There is a chance you have encountered or will eventually encounter news about three people named Drew Taggart, Halsey, and Lady Gaga. Though most of you will scroll past headlines about their current “drama” or “hacking” or whatever it’s being referred to by any given publication, and think, “I only know one of those names, and there is no chance in hell I will give even half a second of my life to that story,” some of you will be strangely intrigued.
You brave souls will click on links to sites like YourEDM and Seventeen, and after doing so will feel so ancient that you close the tab immediately. So, to those wary gossip hunters who want to get the low-down on the 411 of the dealio, but are immediately turned off by names that feel as foreign as those weird blobby things Amy Adams communicates with in the Arrival trailer, this post is for you.
Drew Taggart is one half of the music group The Chainsmokers. Wikipedia classifies their music as “EDM • electro house • progressive house • trap • future bass” but an easier way to describe it is “like every other song on the radio right now.” You’ve probably heard their biggest hit, “Closer,” either in your car, at the grocery store, in a bar, or at the club. It’s the one that sounds like a tattoo you got at 18 and regret now came to life and started screaming, “We ain’t ever gettin’ older! We ain’t ever gettin’ older!” at you. But back to Drew. He’s 26 years old, is proud of his penis, loves to drink, and is “girl crazy.” Billboard referred to him as a “tech bro,” but I personally feel “bro” works fine without any qualifiers.
Halsey is a successful “electropop” artist who, at age 22, has already released five(ish) hit singles, dated OITNB’s Ruby Rose, and been the subject of what might be my favorite YouTube video of the past two years. She is very much part of the tumblr generation and is beloved by hip teens and tweens across the world for her style, openness, and love for “legal marijuana.” She is the featured vocalist on the aforementioned “Closer,” and sang the song live with Taggart during this year’s VMAs. It was not well-received.
You know who Lady Gaga is.
It began last week, when Rolling Stone published their Chainsmokers profile. In it, this happens:
At the steakhouse, a label rep asks what they think about Lady Gaga’s single “Perfect Illusion.” “It sucks,” [the other Chainsmoker] says. Taggart, more diplomatic, says, “She’s a great artist – like, Jeff Koons made a sculpture of her. . . .”
That comment quickly became the only part of the piece anyone cared about. MTV called Taggart and the other one “straight-up rude.” EDM Tunes (oh my god!) said they were wading into “dangerous territory.” Idolator accurately predicted the comments would “start a pop stan flame war,” though they could have never seen what would come later.
When Gaga released a track from her forthcoming album Joanne on Tuesday, she called out the Chainsmokers directly, tweeting a link to the song (“A-YO”) with the caption, “@TheChainsmokers maybe u guys’ll like this 1 better.” Her fans, myself included, lived for the shade. (Drag them, mother!!!!) One giddy little monster, @5caredofhappy, even tweeted the news to Halsey, saying, “@halsey lol she just dragged the artists you worked with on your biggest hit.”
Halsey soon responded, because she too is a millennial who loves Twitter. “@5caredofhappy what does that have anything to do with me?” she asked.
Yes, Drew Taggart tweeted “.@halsey fuck you bald bitch.”
The tweet was quickly deleted, but preserved by many in the form of screenshots. Taggart was quick to call the screenshots fake, but when presented with video proof of the tweet existing outside of Photoshop, he explained them away as a result of a hack. “Guys calm down my account was hacked,” he tweeted. “I would NEVER tweet anything like that to one of my friends.”
But that wasn’t the end of it! Over the next several minutes, Taggart’s account began tweeting wildly repulsive, hateful comments about Lady Gaga, her late aunt Joanne (after whom her album is named), and Halsey. Eventually, screengrabs of alleged leaked Snapchat DMs between Halsey and Diplo were added to the mix. I won’t link to them here, but they consisted of tremendously awkward conversations about sex, music, and...wigs? And while I don’t believe the screenshots were authentic, I also don’t quite understand why anyone would hack into Drew Taggart’s Twitter account to share Photoshopped conversations between Halsey and Diplo. I suppose that’s just what happens when teens, hackers, and EDM overlap in a Venn diagram.
Some people think Taggart’s account was hacked by an angry Lady Gaga fan, others think he wasn’t hacked at all and that the barrage of tweets was his attempt to fake a hack to excuse the initial tweet in which he called Halsey a “bald bitch.”
Meanwhile, Halsey thinks we should all “breathe.” She also...unfollowed Drew on Twitter.
No. Never care about this. Get on your knees and pray for god to make you a bird, so that you can fly far far away from this story. Find an uninhabited island somewhere in the Atlantic. Build a nest in a tree. Spend the rest of your life eating berries and nuts and tiny bugs no human has ever seen before. And on your last day, look out at the horizon and be grateful you gave everything else up on October 20, 2016.