Crazy, Stupid, Love: When Twitter Stans Attack

For Twitter’s most zealous celeb disciples, pledging allegiance to the stars means exclusive access, recognition and a ride-or-die social network. But when does Standom cross the line from adoration to obsession, from defending to bullying? VIBE infiltrates the mad, mad world of cyber worship


AT FIRST GLANCE, the living room inside Airy Alexander’s Chester, Pa., home looks ordinary. A 50-inch TV hugs one corner, while a black, leather couch snakes along the back wall. The room’s centerpiece, hung between two childhood portraits of Airy and her older brother, Avontaé, is a massive oil painting of their grandmother from 1944. Beneath protrudes a brick mantel adorned with Airy’s high school diploma, graduation cap, prom photo, home decor trinkets and one more thing: an 8x10 bronze-framed headshot of Rihanna, cherry-headed, grinning and suited in all white at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards. The Alexanders have no blood relation to the pop star whose face has been sitting next to a wooden “MOM” carving since this past January, yet Airy shrugs when asked about Robyn Fenty’s peculiar presence amid intimate snapshots.

“Rih is family,” she says, before slipping into distraction with her adopted kinsman’s “You Da One” video. Watching her only daughter watch Rihanna, Airy’s mother, Nimat, a 34-year-old University of Pennsylvania housekeeper, shows fatigue. “I need her to take responsibility as far as becoming an adult,” she says. “But as long as it keeps Airy out of trouble and her grades are all right, I really don’t mind. She’s not a problem child.”

But she does have some cultish habits. “Airy stays on her computer. She’s never even down here,” says mom. “Wait till you go upstairs.” Upstairs hosts the headquarters for much of Airy’s online and offline extremism. It’s where the unemployed 18-year-old spends up to 16 hours a day (per mom’s estimates) as @badgalfenty, tweeting Rihanna-related news, photos and commentary to her 3,000 followers. Like any teenager’s bedroom, the walls are collaged with her demigod’s mug—it looks like Google barfed an image-search for all Rihanna everything—but the fandom goes further. After discovering Gak green was Rih’s favorite hue, Airy ditched her purple walls and had mom re-paint.

Then there’s her computer, a standard HP desktop, where Airy splits her soldiering between Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr ( and Instagram. A folder titled “Robyn Rihanna” holds 16,411 photos of her shero—she’s re-created (a mere) 18 of Rih’s hairstyles—and a quick click into her Twitter page shows a profile formatted like a résumé: “@rihanna followed her favorite bitch 10/24/11 & tweeted me 1/24/12 & 4/16/12 and followed me on Instagram 7/16/12.”

She’s rumbled in numerous Twitter beefs on behalf of her Bajan leader, and this over-dedication has granted her mild Internet fame from peers who’ve dubbed her Rihanna’s twin. In the real and avatar world, Rih Rih’s her queen.

Such staunch celeb loyalty may sound abnormal, but for many it’s a lifestyle. Airy is part of an international collective who consider themselves members of the Rihanna Navy, a group of Stans (the term “Stan” originates from Eminem’s cautionary tale about a hyper-devoted fan) who ride or die for the pop star. In 2012, more than 850,000 tweets featuring the keywords “Rihanna Navy” and/or “Team Rihanna” were sent, according to Twitter Communications. But Rih’s force of e-cohorts, who bear Twitter handles like @MolestMeRihanna, @rihannatastic, @RihsKillerDoll and @fentynavysalute, aren’t the only ones drenching their favorites with PDA. Lady Gaga, who owns the most followed account on Twitter (more than 30,000,000), calls her fans Monsters; Justin Bieber’s got Beliebers, and there’s also Chris Brown’s Team Breezy, Beyoncé’s Bey Hive and Nicki Minaj’s Barbz.

Even artists still short of a debut release are requested to title their troops. “I never wanted to name [my fans] because I thought it was kind of dehumanizing,” says rap newcomer Iggy Azalea, who holds secret video chats with six lucky Azaleans every week. “But I didn’t really understand fan culture at that time. They kept saying, ‘If we don’t have a name, then what is it we belong to? We need something to identify ourselves with each other.’ It’s weird.”


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Police Forced A Bronx Woman To Give Birth While Handcuffed

A Bronx woman who was 40 weeks pregnant went into labor while in a holding cell. The police then took her to a local hospital where her wrists were handcuffed to the bed and her ankles shackled. The doctors at Montefiore Medical Center urged the patrolling guard to remove the restraints stating it would harm the mother, but the guard persisted.

According to a lawsuit filed, the woman has asked to remain anonymous. “I haven’t made sense of it myself and I’m not ready to explain it to my child,” she said in an affidavit.

The woman was 27 at the time endured an hour of excruciating labor pains before the guard relented and freed one of her arms. Jane Doe was only fully free nine hours after giving birth.

“The fact that pregnant women and women in labor would be subject to the most draconian treatment imaginable, particularly when they stand accused of a misdemeanor, speaks volumes about the macho culture of police departments and corrections,” Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said.

A judge arraigned Jane Doe in her hospital bed for violating a protective order. The woman's lawyer Katherine Rosenfeld explained to the New York Times the order stemmed from a protective-custody case involving her former partner. Ms. Doe spent almost 30 hours in protective custody.

“The fact that they disregarded the medical advice of doctors suggests that they didn’t use any humanity and sort of blindly followed what they perceived to be the policy in the Patrol Guide,” Ms. Rosenfeld said.

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A Man Claiming To Be El Chapo's Nephew Threatens To Have Tekashi Mother Deported

In the never-ending saga of Tekashi 6ix 9ine, The Daily Beast has obtained a voicemail recording of a man alleging to be El Chapo's nephew and using the proposed connection to threaten the rapper's mother with deportation.

“His brother lives there. His mother lives there. She don’t even have no f**king papers,” he can be heard saying.

Jose Avila left a 49-second voicemail on Nov. 15 after the rainbow hair rapper failed to show up to an appearance he was promoting in Austin, Texas. At the time, Tekashi was on probation for a sex video stemming from 2015 involving a 13-year-old girl. Avila threatened to use his connection to have Tekashi placed in jail.

“I know a lot of government people and I’m going to send his ass to jail if he doesn’t come to Austin, Texas, today. He f**king makes me lose money already.” Avila said. "He needs to f***king come and be a fucking man. Or I’ll put his ass in jail.”

Reportedly, Tekashi wasn't made aware of the threats of imprisonment, but he did know of the supposed family connection because Avila texted Tekashi's booking manager, Tasea Ferguson.

“My uncle [is] in New York,” Avila reportedly texted. “Guzman Loera... My uncle sons control all USA.”

El Chapo's full name is Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera and he's currently on trial in Brooklyn. The allegation Avila leveled proved to be false. El Chapo's attorney Jeffrey Lichtman denied knowing of any nephew by that name.

When Tekashi, real name Daniel Hernandez, finally got in contact with Ferguson, he was brought up to speed and took to social media to announce he wouldn't be in Austin, Texas that evening.  “I spoke to the promoter, Jose Avila with Avila Music. We are going to be in business. I am coming back to Austin, Texas.”

Surprisingly, after Tekashi was taken into federal custody on racketeering charges, the Daily Beast reports Avila was in the courtroom and doted upon Tekashi's mother, who is often referred to as Nati. He even posted a picture with him. In the coming weeks, Availa also claimed he was Tekashi's manager. A source close to the rapper quickly dismissed the comment.

"There’s nothing to manage. Danny’s in jail.”

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Lil Mama To Bow Wow: "I Will Slap The Sh*t Out Of You"

Her stage name may be Lil Mama, but Niatia Jessica Kirkland calmly yet assertively addressed disparaging comments made about her like an adult.

The 29-year-old Harlem native took to social media Saturday (Dec. 8) to vehemently refute Bow Wow's implications she was interested in him romantically and has been with several men in her past.

"I want to start this off just by saying you played yourself, kid," Mama said. "Bow Wow, you know, that in all the years that I've ever known you, you have never known a n****r to f**k me in a week. So to even give BT advice like 'Oh y'all gonna be f**king in a week.' you're being a clown."

Lil Mama then explained the only reason she invited Bow Wow to New York was to help provide a bit of stability, and that his insinuations she wanted anything more are false.

"I was trying to bring you around some real n****s. You want to commit suicide one day. You're going crazy here. You're going crazy there. I come from a grounded environment that I was trying to bring you to. We're doing a TV show. We're creating content. You are far from the type of man that I could see myself being with, sleeping with or anything of that nature."

Lil Mama didn't dwell on the topic too long, an ended her diatribe with a warning.

"There are so many things that I could address about this show, but I'm not going to let everything pull my attention. Y'all could believe what y'all want to believe...before we start talking about a female beating my ass or anything like that let's just be clear: I will smack the sh*t out of you. Period!

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