Rapper Joey Bada$$ tweeted Aug. 21 that he looked directly into the solar eclipse without any eye protection, and a day later cancelled three upcoming tour dates.
Joey Bada$$, whose real name is Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott, seemed to brag in a series of tweets about not wearing any eye protection whilst staring at the solar eclipse, despite that "wear eye protection" was the single biggest tip for eclipse watchers.
"Am I crazy for watching the eclipse today w no glasses?" Scott tweeted. "I've sungazed before and afterwards saw colors for a whole day. I didn't die tho," he wrote, according to Spin. "This ain't the first solar eclipse and I'm pretty sure our ancestors ain't have no fancy eyewear. Also pretty sure they ain't all go blind."
Many people were critical of Scott suggesting that because our "ancestors" did something therefore it must be OK, especially considering the overwhelming insistence from eye-care professionals to wear protective glasses.
Just a day later, Scott tweeted to announce the cancellation of three opening performances in rapper Logic's "Everybody" tour.
"Due to unforeseen circumstances, my Cleveland, Chicago & Toronto shows on the Everybody Tour are cancelled," Scott wrote.
It was not immediately clear if Scott's brazen sun-gazing had anything to do with the show's cancellation, but that did not stop social media users from making the connection themselves.
"You looked at the eclipse and can't see now huh," asked one user as another posted a GIF of a cartoon character's burning eyeballs. "Joey Badeyes" quickly became a new moniker for the rap star.
Staring directly at the sun can cause serious damage to sensitive parts of the eye, particularly the retina. It can handle indirect sunlight without issue, but direct light can cause serious and often irreparable damage to the eye, according to Vox.
"The light from the sun is very intense and concentrated into a very small area, and then that light is converted into heat and that heat cooks the retina,” said Joel Schuman, chair of ophthalmology at NYU. "So you have a permanent area that you don’t see, a permanent blind spot.
"What’s worse, a retina burn doesn’t heal like a sunburn on the skin. It actually doesn’t heal at all."
An Oregon man was blinded after he stared directly at a solar eclipse in 1963, mentioning that he looked no longer than 20 seconds. Because it is nerve tissue, the retina does not regenerate when burned or otherwise damaged.