You may have heard of the Tramp Stamps, the most hated new TikTok band. They emerged in TikTok around November 2020, posting covers of songs from bands like blink-182. Well, this year, they released original music and were instantly met with hatred. The immense backlash that the Tramp Stamps received is a great example of the nuance that having a positive Internet presence takes.
The main reason that the band received hate was the accusation that they were industry plants. They put on a persona of a band that started authentically out of a genuine love for music, but later it was found out that they were actually connected to a label owned by Dr. Luke. This felt like a trick, and the people did not like being tricked. Especially because of the general disdain for industry plants, which are public figures that sign with a label that helps publicize them and put them in a position of success. There's nothing inherently wrong with being an industry plant, but when public figures pretend to be "homegrown" while their success has actually been dependent on a label makes fans feel betrayed. However, even with this betrayal, the Tramp Stamps would have probably received much less hate if not for one thing: their message.
The band's image was supposed to be relatable: they claimed to be feminist, punk, and a riot grrrl band among other things. After they released their first song, "I'd Rather Die," this was all quickly disproved. Their lyrics seemed to encourage sexually assaulting men, and their "punk" aesthetic was too polished for people to truly believe that they were actually an organically formed band. It was quickly uncovered that they had connections to Prescription Songs. The messages in their songs about hating "straight white men" was criticized as hypocritical and overly pandering, as all three members of the band are white and one is married to a man. Overall, their entire identity was crafted to appeal to the young, progressive audience on TikTok and failed to live up to the facade.
I agree with the people who dislike the Tramp Stamps: their image is falsified to pander to a certain audience, and they have some genuinely harmful messages in their music. Taking on a stance of progressiveness as an aesthetic or to appeal to an audience is wrong. The Tramp Stamps use a thin veil of authenticity and revolution to write mediocre songs that glorify sexual assault. Their image is based on a false pretense, and represents a need for money or fame rather than an actual passion for activism or music. There's nothing wrong with playing music for money, but doing genuine harm through it is different. Public figures cause harm or exploit causes for their own benefit relatively frequently, but not many get held so accountable as the Tramp Stamps have been.