens in Top 40 radio all the time. Even the good songs, when played every hour, every day, get old fast. People stop listening.

But the more exposure an artist gets — the more ears he reaches — usually means the more new members will join the tribe. You’ve got to take the good with the bad.


Sometimes fame gets to people. It makes them cocky or overconfident. It makes them paranoid. It takes them off “The Streets” and puts them in “The Tower” or simply puts a wedge between the artist and the fans. Not always, but this is often the case. Unintentional? Usually. Unavoidable? Sometimes. But some level of frustration is understandable, even expected. It’s hard to find somebody that isn’t affected by the constant pressure to always be on top, not to mention the stress fans and media could cause… But that’s the price you pay. Right?

Sure, some artists are able to paste a smile up for the Public and hold everything back while the cameras are rolling. But for how long?


Or it could simply be the music.

Yes, maybe the early projects by the artist were indeed better. It’s all relative, I suppose. I love early stuff from Bad Boy Bill but can’t stand his recent sound. Has the artist changed his style, or has the sound or scene changed, making the artist adapt? Probably a bit of both. After all, an artist that isn’t constantly experimenting, trying new things, and pushing the envelope a bit further than his last project probably won’t have the longevity of someone who does. These are the flash-in-the-pan guys. The one hit wonders.

Then again, push too hard, too far, too fast, and you may lose just as many fans. There is a fine line between genius and insanity, after all. And if you’re going to walk the line you need to be ready to fall. You need to be ready to take the good and the bad. Take the critics with the fans.

And don’t take things too personally.

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