Social media can be mischievously malevolent, especially concerning artists as omnipresent and successful as Beyoncé. Recently, Michael Ashby, who works as an engineer with Cardi B, learned this lesson the hard way.
In late October, Ashby posted a seemingly innocuous update to his Instagram story, and within a day, social media users (and even some publications) ran with a rumor that Cardi B and Beyoncé had a potential collaboration on the way.
📸 via Cardi B’s engineer IG/ashbymix pic.twitter.com/rZFDcdraOx
— HotNewHipHop (@HotNewHipHop) October 23, 2017
Sites like HotNewHipHop took screenshots of Ashby’s video, which showed the words “Cardi B n Beyonce Demo” in the margins of an audio file. Asbhy later took to Snapchat to send an apology to Beyoncé, but by then, the Beyhive was buzzing with anticipation. In an interview with MTV News, Ashby described the origin of the screenshot and the role social media played in making his post go viral.
“Technically, what was posted wasn’t supposed to be something that blows up overnight,” Ashby said. “What was posted was just a little excitement preview to my small following on Instagram about what’s to come, basically. It’s just unfortunate that what showed on my screen said that ‘featuring Beyonce.’ I just said that while this is a big feature, I never said who it was. But unfortunately, social media and everything was able to zoom in on my screen and see what the file was labeled.”
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Later in the interview, Ashby detailed what he’s learned from the experience and how other engineers can avoid making the same mistake.
“Unfortunately, that kinda got taken too far,” the engineer said. “And that’s just the aftermath of it all, and then I’m able to at least learn from that and be more careful about what I post from that point on. It’s basically a life lesson to me or to any other engineer in my position, how to move when we’re at this level with what we’re doing. I’m taking it as a life lesson.”
The potential for a collaboration was stoked when Cardi B first met Beyoncé at Philadelphia’s Made In America Festival this past September. Whether we’ll ever end up hearing something from the two talented women is up in the air, but it would be a supremely epic way to end 2017.
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