Last week at the VMAs, Marshmello revealed his identity… it's Shawn Mendes!
So here's the thing. This shtick was funny the first time we saw it, at EDC when he took off his helmet to reveal that he was, in fact, Tiësto, and then later when he revealed he was Will Farrell, but its gotten to the point that we've gotta ask… who cares?
I think he's going for my dad's strategy, which is ‘repeat the joke until it's funny again,' which never works (sorry Dad). But there's also a bigger issue here.
We shouldn't care about musical acts just because someone put a stupid bucket over their head.
I mean, we know that Marshmello isn't Shawn Mendes. Not in a "har-har I'd like to point out the obvious because I don't know what a joke is," way, but because we actually know who Marshmello is. In case you hadn't heard, his name is Chris Comstock and he used to go by the DJ name Dot Com. And no one gave a crap about him. And then he puts on a helmet, declares himself a sugary treat, and suddenly attracts legions of fans.
WHYYYYY guys?? C'mon. You're better than this.
Maybe the first time it was done, it was cool and original. Maybe. Deadmou5 certainly had a unique "Dark Mickey Mouse" vibe, and Daft Punk's masks certainly fit with their "Robots in Space" theme. But masks now aren't about being part of an artistic vision. They're a gimmick, and nothing more.
And not even a unique gimmick. There's so, so many masked DJs-
• Mike Candys
• DJs From Mars
And a ton
of others. Honestly I'm just sick of typing them out.
The thing is, under the mask, everyone is just some 25-year-old white dude. Which brings me to a confession. I understand why the buckets are so effective. We're all just SO SICK of 25-year-old white dudes. These guys need something to stand out and be memorable. But why does my choice have to be bucket or no bucket? And now that buckets are absolutely not distinctive in any way, maybe we could stop?? And actually get some real diversity out here?
(While I'm on the subject, I'd be totally down if someone took of their mask, and it was a chick just slaying it while everyone assumed she was a man. I mean that would be great. But that has never happened. Ever.)
Now, some might argue that face masks and head buckets… (head buckets?? I mean, just listen to how stupid that sounds) … give DJs a sense of anonymity and allow them to avoid the downsides of fame. But unless you're DeadMou5, isn't it a little presumptuous to assume that the world cares so much about you're crappy, two-track mixing and your shoddy ghost-produced tracks that you won't be able to go out in public without being mobbed with fans, unless you put a literal cardboard box over your head?
Ok I'm done with my little rant. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest guys, I appreciate it.