Industry Groupie: noun, [in-duh-stree grew-pee]: An individual who abandons professional responsibilities in order to fulfill ulterior motives regarding the subject of their duties.

It’s bad enough attempting to get business done with fanatic fans on the scene during concerts, interviews and events, but it is even worse when it is those you call your business associates and peers that become the ones to watch out for.

Male and female alike, industry groupies are the worst kind, as they come disguised as professionals, taking the form of publicists, journalists, bloggers, photographers, videographers and other industry personnel, but share the same values as the stans in the crowd trying to crawl up on stage.

With a foot in the door however, they are a step above the others, having access to the stars that they worship, which in turn, disintegrates the respect these artists have for the crafts/businesses of music mavens that are trying to get some work done.

It is not always a sexual rendezvous that establishes the groupie, it is the erasing of the line between professionalism and personal that garners the term, as these music experts become blinded by camera lights and forget their responsibilities for a little fake importance. Never mix business with pleasure, simple.

Unfortunately, the deeper I enter the industry, the more IGs I uncover. There is an absence of integrity in the music business and those rare individuals who value the trait are suffering because of it. Females, especially in the realm of urban music, are already labelled from jump and IGs are not helping our case. I shouldn’t have to dress like a hood man to do an interview just to be taken seriously by an artist, but that is what it’s come down to.

Here are a few ways to spot IG traits in those you look up to, those you work with or even in yourself:
#1 – Backstage access without any purpose of being there. No, really, you’re blocking my shot.
#2 – More knowledge of an artist’s social life than their music. Know who an artist hooked up with, but don’t know the name of their upcoming project.
#3 – Name drop more than The Game. That’s great that you got to turn up with the Weeknd at Time.
#4 – Clubbing gear to a hip-hop show? C’mon.
#5 – Switch up the title (journalist, publicist, photographer, etc.) depending on what’s needed to gain media accreditation or VIP status.
#6 – A photo WITH an artist is valued over a photo OF the artist. The attempt to flex on Instagram is all too real.
#7 – Amped for the after-party as opposed to the show itself.
#8 – Friend up the crew/team/family… not a good sign. #CrewLove
#9 – The thirst outweighs the hunger. Big difference.
#10 – Stay contacting artists through social media. #FollowBack
#11 – Can’t distinguish between business and personal relationships.
#12 – Only thing to show from networking is Instagram photos and a hangover.

Got an industry groupie story? Write me at

Photo By. Janelle Scott-Johnson

Samantics is a weekly column, written by columnist Samantha O’Connor, highlighting and discussing the Toronto hip-hop community – the talent, the identity, the events, the slang, the industry and all things in between.

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