Delete Your Account is a weekly column that takes the hot air out of celebrities and their social media shenanigans. Every Friday, I will decide whether or not each perpetrator should delete their accounts and never grace the internet again. This week, Young Thug plays video games, Shawn Mendes clears the air, Bella Thorne is young and restless, and Hillary Clinton needs to help a sister out.
What the hell kind of down, forward, uppercut album cover is this? Late Thursday night, Young Thug dropped the album cover to his new effort, No, My Name Is JEFFERY. At that point, Instagram and Twitter users had a meltdown at the sight of the straight rapper appearing in a piece by designer Alessandro Trincone. Naturally, since — aside from looking like Raiden from Mortal Kombat — the dress is very feminine. I got a headache looking at all the takes on whether or not Thug was appropriating queer culture or simply being fashion-forward or whether Nate Parker would be concerned that this album cover won’t preserve the black male. I could have engaged in the conversation myself, but ... as soon as I saw the cover, I popped a Xanax and mixed a cocktail. Because Young Thug tires me.
To understand how much Young Thug tires me, let’s take a step back and look at how he’s “studied” “fashion.” A February GQ interview describes Thug as “leader of the psychedelic fashion movement of rap hippies” and his crew as “an equally fashion-forward swath.” This is because Thug often dresses like an amalgamation of all the “hipster rappers” that have come before him. Bright colors and unconventional looks are no stranger to fans of Kanye, Kid Cudi, and Diddy. But Thug more than the others has leaned toward the gender-bending, as if he’s the second coming of Prince.
Sorry, I had to stop to laugh at the thought of that for a second. Anyway, Thug’s looks have certainly not gone unnoticed by other rappers. Last year, when a male fan got too close to Rich Homie Quan, he shouted at the fan: “Get your gay ass away from me. I don’t fuck with no faggot fucks! Looking like Young Thug, get the fuck away from me. I don’t like sissies, nigga!” Putting aside the fact that this rant is more coherent that Quan’s general Mother Goose style of rapping, this is also pretty much word for word what some of the responses to Thug’s JEFFERY album cover were. Thug ended up responding to Quan, which at first seemed like it might be a clapback, but eventually became a “say faggot all you want, it’s all good” response.
So, of course, it wasn’t surprising when Thug dropped the track “Serious” in January, which featured the lyrics: “Green and red motherfuckin’ flag / I dress like a prince, not a fag.” I don’t know too many princes who look like they just delivered a fatality to Sonya Blade, but sure, Young Thug. Sure.
All of this is to say that I don’t really give a fuck what fashion designers Thug linked up with. I’m not about to declare that he’s “forwarded” any kind of acceptance of queer culture with regards to black masculinity. It’s just an album cover. It’s a gorgeous one, but it’s also the album cover of someone comfortable enough to interact with the fashion industry and use it to further his own image while using the word “faggot,” so he can keep it. Black gay men just can’t have anything, can we? Whether it’s Keke Palmer gagging like she just lost a lip sync for her life, or being told we should ignore Nate Parker’s homophobia for the good of a damn movie, or watching straight people talk about how groundbreaking Young Thug’s album cover is ... we really just can’t have a single damn thing to ourselves.
Should Young Thug Delete His Account?
How do you solve a problem like crazed music fans? Last week, I dove into how Selena Gomez told Justin Bieber that he should treat his fans better and that when they do things like harass his girlfriend online, it’s only because they love him. Which, I’m sorry, is utterly deranged. I know a bit about demanding things from your idols — after all, I did harass Frank Ocean daily until he finally released Blonde. But the concept of spewing hatred at your idol on Instagram just because of who they’re dating is insane behavior and someone needs to take away these kids’ phones.
In his Billboard interview, Shawn Mendes seems to understand that, saying Bieber’s fans should maybe chill out: “People thought of him as a type of person. But maybe he was the same person the whole time and you guys just didn’t give him a chance to show you who he was. Stop looking at him in a negative view and accept him as who he is. We don’t get mad at punk rock bands for doing shit like [he does], because that’s their personality. I just find it very confusing.” This is a sensible thing to say! He goes on to say some other crazy shit about how sex is “impossible” now that he’s famous, or whatever, but let’s focus on the smart stuff this 18-year-old says. The writer, Rebecca Haithcoat, mentions how genuine Shawn looks when interacting with his fans, even if he’s taking something like 900 photos in a row. It’s actually a pretty great profile of a young pop star on the rise.
Which is why it’s so disheartening that Shawn got all the way turnt on Twitter about the profile. A simple quote about how fans don’t really know him (which is true — being a fan of someone does not mean you know everything about them inside and out) gets elaborated on in the article, but instead of reading in, one of his fans merely tweeted “bitch what?” And that was enough to get Shawn ranting about how his words were “twisted” and that’s not what he said at all. My least favorite thing in the world is when someone gets a writer to do them the favor of promoting them, then turns around and throws it back in their face.
“It’s unfortunate when what you say gets turned into a bad version of it” makes no damn sense, because there’s no bad version of his quotes in the article. And for someone who seemed so self-aware about their fans while being interviewed, all that awareness seemed to go out the window when responding to people on Twitter who do the exact same thing that they do to Justin Bieber. There’s a way to explain that you clarified your statement in the interview. The piece ends with this quote: “People know me but they have no idea. I can’t be best friends with the entire world, I can’t fall in love with every girl, I can’t be a father figure or older-brother figure to every person. But I hate being alone. I just want someone there — to get out of my own head for a minute.” Which I’m assuming are Shawn's own words, since they’re in quotes and all. You said that, boo. You don’t then get to turn around and claim you were misconstrued just because one of your Twitter followers doesn’t like it. For someone who tries to come off as a mature, thoughtful artist in their Billboard interview, this is more like acting like a reality TV character who claims they were edited to be a villain. Furthermore, if you can’t even interact with your own fans without having a meltdown and claiming that an interview tried to make you into something you’re not, maybe keep your opinion about Justin Bieber and his fans to yourself. This is what happens when YouTube stars become actual stars. Every response of theirs sounds like an overwrought video they recorded in their bedroom at 3 a.m. after watching an episode of Steven Universe.
Should Shawn Delete His Account? Nah, he can stay. But his online persona does need some ... wait for it ... stitches.
Let me pray to the Jerry Springer Show gods, because who knew Zendaya’s costar from Shake It Up could rustle up more drama than she’s had acting roles in the past year? I was a fan of the succinct reply when a fan asked Bella if she was bisexual, but the thing that then threw me for a loop was who she’s dating. The entire reason Bella was asked if she’s bisexual is because she uploaded photos of herself making out with another girl on Snapchat. That’s all well and good, because Snapchat honestly needs the attention at this point, but the girl she’s kissing is named Bella Pendergast.
If you don’t know who Bella Pendergast is, it’s OK, because neither did I at first. I mean, they both have the same damn name, so at first I was like, “Is this the same person? Is this white girl pulling some kind of Hannah Montana shenanigans?” But no, Bella Pendergast is a completely different person. She is also the ex-girlfriend of Bella Thorne’s brother.
SIS, DID YOU JUST ANNOUNCE TO THE WORLD THAT YOU’RE BISEXUAL BY MACKING ON YOUR BROTHER’S EX-GIRLFRIEND? Good. Lord. There are easier ways to do this. A Lance Bass People magazine cover seems almost tame in comparison. What kind of attention-thirsty antics are they teaching these ex-Disney stars? I mean, do you, I guess, girl. But ... whew. That’s the kind of shit that gets people exposed on Days of Our Lives, not lauded as a bisexual icon. The power of Caucasian women is strong. Maybe Joanne Prada is onto something.
Should Bella Delete Her Account? Bella just joined the queer family so I’m not gonna kick her out. After all, Gay Twitter is messy enough as it is, so she’ll fit right in.
But also, these are celebrities. All they can really do is offer support. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has the power to delete emails that prove the U.S. government faked the moon landing and that Reagan created AIDS and that 9/11 was an inside job, but all Leslie Jones gets is a tweet? Hillary, you better call up some CIA wetworks team and get some real damn results. And also the “I’m with you?” Girl, now is not the time for you to promo your campaign slogan ...
Should Hillary Delete The Account Of Everyone Who Has Harassed Leslie Jones On Twitter?
Yes, ma. Tell @jack you’re taking over.