Steve Lacy needs to control his rage before it becomes a “bad habit”
Want to bring your camera to a Steve Lacy concert? Don’t, because he might take it from you and smash it on the stage in front of the entire crowd.
With his single release, “Bad Habit,” being one of the most viral and recognizable songs of the year, Steve Lacy has enjoyed a higher level of fame as a relatively new artist in the mainstream spotlight. Lacy’s music is known for its raw, authentic and sensual sound. His jazzy chords mixed with the simple, yet groovy drum loops define his “plaid” genre. Lacy has been on tour throughout the U.S since the beginning of October. Recently, the artist started to receive criticism on social media platforms for his behavior on stage. The latest incident involved him smashing a fan’s camera on stage.
On Oct. 25, while performing his new album, “Gemini Rights,” in New Orleans, a fan tossed a disposable camera on stage, reportedly hitting Lacy’s leg and bouncing back into the crowd. Upset with being hit by the object, Lacy yells to the crowd, “Don’t throw no s— on my f— stage, please,” and asks for the camera back, When the fan hands the camera back to Lacy, he smashes it on the ground, shocking the crowd in this viral clip.
Understandably, many people were upset and confused. While I get why Lacy was angry at the crowd for throwing something on the stage, I don’t agree with how he handled the situation. Was it wrong for the concert-goers to throw objects on stage? Absolutely, yes. They should’ve known better, and I agree that this type of behavior shouldn’t be tolerated. However, was Lacy’s reaction reasonable? No. It was childish. There are much better ways to communicate to your audience about their behavior than to destroy someone’s property with all of their prized photos.
From a PR perspective, Lacy’s reaction was a disaster and damaged his reputation. Lacy defended on himself on a Instagram post, saying, “i don’t believe i owe anyone an apology- maybe i couldve reacted better? sure. always. i’m a student of life. but i’m a real person with real feelings and real reactions.” In my opinion, this quasi-apology isn’t good enough. Lacy’s music is successful because it captures his emotions and feelings so authentically. However, as a performer, he shouldn’t get away with sudden “rage quitting” on stage, especially when hundreds of people spent money to watch and support the artist.
The harsh reality is that artists rely on their loyal fanbase to survive. Without supportive fans, no tickets will be bought, no merchandise will be sold, and no money will be made. Especially in our digital age of para-social relationships, the reputation and character of an artist are almost as important as the quality of their music. I believe Lacy owes the fan that he wronged an apology. He needs to reconsider how he will handle these situations in the future; otherwise, he’ll start losing fans fast.
By Wei-An Hsieh
Wei-An Hsieh is a senior at San Diego State University and a radio operator in Marine Corps Reserve. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations. He hopes to work in the music industry after graduating in May 2023.