Lil Nas X Shuts Down Trolls ‘Sexualizing’ His James Charles Collaboration

Lil Nas X isn’t here for the trolls “sexualizing” his new collaboration with James Charles.

It all started on Tuesday after Charles uploaded a YouTube video of himself doing the “Old Town Road” singer’s makeup. And while the focus should’ve been on the duo’s far-reaching conversation and Nas’s incredible “Holiday“-inspired look, it turns out that an unfortunate number of people were more fixated on their sexualities, with some even going so far as to make snide jokes about them hooking up.

That said, it didn’t take long for Lil Nas X himself to shut it all down by leaving a little piece of wisdom beneath PopCrave’s tweet about the collab. And his perfect response to all the hate?

“2 gay men can do things together without y’all sexualizing it,” he wrote. And honestly, he couldn’t be more right.

See Lil Nas X’s tweet for yourself, below.

2 gay men can do things together without y’all sexualizing it

— nope (@LilNasX) November 17, 2020

Photo via Getty

Why Did Twitter Name Its New Feature ‘Fleets’?

Twitter is adding some familiar new features to its platform to compete with the likes of Snapchat, Instagram and Clubhouse.

First, it launched Fleets, which is a competitor to Instagram and Snapchat’s stories features. It lets users post photos, videos, pain text, and reactions to tweets that all disappear after 24 hours of availability.

Related | Bandcamp Announces New Livestream Service

The second of its two innovations is Spaces, seemingly modeled after group discussion platform Clubhouse’s ability to house live discussions. Twitter’s new feature will enable its users to join virtual rooms to engage in real-time conversations with each other.

That thing you didn’t Tweet but wanted to but didn’t but got so close but then were like nah.

We have a place for that now—Fleets!

Rolling out to everyone starting today. pic.twitter.com/auQAHXZMfH
— Twitter (@Twitter) November 17, 2020

Spaces is set to come to select users before the year ends. It will only be available to women of marginalized backgrounds at first before becoming able to use by other groups.

While Spaces is apparently far off for now, Twitter’s users have had some… interesting things to say about Fleets — both good and bad, and surprisingly, enema-focused. Here are some of the best reactions:

Lol Fleet is the name of an enema brand

Well done, Twitter
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) November 17, 2020
For further proof that twitter pulled this latest update out of their asses, please note that Fleet is also a brand of enema. pic.twitter.com/wl3ePSObWX
— rachel~anne the red~haired reindeer 🦌❄️ (@rachelanniexo) November 17, 2020
the ceo of fleet enemas this morning when they found out about twitter fleets pic.twitter.com/vg2Jy7S1WM
— ✨ Mikey Almeida ✨ (@mikey_almeida) November 17, 2020
.@Twitter: “Hey we got #Fleets!”#MedTwitter: [everyone makes same enema joke at the same time]
— 💉Josh Rubin, MD 🇺🇸 (@DrSandman11) November 17, 2020
Does the fleets thing stress anyone else out? Like I use Twitter to get away from IG stories, not have it follow me around on every platform reminding me that I don’t have makeup on
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 17, 2020
reasons why twitter fleets should exist: pic.twitter.com/iJUk78p6R2
— claire (@TPWKxCLAIRE) November 17, 2020
fleets and stories are cool but what we really want is an edit button, multiple pins, and a longer character limit pic.twitter.com/LZWBA5ryEM
— Zach (@gzach_) November 17, 2020
The way I’m never gonna check the fleets just like snapchat and Instagram pic.twitter.com/ziagXBFpCb
— Harley (@FlappityFlapp) November 17, 2020
Cause of death: FLEETS pic.twitter.com/XanW35Ruau
— Pat McAFLEET (@PatMcAfeeShow) November 17, 2020

fleets is amazing because now i can overshare on here with pictures
— ENJOY THE RIDE 🎡 (@almondmilkhunni) November 17, 2020
So Fleets huh pic.twitter.com/qMzuQgzp8G
— Meri 🍒 VTuber (@meriby_) November 17, 2020
fleets are good you guys are wrong
— matt (@dogfather) November 17, 2020

As people begin to use fleets more, the final verdict on the power of the new feature remains to be seen.

Screenshot via Twitter


















Bandcamp Announces New Livestream Service for Artists

It’s no secret that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has devastated the music industry, with many artists left struggling to find other ways to support themselves for the time being. The pandemic has also renewed calls for streaming services to finally pay musicians a more equitable share of their royalties… which has been generally received with less than stellar results.

Last month Spotify understandably came under fire for their recently rolled out “Discovery Mode” that allows artists to opt in for a reduced royalty rate in exchange for heightened visibility on the platform’s algorithm and curated playlists. (If this sounds like pay-to-play to you, that’s because it is.) After facing increasing pressure from major labels as more artists turn to livestreaming services to play DJ sets and host listening parties, Twitch also drew sharp criticism from its users for recent changes to its copyright policies that resulted in thousands of DMCA takedown notices, deleted videos and numerous headaches for streamers and content creators.

So far, the only music platform that has managed to get things even remotely right when it comes to taking care of its artists is Bandcamp. Since the early days of lockdown, the online music retailer and streaming platform has been consistently forgoing their share of the profits the first Friday of every month. According to Bandcamp, across the eight days they’ve held Bandcamp Fridays this year the site has raised $35 million for the artists and labels that make up its site.

Related | Want to Help Out Indie Artists? Shop at Bandcamp

In their latest move aimed at helping their userbase better make ends meet, Bandcamp has announced a new ticketed livestream feature for artists. The new service, Bandcamp Live, will allow artists to host their own livestream concerts on the site and will come fully integrated with the platform’s pre-existing ecosystem, complete with a virtual “merch table,” real-time chat, and the ability to promote you show to their Bandcamp fans.

Artists will be able to set their own ticket prices with Bandcamp announcing that they will only be taking a 10% fee in compliance with their Fair Trade Music Policy. As an added bonus, Bandcamp has announced that they will also be waiving that fee entirely until March 31, 2021!

It’s true! Bandcamp Live is a new ticketed live streaming service integrating merch and everything else you love ab… https://t.co/AH4Fjci0fQ — bandcamp (@bandcamp)1605630385.0

Bandcamp Live is currently being rolled out across the site as of today with Bandcamp announcing a lineup of already confirmed shows featuring artists like Cloud Nothings, Liv.e, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Madison McFerrin, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Hatchie, Pedro the Lion and more. Check out the full schedule below.

Upcoming Ticketed Live Streams:

Nov. 17: David Allred
Nov. 20: Chris Farren
Nov. 21: Brin
Dec. 4: Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti
Dec. 4: Madison McFerrin
Dec. 5: Hanna Mia
Dec. 10: Butcher Brown
Dec. 10: (Liv).e
Dec 10: Eyedress
Dec. 12: Frente Cumbiero
Dec. 12: Aroma
Dec. 13: Bobby Oroza
Dec. 17: Demae
Dec. 18: Dezron Douglas and Brandee Younger
Dec. 21: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
Feb. 13: Moaning
Feb. 27: Cloud Nothings
TBD: Hatchie
TBD: Pedro the Lion
TBD: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
TBD: Louis Cole
TBD: Genevieve Artadi
TBD: Surprise Chef

Photo Courtesy of Bandcamp


@GhostHoney’s TikToks Will Heal Us All

Soft-spoken and shy with a bashful smile and an aversion to viral challenges, TikTok star Tyler Gaca doesn’t seem like your typical social media superstar. However, the beloved creator known as @GhostHoney has still managed to drum up a fierce cult following thanks to his unique brand of left-field comedy — and if you take a quick look at his TikTok, it’s easy to see why.

Related | PAPER People 2020: Meet 20 TikTokers We Love

With his imaginative storytimes and nostalgic YA novel and art school parodies, the 26-year-old former art teacher is probably best known for his retellings of “fever dream” scenarios and fanciful daily musings about anything from possums to mothmen to the Great British Bake Off. And though they’re always delivered with his serene, even-keeled voice that feels well-suited to a guided meditation, it’s an offbeat juxtaposition that’s lent itself well to the fantastical escapism of his “chaotic” videos — and garnered him 1.3 million followers in the process.

@ghosthoney

this is how I watch the Great British Baking Show

♬ original sound – tyler

“I think that’s why people like my videos, because I lull them into a false sense of calm and the words coming out of my mouth are like pure chaos,” Tyler laughed during our Zoom call.

“I get so many comments where people are like, ‘Oh my God, I listen to your livestreams just so I can fall asleep at night.’ Or, ‘I watch your videos at night to relax,’ because they think my voice is soothing,” he added. “And that’s something I never knew about myself or anticipated when I first started making videos on the internet.”

Initially, Tyler began making TikToks last year while still working full-time at the Columbus College of Art & Design’s Continuing Education Department. And though this was something that influenced him to post under a different name as he “didn’t want to be known,” he explained that he mostly wanted to find a creative outlet for all the “ideas that come to me at like 3 in the morning or when I’m in the shower.”

@ghosthoney

I need some hot possum facts!

♬ original sound – tyler

“I use the Notes app to kind of catalog every extremely random and semi-coherent thought I have throughout the day,” Tyler said of his filming process, which mostly takes place in the comfort of his bedroom. And even though some of these concepts are “sometimes too chaotic to even make a coherent thought,” as he explained, the beauty of TikTok is that the oddest thoughts can oftentimes give way to the best videos.

“So it’s like a long process of writing a long diary entry of these obscure thoughts. It’s like 3 AM madness vibes,” he added, joking about how many of these ideas come to him while his husband JiaHao — who’s also become a fan favorite in his videos — is “like fully passed out next to me.”

“I’ll be like, ‘What if all vampires are gay?’ And somehow, I have to make some weird passing thought into an entertaining 59-second video,” he laughed, before confessing that he can be hesitant about sharing many of his TikToks.

@ghosthoney

our wedding day 💕 #mypride

♬ flowers by in love with a ghost – moth

“I will say that every video tops the previous one in terms of secondhand embarrassment, and there are times where I will post a video and turn my phone off, because I can’t even look at it,” he explained. “It’s like I can’t even watch myself right now. It’s the art school kid thing where you pour your heart out into a piece and it’s critique day, and you’re like, ‘I don’t even want to look at it anymore.’ That’s how I feel about my TikToks sometimes.”

And though these videos in which he’s “being vulnerable and showing [his] deepest, most embarrassing inner-thoughts” have created a devout following, Tyler said that he didn’t realize “the magnitude of [his] internet presence” until TikTok reached out to help him with a growth strategist and began providing him with opportunities “that blew [his] mind,” such as flying him out for New York Fashion Week.

“I was like, ‘Wrong person!’ And my content there was very chaotic. It was like me panicking in my hotel room, because I had to walk by the paparazzi and they were like, ‘Can we snap a picture?,'” he said, adding that while the experience was “a dream come true,” it was also one that took him “really out of [his] comfort zone,” especially after working a desk job for the past three years.

@ghosthoney

🕯💐Ghosthoney’s Guide to Dressing Like a Love Stricken Victorian Dandy💐🕯

♬ Chefs Table – Mibe Music

As his star has risen though, Tyler has continued to grapple with his newfound fame while “trying to figure out how to make a full-time career out of it.” Granted, this was also something that partially influenced his decision to move to Los Angeles earlier this year with JiaHao after they were both laid off due to the pandemic.

“So far it’s going really well, but it feels very surreal trying to navigate it with the current state of the world. I think it still hasn’t hit me [that I’ve become internet famous],” he admitted as he joked about the anxiety he feels whenever he’s now recognized while walking around LA. “It’s kind of like, ‘What! Oh no! I’ve never heard of [@GhostHoney]. I don’t know what you’re talking about!'”

But even amidst the garbage fire that is 2020, Tyler said he’s grateful for the community conversations spurred in his comments by topical videos about things like election anxiety.

@ghosthoney

brb using nostalgia to heal

♬ Pokémon (Littleroot Town) – Blue Brew Music

“What I love the most about TikTok and the community I’ve created [is that it feels like] a really beautiful support group of these weird art kids and the loners from high school. Like, I ate lunch in the art room every day in high school,” Tyler said, before adding that he also hopes his videos give the younger generation an opportunity to “see LGBTQ ppl just living authentic, normal lives.”

And though he added that it’s “definitely nerve-wracking” to have such a large audience now, he tries his best to use his platform to “put out things that feel authentic and good,” especially if he were “to watch it as a small, 15-year-old boy in the closet.”

“Growing up, I never had anything like that, especially not on TV and social media wasn’t a thing,” Tyler said. “That’s something I really hope people walk away with. Like, ‘Oh, it’s possible to be 26, happily married and living the best life you possibly can.'”

Welcome to “Internet Explorer,” a column by Sandra Song about everything Internet. From meme histories to joke format explainers to collections of some of Twitter’s finest roasts, “Internet Explorer” is here to keep you up-to-date with the web’s current obsessions — no matter how nonsensical or nihilistic.

Photos via TikTok @GhostHoney


@GhostHoney’s TikToks Will Heal Us All

Soft-spoken and shy with a bashful smile and an aversion to viral challenges, TikTok star Tyler Gaca doesn’t seem like your typical social media superstar. However, the beloved creator known as @GhostHoney has still managed to drum up a fierce cult following thanks to his unique brand of left-field comedy — and if you take a quick look at his TikTok, it’s easy to see why.

Related | PAPER People 2020: Meet 20 TikTokers We Love

With his imaginative storytimes and nostalgic YA novel and art school parodies, the 26-year-old former art teacher is probably best known for his retellings of “fever dream” scenarios and fanciful daily musings about anything from possums to mothmen to the Great British Bake Off. And though they’re always delivered with his serene, even-keeled voice that feels well-suited to a guided meditation, it’s an offbeat juxtaposition that’s lent itself well to the fantastical escapism of his “chaotic” videos — and garnered him 1.3 million followers in the process.

@ghosthoney

this is how I watch the Great British Baking Show

♬ original sound – tyler

“I think that’s why people like my videos, because I lull them into a false sense of calm and the words coming out of my mouth are like pure chaos,” Tyler laughed during our Zoom call.

“I get so many comments where people are like, ‘Oh my God, I listen to your livestreams just so I can fall asleep at night.’ Or, ‘I watch your videos at night to relax,’ because they think my voice is soothing,” he added. “And that’s something I never knew about myself or anticipated when I first started making videos on the internet.”

Initially, Tyler began making TikToks last year while still working full-time at the Columbus College of Art & Design’s Continuing Education Department. And though this was something that influenced him to post under a different name as he “didn’t want to be known,” he explained that he mostly wanted to find a creative outlet for all the “ideas that come to me at like 3 in the morning or when I’m in the shower.”

@ghosthoney

I need some hot possum facts!

♬ original sound – tyler

“I use the Notes app to kind of catalog every extremely random and semi-coherent thought I have throughout the day,” Tyler said of his filming process, which mostly takes place in the comfort of his bedroom. And even though some of these concepts are “sometimes too chaotic to even make a coherent thought,” as he explained, the beauty of TikTok is that the oddest thoughts can oftentimes give way to the best videos.

“So it’s like a long process of writing a long diary entry of these obscure thoughts. It’s like 3 AM madness vibes,” he added, joking about how many of these ideas come to him while his husband JiaHao — who’s also become a fan favorite in his videos — is “like fully passed out next to me.”

“I’ll be like, ‘What if all vampires are gay?’ And somehow, I have to make some weird passing thought into an entertaining 59-second video,” he laughed, before confessing that he can be hesitant about sharing many of his TikToks.

@ghosthoney

our wedding day 💕 #mypride

♬ flowers by in love with a ghost – moth

“I will say that every video tops the previous one in terms of secondhand embarrassment, and there are times where I will post a video and turn my phone off, because I can’t even look at it,” he explained. “It’s like I can’t even watch myself right now. It’s the art school kid thing where you pour your heart out into a piece and it’s critique day, and you’re like, ‘I don’t even want to look at it anymore.’ That’s how I feel about my TikToks sometimes.”

And though these videos in which he’s “being vulnerable and showing [his] deepest, most embarrassing inner-thoughts” have created a devout following, Tyler said that he didn’t realize “the magnitude of [his] internet presence” until TikTok reached out to help him with a growth strategist and began providing him with opportunities “that blew [his] mind,” such as flying him out for New York Fashion Week.

“I was like, ‘Wrong person!’ And my content there was very chaotic. It was like me panicking in my hotel room, because I had to walk by the paparazzi and they were like, ‘Can we snap a picture?,'” he said, adding that while the experience was “a dream come true,” it was also one that took him “really out of [his] comfort zone,” especially after working a desk job for the past three years.

@ghosthoney

🕯💐Ghosthoney’s Guide to Dressing Like a Love Stricken Victorian Dandy💐🕯

♬ Chefs Table – Mibe Music

As his star has risen though, Tyler has continued to grapple with his newfound fame while “trying to figure out how to make a full-time career out of it.” Granted, this was also something that partially influenced his decision to move to Los Angeles earlier this year with JiaHao after they were both laid off due to the pandemic.

“So far it’s going really well, but it feels very surreal trying to navigate it with the current state of the world. I think it still hasn’t hit me [that I’ve become internet famous],” he admitted as he joked about the anxiety he feels whenever he’s now recognized while walking around LA. “It’s kind of like, ‘What! Oh no! I’ve never heard of [@GhostHoney]. I don’t know what you’re talking about!'”

But even amidst the garbage fire that is 2020, Tyler said he’s grateful for the community conversations spurred in his comments by topical videos about things like election anxiety.

@ghosthoney

brb using nostalgia to heal

♬ Pokémon (Littleroot Town) – Blue Brew Music

“What I love the most about TikTok and the community I’ve created [is that it feels like] a really beautiful support group of these weird art kids and the loners from high school. Like, I ate lunch in the art room every day in high school,” Tyler said, before adding that he also hopes his videos give the younger generation an opportunity to “see LGBTQ ppl just living authentic, normal lives.”

And though he added that it’s “definitely nerve-wracking” to have such a large audience now, he tries his best to use his platform to “put out things that feel authentic and good,” especially if he were “to watch it as a small, 15-year-old boy in the closet.”

“Growing up, I never had anything like that, especially not on TV and social media wasn’t a thing,” Tyler said. “That’s something I really hope people walk away with. Like, ‘Oh, it’s possible to be 26, happily married and living the best life you possibly can.'”

Welcome to “Internet Explorer,” a column by Sandra Song about everything Internet. From meme histories to joke format explainers to collections of some of Twitter’s finest roasts, “Internet Explorer” is here to keep you up-to-date with the web’s current obsessions — no matter how nonsensical or nihilistic.

Photos via TikTok @GhostHoney


Claudia Conway Is Auditioning For ‘American Idol’

Claudia Conway announced that she is trying out for American Idol.

On Sunday, the 16-year-old daughter of former Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway posted a TikTok of herself doing a confessional for the reality competition show.

Related | Claudia Conway Wants to Be Emancipated

“I met Ryan Seacrest today and I have my audition soon,” she said from what appeared to be the show’s California soundstage. “So, stay tuned for that. Very, very nervous, but also very excited.”

According to TMZ, this latest update comes on the heels of Claudia’s highly anticipated return to TikTok after breaking the news about her mom testing positive for COVID-19 back in October. Granted, if her past singing videos are any indication, we’re sure she’ll do well in the competition — which means we’ll probably be seeing a lot more of her very soon!

That said, until American Idol returns with a full list of competitors, you can check out Claudia’s announcement video for yourself, below.

@claudiamconway

@americanidol shoutout to anhie

♬ original sound – claudia conway

Photo via TikTok / @ClaudiaMConway

Dorian Electra Does Christian Girl Autumn Cosplay in ‘F the World’

Dorian Electra has proven once again that they’re the ultimate memelord with the latest My Agenda release, “F The World.” In a music video overloaded with Christian Girl Autumn cosplay, Electra dances through intensely distorted beats, all the while repeating, “F the world ’cause I love it.”

Related | Dorian Electra Goes All the Way

In the visual and accompanying single campaign, Electra goes all out with brown boots, a cardigan, scarf and beanie, complete with a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL). Of course, their fall look is rounded out with pumpkins, apples and a loose-curled ombre hairstyle.

Over the weekend, Electra also released the “Perfect PSL Autumn Makeup Tutorial” on their YouTube channel. The hour and a half long video features Electra and their friend on a livestream going step by step through the makeup tutorial, creating a beauty look inspired by the “fragility of nature” during fall.

Related | PAPER People: Dorian Electra

“Let me know if you have any questions… I’m probably not going to answer them, but I’m definitely going to appreciate the engagement because it’s good for my channel,” Electra said in the tutorial, flinging clichés like “Live, Laugh, Love” and “beauty comes from within” throughout.

Electra later tweeted out a coupon for a free PSL, with the QR code and a picture of them next to it, posed in head-to-toe Christian Girl Autumn style. “Let’s celebrate!” they wrote, keeping in character with warm, fuzzy emojis.

Let’s celebrate! 🤗🍁☕️ pic.twitter.com/LJOYUqtqtS

— DORIAN ELECTRA🍁F The World🤗Vid Out Now🍂 (@DORIANELECTRA) November 14, 2020

From cheap office coffee in “Career Boy” to a PSL in “F The World,” the whole meme is hilarious and shows just how far Electra has progressed.

Damn Dorian has come such a long way from Career Boy. Cheap office coffee to a high quality pumpkin spice latte????… https://t.co/GjqiaodtW9 — Iron Fist stan ✨✨✨ (@Iron Fist stan ✨✨✨)1605543526.0

Stream My Agenda by Dorian Electra, below.

Photography: Weston Allen

RIP Billie Eilish’s Amazing TikTok Handle

Once upon a time, Billie Eilish was a burgeoning popstar with just millions (as opposed to tens of millions) of Instagram followers. Her username at the time? @wherearetheavocados. It was confusing, and it was iconic. We got to enjoy it for a couple years, and then Eilish switched over to a slightly more verifiable handle: her first and last name.

Related | Watch Billie Eilish Break Into a Shopping Mall

Sadly, it’s happened again. Eilish popped up on TikTok late last week, stealthily joining Gen Z’s favorite app under an insanely funny pseudonym: @coochiedestroyer5. Her loyal stans knew it was her, and everyone got to enjoy the joke for a couple of days — some even speculating that Eilish had picked the handle as a subtle way of coming out as queer.

Sadly, today via Instagram Stories Eilish made the formal announcement of her TikTok account, and there’s not a coochie destroyer to be seen. Possibly after being pressured by TikTok admins, she’s now verified under her actual name, and has acquired 4.9 million followers. We know it’s the same account because it has the same first post, made using the Time Warp Scan effect.

Her second post is a recreation of an old viral video where she fitted the top half of a ukulele in her mouth. Classic Billie.

@billieeilish

♬ original sound – BILLIE EILISH

RIP @coochiedestroyer5, but we know this one’s worth a follow either way. Duet with the official Billie Eilish TikTok account right here.

Photo via Getty

Jeffree Star, James Charles, and More Influencers Accused of Animal Exploitation

A number of prominent influencers have been accused of animal exploitation after posing with exotic animals to promote a new clothing brand.

Earlier this week, several social media stars — including Jeffree Star, James Charles, and Daisy Keech — were reportedly sent baboons and capuchin monkeys by a company called Bananas Monkey. And though it remains unclear who’s behind the brand itself, it didn’t take long for people to criticize their promotion as “cruel” and “horrific,” as well as call out all of the participating influencers.

“A company called Bananas Monkey sent around a baboon & another monkey with PR boxes for its launch to influencers,” journalist Yashar Ali tweeted alongside a video compilation of influencer posts. “Using primates like this is not only abusive, but also ends up encouraging private ownership of primates.”

Ugh can they just stop with using animals as props. It’s 2020, we don’t need this shit anymore. Wtf is behind this shit?

— Andrew Curry (@andrewcurryla) November 11, 2020

Absolutely GD horrific and these so-called influencers should be ashamed. How about you people start influencing kindness instead of cruelty, yes?

— 🇨🇦 Daylene🐾🌊 (@Heyday13) November 11, 2020

I dont know who Bananas Monkey is.. but toting around live monkeys from home to home for different influencers to use as props in photos IS NOT OK. Can we all collectively agree to stop animal exploitation in 2021? Good God.

— Kendall (@Kennydoesmakeup) November 10, 2020

That said, Star in particular was called out given that he promotes his makeup products as “vegan” and “cruelty free.” Not only that, but others went on to point out that the beauty guru recently used an alligator for the launch of his own “Blood Money” palette — something which led to further accusations of “hypocrisy.”

Jeffree Star: My makeup brand is vegan and cruelty free!!! ⛔️
JEFFREE STAR ALSO: possing with aligator on brand launch, possing with monkeys for fun 👀😭#jeffreestar #bloodmoney #jeffreestarcosmetics #hypocrite pic.twitter.com/8wKTYG1p31

— Lucinda van ‘t Hull (@LucindavantHul1) November 10, 2020

I’ve been a fan but it really sucks to see animal exploitation in your reveal with the alligator and now supporting monkeys in the PR u received. Animals used for entertainment can be treated bad, drugged, poor living conditions, painful training, etc. Animals are not actors

— Ellexo74 (@Elle8164) November 10, 2020

In the wake of the backlash, PETA also decried the stunt as a “bizarre and cruel promotion,” and has submitted a complaint asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate it as a potential violation of the Animal Welfare Act.

Meanwhile, Keech and her boyfriend Michael Yerger have since apologized. However, Star and Charles have yet to respond to the accusations.

Photos via Getty


Molly Moore Is More Than a ‘Voice on the Internet’

Molly Moore was seven years old when she wrote her first poem — a step into writing inspired by the challenges she faced watching her sister fight with her parents. Her dad sat her down then, teaching her how to write a song with just a guitar and the desire to create new melodies.

While Moore, now 28, didn’t become a full-time musician until five years ago, she isn’t one for slowing down her creative process when ideas start flowing. But the start of the pandemic earlier this year gave her some much-needed space to breathe outside her typical world. Like most people adjusting to COVID, there were elements introduced to her workflow — and fortunately for Moore, the revamp was meaningful and productive.

“I never did Zoom sessions before COVID, so that’s definitely an addition to my creative process,” Moore said. “But it’s changed my process in the fact that I don’t write as frequently as I was writing before. I was really working on this first album and doing a ton of sessions, just writing tons of songs up until quarantine. So once it hit, I was like, ‘Okay, I have a lot of stuff to finish. I’m good for a second.’ I’m glad I went that hard when I did.”

And the adjustment period to Moore’s new normal seems to have paid off, because Moore’s debut album, Voice on the Internet, dropped today.

For Moore, being a Voice on the Internet is about more than sending a tweet. Rather, the name was inspired by a desire to speak on her turbulent relationship with the internet: Online identity discovery, safety concerns and the need to have “real conversations,” which Moore calls the bare minimum to expect from the worldwide web.

The song came first, but the meaning of the track’s title made it the most sentimental — and fitting — choice to become the album’s title, as well.

“As soon as I wrote it, I was like, ‘This is probably going to be my album title,'” Moore said. “Because every time I got in the studio, I was writing a version of that song. It was coming into different parts of it, the technology aspect of it and not being able to stop looking at someone’s stuff and having them look at yours and all the different 2020 things that happen that really suck when you’re trying to get over someone. And you’re like, ‘Goddammit, what the fuck? Why are you hitting me up?'”

But Voice on the Internet isn’t just a break-up album, though she did turn a tumultuous year into a bad bitch narrative for the books. Moore’s debut is inspired by songwriters and vocalists that span across styles, from Audrey Nuna to Still Woozy and Otis Redding, creating a multi-genre work that showcases Moore’s ability to attach her strong vocals to practically any sound. The 20 tracks venture through soft pop, smooth R&B, quirky interludes and even a Britney Spears cover.

But Moore says her debut doesn’t necessarily speak to the artist she is today. Instead, she considers it an “accurate reflection” of Moore then, who undoubtedly shaped Moore now.

“It’s definitely who I was over the last year, more towards the beginning of last year,” Moore said. “I’ve had to make peace with that; my first album is a little bit angrier than I am now. Some of these emotions are not so prevalent anymore, which is nice. Thank God, that was a rough run there for a minute. But I still struggle with a lot of the things I was struggling with when I made it.”

Moore continued, “I was in a five-year relationship; it was a really long time and I was really set on that being my life. I’d subscribed to that life and I just didn’t know how I could see another future for myself. I think that I’ve grown a lot just from being alone and addressing who I am.”

Moore’s break-up that inspired much of Voice on the Internet wasn’t just a personal one, but a musical divergence, too. The other half of Moore’s relationship was also the second piece of the duo, Cosmos & Creature, which she says taught her a lot. But now, as a solo artist, Moore has a unique opportunity to radiate on her own, and the newfound freedom means a chance to take a no-holds-barred approach to her music.

“I’ve really built a confidence in my own voice and expressing what I need to express, however it needs to get expressed,” Moore said. “I’ve given myself freedom. For so long, I was sort of lost within myself, like I wanted to let loose and explore and be free and try all these different things. But I felt like I had to, for some unknown reason, put myself into a box for other people. When I was younger, that’s what I would try to do, and now I just feel so free creatively.”

Voice on the Internet’s visuals, as sporadic and bright as its tracklist, offered Moore a perfect outlet to showcase this liberation. The cover features a hazy yet vivid Moore, donning rainbow clothing, nails and hair accessories with half a broken heart on her cheek. It’s the most cheerful symbolism for heartbreak, relating the rainbow after the storm to Moore’s optimism for her future after the end of a relationship.

“I just knew that’s what I wanted it to be because I’ve managed to find the rainbows in my heartbreak,” Moore said. “I have seen the silver linings now of how I needed to grow on my own and embrace my own independence and how I really got lost in that relationship. I wanted to be able to create a world that I could live in that wasn’t over-branded towards that message of the album because I feel like it speaks for itself. When you listen to it, you can hear what I wanted you to know.”

Similar to her album’s color scheme, Moore wants listeners to think of her in vivid shades of self-confidence. She is building a world around empowerment and expression, and Voice on the Internet is just one means of shouting that same passion into the world that she felt at age seven — only louder this time.

“This is what I want to evoke out of people: just me being me,” Moore said. “I want other people to feel like they can be them because I’m just me. It’s not maybe what you expect or what’s easiest to deal with, but it’s true and I think that’s how people should be. Because I struggled with that, I like to be a voice for it. I’ve been on the other side of it, where I feel like I was really projecting something other than who I actually was in a lot of ways, and it wasn’t serving me.”

Photography: Ryan Jay

How Kylie Jenner Became a Middle Eastern Meme

I was minding my business on Twitter when I gasped mid-hummus dip. My timeline had flooded with Kylie Jenner‘s new campaign for her latest Kylie Cosmetics drop. “Haifa Wehbe?” I wondered. “Is that you?”

What was supposed to be a fierce, feline-inspired photo shoot ended up becoming the biggest meme on Arab Twitter. Presumably by accident, Jenner’s styling resembled the cliche early 1990s and 2000s Middle Eastern pop star glam look. If you’re unfamiliar with which campaign photoshoot that I’m referring to, and you’re Arab, once you take a look at the imagery — it speaks for itself.

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I couldn’t believe the same influencer who once rocked short green hair with an edgy attitude could possibly embody the ’90s Arab pop star look that’s also seen on the walls of Arab beauty salons and on the back of Middle Eastern beauty product packaging.

Many took it upon themselves to turn her photos into mixtape covers similar to those like superstars Nancy Ajram, Sherine and Haifa Wehbe.

Anyways my favorites so far https://t.co/cgOeFEjvzT — ahmad🇱🇧 (@ahmad🇱🇧)1603911386.0
kylie cosmetics edited on to sherine. you’re welcome. https://t.co/HblkmC8Uj3 — him (@him)1603923147.0

Twitter user @jonaybish edited Sherine songs over the campaign video, and it was literally a match made in heaven. The close up on the heavy coated smokey eye and thick liner is a Middle Eastern staple when it comes to music videos. Other Twitter users turned the campaign imagery into the typical advertisement you’d see walking along the bazaar and souq.

It suits so bad I can’t 😭😭 https://t.co/W18NNVXegU — م (@م)1603924445.0
Nah these Kylie Jenner edits are killing me 😭😭 https://t.co/xaCgzkEdNs — McBaŋɠ (@McBaŋɠ)1604063718.0

The memes even began resurfacing across the Muslim and Arab TikTok community.

@maisvault

#kyliecosmetics #haifawehbe #haifawehbelovers

♬ original sound – Mai

“It’s actually refreshing to see a change in perception on our Arab aesthetic,” says Palestinian TikTok star Lara Radwan, who runs a large community page for Muslims called Kinda Halal.

Like many others, Radwan shared her appreciation for what Kylie Jenner’s campaign had brought to mainstream media. “Trends that were once seen as ‘barbaric’ by the West, are suddenly now appreciated by celebrities. While many of our TikToks and spike in memes on Kylie’s shoot comes from an ironic-scoff reaction, many of us are happy to see celebrities like the Kardashians keeping up with trends that we set.”

The latest trends of plump lips, leopard print, robust waists, heavy eyeliner and smokey eyes were groundbreaking in the West, but what people failed to understand was that Arab women rocked this look first.

Related | Kylie Jenner: Get Rich or Die Following

Most commonly, a lot of Arab Twitter users saw a stark resemblance between Kylie Jenner and Lebanese pop star Haifa Wehbe. Haifa’s iconic hit-song “Aana Haifa” (translated to “I Am Haifa”) shook Arabs across the Middle East in 2005 as she made a song… all about her beauty. Everything about Haifa’s mismatched leopard dress and heavy eyeliner in the music video set the tone for embodying the way typical Middle Eastern women look. She emphasized everything about herself that was beautiful and continued to always refer to her eyes “el helween.”

Haifa became a hit and stirred a lot of conversation – some say her impact is similar to Kim Kardashian’s rise to fame in the United States for breaking a lot of cultural barriers. Kylie’s latest campaign shoot resembles a lot of Haifa’s signature iconography – which made Twitter users mention the similarities between the two.

Kylie looks like she’s about to sing boos el wawa https://t.co/XNYazMQZnZ — ناتاشا ❥ (@ناتاشا ❥)1603886502.0
KYLIE JENNER TRYING TO MORPH INTO HAIFA WEHBE OUR LEBANESE QUEEN https://t.co/bKL0MAikuJ — zuzu (@zuzu)1603943397.0

Although these memes are light-heartened and meant to make fun of the clash between Western trends and Arab culture, the conversation of whether or not Kylie Jenner is appropriating Middle Eastern looks resurfaced following the meme invasion on Arab Twitter.

While Kim Kardashian is ethnically Armenian, Jenner is white. Cultural appropriation accusations have followed both women for years. Just recently Jenner was accused of captioning her Instagram photo with “brown skinned girl,” which she says was doctored. While unlikely, her blackfishing past had made the photoshop somewhat believable.

“I absolutely loves seeing the things I grew up with as a young Arab girl that I became insecure about – like my thicker eyebrows, dark hair, heavy eyeliner, my smokey eye, bigger lips – becoming trendy because around me the beauty standards were skinny, blonde and having big blue eyes,” says Yasmine Abo-Shadi, an iconic Hijabi influencer who is known for popping off in her vents about critical issues within the Arab and Muslim community on TikTok.

“That being said though, the Kardashian and the Jenner family are masters of cultural appropriation and the thing that really upsets me is that yes – there are young Arab girls that are really happy right now, and feeling more confident because their traditional looks are being appreciated right now. “However,” she notes, “it is just a trend.”

Abo-Shadi is concerned about what happens when that trend passes. “What really, really sucks about it is that it’s only for now and at the end of the day the family is appropriating it just for the moment, and it’s a shame to know that in the future it won’t be the reality for the next generation of Arab girls because the next trend will change and they will see a different beauty standard from someone else.”

The concerns of glorifying Arab women’s bodies, looks and style stem from a long history of orientalism – a term coined by the late Palestinian professor Edward Said. You can spend an entire college semester studying the concept, but in short, orientalism is how Western societies look at Arab countries as “backwards” and that the women are “in need of saving” from their society. Seeing an influx of appreciation of Arab women’s looks can be concerning, as it could be conflated with exoticizing their features.

We’re in a moment of seeing a lot of recognition of Arab traits and looks being appreciated on a wide scale. Our favorite prominent influencers like Fai Khadra, Younes Bendjima and the iconic Hadid sisters are some of the most iconic fashion influences at the moment. What they all have in common, which may shock those who don’t know, is that they’re all Arab.

Yes, Arabs are not the Jafars and the terrorists of yellow and brown-tainted movies: Like any other ethnic group, we have a multi-layered and beautiful history of fashion, culture and yes, pop star sensations. Shout out Kylie for the representation (question mark?), but I’m good with streaming Haifa Wehbe.

Screenshot via Kylie Cosmetics

Kellyanne Conway’s Brief Stand-Up Career Is Peak Cringe

As Trump and Republicans continue to lick their wounds while insisting that they won this election without a shred of evidence, it’s important to remember that amidst calls for unity and bipartisanship it is also completely okay to mercilessly dunk on an administration whose legacy includes locking children in cages, banning Muslims from entering the country, getting impeached, mishandling a pandemic so badly that the White House was responsible for not one but two super spreader events in the past month and countless other human rights atrocities we won’t easily forget.

Related | Claudia Conway Wants to Be Emancipated

So it feels like a fitting time to revisit the short-lived and ill-fated comedy career of former White House Counselor, Kellyanne Conway. A clip of an old routine has recently resurfaced on TikTok and has since been making the rounds. Suffice to say, it’s just as bad as you’d suspect. Taken from 1998 set for a charity event, Conway (then Kellyanne Fitzpatrick) is seen setting up a joke about her leg which lies in a cast just off screen.

“Everybody’s wondering about my leg… it’s the first thing they ask — ‘Kellyanne what happened to your leg?'” Conway sets up the joke, putting on a persona that can only be described as an incredibly defensive Jerry Seinfeld, before barreling right through rest and blowing by the punchline in the same breath, “I’m like well everyone heard I’m going to be in this comedy show and they’re like — break a leg! So I did.” As the audience fills the subsequent silence with a polite yet tepid laughter, Conway attempts to save it with a kicker about “dumb blondes” but ends up stumbling over her words and effectively undercutting any point she had.

@maddyyweeks

Have you seen this @claudiamconway 😂😭 #fyp #MotivationMonday #Biden2020 #america #kellyanneconway #comedy #cringe

♬ original sound – Maddy Weeks

The TikTok clip is actually just a small fraction of a much longer 11-minute set that manages to be even more painfully awkward and excruciating than that. The routine kicks off with a ton of niche jokes and references that you probably wouldn’t have got unless you were a Washington DC political insider in the late 1990s, but judging from the room’s reactions even if you were they weren’t especially funny. From there Conway segues into some material about what it’s like to be a cable news “pundette” and being a lawyer.

In perhaps the most unintentionally self-aware moment of the whole routine, Conway explains that she no longer tells lawyers jokes because “the lawyers never think they’re funny and the people never think they’re jokes.” She follows that up with a joke about a custody battle and child abuse as well as the obligatory Monica Lewinsky scandal crack that was standard for all comics in the late ’90s. And as if it wasn’t already enough of a train wreck, Conway ends her set with a just-as-drawn-out song about the “pundit blues,” with nothing but a red feather boa and startling lack of shame left to cling to. Honestly, a couple dad jokes thrown in there would’ve been refreshing.

For all the masochists out there, you can watch the full 1998 stand-up set below and for the rest of you, let’s all hope now that Conway is once again out of a job that at least this time she’ll stay away from the open mics.

Photo via Getty/ Chip Somodevilla

Watch Billie Eilish Break Into a Shopping Mall

Queen of teen Billie Eilish just lived every high school kid’s fantasy: breaking into a shopping mall after hours and stealing from the pretzel machine. In her new visual for “Therefore I Am,” the artist roams around her former youthful hangout spot, the Glendale Galleria. Claire’s and all.

The extremely socially distanced clip is a lot of fun to watch, ending with Eilish just escaping the clutches of security guards, various mall snacks in hand. Shot on iPhone, the production has a lo-fi handheld camera quality — maybe they spent all the budget on renting out the mall? But it works. Classic zag from an eternally unconventional pop star.

Related | PAPER People: Billie Eilish

Speaking to Zane Lowe, Eilish described the video (filmed overnight with a small crew) as “random” and “chaotic,” in the same way the song was recorded with a certain off-the-cuff carelessness.

“Therefore I Am” is Eilish’s third single this year, and we’ll see her debut it live at the American Music Awards on November 22. You can also catch her performing at iHeart Radio’s Jingle Ball 2020 on December 10. In February, we’ll get to watch Apple’s documentary about Eilish, Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry.

Related | PAPER People: Finneas

Watch the new music video for “Therefore I Am,” below.

Screenshot via YouTube

Companies Want Their Employees to Be TikTok Stars

If you’re working in the retail industry this holiday, chances are that your company wants to make you famous. Their way of doing it? Through TikTok.

Digiday reports that retailers desperately want to make their employees famous on the platform to capitalize on the newfound popularity of the brand. In a way, retailers want to turn their employees into micro-influencers that spread their brand across TikTok.

Related | PAPER People 2020: Meet 20 TikTokers We Love

With its estimated 800 million monthly users, TikTok is the perfect platform for brands to enlist the voices of people to connect with others. “You don’t want to go on social and just keep hearing from lots of brands,” Jody Leon, the marketing manager at employee advocacy platform DSMN8, told Digiday. “However, if their employees have something to say, you’re more likely to listen than a brand shouting advertising at you.”

@kylehiggns Dunkin’ Donut chronicles #dunkindonuts #worker #storytime
♬ original sound – Kyle Higgins

A recent example of this kind of success that brands are after is the genuine experience created by 37-year-old Nathan Apodaca who you may know as @420doggface208. His video of skating while listening to Fleetwood Mac and drinking Ocean Spray cranberry juice led to a huge sales boost for the brand.

Related | Meet Nathan Apodaca: The Viral Fleetwood Mac Skateboarder

An example of a brand trying to make something similar happen is Gamestop who recently drew fire for encouraging its employees to take part in a dance challenge that occurred on TikTok. Their prize for doing so was the chance to win extra hours to work during Black Friday. We’re completely serious.

Other companies like Dunkin’ Donuts, Wendy’s and Sephora are reaping the benefits of having employee influencers. With more to come if done right, there’s a very good chance that you, or someone you know, could be the next person spreading a brand on TikTok.

Photos via TikTok/ @kylehiggns


SNATCHURAL: Tipsy Makeup Challenge With Angel Merino

In the latest episode of SNATCHURALwhich arrives after me getting a face full of filler — I had the chance to sit down with the fabulous Angel Merino (AKA Mac_Daddyy on YouTube)… and get drunk together.

You’ve likely already seen Angel’s face plastered across your local Sephora. Formerly a MAC employee and celebrity makeup artist (Ariana Grande, Toni Braxton, Chanel Iman), the Latino beauty star founded his own brand Artist Couture and in the span of six years has transformed it into a viral success.

Related | SNATCHURAL: Watch XOXOETHAN Get a Face Full of Filler

While I sipped rosé and Angel took pulls directly from his Don Julio bottle, we chatted about Los Angeles, dating and life, all while doing a drunk makeup challenge that will leave you shook with our final looks. (It’s giving full fall fantasy with neutral browns and a pop of glitter.)

Afterwards, I ended up going on a Hinge date (#NotSponsored) and it was absolutely terrible. When will men learn to chew with their mouths closed…

Check out SNATCHURAL, below, and let us know who you think won the challenge in the comments.

And click through some of my favorite Artist Couture products, below, that were used in the video.





Photos courtesy of artistcouture.com

Did Trump Forget About Banning TikTok?

The Trump administration has been taking L’s left and right. Between losing the election to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and accidentally booking a garden center to hold a press conference, it seems one of their more petty battles with Gen Z has been forgotten: banning TikTok.

Donald Trump had previously ordered a ban on the app due to national security concerns and set the ban for November 12, unless ByteDance was purchased by a US firm.

Related: TikTok’s Going to be Alright

However, TikTok hasn’t heard from the US government in two months.

“TikTok has actively engaged with CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States) in good faith to address its national security concerns, even as we disagree with its assessment,” TikTok said in a statement.

One of the solution ideas was a deal between ByteDance, Oracle and Walmart. There aren’t many details yet, but the company added that it filed a court petition with the US Appeals Court to “defend our rights and those of our more than 1,500 employees in the US.”

Related: TikTok Is Safe, For Now

“In the nearly two months since the president gave his preliminary approval to our proposal to satisfy those concerns, we have offered detailed solutions to finalize that agreement but have received no substantive feedback on our extensive data privacy and security framework,” TikTok said.

Earlier this month there was a preliminary injunction against the TikTok ban after three TikTok stars sued the US government for putting their jobs at risk. Gen Z, it doesn’t look like you’ll be losing your favorite app just yet.

Photo via Getty

Noah Beck Responds to $10,000 TikTok Duet Backlash

Noah Beck is responding to criticism over his $10,000 TikTok duet price tag.

Earlier this week, the Sway House member shocked fans after appearing to offer collaborations for the hefty sum, which was quickly labeled as “insane” by critics, per Dexerto. However, Beck himself has now addressed the controversy by clarifying that the $10,000 price was for brands in a new video with Pap Galore.

Related | Forbes List Reveals TikTok’s Top-Earning Stars

Over the weekend, the outlet caught up with Beck while he was on a walk with girlfriend Dixie D’Amelio to ask about the “drama with people saying that your prices are too high with TikTok.”

“I think it’s worth it,” the paparazzo can be heard saying. “You’re one of TikTok’s top creators, so obviously you should charge more, right?”

In response though, Beck explained that he didn’t set those prices and that they weren’t actually meant for fans.

“Obviously, I’ve duetted people before and I didn’t charge them,” he said, before adding, “I know people have been saying like, ‘He thinks he’s Harry Styles.’ But it really isn’t like that.”

“It’s just a brand deal,” he continued. “I don’t think anyone should be charging $10,000 for a TikTok duet.”

Watch Beck talk about the controversy for yourself, below.

Photo via Getty


Viral Fleetwood Mac Skateboarder Nathan Apodaca Is Engaged

Viral TikTok star Nathan Apodaca is officially engaged to his girlfriend Estela Chavez.

Last month, the Idaho-based skateboarder skyrocketed to fame with a bliss-filled clip of himself vibing to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” and drinking cranberry juice. But as someone who’s given us such feel-good content, it’s also been incredible to see him continue to live his best life — and now, he gets to share it all with someone special.

Related | The People’s King: Meet Nathan Apodaca

In a heartwarming update, TMZ reported that Apodaca proposed to Chavez this past Saturday in Las Vegas. The couple — who met at the potato factory where he works — have been dating for a little over a year.

According to the outlet, they’re currently planning on getting married next month ahead of the holidays. And if that isn’t a happily ever after worthy of the People’s King, then we don’t know what is.

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Photo courtesy of Nathan Apodaca

Feeling Anxious? Try Watching Chinese Cottagecore Videos

The video opens on a delicately-featured young woman with rosebud lips, porcelain skin and braided jet-black hair. She’s dressed in traditional Chinese farmer attire: a royal blue Hanfu tunic and utilitarian gray pants. Kneeling with foot-long metal tweezers in hand, she delicately rakes a blanket of fallen leaves to uncover chestnuts, while two curious white puppies and a fluffy baby goat follow her every move. There is no voiceover or music at first — just the satisfying ASMR crunch of dried leaves.

Related | TikTok’s Cottagecore Influencers Explain the Trend

Titled “Peanut and melon seeds, dried meat, dried fruit, snowflake cake — snacks for Spring Festival,” it’s creator Li Ziqi’s most-watched YouTube video on YouTube, with more than 72 million views. It perfectly captures the aesthetics of “Chinese cottagecore,” a trending style that romanticizes country life and features natural settings, foraged food and rustic cottages. As a result, Ziqi has become one of China’s leading internet sensations, with 13.2 million followers on YouTube and 34 million on Douyin (China’s version of TikTok).

The appeal of Chinese cottagecore is summarized in a comment below Ziqi’s video with more than 24,000 likes. “Deep down,” it reads, “I know this is how life is actually supposed to be.”

What is cottagecore?

Popular with video creators and influencers around the world, cottagecore encapsulates a broad church of ideas and aesthetics. But some of its hallmarks include gratuitous shots of countryside porn (from long HD pans of verdant forests to rich close-ups of freshly harvested ingredients transformed into an elaborate meal), rustic furniture and old-fashioned clothing. Tranquil soundtracks blend the sensibilities of Florence and the Machine and Bon Iver.

“This word is so sweet to the ear,” says 22-year-old Swann R., who lives deep in the French countryside and runs an online cottagecore clothing store. “I imagine a hot vanilla tea chilling on a desk, sweetened with honey from a local producer. I am thinking of the great misty English moors, of French castles, of Italian balconies.”

Mari Muzi, a 26-year-old from North Tonawanda, New York, has been a fan of cottagecore since 2012, describing the movement as “the romanticization of homesteading.” She’s watched how cottagecore changes with each new culture it filters through. “The term is so new and it’s still taking shape,” Muzi explains. “It’s fair game for any culture, I’ve come across Slavic and Puerto Rican cottagecore.” Old-fashioned as its aesthetics may be, cottagecore has mixed with 21st century social progressiveness. The trend is known for its inclusivity and embraced of the LGBTQ+ community.

How is Chinese cottagecore unique?

Cottagecore claims a particular appeal In China, where many disaffected urban youths are overwhelmed by the stress and competition of life in the city. Thirty-year-old Ziji is a good example of this struggle. She dropped out of school at 14 years old to start working in Mianyang City to support her grandmother, who lived below the poverty line. There, she says she struggled to survive, working at various times as a waitress, bar singer and electrician. She recalls not having enough food to eat, and sleeping under bridges or on park benches. Ultimately, she moved back home to the mountains in the village of Northwestern Pingwu, where she soon became inspired to document her life on the farm with a single DSLR camera on a tripod.

In contrast to Western cottagecore, which celebrates the individual, Chinese cottagecore videos often highlight the traditional family unit, as seen in the work by Dianxi Xiaoge, a Chinese cottagecore creator located in the countryside of Baoshan Yunnan.

Her most popular video, with over 38 million views, showcases the preparation of the Chinese specialty of lard-sealed pork. It’s marinated in a mixture of Sichuan pepper powder and tsaoko powder for three days, then deep-fried, sealed in a jug with pork fat, steamed and stir-fried with green garlic. Like most of her videos, it ends at the family dinner table, with everyone enjoying the fruits of her hard labor.

Another video (with over ten million views), by Ermi Chuiyan, showcases the process of creating seven different duck egg delicacies over the course of two months. She carefully washes 100 duck eggs by hand, creates a mud and spice mix in which she buries several of the eggs and while pickling the others, harvests vegetables, shucks corn, pulls the kernels off individually by hand and drains the egg whites through a small hole to make a stuffing which is stuffed back into the egg. From there she makes a glutinous rice egg, preserved duck egg congee, egg yolk corn, crab yolk tofu, burnt pepper preserved egg, Songhua preserved eggs, and salted duck eggs—all for one dinner with her family.

Chinese cottagecore is not limited to young, attractive 20-something women. 63-year-old Wang Dewen, also known as Grandpa Amu, counts over 1.3 million subscribers on YouTube. He’s a master carpenter from China’s Shandong province and uses ancient mortise-and-tenon woodworking techniques, featuring intricately cut pieces of wood that fit together without nails or glue, to create toys such as a bamboo bubble machine and mini water wheel for his toddler grandson.

Not merely a romantic countryside aesthetic, Chinese cottagecore also seeks to specifically celebrate Chinese culture — especially in contrast to Western trends that have proliferated there in past decades.

Michael Pugliano, 38-year-old creative director at Ayzenberg in Los Angeles and fan of Li Ziqi explains: “It’s interesting to note that Chinese-style cottagecore simultaneously seems to harken back to a more fabled pre-Communist Chinese dreamscape, while also championing a Mao-era focus on the power of hard work and agriculture.”

The impression is also shared by China’s communist party, which controversially named Ziqi a “good young netizen” and role model for Chinese youth in 2018. As a result, some accuse her of creating carefully constructed pro-CCP propaganda.

Bringing it all back home

Ziqi says her motivations have more to do with bringing more “life” to China. In a rare interview with China-based English language publication Goldthread, she explains the contrast between urban and rural life: “When I worked in the city, it was all about survival. Now when I work in the countryside, I feel like I’m truly living. I want kids in the city to see where their food comes from. A teacher friend once told me some students thought rice grew on trees.”

And her videos certainly walk the walk. Those foraged chestnuts from her most popular video are roasted in a brick stove that she built by hand — brick by brick. Ziqi also showcases the arts of huózì yìnshuā (woodblock printing), shǔxiù (Sichuan embroidery), and shūfǎ (Chinese calligraphy) in her videos.

In another video, she raises silkworms, demonstrating the ancient art of sericulture. She picks the mulberry leaves for their food, washes and stretches out hundreds of cocoons individually, and finally enlists her family to spend the entire day stretching each cocoon even more over the surface of a large table. All this effort produces one quilt and outfit for her grandmother.

Chinese cottagecore has continued to grow in popularity both locally and internationally, even as anti-Chinese xenophobia has risen during the pandemic. As Pugliano explains, “anti-Chinese sentiment is often born from ignorance about Chinese culture, values, and its wealth of beautiful contributions to the world.”

It helps that the content is also incredibly soothing — in globally anxious times, the longing for family, beauty and rural simplicity clearly crosses cultural lines.

Screenshot via YouTube

Why Don’t We Covers Aly & AJ’s ‘Potential Breakup Song’

As a band whose origin story heavily involves the internet, it’s only fitting that Why Don’t We has returned to their viral roots by covering one of the hottest songs on TikTok right now.

Related | Why Don’t We Is the Next Generation’s All-American Boy Band

If you’ve been anywhere near the platform in the past couple of weeks, you’ve likely noticed a huge uptick in videos using Aly & AJ‘s 2007 hit, “Potential Breakup Song.” And while it’s an undeniable bop in and of itself, Why Don’t We has now put their own soulful, stripped-down spin on the familiar song.

@alyandaj

it took too long, it took too long, it took too long for us to Tik Tok ##potentialbreakup ##potentialbreakupsong ##alyandaj ##newalbumcomingsoon

♬ Potential Breakup Song – Aly & AJ

Featuring only a single guitar for back-up, the boys’ version may be a mellower, moodier affair. However, in between the vocal runs and impressive harmonizing, it somehow still manages to be as electrifying as the synth-heavy original — and the results are undeniably swoon-worthy.

Check out Why Don’t We’s cover for yourself, below.

this is the potential breakup song @alyandaj pic.twitter.com/OjnfdfYjXx

— Why Don’t We (@whydontwemusic) November 9, 2020

Photo courtesy of Pamela Littky

Furries Have Taken Over a VR Version of Four Seasons Total Landscaping

Furries have a new virtual meet-up spot, and it’s none other than a VR version of the much-memed Four Seasons Total Landscaping business.

Shortly after news outlets reported that Joe Biden had won the election on Saturday morning, Trump announced that his campaign would be holding a press conference at the Four Seasons hotel in Philadelphia. However, in a surreal mix-up straight out of network television comedy, the slapdash event actually ended up taking place in the parking lot of a similarly named landscaping business — something that’s since lent itself to plenty of online confusion, many jokes, and even merch.

Related | We’ll Never Get Tired of Four Seasons Total Landscaping Memes

But just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the furry community has one-upped all of the memes by creating an exquisite online rendition of the moment, which includes a rickety “Trump 2020” podium and hastily made backdrop.

In a video tweeted out by YouTuber Coopertom on Monday, a number of furries can be seen hanging out in a virtual reality version of the infamous parking lot via VRChat. And while Coopertom revealed that they’re still working on adding the crematorium and sex shop that are next door to the IRL Four Seasons, that obviously hasn’t stopped furries from using the space to throw a continuous online party — and for good reason.

In the meantime though, you can check out the video from the gathering, below.

Ha ha ha OMG! The grand debut of Four Seasons Total Landscaping was AMAZING! Thank you to everyone who showed up! pic.twitter.com/2c5KQKQwgC

— coopertom (@thecoopertom) November 9, 2020

Photo via Getty

We’ll Never Get Tired of Four Seasons Total Landscaping Memes

It might be the best slow burn news story of the year. Or… second best. On Saturday morning, just as America was being made aware that Biden had finally won enough electoral college votes to become president-elect, the Trump campaign was making a last-ditch attempt to sow confusion over the count with a catastrophic PR failure of Veep-style proportions.

Related | There’s Already Four Seasons Total Landscaping Merch

No, it wasn’t a joke. Rudy Giuliani really did hold a press conference at the Four Seasons Total Landscaping parking lot after Trump had mistakenly announced on Twitter that the event would take place at the somewhat fancier Four Seasons hotel in Philadelphia.

I could write jokes for 800 years and I’d never think of something funnier than Trump booking the Four Seasons for… https://t.co/HoNzSpDrlt — Zack Bornstein (@Zack Bornstein)1604804994.0
To clarify, President Trump’s press conference will NOT be held at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia.
It will be hel… https://t.co/s60hWzs1zw — Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center (@Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center)1604763914.0
Some say the world will end in fire/
Others say at Four Seasons Total Landscaping north of the Tacony-Palmyra bridge, near the porn shop — Jake Tapper (@Jake Tapper)1604811732.0

Four Seasons Total Landscaping memes are now inescapable — it’s been a good start to what’s hopefully a more lighthearted internet era under Biden. We can laugh again! We really can.

I want to know who it was at the Four Seasons Landscaping that

—answered the phone
—heard that the Trump campaign… https://t.co/VVYhWKJsh8 — Josiah Hawthorne (@Josiah Hawthorne)1604783117.0

Don’t let the naysayers stop you from sharing. Even after three days, Four Seasons memes are still extremely funny. The gloss of a Biden presidency will no doubt wear off almost immediately… but the image of Rudy haplessly bringing a convicted sex offender onstage to endorse a presidential candidate who has already lost will likely continue to be hilarious forever.

Mentally I’m at the crematorium across from Four Seasons Total Landscaping https://t.co/Sj5y7W8FGe — groucho marxist (@groucho marxist)1604846256.0

Please enjoy our favorite memes, below. And yes, you can already buy Four Seasons Total Landscaping merch.

i’m at the four seasons.
i’m at the total landscaping.
i’m at the combination Four Seasons and Total Landscaping — Moses Sumney (@Moses Sumney)1604882078.0
On way my to get a brazillian at The Four Seasons Total Landscaping. — Chelsea Handler (@Chelsea Handler)1604878276.0
I work at Four Seasons Total Landscaping in PA https://t.co/cX6bIMkag8 — Christine Nangle (@Christine Nangle)1604797508.0
I’m sorry I can’t let this go: the people who can’t find the right Four Seasons want you to believe they uncovered… https://t.co/vaVD83PA79 — Jeffrey Lieber (@Jeffrey Lieber)1604810842.0
[twitter_embed https://www.twitter.com/Sean_Butler1/status/1325211114989187078 expand=1]
In nine months a lot of baby girls are going to be named “Georgia” and “Four Seasons Total Landscaping.” — Bess Kalb (@Bess Kalb)1604807761.0
Shout out to the Four Seasons Landscaping person who stone cold booked Rudy’s press conference and ran their credit… https://t.co/jC6FUfAbJp — Corporate Goth (@Corporate Goth)1604793057.0
where would your campaign’s last stand take place. what would be your campaign’s four seasons total landscaping — JP (@JP)1604885792.0
This is not over. For we shall mount our righteous stand at Four Seasons Total Landscaping. Next to Fantasy Island… https://t.co/3A7Yy14MAh — Patton Oswalt (@Patton Oswalt)1604771223.0
BREAKING- Rumored that Rudy G. Spent $835 at the adult store by Four Seasons Landscaping to help fill the Trump Library. — Tony Posnanski (@Tony Posnanski)1604942707.0
guys be like “i know a spot” and take you to four seasons total landscaping — gary from teen mom (@gary from teen mom)1604938545.0
“ARE YOU FROM FOUR SEASONS TOTAL LANDSCAPING?” https://t.co/ydS4cEZnSY — J Farrers (@J Farrers)1604785762.0
My new background for conference calls https://t.co/rp0nqNV7F2 — William LeGate 🇺🇸 (@William LeGate 🇺🇸)1604935904.0
Four Seasons Total Landscaping is also my secret code name for a bikini wax. — Emmy Rossum (@Emmy Rossum)1604793211.0
No matter what happens from here — and most of us are not laboring under the delusion that it’s smooth sailing in… https://t.co/HZUchnrzkE — Bill Corbett (@Bill Corbett)1604934565.0
Kudos to the 2020 writers for dropping in the Pfizer vaccine news a week after the election, and having Rudy Giulia… https://t.co/tGJrbvMAY3 — George Takei (@George Takei)1604930741.0
We’re asking people to keep an eye out for us. It turns out all our hay straw and wheat straw has been taken over t… https://t.co/dan0baenH5 — Four Seasons Total Landscaping (@Four Seasons Total Landscaping)1604921616.0
BREAKING: Jason Derulo falls down stairs at the Four Seasons Total Landscaping in Philadelphia https://t.co/dZCjAiKsjX — bailey disler (@bailey disler)1604789407.0
Tom Brady will be holding his post-game press conference in the Four Seasons Landscaping parking lot. — jimmy dunn (@jimmy dunn)1604895809.0
My favorite part of my first wedding at Four Seasons Total Landscape was when we cut the cake with a spade. — Faith Salie (@Faith Salie)1604890395.0
put the Trump presidential library at the Four Seasons Total Landscaping — Amber Sparks (@Amber Sparks)1604890314.0
Four Seasons Total Landscaping https://t.co/Qc7UhhtDtu — natalie tran (@natalie tran)1604802715.0
I don’t mean to brag but I actually watched the live feed of the now infamous press conference at the Philadelphia… https://t.co/JalZQvTlQe — Kathy Griffin (@Kathy Griffin)1604889724.0
Philly’s hottest club is Four Seasons Total Landscaping. They’ve got everything: a crematorium, a dildo store, Rudy… https://t.co/QOJ9jxo8Ln — Drivont (@Drivont)1604847903.0

Photo via Getty

Leo Reilly Is More Than Just a Wario Doppelganger

He’s wearing an earring of himself as a baby, with a little baby mustache on. It’s on his left ear. At 21 years old, Leo Reilly is already a burgeoning multihyphenate, with toes dipped in fashion, music and social media content creation. The way he explains it, and with a distinct breezy gusto, is that his virality on platforms like TikTok and Instagram feeds into his real passions: design and recording.

The physical comparisons are obvious — and he’s heard them all before. There’s a bit of Freddie Mercury peppered with some Ezra Miller and undeniable traces of Wario from Nintendo’s Mario. “You would expect me at this point to be like ‘stop calling me Freddie Mercury,'” he says. “But you got to think about it objectively and whenever I see a new comment or a new DM of ‘you look Freddie, oh my God’ or ‘I didn’t know Freddie had an Instagram account,’ I think about it from their perspective, like if I was seeing me for the first time, I too would be like, ‘Oh yeah, Freddie Mercury.’ And so it makes sense every new time I see it. It’s more so funny to me that people still think they’re the first person figuring it out.”

A March profile in The Cut seemed to paint Reilly in broad strokes: a simpleton amidst extraordinary circumstances. “Reilly’s presence is naïve, but not entirely,” wrote Brock Colyar. “He’s a celebrity child with an elite Waldorf education, who pursued a college degree in fashion design. He’s an LA cool kid who lives with his blonde-mulleted, androgynous girlfriend. He plays with conventional gender norms despite the fact that he also seems like just another 21-year-old guy who surrounds himself with succulents, and plays with a pet Tamagotchi or logs on to Animal Crossing.” But the Reilly I speak to over Zoom is far more complex. It’s not that he’s not those things. But there’s an awareness, as well as an active desire to push back, do more, and be more.

Related | Do Straight People Know About the Pink Nike Sweatshirt?

Take, for instance, our conversation about the moment we’re living in. I ask him what he wants for our country’s future under the leadership of President-elect Joe Biden. He pauses to think critically. “First and foremost, getting all the steps backwards that we’ve taken this last four years, taking those steps forward again in the hope of at least getting back to where we were. From there we gotta have mass reform across almost every part of the government and society in general. It’s a scary time. Like, I can’t believe I’m even saying that. I mean, everybody knows what’s going on, but it’s a wild time for this huge apocalyptic mess of events to be happening and then for my career to be taking off in the middle of it.”

That career includes the July release of his debut LOOK AT THIS MESS I’VE MADE, precluded by two debut singles — “BOYFREN” and “ROSIE” — the latter of which is (sadly) not an homage to Rosie O’Donnell. Quarantine squashed any plans to promote the EP IRL and thus Reilly has been forced to get creative. Luckily, that’s a comforting place to be for him.

Below, we chat with Reilly about putting USB ports on earrings, how COVID has changed him and oh, of course, growing up as the son of John C. Reilly.

You’re known for rocking many shades of hair color. Have you colored your hair or had the inclination to do so at all in quarantine?

I went through a heavy period for like four years where I would change my hair every couple months. I feel like I really put my hair through the ringer there for a while, just bleaching it over and over again. I had bleached hair for a year and a half and then I shaved it and then went aquamarine, I did like a purple, a silver, and then a green. I kind of did all the colors that I would want to do at that point. It’s funny you mention this though because literally today I was talking with some friends and I was like, “it’s been too long since I’ve changed my…” I was looking at pictures of myself from a year ago and I looked the same, and that’s just not a good feeling for me.

It’s not a good feeling to be the same. What do you mean by that?

It’s just not exciting. And I think I look at music in a similar way, where when I was starting to make music four or five years ago I wanted to make as many kinds of music at all times so I could have the freedom to go down whatever path I’m drawn to at the moment. When I change how I look, it’s like a reset almost; it’s like a shedding of the old way I looked to almost say that that version of me was experiencing any number of issues — depression, anxiety, etc — and I’m resetting, like shaving it off or dying my hair, and trying something new. Right now, as we speak, my hair is just far too long. I was thinking of maybe doing a blond streak in my hair and then having the blonde streak continue down through my eyebrow and then through my mustache. It might look terrible, it might look cool, but I haven’t seen anybody do something like that. So, you know, somebody has got to try it.

Related | PAPER People: @japanesegrandpa

When did you first become interested in fashion?

When I was in like sixth grade I was super into basketball. For a minute there I was like “that’s going to be my thing. I’m going to be in the NBA.” I’m glad that I let myself think that for a little bit, but at the time I was like five foot two, and pretty average at basketball, but it was good to dream [laughs]. But yeah, one of the first things I loved about basketball was the basketball shoes and how they looked, how they performed, everything about them. So I started a YouTube channel where I did basketball shoe reviews: breaking it down, going through the traction, the comfort, the fit and all that.

And from there I branched out from basketball shoes to just shoes in general. And then from there it was like, well, what goes with shoes, clothes? So then I got super into that. And towards the end of high school, I started to realize that a lot of the stuff that I wanted to wear, I wasn’t finding in stores, so I would start thrifting a lot. I’ve known how to sew and knit since a young age, so I revisited that skill and started customizing clothes. I really fell in love with making clothes and fashion design and every step of that process, so I ended up going to school at FIDM.

Are there certain designers who inspire you most?

When I was starting off, Vivienne Westwood was one of my favorite people. There was just such a fuck you attitude to all her stuff where the patterns didn’t have to match. It’s whatever you feel like wearing as opposed to here’s what’s the zeitgeist of the current time is. But then on the flip side of that, there’s much more technical people like Rick Owens and Yohji Yamamoto who use silhouette as their primary way to convey what they’re trying to get across artistically. And so then that blew my mind too, because on one hand you have like Vivienne who was very oriented toward the expression and the colors and the patterns and the styling is the message. And then on the other end, you have the details and the measurements of Yohji and Rick’s stuff, which is their focus.

The specificity of that response! I feel like often I get like an “Oh, I love McQueen,” or “I love Dior.” And I liked that you gave me three very specific references to work with. I’ve seen your style referred to as genderless. I’m not entirely sure what that means and I’m curious what you make of such a description? Is that something you think about when dressing up?

I mean you see it in all different parts of pop culture, where someone will make something that is just genuine to who they are and it makes them feel good and represents to them how they want to be presented. And they don’t think about it. Like for me, when I make an earring or paint my nails, I’m not thinking, “I want to do this genderless thing.” I just want to paint my nails. I just want to make this earring. And so then I think where we get pronouncements like that is when after me or someone in my position does something like that. It’s everybody else trying to make sense of that and use terms that they know to describe it. I just do it intuitively, because that’s what feels right to me. People can call it whatever they want, but I definitely agree that there’s some weird, inherent gender assignment that goes on behind the term “genderless.”

Tell me about your robust earring collection, which I read that you both make and sell. How did this interest come about and how do you decide on what to feature?

The earrings all started when I had a bunch of earring hooks laying around from working on some project for school. And I saw my USB flash drive sitting on my desk and I was like, “that’s pretty small; I could probably fit a hoop around that.” And then I realized from there that I can turn any small thing that won’t damage my ear lobe into an earring pretty much. And some are more tame than others, and some have genuine utility, like with the flashdrive I would put my homework on it and then walk into class, take off my earring, plug into the thing, take my Photoshop and Illustrator homework off of there. It’s just so fun and it’s so easy. There’s definitely projects that were where the value in it is the process, but for earrings it’s the opposite where you have the idea, you can make it in a minute and a half and boom, it’s there. And it’s just a very immediate way of taking something around you and working it into what you’re wearing.

So in 2018 Lady Gaga did her Vogue 73 questions interview, and I was really intrigued by one of the questions that the interview asked her. He asked if she ever feels pressure to be “on,” and Gaga responded in the most Gaga of ways by saying she doesn’t know what it means to be “on,” and even threw up air quotes for emphasis. I want to ask you a version of that question. How interested are you in having people know the real you? Because from my perception there’s somewhat of a persona to your existence online that might deviate from who you are in private.

I think the real me comes through in the different characters and personas that I play. Obviously it’s different than just sitting down and having a cup of coffee with me. On one hand you can be like the mysterious “You know nothing about me” type, and it draws you in to find out more. And then on the other side, there’s “I’m super genuine. This is me. Every time you see me, I’m giving you completely unfiltered what I am and who I am.”

Both sides have pros and cons. I find that fully being myself can get a little tricky because the internet’s a scary place and it’s a very vulnerable thing being super, super open. But I also hate nothing more than when someone isn’t being themselves. I think it’s so obvious and easy to see when someone’s just playing a character for the sake of their career or fame or whatever. So I think being super genuine, but also keeping a little bit of mystery so that my characters and just the different ways that I want to represent myself can exist as those separate characters and personalities, without it being so tied to who I really am.

In February, right before the pandemic hit, which was essentially 84 years ago, you became the source of a lot of headlines generated with people online figuring out that John C. Reilly was your dad. I imagine there’s some duality there in both seeing your name out there but also not wanting it to be only associated through the prism of your father but also seeing that that could be a gateway for people to discover you and your work. How did you see it?

It’s never something that I present because I don’t wanna be known for that. I’m my own person. I’m doing my own thing. I’m making my own path. Most of what I’m doing isn’t even in the same world as my dad’s. If I was acting then that would make sense, and I could see people latching onto the comparison more. But on the other hand, like you said, it’s a great opportunity for people to discover me, discover my music, and it’s kind of similar to the Freddie Mercury thing. Like, it wouldn’t really make sense for me to get mad about that, because it’s a thing that people are excited about. So if they discover it and they’re excited about it, let them be excited. But it still is never something that I will lead with, because I feel like people sometimes assume things about me and about the way I was raised based on how they look at other children of celebrities. And I never want people to rush to conclusions about me and that the way I was raised and the way I see things.

I want to get your response to Brock Kolyar’s piece in The Cut in which he wrote, rather harshly: “He’s worth your time for the sheer entertainment of his performances, but you won’t necessarily understand what any of it means. He likely doesn’t know what it means either. In fact, it all might mean nothing.” Is that true? Does it mean nothing?”

I think with that quote it seems to me like he doesn’t understand what the meaning is, and he just left it at that without trying to look into it any further. No knock on him, but everybody interprets what I do differently. I think he should just look a little bit deeper.

Let’s talk about the music. You released your debut EP LOOK AT THIS MESS I’VE MADE in July. The song “Boyfren” became a TikTok sensation. What’s your issue with the “I” and “D” in word boyfriend?

This is something I do in almost all my songs — and a thing that I do in general. There’s words in the English language that would be so much better if they were spelled phonetically. Like “boyfren” is how we say it. The “d” really isn’t important; neither is the “i.” “Tongue” is another one that bothers me. Also there’s a billion songs called “Boyfriend.” I look at everything as a chance to flip it creatively, like this is how it’s been done, what’s a little way I can tweak it? It carries over into everything: the earrings, the clothes I customize, my music videos, really everything. I’m looking for little angles on how to flip stuff.

“Rosie” was released in March, so I have to believe you recorded pre-pandemic. I imagine the pandemic has squashed any plans to promote the EP through live performances. How has COVID affected the rollout of this EP and your musical aspirations more generally?

I was about to go on tour when the pandemic started. I had been practicing in a performance space for months leading up to when the pandemic started and when it started, and everything shut down a week from that date I was supposed to have my first live show. And one of the most exciting things about having my song blow up was having an audience to perform for. So that really sucked.

But the thing is, I’m not going anywhere. Hopefully after this next election cycle, we get a better handle on this pandemic. But everybody had to adjust in terms of rollouts. Part of me wanted to push the EP, but the other part realized that by everybody pushing it, there would be a huge lack of new music, and along with that, a lack of just good things in the world and things for people to be excited about. So there was definitely a slight adjustment period, but I embraced it as opposed to just moping about it and now I feel like I’m in a good spot where I can safely execute many of the ideas that I have in this new apocalyptic world that we live in.

How would you say, if at all, COVID has changed you? Because it’s been six months now. We’ve all had to adjust to what is day-to-day becoming a new normal for us. And I think as a result of that our heartbeats have gotten slower because we’re less active. There’s a lot of ways in which our day-to-day lives have changed, but our emotional and our interior lives have changed as well. What’s one way that you feel like you’ve changed in these — what is it — seven months now?

Well, my number of close friends went from ten to two once quarantine started. When everything started I stopped being active, because it was built into my everyday life pre-quarantine and so once it started, I didn’t really know what to do. And I created some habits for myself that I wasn’t happy with. And in the past month, my girlfriend and I have both made it a point of writing down our goals, writing down the habits we want to have, and then slowly, with each other’s help, working towards getting to that place of living lives that we want to live. And I think in the past couple of weeks, we’ve really kind of zoned in on that. I’ve started waking up a lot earlier. I meditate every day. I do transcendental meditation which is wonderful. I got a blender! So I’ve been making a lot of smoothies, which I absolutely love. You know, taking care of our bodies. And it feels really good to do it and it feels really good to do it with somebody else too.

Couple last questions: What is the most underrated John C. Reilly film?

To be honest, when I was growing up most of the moves he was making were adult movies. So I still to this day have only seen maybe half of his movies. But I would say The Lobster is probably one of the most underrated ones. There’s just so many great existential ideas and questions posed in that, which brings me to my next point: If I was to be turned into an animal, it would definitely be a cheetah. I feel like they live a very loyal and speedy lifestyle and I love that.

Will you two ever release a duet?

Potentially, you know, anything can happen

Would you ever consider doing a cover of “Mr Cellophane”?

My brother and I used to sing that when we were younger. It’s a great, great song and a great performance too. But I don’t think I would. I think he did it the best that you can do that. I think I’ll let that exist as it is.

Welcome to “Wear Me Out,” a column by pop culture fiend Evan Ross Katz that takes a look at the week in celebrity dressing. From award shows and movie premieres to grocery store runs, he’ll keep you up to date on what your favorite celebs have recently worn to the biggest and most inconsequential events.

Header photo: Motoki Maxted


TikTokers Are Trolling Trump’s Voter Fraud Hotline

TikTokers have been using their power on the Internet to influence a bit of politics. Back in June, some were reportedly able to help tank President Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma by purchasing tickets, and not showing up. Now it looks like they’re at it again, this time publishing videos of themselves making calls to the voter fraud hotline the Trump campaign set up after the Biden-Harris win.

Eric Trump, Sen. Rudy Giuliani, and others from the Trump camp have been promoting the new hotline. “Help stop voter suppression, irregularities and fraud,” Trump’s son wrote on Twitter, backing his father’s false claims that voter fraud was committed during the 2020 Presidential Elections. “Tell us what you’re seeing.”

Related | TikTok Users Might’ve Tanked Trump’s Rally

Some TikTokers saw this as a chance to post videos of themselves calling the hotline with ridiculous stories in order to clog it. User @cheesecaseacita told a hotline operator, “I saw people were literally spreading poop all over their ballots,” before the line disconnected.

And in another video, user @caitlynjk95 said “I was in line to vote and, like, there was this guy there, and I don’t know that this is considered fraud or anything, but he was there and he challenged me to a fiddle competition.” The person on the line just replied, “That is very interesting.”

Meanwhile, Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch has been making several calls and posting videos to Twitter. In the prank calls, he used one of the voices of his characters from the Disney show, saying that he committed voter fraud and wanted a medal from Giuliani. And in another one of the calls, he talks about witnessing a man who committed voter fraud, but described McDonalds’ mascot The Hamburglar.

[twitter_embed https://www.twitter.com/_AlexHirsch/status/1324911326624272384 expand=1]

Hahaha can hear how exhausted they are already pic.twitter.com/zoa4HiLaEj

— Alex Hirsch (@_AlexHirsch) November 7, 2020

At the time of writing, the Trump campaign has not been able to present any proof that substantiates their false accusations of voter fraud and “illegal ballots.”

Photo via Getty

Bryce Hall Says Ariana Grande’s TikToker Partying Criticism Was a ‘Marketing Move’

Bryce Hall is pushing back against Ariana Grande‘s TikTok influencer call out by calling it part of a strategic “marketing move.”

During her interview on The Zach Sang Show last week, the pop star — who’s continually urged fans to stay at home — made headlines after coming for those who’ve continued to party throughout the pandemic. And while Grande didn’t name any names, her comments about L.A.’s Saddle Ranch led many to believe she was taking specific aim at the TikTokers who are often spotted there.

Related | Dixie D’Amelio Responds to Ariana Grande’s Influencer Pandemic Partying Shade

That said, Hall apparently had some thoughts of his own about Grande’s perceived shade during a recent conversation with the Hollywood Raw podcast.

Though the influencer began by admitting that Grande was “not wrong,” he said that it was “unnecessary to call out a specific group, especially when there’s other people doing it.”

Not only that, but Hall — who was previously charged for throwing two large gatherings with fellow Sway House member Blake Gray — also went on to seemingly accuse the Grammy winner of calling out TikTokers for the publicity, as they have “a high audience.”

“She knew a lot of people would agree, because there’s a lot of people that hate TikTokers especially,” Hall said. “I mean, it was obviously like a marketing move and good for her. But like, she’s not wrong.”

Listen to Hall’s comments for yourself, here.

Photos via Getty

It Seems We’re Living in a ‘Veep’ Episode

Although Election Day has come and gone, the election itself is still very much underway (as if 2020 wasn’t long enough). The sheer volume of early and mail-in ballots, due in large part to COVID-19 safety measures, has resulted in some delays in key battleground states, including Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina while poll workers ensure all votes are counted properly.

Currently, Joe Biden is ahead with 253 electoral votes, compared to Trump’s 216, meaning we are closing in on the 270 benchmark needed to win the presidency and with margins as razor thin as 1%, the election may hinge on just a couple thousand votes.

Related | Nevada Is Officially a Meme

As the tally slowly rolls in, things are not looking promising for the incumbent President. So, naturally, as Trump begins to see his presidency slip away, he’s returning to his comfort zone: nonsensical tweeting and attempts to discredit our democratic process. Rather than accept the results, he’s crying “fraud” in states where he was ahead prior to mail-in vote counts, like Pennsylvania and Georgia, asking that election officials “STOP THE COUNT.” Meanwhile, in states like Nevada and Arizona where the early voter turn out is leaning in his favor, Trump is asking that all votes be counted.

STOP THE COUNT!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2020

We have claimed, for Electoral Vote purposes, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (which won’t allow legal observers) the State of Georgia, and the State of North Carolina, each one of which has a BIG Trump lead. Additionally, we hereby claim the State of Michigan if, in fact,…..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2020

If it feels like you’re in a political satire TV episode, rather than real life — that’s because you are. On Twitter, people were quick to call out some feelings of deja vu, comparing current events to Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ VEEP, in which… the exact same scenario was played out on screen (except then, it was funny).

THIS IS LITERALLY AN EPISODE OF VEEP https://t.co/TkNdIRCxo9 https://t.co/n5BpNwsuiZ — Alyssa hallucinated a pandemic? (@Alyssa hallucinated a pandemic?)1604548957.0
[twitter_embed https://www.twitter.com/birdswithknees/status/1324202426803449857 expand=1]
@alyssalavacca the way veep has ended up being a reality😭 https://t.co/JEurgiX0H6 — dalia (@dalia)1604554711.0

So, while we’re all still on the edge of our seats waiting for those final states to count out their votes — here’s looking at you Nevada! — one thing’s for sure, 2020 continues to be a year of absolute clownery.

Photo via Getty/ Tayfun Coskun/ Anadolu Agency

food house Turns the Snare Up One More Level

The chaotic, collective efforts of Gupi and Fraxiom first burst onto people’s radar this February with their underground smash, “Thos Moser.” Naturally finding a home on Dog Show Records, the label helmed by 100 gecs’ Dylan Brady, “Thos Moser” is a giddy and hyperactive electro-house banger that makes no attempt to hide the duo’s feelings about Elon Musk, Notch or Zedd. The track’s viral success destroyed any hold the East Coast furniture manufacturer had on its SEO and established the group as one of the most exciting, new acts to bubble up from this year’s hyperpop scene.

Bolstered by the unexpected success of “Thos Moser” (and left with frankly not much else to do under quarantine), Gupi and Fraxiom got to work on the inevitable follow-up. Now collectively known as food house, they have returned with a self-titled debut album. Like shotgunning the entirety of Tumblr, Reddit and 4Chan at the height of the Homestuck fandom, food house’s breakout sounds like mainlining cringe comps and bass-boosted TikToks all while listening to every top 10 pop hit between the years of 2010 and 2013 at the same time. It’s the type of music that makes what we typically think of as hyperpop look decaf.

Related | food house Take to the Target/CVS Parking Lot for ‘Ride’

The amount of inside jokes, absurd skits and obscure pop culture references food house manages to cram into this album is staggering. There’s an ode the parking lot outside a Target/CVS pharmacy, a cameo from Siri confirming that Ronald Reagan is still dead and a moment where Gupi screams at Fraxiom to “just sing real shit” after a line about eating baby food. Sonically, it’s just as varied with clear nods to Owl City, Deadmau5, David Guetta, PC Music, Drain Gang, the aforementioned 100 gecs, Soundcloud shitposts, peak Majestic Casual future bass and more. Each track is a sharp left turn from the one before it. In anyone else’s hands, the whole thing would undoubtedly collapse under its own weight, but food house manages to pull it off with an earnestness and don’t-give-a-fuck attitude that makes everything go down rather smoothly.

Ahead of the release of food house’s album, Gupi and Fraxiom half-joke about how they need to get the word out that an album actually exists and it isn’t another meme among their friend group. And while there is really nothing explicitly preventing anyone from enjoying the full project, both are conscious that not everyone will fully “get” it and that’s OK. Not everyone grew up listening to Crazy Frog on their iPod shuffle or freaked their friends out with Lasagna Cat videos or lived through the Onceler fandom. But everyone is welcome in food house (unless you’re a cop, a TERF or a billionaire… then you can actually fuck off).

What is your process working together like?

Frax: It’s like me tweeting, “Too shy to ask Spencer [Gupi] to make a Drain Gang-type beat,” and then he sees it and then he does it really, really well and I’m like, “Fuck he did it,” and then it’s like, “Watch this! But I ri-i-i-ide,” and then yeah.

Gupi: That is exactly how “Ride” came about actually. Other times, we’ll see a funny Twitter video where it’s like, “Oh no, I accidentally turned the bass up too loud while the music is playing,” and then we’re like, “Let’s make a beat that sounds like this.” We watched a lot of YouTube during quarantine, a lot of Degrassi, How it’s Made and food processing machine videos. Those always have funny, royalty-free music in them and we’re like, “Oh let’s make something like this,” and Frax writes all the lyrics in 10 minutes and it happens.

Frax: I got a little thing going, I guess.

Sick. What are some of your references or inspirations for this album?

Gupi: There’s a whole lot. I don’t know, Frax, what comes to mind first?

Frax: Definitely Black Eyed Peas, Far East Movement, Kesha, all that sort of pop. Also some “now” music like SoundCloud, Drain Gang and Will Crooks shit, that whole type of music. PC Music and [100] gecs of course, that’s obvious that we were going to be influenced by that because everybody knows it’s the Dog Show [Records] formula.

Gupi: Yeah! I have to agree, I think we were trying to very much emulate that era of music where I think pop was just a little more fun, to be honest. I listen to pop music now and it’s not that it’s bad, but I just don’t want to listen to it over and over. There’s so many songs from that era that everyone still gets down to like Kesha’s Animal and that Black Eyed Peas album. You don’t hear that type of stuff in popular radio anymore. It’s sort of its own subset. We definitely made a hybrid of that era and newer electronic music from a lot of people that we grew up making music around or listening to.

Frax: A. G. Cook, Black Eyed Peas.

Gupi: Yeah, in summary.

Related | Don’t Cry for Kesha

Was 3OH!3’s “Don’t Trust Me” that era, too?

Frax: Oh my fucking god!

Gupi: Yeah! That was the first one I was going to say, to be honest. [Laughs]

Frax: I love 3OH!3, I’m going to cry. Please include 3OH!3, oh my god.

“Mos Thoser” completely reminds me of those Minecraft parody music videos people used to make.

Gupi: Dude! I sent it to drive45 and they were like, “I love ‘Mos Thoser,’ it sounds like the Five Nights at Freddy’s parody music,” like holy shit! Didn’t even mean it to!

Frax: Wait wait wait, like a specific Five Nights song?

Gupi: No! But I love that two people have basically said like, “Yo, that sounds like 2012 parody YouTube music!” [Laughs]

Frax: I love when people in the comments are like, “This sounds like The Living Tombstone,” I’m like, “True!”

Gupi: I’m really excited for people right before the album to think that’s sort of like all we do, and then listen to the album and maybe feel differently in a good or bad way.

Frax: Wow, people think that we’re EpicRapBattlesofHistory, right now!

Did the response to “Thos Moser” end up influencing how the album took shape?

Frax: It was a bit of a radio smash, I guess.

Gupi: I think we were expecting people to be excited because we had people approach us about it before it came out and that was the first time that it happened for either of us with a song. I think it did much better than we were anticipating and became more of a thing. When we first were writing the song, we thought it was more gonna be an inside joke among friends and reach somewhat of an audience just in our weird circle. But it became more than that. We soundchecked it at MAGFest one time and Water Spirit came up to me and was like, “Wait that’s your song?,” before it had even come out. It was exciting, but also a little intimidating because we didn’t really have anything planned to come out after that. All of the food house album was made after “Thos Moser.”

Frax: Definitely. One of my favorite periods of time was when more people heard “Thos Moser than they knew what it was. It was on Reddit and shit. People were like, “Is this Bladee or Ecco2K, what is this song?”

Gupi: Holy shit. [Laughs] I’m trying to think of that brain connection. It was on that PC Music shitposting Facebook group.

Frax: Yeah, that was crazy. Even when we made the album, we still tried to retain that inside joke energy throughout. We made “Thos Moser,” but there are moments in it where it’s just like, “More than our friends are gonna listen to this,” like, “That’s funny, fuck you.”

Gupi: Will Crook’s EP that just came out starts with, “If you are not a Will Crooks fan, turn this shit the fuck off!” I feel like it’s sort of a similar energy. You can listen to it if you want, you can listen to it with your parents in the car.

Related | Does 3OH!3 Regret ‘Don’t Trust Me’?

I’m sure an album between you two would have always happened eventually, but would you say “Thos Moser’s” success helped make the food house album possible?

Gupi: We’ve been planning on making new music for a while. That’s why we made “Thos Moser” because it was actually going to be on our EP or album that we were conceptually doing. So we would have done it, anyways. But you’re very right that it did feel like a realization that, “Oh, people will like this.”

Frax: It made me realize that when we are together, we have this dynamic that a lot of people really like to see and is good at making a song that we like, which is cool, crazy and rare. What’s awesome about it too is that we are literally just being ourselves, which is why it doesn’t feel real. It’s just this instinct that we’ve built by spending so long hanging out and socially damaging ourselves that we can just trust how fucked up we’re gonna be. There’s a genre of person who will like that.

Gupi: That’s right. When I got to Boston and Frax was there, that was for both of us an extremely isolating time in our life. We really only had each other and I couldn’t relate to anyone else like that. It’s interesting to see all of these kids come out of the woodwork that are like, “Oh, this is cool.” I just didn’t know where they were before. It’s very interesting to see and rewarding because I was those kids listening to 100 gecs in like 2018.

Frax: Absolutely, yes. Seeing all the fan art and shit is so crazy all the time. People are going nuts, wild, love it.

What’s the backstory behind the audio clip we hear in “Mos Thoser”?

Gupi: I got a phone call from my school’s police department and I had reported something at the school, so I expected it to be about that. I was like, “I’ll just answer later.” I heard the voicemail and basically the dude was like, “I need to talk to you, there’s been some disturbing exchanges between you and Frax on Twitter.” When he said that, my heart sank. I was like, “What are you talking about?” [Laughs] I knew that we posted crazy shit, but nothing that was worth a police phone call. I guess there was a photo that either Frax or I had posted a while ago, and I could have sworn that I deleted it because my mom had a whole fit about it with me and wanted me to delete it.

Frax: It still gets fucking posted everywhere, so we have no control over it being gone.

Gupi: It was Frax with an airsoft gun pointed at my head. It was sort of funny, but it wasn’t a great time to pull something like that. What did you have to do after?

Frax: I did nothing. You told them where I lived because if you didn’t, they were gonna investigate me themselves. Then my parents were gonna find out, basically. I knew that all they were going to do was ban me from Berklee [College of Music] and I had no desire to go back to Berklee. Then they sent me this shit in the mail. It’s like, “If you step on the campus of Berklee, you will get arrested,” and it’s framed in my living room. Literally after tweeting it, I was like, “Should I delete this?” And you were like, “Nah, that’s fine.”

Gupi: Oh my god, well here we are.

Frax: Yeah, what’s funny is that he definitely did not have to do shit because I didn’t do anything actually wrong, and definitely targeted me because I was openly queer and anti-police.

Gupi: Absolutely, yeah.

Frax: I think it’s funny that now because of that, he is going to be the laughingstock of this album that is probably going to be like, published by Berklee.

Gupi: They’re gonna be so fucking proud of me.

Frax: There’s literally in the middle of the album a 22 second pause just to make fun of him, so that’s revenge.

Gupi: I think it worked out, but sorry that that was basically all my fault. [Laughs]

Frax: If I liked to go to Berklee, or if I wanted to be on campus, I would have maybe been mad but it’s whatever.

Do you think Skrillex is a good kisser?

Frax: Yeah, I could only hope. Like no one has kissed him, right?

Gupi: I feel like he’d be an awkward shy kiss or not know what to do. But really, “No, it’s OK Skrillex, it’s OK.” [Laughs]

What flavor of lipgloss would you pick out to kiss Skrillex?

Frax: Oh my god, definitely strawberry or cherry because he’s either mint or dark licorice or dark chocolate and strawberry or cherry would complement all of those at least semi-well.

Gupi: This is brain-genius thinking that I can’t even compete with. I don’t even want to say anything, that’s nuts. [Laughs] I agree.

Fuck, Marry, Kill: Sonic, Goku, Chef Boyardee.

Frax: Wait, hold on.

Gupi: I feel like I know this.

Frax: Wait, do we both have to answer or do we have to collab on this?

Gupi: I feel like there’s only one answer to this.

Frax: Spencer, wait I’m like thinking about loyalty. [Laughs]

Gupi: My one thing is that I really don’t want to fuck a hedgehog.

Frax: Yeah.

Gupi: So I feel like there’s an answer.

Frax: Say it.

Gupi: I want to marry Sonic because he’d be a lovely partner. I’d fuck Goku and probably kill Chef Boyardee.

Frax: You know what? I will agree because we’re killing the only brand.

Gupi: True!

Frax: I’m questioning Sonic’s faithfulness, but if you get to divorce Sonic you get half his speed.

Gupi: This is a good scheme. I stand with my answer.

Related | Skrillex Interviews 100 gecs About the Future of Music

Where would you take Sonic on a first date, if that’s the case?

Frax: Oh god, Sonic [the fast food chain]. “Sonic, we’re at you.”

Gupi: Frax would go to Sonic with Sonic. I would take Sonic to a skatepark because he could run around.

Femboy Hooters or Trans Bass Pro Shop?

Frax: Trans Bass Pro Shop.

Gupi: I think Trans Bass Pro Shop, too.

Frax: Trans people deserve that pyramid. 100 fucking percent. [Laughs]

Gupi: It’s the trans capital.

Frax: Yeah, exactly. Trans people should take over the Bass Pro Shops pyramid and make it the trans capital.

Gupi: That’s a really good idea. This is gonna be a dangerous article, but in the best way.

Photos courtesy of food house

This ‘BBQ Beer Freedom’ Meme Is Sending Us Right Now

While the nation anxiously awaits the remaining ballots to be counted, settling in for an excruciating wait that promises to drag on for several more days, if not weeks, one thing remains clear: tensions are running high in the Trump camp. So, true to form, 45 riled up his base with false claims of a stolen election, resulting in his supporters attempting to storm ballot counting facilities in the battleground states of Arizona and Michigan.

Related | Holly Herndon on Raising Her AI Baby and Embracing the Future

It also led one man to interrupt a Nevada press conference, shouting “the Biden crime family is stealing the election, the media is covering it up” as local officials looked on unsure how to react before he eventually just moved on. Naturally, a video of the moment went viral with social media equating the man’s “BBQ. BEER. FREEDOM.” tank as being the MAGA equivalent of “Live, Laugh, Love” and, like every other aspect of this prolonged election, memeing the hell out it.

The unhinged rant proved to be too irresistible even to experimental electronic musician, Holly Herndon, who shared her own edit of the clip yesterday. Adding rising layers of autotune and vocal processing until the whole thing crescendos into a helium saturated finish, there’s something weirdly sublime about Herndon’s treatment, if somewhat indescribable as to how.

Sorry I had to https://t.co/XDlnAabuf3 — Holly Herndon (@Holly Herndon)1604530121.0

“If I’m honest it’s not that deep. I think like everyone I’ve been glued to my screen following the election, and am feeling heavy and a little delirious from how serious and dragged out this whole process has been,” Herndon tells PAPER. “Then in the middle of a serious conversation about vote counts some random guy appears out of nowhere shouting nonsense and the absurdity of it all tickled me. I worked on it for about 15 minutes and thought other people might find it funny.”

Got to put some @THEK0UNT drums to great use for this angry little man https://t.co/qzQG2LDWq7 https://t.co/tEUPDvUxJM — IZE THE WZRD (@IZE THE WZRD)1604534198.0
Made a quick “song” last night inspired by @hollyherndon’s edit of angry BBQ/Beer/Freedom guy.… https://t.co/EcWGzShHvc — Sam (@Sam)1604582513.0
Sick set, bro. https://t.co/IYGxSU8lWV — Andrew Ellis (@Andrew Ellis)1604530887.0
@hollyherndon @theneedledrop https://t.co/fsbHhQ40C6 — dOdGyAcCeNt (@dOdGyAcCeNt)1604543586.0

And find it funny they did. It didn’t take long before Herndon’s edit was racking up thousands of retweets and likes taking on a life of its own with people churning out their own remixes and reworks. “I guess the main and maybe boring observation is that you know it’s a meme when it goes so far out of your network or context that it’s not really yours anymore!” Herndon says. “I’ve seen some really funny permutations of it, I like the grindcore one a lot. I also learned a lot about 100 gecs as my mentions have been full of references to that band, which was a fun discovery!”

Overheating in Norway ⛄️ http://t.co/ybEnoyDWKz — Mat Dryhurst (@Mat Dryhurst)1439570350.0

However, Herndon is no stranger to being at the center of a meme. In 2015, a photo from Oya Festival in Norway of a stage’s LED wall lit up with the words, “we are never booking you again,” made the rounds with many speculating and joking about what artist could have possibly pissed off the promoters enough to warrant the rude message. In actuality, the message was written by Herndon’s partner, Mat Dryhurst, after her computer had overheated on stage as a wry joke about their own misfortune. “It’s fun to see these things divorced from any context,” Herndon muses, “maybe the only alarming part is the thought that something like this might be my most well known musical contribution lol. That is terrifying!”

Stream Holly Herndon’s most recent album, PROTO, via 4AD below.

Dixie D’Amelio Responds to Ariana Grande’s Influencer Pandemic Partying Shade

Dixie D’Amelio has responded to Ariana Grande‘s comments about influencers partying during the pandemic.

During a recent interview on the Zach Sang Show, the “Positions” singer appeared to take aim at all the TikTokers who’ve been spotted out-and-about in recent weeks, asking, “Couldn’t we have stayed at home just a few more weeks?”

Related | Miley Cyrus Fans Think She Unfollowed People Who Went to Kendall Jenner’s Birthday Party

“Did we all need to go to fucking Saddle Ranch that badly that we couldn’t have waited for the deathly pandemic to pass?,” Grande said. “Did we all really need to put on our cowgirl boots and ride a mechanical bull that bad? We need that Instagram post that badly?”

And while she didn’t name names, people were quick to zero in on her Saddle Ranch call-out, especially since the L.A. hot spot is popular amongst big TikTok stars. That said, after Grande’s comments went viral earlier this week, D’Amelio — one of the platform’s biggest stars — talked about the perceived shade in a video uploaded by Pap Galore.

“Yeah I saw that. I don’t really know what to think,” she began. And though she went on to admit that Grande was “right,” D’Amelio also didn’t appear too bothered by the criticism and even said she’d love to collaborate with the pop star at some point.

“She’s a queen,” she continued, before concluding, “I love her.”

Watch D’Amelio talk about her reaction, below.

Photos via Getty