Performer-Enhancing Steroids?

We all know about the steroid allegations against athletes. It's not like that's ever been a surprise, either - some people will do whatever they can to gain an advantage on the field. So the claims against Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Chris Benoit aren't that hard to believe.

But in a new investigation, it seems the sports stars aren't the center of attention anymore, but the stars of the music industry - most notably in the urban genres of rap and R&B. The biggest artists named in the report include rappers 50 Cent, Timbaland, and Wyclef as well as renowned singer Mary J. Blige.

And since steroids don't have any effect on vocal chords - as far as I'm aware, anyway - the question becomes why? Yes, they can help prevent the appearance of aging just as well as Botox injections and yes they can help improve the overall growth of muscles, but what effect does that really have on a professional career in the music industry?

Everyone has come to expect rappers like 50 Cent to have extremely large muscles, but I fail to understand how that effects the music. Would hits like "Candy Shop" have been less successful if he didn't look the same? It's too bad I can't actually answer that, as I have no clue how much the image goes into marketing...but I'd guess it wouldn't have much of an effect since there are 'bands' out there like The Gorillaz.

And then there's Mary, who surely doesn't have to worry about muscle mass. Instead, she's (if the allegations are true) probably caught up in the never-ending attempt to look younger. This I don't understand, either. I'm much more impressed with performers who age gracefully in the spotlight rather than hide their age with artificial supplements.

I suppose I'm just stumped, then. Since I can't see the performers while the CD is playing, it just doesn't matter to me.

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