- Two members of Bobby Brown's entourage were hospitalized for treatment of knife wounds suffered during a fight at an Atlanta bar; and
- Bobby Brown has an entourage.
For an up-and-coming celebrity, assembling one's first entourage must rank amongst the most daunting of tasks; how do you balance the various concerns to achieve and maintain posse nirvana? You need enough people in your entourage to convey a sense of gravitas, but not so many that you can't fit them all into your Escalade. You need a few peeps from the old neighborhood to assist you in "keeping it real", but too many would make your posse excessively provincial. Your entourage is a reflection of you, so you need a common theme -- will I have a bling posse or a protection posse? On occasion, the sheer amount of stress associated with assembling an optimal circle of sycophants has caused celebrities to freeze at key points in the process; when a first-time Oscar nominee takes his mother to the awards ceremony, it's not a charming expression of love and gratitude for said mother's past guidance and sacrifice, it's a cry for help.
The overlooked factor in all of this is the individual entourage member's personal value proposition; remember, the celebrity-sycophant relationship is, in essence, an at-will employment relationship which may be terminated by a posse member as readily as by his celebrity. What does an entourager do when his celebrity falls off the b-list? When one's celebrity can no longer support the posse in the manner to which it's become accustomed, how does one transition to a new position? On a more basic level, what are the warning signs which alert a posse member that his celebrity is tapped-out?
Let's consider several facts relevant to the Bobby Brown case study:
- Brown's last hit single as a solo artist was in 1992;
- His last solo album failed to chart within the top 50 albums, and that was eight years ago;
- This morning's incident occurred after Brown performed "during a weekly open microphone event";
- According to wordcount.org, "prerogative" is currently only the 13,826th most-frequently-used English word, 32 places behind "tuberculosis"; and
- The EPI (Entourage Price Index) has trended upward over the last three fiscal quarters.
Sadly, although sycophancy is a growth field, there does not presently exist sufficient raw data on the social and economic forces within the industry to enable rational decision-making amongst its participants. Expensive, publicly-funded research will be necessary to establish reliable data models, but this truly would be an investment in our competitive future. The United States is the greatest celebrity-producing society in the history of mankind; to allow that competitive advantage to be undercut by either poorly-developed domestic posses or by an influx of better-organized but foreign-sourced entourages would be a tragedy beyond easy comprehension.