Habit #1 – Pick an Annoyingly Pretentious Artist Roster
There is an unspoken competition in stan wars, which measures which stan can name-drop the most eclectic and obscure music references. The object of the game is to name musical references so obscure that other stans have to go to Google. (What’s the point of listening to music if you can’t rub your tastes in other people’s face to make yourself feel superior?)
That’s not to say that it’s impossible to like different genres of music while enjoying modern pop music, but I have to call bullshit on some of you stans. It’s not the fact that you can barely spell the names of the artists that you “stan” for, but one could argue that if you had a true appreciation for artists of different genres and generations then you would know that many talented artists have never received a Grammy, a #1 single or even a gold record. Yet despite your appreciation of “real artists”, you spend large portions of your day arguing about the Scandinavian airplay stats of artists who were created in a record label meeting room.
That doesn’t mean you can’t play along with everybody else. The key to pretending to have a diverse musical palate is variety. Your artist roster should contain the following:
1. Your ACTUAL Favorite
2. Any rock artist from any era (bonus points if it’s not Coldplay)
3. One R&B Artist From the 90’s, 80’s, 70’s or 60’s (bonus points if they’re dead)
4. One UK Act (bonus points if it’s not Adele)
5. One rapper (bonus points if they’ve never worked with Lil’ Wayne)
6. One Urban/Alternative/Neo-Soul/ Incense Burning/Centric/VH1 Soul-ass artist
7. The Beatles or The Rolling Stones (I’m serious)
8. Lana Del Rey
10. Prince or Frank Ocean
Habit #2 – You ARE Clive Davis
Stans are amazingly imaginative people. In no other culture can people who make $6.75 an hour at Checkers have such creative and elaborate ideas for multi-million dollar album budgets. Gone are the days when we shut the fuck up and just enjoyed the music. Now stans think they are executives, A&R, set designers, video directors, stylists, managers, songwriters, concert promoters, etc…
Habit #3 – Everybody is a legend and everything is epic or iconic.
Habit #4 – Jump! Jump!
Stans are incredibly loyal beings who don’t care about charts and trends. When they start liking an artist they are making a lifetime investment in the growth and artistic evolution of that artist and will remain loyal regardless of how many records that artist sells.
Stans are fickle and unloyal little cretins who will stan for anything with an Instagram account and would stab their grandmothers in the eyeball if it would get their fave a Top 5 single and a million VEVO views.
When given the choice between artistic credibility and stan wars bragging rights they will invariably choose the bragging rights. Stan wars aren’t about artistic integrity, it’s about living through other people’s success — which is hard to do if your favorite artist isn’t currently successful. So if you find that your favorite is fading or falling off don’t be afraid to jump ship onto another fanbase. Worst case scenario, you can always create new Twitter and message board profiles — it’s not like anybody knows what you look like anyway.
Habit #5 – Brew Your Own Tea
Stans are nothing, if not imaginative.
Give them the smallest bit of information and they can create elaborate and whimsical fairy tales— and then get pissed when they don’t come true.
Habit #6 – Worry About Shit That You Have No Control Over
Stans don’t know how to stay out of grown folks’ business.
They do the absolute and utter utmost when it comes to things they can’t control. They can tell you when to release your single, who should produce your album, what color to dye your eyebrows, what shoes to wear, where you should live, and who should father your kids, but when it comes to things they actually have control over, they are nowhere to be found.