So how do you deal with critics, detractors and straightforward haters when you’re a successful musician? Let’s take a totally not-tongue-in-cheek look at some strategies for tackling the haters within the music itself, via some successful and less successful examples.
Let’s begin with the excellent Tool song, “Hooker With a Penis”. Basically, the singer, Maynard James Keenan, meets one of his fans, who makes an elaborate show of presenting himself as a hard-core Tool fan. The fan tells Keenan he thinks Tool has been selling out lately, “sucking up to the man.” To which Keenan, in what I think is one of my favorite choruses of all time, replies:
Well now, I’ve got some advice for you, little buddy.
Before you point the finger you should know that I’m the man.
And if I’m the man, then you’re the man, and he’s the man as well,
So you can point that fuckin’ finger up your ass.
All you read and wear or see and hear on TV
Is a product begging for your fat-ass dirty dollar
So… Shut up and buy my new record.
Send more money. Fuck you, buddy.(—”Hooker With a Penis”)
So go ahead and talk shit
Talk shit about me
Go ahead and talk shit about my generation
Cause we don’t, don’t give a fuck
And we won’t ever give a fuck
Until you, you give a fuck about me and my generation.(— “My Generation”)I’ll tell ya somethin else, you can take it to the bank
I don’t give a fuck what none of y’all people think(— “Gold Cobra”)“Cause I don’t give a fuck, livin’ life in the fast lane
I’m just a crazy motherfucker livin’ it up(— “Livin’ It Up”)
“Baby you’re a rockstar!”I know who the fuck I am
40 million records later I am still the fucking man(— “Ready to Go”)
I stay out too late
Got nothing in my brain
That’s what people sayI go on too many dates
But I can’t make them stay
At least that’s what people say
‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off(— “Shake it Off”)
I don’t even understand why the fuck you even care
And I don’t need your jealousy, yeah
Why drag me down in your misery?
And that goes for all you punks in the press that want to start shit by printin’ lies instead of the things we said —
That means you, Andy Secher at Hit Parader, Circus Magazine, Mick Wall at Kerrang, Bob Guccione Jr. at Spin.
What, you pissed off cuz your dad gets more pussy than you?
Fuck you! Suck my fuckin’ dick!
You be rippin’ off the fuckin’ kids while they be payin’ their hard earned money to read about the bands they want to know about
Printin’ lies, startin’ controversy. You wanaa antagonize me, antagonize me motherfucker.
Get in the ring, motherfucker, and I’ll kick your bitchy little ass, punk!(— “Get in the Ring”)
You line them up
Look at your shoes
You hang names on your wall
Then you shoot them allMr Writer, why don’t you tell it like it is?
Why don’t you tell it like it really is?
Before you go on home.(— “Mr Writer”)
Bonus video: “Shake it Off” mashed with “The Perfect Drug” by Nine Inch Nails.