Music's Biggest Douchebags: 2012 Edition
The patron saint of musical douchebags.
The music world is bound to have a lot of douchebags. It's just an inevitability, considering that it's essentially a profession for man-children. Peter Pan syndrome? No problem in the music business. That's why you see so many rock stars going through growing pains sometime in their mid-forties. Remember Metallica: Some Kind of Monster?
Most musicians aren't very well-behaved, but some can control themselves a little bit better than others. The worst, though, can ruin their own lives and the lives of everyone around them, all while publicly making fools of themselves.
In the words of legendary douchebag Kanye West, this is a chance for us to give a toast to the douchebags of 2012 who made the jobs of music journalists way, way easier.
5. Steve Albini I love Steve Albini and just about everything his fingerprints have touched. He's a genius of sound, but he's also a noted douchebag when he decides to open his mouth and comment on music. Ironically, he earned my ire and a place on this last earlier this year by inexplicably feuding with someone I dislike, Amanda Palmer.
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I may have my opinions on Palmer's music, but Albini decided to criticize her not for her music or her general attitude, but because she employed Kickstarter to fund her new album and tour. Albini's comments were not only mean and uncalled for, but he pretty much called out anyone who uses Kickstarter and anybody who doesn't have the money to produce their own music.
Albini claims to be a proponent of DIY, which is why his comments here make so little sense. Honestly Steve, keep your mouth shut and produce music.
4. Jonny Craig A perennial contender for this "award," post-hardcore singer Craig might not be as well-known as others on this list, but his antics are just as legendary. For those who know about it, we'll never let Craig live down the time he allegedly scammed his own fans for drug money by selling fictional MacBooks on Twitter. This year, Craig didn't do anything nearly that bad, but he continued his douchebag actions.
After being allowed back into his old band Dance Gavin Dance last year and even allowed to stay on with them despite numerous drug charges and that MacBook incident, he once again screwed them over on tour this year.
After finally getting back on the road after Craig's latest stint in rehab, he proceeded to get into alleged fights with members of other bands on the tour and the tour organizers, so much so that his band finally told him to go home and continued without him. This is something like Craig's fiftieth blown chance with Dance Gavin Dance. Way to go, douchebag.
Photo by Groovehouse
3. Dave Mustaine I've commented a lot on Dave Mustaine here in the past several months, even mentioning this incident. But it bears repetition. Mustaine is easily one of the biggest douchebags in music these days, possibly in the world, and it's not because he's a conservative. Look, I don't care about politics. If you're a Republican, a conservative, you voted for Mitt Romney, whatever. It doesn't matter
But Mustaine crossed a line. It's one thing to disagree with the President on policy, or even to trot out birther claims. It's another thing entirely to, as Mustaine did, claim that the President is behind the recent shootings in America. This is just in shockingly poor taste. Why on earth would President Obama be going around killing American citizens in this way? It's a flagrant lie and a misuse of the standing Mustaine has with his fans. It's one of the most douchebag things anyone could say.
Photo by Groovehouse
2. Ted Nugent Ted Nugent is like Mustaine on steroids when it comes to this Obama stuff. Mustaine's into the crazy conspiracy theories, but Nugent just represents everything that is wrong with our current political climate. His comments after the election were disgraceful. But the worst of it all, and the reason he's on this list, is because he took what Mustaine said and brought it a step further. Mustaine is accusing Obama of being behind the recent killings in America. Nugent is subtly inciting them and aligning himself with them.
In April, Nugent said that if Obama were re-elected, the gun-loving rocker would wind up "dead or in jail." This could be taken in a lot of ways in a less dangerous world than ours. In the world we live in, though, it's tantamount to a threat.
See, it could be a joke, but it's just not funny when someone actually did kill themselves and their entire family over the election, and it's especially not funny when we've had shooting after shooting this year, especially after Sandy Hook Friday.
Extreme comments like this just incite his supporters and followers to do the same, and while I don't think Ted Nugent would actually do anything to end up "dead or in jail," I think there are a lot of people out there who would and could be triggered by just about anything, including comments from someone like Nugent. That's why he's a massive douchebag.
Photo by Marco Torres
1. Chris Brown Chris Brown could pretty much take this award every single year. No one lives up to the name more. We'd like to remind you now that the incident in which he beat up his then-girlfriend Rihanna occurred in February 2009. Brown could have handled that in a lot of ways. Instead, here we are almost four years later and he continues to rehash the incident as part of some douchebag psychosis.
This year, he apparently referenced the incident while trying to pick up a woman at a party (exact words: "Can I get your number? I promise I won't beat you!"), got a massive tattoo on his neck of a battered woman who looks suspiciously like Rihanna, allegedly got into a club fight with Drake over her, and has repeatedly given his middle finger to ""haters" while claiming his Grammy excuses any of his other behavior. Then he went and dressed as a terrorist for Halloween and got into a Twitter feud with another woman over his previous actions towards women. This all combines to essentially make Chris Brown not only music's biggest douchebag in 2012, but possibly the worst person in the world.
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