Experts are currently warning TikTokers against participating in the DIY lip filler trend.
If you’ve been anywhere near the platform recently, you’ve probably seen a few videos of people injecting their lips with Hylauron pens, which were originally developed for insulin injections.
Related | TikTok Dentists Are Warning Against the Viral ‘Veneers Check’ Trend
Using air pressure instead of a needle, the pens are now being touted as a pain-free way to plump up your lips at home by YouTubers like Baby Em (who’s since deleted her tutorial video). That said, doctors are now worried about the dangerous trend and have begun warning people about some serious potential side effects.
According to Insider’s interview with dermatologist Debra Jaliman, the hyaluronic acid dermal filler used in these types of videos can lead to lumps, swelling and, in some cases, blindness.
Watch till the kinda end for some free cackles. Round one is done with my hyaluron pen. #hyaluronpen#lipfiller#diy#ThinkingAbout#UpTheBeat
♬ original sound – Tanya Martin
“This is really one of the worst things I’ve seen,” she told the publication, before adding that some of the products advertised as “fillers” on Amazon “may not even be real fillers.”
Not only that, but Jaliman also went on to note that the people in these videos aren’t using proper sterilizing techniques, which can cause a severe infection. Plus, injecting fillers on yourself can be a tricky process without the proper training, since you may hit a blood vessel or damage any other vulnerable areas. So needless to say, if you really want fillers, go to a licensed medical professional and please, please, please don’t try this at home.
Behind every great artists there is a muse, and it looks like America’s next Bob Ross, North West, might have found hers in the form of a bearded dragon named Speed.
Related | Kim Gets to Keep the Minimalist Mansion
Kim Kardashian introduced the world to the family’s newest reptilian addition with a tweet. “Meet the newest member of our family… Speed. I really wasn’t planning on liking Speed the way I do but she grew on me!” Kardashian goes on to explain that Speed was originally her best friend Allison’s pet lizard that they had agreed to babysit for a week but, now months after the fact, it’s clear a certain someone must have become a little too attached to the scaly houseguest and as a result has since ended up as a permanent fixture in the Kardashian household.
Meet the newest member of our family…Speed. I really wasn’t planning on liking Speed the way I do but she grew on… https://t.co/B1taf4RLxW — Kim Kardashian West (@Kim Kardashian West)1614802269.0
And in case there was ever any doubt that a lizard living under Kim’s roof wouldn’t be fully fitted, Speed has her own collection of custom Skims Cozy hoodies and robes. Its turns out Speed even beat Lil Uzi Vert to the punch, sporting a forehead gem of her own for months now. If it was possible for a lizard to call you poor, Speed would be your girl.
Speed got a makeover with custom Skims Cozy and even the Lil Uzi jewel (Speed actually got the jewel a few months b… https://t.co/sGFUZhcxeI — Kim Kardashian West (@Kim Kardashian West)1614802286.0
According to Kim, North and Speed are practically inseparable so odds are will likely be seeing a lot more of the little lizard fashionista scampering around the spartan halls of the family’s Calabasas home or possibly popping up in one of North’s next paintings. Though judging from all the comments about proper bearded dragon care under Kim’s tweets, they may want to get someone to look at those claws, reconsider the jewel and holding Speed upright.
With new column In the Stars, popular TikTok astrologer Maryaam AKA @shawtyherbs looks for the astrological patterns in big pop culture events. From celebrity pregnancies and break ups to viral Billboard chart hits and blockbuster movies, every headline corresponds to the movements of the planets, and Maryaam explains how. Check out her corresponding TikTok videos over on PAPER’s account.
Daft Punk, the elusive French electronic duo known for their retro-futuristic helmets, first made their way onto the scene in 1993 and released their debut single “The New Wave” the next year. They’ve had a huge impact on music and popular culture, and their recently-announced break up has broken the hearts of club kids around the world.
But surprised as we all were by the news, there is astrological reasoning behind why the duo — made up of Guy-Manuel de Homem Christo and Thomas Bangalter — split up after all this time. Let’s look to the stars to see why they might’ve made this decision.
For starters, after 27 years as a group, Daft Punk is currently experiencing a “Saturn return.” Saturn is the planet of setbacks, delays, challenges and tension. A Saturn return occurs when the planet returns to the place it was in your birth chart, typically in your late 20s. It is a time of tremendous change, and can sometimes bring on challenges that force you to make important and life-altering decisions. Saturn returns can represent major endings of chapters in our lives, but they also help us to embark on a journey of tremendous self-improvement.
The astrological reason behind Daft Punk’s breakup👀 Welcome to our new series “In The Stars” with @shawtyherbs 🪐✨ #astrology#astrologytiktok
♬ original sound – PAPER Magazine
Then there’s the astrological journeys of the musicians themselves. Born on February 8, 1974 Homem-Christo had Mercury transiting his 10th house, and in a sextile aspect to his natal Neptune (the placement of Neptune on his birth chart) on the day of Daft Punk’s breakup announcement. “Aspects” in astrology refer to the angles and energies two planets have with one another. Sextile aspects are positive and harmonious, and can help us to expand and develop for our greatest good. This aspect indicates that the decision to break up can help Guy to reach new heights in his life.
Mercury is a planet that represents our communication, our thoughts, our ideas and contracts. The tenth house represents our public career image, public career identity, our career, career success and our legacy in this lifetime. Neptune is a planet that can represent disappearances, or the end of something. As Neptune is currently transiting his 11th house, which can represent collaborative efforts and groups, this aspect might indicate that he was the one to suggest Daft Punk disband, in order to pursue a solo career.
Related | Daft Punk and the Rise of the New Parisian Nightlife
Born on January 3rd, 1975, Bangalter had Saturn transiting his 11th house and in a trine aspect with his natal Pluto in the seventh house on the day of Daft Punk’s announcement. Trine aspects are very positive and harmonious to have in a chart. They indicate that the energies between the two planets innately work well with one another, and they can often bring us something positive and fulfilling.
Saturn represents challenges, hardship and tension. The 11th house, as we know, is the house of groups, and collaborative efforts. Pluto is a planet that gets rid of and destroys things we no longer need, in order to bring us something better in the long run. So, with Pluto currently transiting his 11th house, Bangalter’s transit chart also indicates the dissolution of a group to encourage a new journey of self discovery.
The good news? Despite their split, both members of Daft Punk have bright futures ahead of them. Homem-Christo has Pluto in the fifth house in his birth chart, and it’s trining his ascendant. Pluto in the fifth house can help someone transform and reinvent themselves through creative and artistic pursuits. This is because Pluto also represents rebirth and transformation, and the fifth house in astrology represents creativity and artistic pursuits. Pluto is aspecting his ascendant, which represents self, how you perceive the world and how other people view you. Guy may embark on a journey of self-reinvention at some point in his life, so don’t be surprised if he comes out with new music as a solo act that transforms the way we view him!
Bangalter meanwhile has Jupiter in the 12th house in his birth chart. Jupiter is the planet of expansion, growth, optimism, faith and abundance. The 12th house can also represent our imagination and creativity. This placement can help him to invoke big ideas that can heighten the trajectory of his solo career. This placement can also give him an expansive imagination, and an abundance of creativity to help him along his life path journey.
Related | Channing Tatum Discovers Astrology
Since their split, Daft Punk’s sales have skyrocketed, which can be attributed to Bangalter having Mars transiting his second house and being trine to his natal Venus in his 11th house on the day of the announcement of their split. Mars is the planet of quick action and eagerness. The second house rules our finances; particularly our savings. Venus is a planet that represents various things such as music, our happiness and love. The 11th house can represent financial gains and fans! This aspect might indicate receiving money quickly through boosted music sales in the wake of Daft Punk’s breakup announcement.
Homem-Christo had Venus transiting his tenth house and in a sextile aspect to his natal north node in the eighth house on the day of the announcement of their split. Venus represents music, and it can also represent money. The tenth house represents our public career image, our public career identity; career success, and our legacy in this lifetime. The north node represents our destiny, our purpose and what we may find ourselves intensely focusing on. The eighth house represents rebirth, transformation and sudden events. This aspect can indicate suddenly receiving money through music sales and embarking on a journey of self-transformation and renewal.
Daft Punk has created a perpetual legacy for themselves through their hard work, creativity and ear-pleasing music. We are so grateful for their work, and we wish them nothing but luck in this new chapter of their lives.
Marvel’s first major foray into the world of television, WandaVision has by most measure been a runaway success for Disney+. Featuring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany reprising their roles as the Scarlett Witch, Wanda Maximoff and the synthezoid Vision, the series sees the superhero couple find themselves trapped in some alternate reality where they’ve been (spoiler alert) forced to act out different sitcom tropes from different decades each week as they try to piece together what’s going on.
The series has not only been embraced by Marvel Cinematic Universe diehards, but has managed to earn praise from both critics and audiences outside the fandom, as well.
Related | The Best Juergen Teller ‘W’ Magazine Memes
From nostalgic nods to classic sitcoms ranging from the Dick Van Dyke Show to Malcom in the Middle and the countless easter eggs Marvel has sprinkled throughout, there is a lot to love about WandaVision — but what we can all at least agree on is that Kathryn Hahn is the true star here. (Also, if you aren’t fully caught up, be warned that there are more mild spoilers down below.)
As Wanda and Vision’s nosy, gossip-prone neighbor and fun wine aunt Agnes, Hahn has consistently stolen the show week after week, winning over the hearts and praise of the internet in what is already being called the “Hahnaissance.” For instance, after it was revealed that Agnes had actually been the show’s villain Agatha Harkness all along, the moment’s delightfully catchy and campy soundtrack, “Agatha All Along,” shot immediately to iTunes’ number one spot.
Hahn fever now in full effect, folks are latching onto Agnes/ Agatha’s exaggerated wink from the show’s third episode as the latest viral meme.
The Kathryn Hahn wink is my favorite https://t.co/CjwhWMMfog — Young Ronald (@Young Ronald)1614726706.0
The hammy, over-the-top wink has quickly been snatched up for everything from little white lies we tell ourselves — like we’ve definitely read through all of the terms and conditions before hitting accept — and other famous deceptions, including the Trojans delivering a not-at-all suspiciously large wooden horse or poking fun at corporate diversity initiative lip-service.
Like Hahn’s performance in WandaVision, each one is a delight, but I’ve rambled on long enough — let’s enjoy some memes.
We particularly encourage applications from historically underrepresented groups, including women and minorities https://t.co/MZoLdwelC8 — Osman Balkan (@Osman Balkan)1614688369.0 Universities after they’ve given a land acknowledgment https://t.co/JV0VtCZay4 — Drew Martinez (@Drew Martinez)1614706526.0 Little kids when they try to wink https://t.co/2CxdMWea9F — pat. (@pat.)1614623628.0 me telling my computer i’ll update everything tomorrow https://t.co/5NIGfcJfB7 — Kristen Arnett (@Kristen Arnett)1614552868.0 “i acknowledge that i have read and agree to the above terms and conditions” https://t.co/Ny0PLvQlZ3 — Waxou (@Waxou)1614567081.0 Nike: “make sure you login to SNKRS at 10am for your chance to get the shoes!” https://t.co/UXkdtxoUpi — David Dennis Jr. (@David Dennis Jr.)1614687757.0 “i’m ALSO not really looking for anything serious” https://t.co/zTlBWSZyzD — i can be your long lost pal (@i can be your long lost pal)1614607252.0 Chekhov writing a gun into the first act of a play https://t.co/M7lAEy551O — MKB (@MKB)1614279072.0 “Enjoy this gift of a very normal large wooden horse” https://t.co/4HSUDEuoTK — Memetaza (@Memetaza)1614385451.0 “hey caesar it’s time to go to the senate” https://t.co/OSMEfirq8V — Adam Birthdayous (@Adam Birthdayous)1614700123.0
When news of Alexander Wang‘s sexual assault allegations first spread on social media, hundreds of users flocked to Clubhouse to weigh in on the firestorm surrounding the designer, which evolved into heated discussions around fashion’s power imbalances, party culture and predatory behavior.
Related | Where Does Alexander Wang Go From Here?
The invitation-only audio app, which launched in April of 2020 but has taken off rapidly in recent months, has since been used as a platform for fashion insiders and fans to voice their reactions to other industry topics, from Kamala Harris’ controversial Vogue cover to Rihanna hitting pause on her Fenty clothing label.
Antoine Gregory, a fashion consultant, archivist and founder of Black Fashion Fair, has hosted several “rooms” alongside Out digital director Mikelle Street and stylist Shannon Stokes. Their most recent Clubhouse meeting delved into the outrage against Megan Thee Stallion’s recent Harper’s Bazaar cover and turned it into a wider discussion around the nuances of fashion photography and celebrity image-making.
Fashion people are so strange sometimes. They try to flex on you with knowledge that everyone knows anyway. Just ch… https://t.co/d53KdptgtS — Ayo Ojo (@Ayo Ojo)1613478130.0
“It’s important to know what you don’t know and to be open to teachable moments,” Gregory tells PAPER. “I think fashion is such an interesting topic that is vast and not always approachable. Clubhouse makes fashion more accessible to the casual listener. I think there are people who are your typical fashion people and those who are not who can both enjoy the conversation if done right.”
Indeed, the open format of Clubhouse makes it so anyone can listen in and, if they choose, raise their hand to join the panel of speakers once they’re approved by a moderator. Those who participate in the fashion discussions come from various backgrounds — students, journalists, models, publicists, stylists, designers, casting directors — but are oftentimes people who work outside or adjacent to the industry.
Related | Kim Russell Is an Oracle of the Diet Prada Age
Because everyone can speak so freely, certain issues with fact-checking are bound to arise, particularly on a topic so layered and multi-faceted like fashion. But some fans of the app appreciate the different viewpoints and perspectives that come with inhabiting a space that encourages open dialogue.
“I’ve seen a lot of shade thrown at people who speak a lot but don’t say stuff of value or maybe don’t have the facts down,” says Iolo Edwards, founder of High Fashion Talk, a Facebook group for fashion diehards. “Especially by those who are used to having the platform of a publication or a following and hold themselves to standards, maybe expecting too much journalistic integrity for a clubhouse chin-wag. It’s obviously not the same credibility as a broadsheet reporting, it’s gossip and tea draped in industry robes. Showbiz!”
Fashion people are weirdos instead of contributing to conversations on clubhouse they’d rather judge people who are… https://t.co/xQhp30Uqr3 — 🇳🇬Shaytan wears Mowalola (ARAH) (@🇳🇬Shaytan wears Mowalola (ARAH))1613479191.0
Louis Pisano, a Paris-based writer and fashion commentator with a mighty Instagram presence, is known for his hot takes and unfiltered viewpoints on fashion. As one of the earliest adopters of Clubhouse, he’s seen first-hand how the app has progressed over time as more conversations about the fashion industry take place, not necessarily for the better.
“Fashion clubhouse is an exact microcosm of the fashion industry as a whole,” he says, drawing comparisons of moderators to members of the old guard in fashion who set themselves on a pedestal, followed by those whose voices have been “deemed worthy” to be invited on stage to speak to the “masses” or spectators.
Related | The Notes App Apology? So Last Year
“I’ve come to understand how moderating or being on the stage is the highest form of currency on Clubhouse,” he adds. “I’ve been asked to be a moderator twice on Clubhouse and the both times I got the sense of not really being in a discussion but more so being a supporting actor in someone else’s show if that makes sense. I feel like often people create rooms just to live out their fashion industry fantasy, to experience being a main character, to have that Anna Wintour moment where you’re running the show.”
Pisano adds that he loves a good fashion discourse but when it starts to sound like a lecture or somebody is trying to flex their knowledge it’s a total turn off. “I like a room where we can all talk and kiki and share thoughts, where you don’t get that sense of the hierarchy of the industry translated through your phone,” he says.
So I want to do a clubhouse talking with people at different stages of launching a fashion brand or have launched,… https://t.co/FDCaTpHahM — Mary-Ann (@Mary-Ann)1610449257.0
Still, others continue to actively embrace the platform’s unique voice-only format, despite apps like Instagram introducing similar features. “The idea of having discussions about fashion is not new,” says Edwards, pointing to the many online forums devoted to the topic as well as Twitter discussions, Instagram comments section and his own High Fashion Talk group. “I think it will push people to be open to that form of social media instead of the ‘one-to-many’ model of delivery, which I think is a good thing because I’m tired of people being deified by their YouTube subscribers and Instagram followers.”
To be sure, Clubhouse is still fairly new and there will undoubtedly be more conversations about the app’s merits as it relates to the exchange of fashion opinions, thoughts and ideas. But Gregory is hopeful that the dialogue he ignites with Street and Stokes continues to be fun and exciting with a bit of education and industry know-how thrown in.
“I would love to see more chats in the form of educating the listener and the speakers,” he says. “I think there is valuable conversation that can happen when so many different point of views and backgrounds are involved. It would be fun to build upon the platform in that way.”
In the latest news coming from the internet’s uncanny valley, a deepfake of Tom Cruise is racking up millions of views on TikTok. He may have the same megawatt smile, cold unfeeling eyes and serial killer laugh as the Hollywood A-lister, but if the distinct lack of Scientology dogma peppered throughout didn’t already tip you off, the reality is that the man you see swinging a golf club and performing sleight-of-hand tricks is actually just a high tech impersonator.
There’s nothing outright sinister about the TikToks that have popped up on @deeptomcruise but it is unsettling just how scarily accurate and lifelike the digital recreation of the actor’s likeness is (if also feeling a bit hyperreal, like you accidentally forgot to turn the motion blur on a really big HD TV). Aside from a few lip-synching issues and a couple of fairly minor glitches you’d have to go frame by frame to catch, the whole thing comes across pretty natural.
The content of the TikToks themselves aren’t especially strange considering the long-standing tradition of celebs trying to come across as down-to-earth on social media while sounding just the opposite. The weird pratfall into a late night show-style anecdote about former Soviet Union leader, Mikhail Gorbachov, does feel like the right mix of staged and not-at-all-ok’d-by-his-social-media-manager to fall into the realm of possibility, if the account name itself didn’t already clue you into the fact that this Cruise is a fraud.
♬ original sound – Tom @deeptomcruise
♬ original sound – Tom
Since 2017, rise of deepfake technology has been a concern for high profile figures and internet watchdogs. Facebook has already banned the use of them from their platform after a deepfake of a drunk Nancy Pelosi went viral but even then, experts have said it is incredibly hard to detect sophisticated deepfakes like our good friend, Mr. Not Tom Cruise, here. The prevalence of deepfakes used in making revenge porn has become a major problem, with very little regulation or laws on the books outlawing it at the moment.
Related | Facebook (Sort Of) Bans Deepfakes
As the Verge points out, impersonating someone else on TikTok is a violation of the platform’s Terms of Service, so it remains to be seen whether or not @deeptomcruise will end up sticking around after all this attention. In the meantime, we can still stare deeply into the soulless gaze of not Tom Cruise audition for Now You See Me 3.
First it was a McGangBang, and now it’s ranch-covered spaghetti.
Saweetie sure does know how to spark a conversation about food. The rapper set the internet ablaze, while hosting We The Culture’s Black Creators Day event on Facebook on Monday, March 1. While someone recorded her amazing makeup, the rapper violently shook a bottle of ranch, leading people to think she’s about to add some zest to a salad.
Only then, the camera moved towards her plate of perfectly good Spaghetti and, shockingly, she poured out a tidal wave of ranch onto pasta, sending viewers’ stomachs into a spiral and causing a massive uproar online. Who defaces spaghetti like that? What does that even taste like? How is her stomach fine if she’s eating meals like that?
The jokes, of course, went flying on Twitter.
Saweetie’s stomach made out of vibranium, nothing is stopping her. — Ahmed🇸🇴/I did shit with Mariah (@Ahmed🇸🇴/I did shit with Mariah)1614637178.0 @big_business_ them bathroom pipes at her crib like https://t.co/A3zHYhjung — scott.fw.png (@scott.fw.png)1614637668.0 Saweetie after eating all them jail house meals: https://t.co/siBL6DAMMe — Payroll Giovanni’s Accountant (@Payroll Giovanni’s Accountant)1614632212.0 i just know a saweetie fart could spark a match chile https://t.co/F6bhxiA8V8 — zae (@zae)1614637728.0 Nobody:
Saweetie’s stomach after ingesting her concoctions of meals: https://t.co/21NOZIFQBR — I EAT 🐱 FOR EBT (@I EAT 🐱 FOR EBT)1614636484.0 Saweetie eats like she did a 40 year bid and all she knows is prison concoctions https://t.co/6Z9GTMhwRV — Yuni ⚯͛🔮 (@Yuni ⚯͛🔮)1614634814.0
Saweetie eventually got in on the fun by defending her choice of food, and even changed her profile picture after someone said that she eats like a raccoon.
TIL THE DAY I DIE !!! https://t.co/7zKNSvs5on — 220 (@220)1614644781.0 https://t.co/4801TZSi5F https://t.co/NbcRWv9HwR — 220 (@220)1614645185.0 #NewProfilePic https://t.co/9GPWUciXCR — 220 (@220)1614659463.0
Above it all, PAPER stands with Saweetie and her impenetrable stomach.
Two more fans have accused James Charles of acting inappropriately toward them after the beauty YouTuber was accused of “grooming” a 16-year-old last week.
Last Friday, a TikTok user named Isaiyah — a.k.a. @redzai — alleged that the 21-year-old sent him unsolicited nudes on Snapchat and pressured him to reciprocate the sexts, even despite Isaiyah telling him that he was 16. And while Isaiyah reportedly posted screenshots of the purported exchange, Insider notes that the video has since been taken down by Twitter for violating the platform’s guidelines.
Related | Did Tati Westbrook Just Cancel James Charles?
In response to the accusations, Charles issued a lengthy statement on Friday in which called the account “completely false,” and claimed that Isaiyah “told me he was 18 so I started flirting back.”
“I woke up to several snaps from this person being excited I added him back, saying he loved me, and also lewd photos of himself in the shower,” Charles said, explaining that he had added Isaiyah on Snapchat after seeing a photo of him on Instagram.
“In the excitement of meeting someone I thought could be potentially great, I didn’t ask for a copy of his ID or passport,” Charles continued, later adding that Isaiyah “insisted on continuing talking” after admitting he was 16. At this point though, Charles claimed that he unfriended him.
— James Charles (@jamescharles) February 26, 2021
However, in DMs to Insider, Isaiyah said that Charles had “lied in his tweet,” and that his TikTok bio “says I’m 16.” The publication then went on to report that one of Isaiyah’s TikToks about the issue was removed following Charles’s statement.
That said, two more people have now come forward to also accuse Charles of acting inappropriately.
In a series of since-deleted tweets, a user named @a0nnnj reportedly claimed that he was 17 when Charles reached out, though nothing “sexual” occurred. Even so, @a0nnnj recalled thinking it was “weird” that Charles was flirting with a minor.
WHO COULD’VE SEEN THIS COMING: James Charles accused by 2nd underage boy of allegedly having inappropriate interactions. While the 17-year-old said nothing sexual happened, he alleges James allegedly continued to flirt with him after he told him he was 17. pic.twitter.com/g8UKKbNJhx
— Def Noodles (@defnoodles) February 27, 2021
Additionally, a third accuser going by the handle @lifeofuzzy posted several tweets and an eight-part series about his interaction with Charles to TikTok, and claimed he was also asked for nude photos.
According to @lifeofuzzy, he contacted Charles on Instagram after the YouTuber’s highly publicized 2019 feud with former mentor Tati Westbrook — who accused Charles of sexually preying on straight men at the time — before the two struck up a conversation on Snapchat. However, @lifeofuzzy alleged that things got “weird” after three days of talking when Charles asked him for a dick pic.
Since lots of people are coming forward about their stories about James I’ve decided it’s my turn to share my disgusting experience with @jamescharles check my thread out for more. pic.twitter.com/shaMlCtnGW
— 905Uzzy ♓️ (@Lifeofuzzy) February 27, 2021 @lifeofuzzy
Reply to @dahna25 (part 1) full story since people think I’m lying, clout chasing, twisting stuff up, & creating a FAKE STORY. Ill explain everything
♬ original sound – Uzzy
That said, Charles has yet to respond to the latest accusations.
This article is a sponsored collaboration between BLK and PAPER
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♬ original sound PAPER Magazine
Below, meet three Black women — Nan Dee, Maat Petrova and Mistress Marley — who showcase the power of harnessing life experiences by turning them into practices that help bring out self-confidence and a greater understanding of others.
Nan Dee: Pole Dancing Instructor and Clothing Designer Nan Dee: Pole Dancing Instructor and Clothing Designer
Nan Dee, @ms.felony on Instagram, is a pole dancing instructor and clothing designer, who practices self-love through dance. She has seen the power of pole dancing in building self-confidence, and loves inspiring people to be comfortable in their own skin. Nan Dee tells PAPER and BLK how loving yourself first “helps you have a better relationship with other people, because when you love yourself you’re going to love other people, and not give them a hard time.”
Maat Petrova: CEO of FEMMAGIC Maat Petrova: CEO of FEMMAGIC
Maat Petrova, @maatpetrova on Instagram, is the CEO of top luxury feminine care company FEMMAGIC, where she builds off her expertise as a feminine sexual health expert and manifestation coach. Petrova embodies and preaches mindfulness, and includes this in her live manifestation classes that focus on self-love, business and abundance. Maat tells PAPER and BLK, “I don’t care what people think, I just love creating the life that makes me happy.”
Mistress Marley: Dominatrix and Kink Educator Mistress Marley: Dominatrix and Kink Educator
Mistress Marley, @thechocolatedomme_ on Instagram, is a dominatrix and kink educator, who advocates for transparency and communication in relationships. “My passion is bringing kink education to the Black community,” Mistress Marley tells PAPER and BLK. “Within our community kink is seen as taboo.” Mistress Marley works to break down this stigma through education and demos. “It’s a very fun job and I learn something new every day,” she laughs.
Check out more about BLK on Instagram and TikTok, and download the app for free, here.
Juergen Teller’s new photos for W magazine’s annual Best Performances issue were instant meme fodder. Most people aren’t fans of the shoot, which is being criticized as bizarrely disrespectful of its subjects, none of whom look particularly snatched. Featuring Tessa Thompson hanging out by some nondescript street parking and Steven Yeun sitting pensively on one of those folding IKEA chairs, the images have that flat, funny look you’ll be familiar with from your own iPhone albums. There’s something very 2009 WordPress fashion blogger about them. The omnipresent neighborhood tree looks a lot like the one you took your graduation photos next to. According to Riz Ahmed, the whole point-and-shoot process took Teller (who he calls “the OG,” for the record) a matter of seconds. And you can tell.
juergen teller is going to hell for this https://t.co/GDZ4i1hRpx — aya (@aya)1614183969.0
Love it or loathe it, the lo-fi approach is intentional. Anyone with elementary school-level media literacy can discern that these casual-seeming photos offer commentary on the de-glamorization of Hollywood during the pandemic. No red carpet premieres, no ritzy awards shows, not many open movie theaters, even. W’s Best Performances issue is typically an extremely overproduced and artful affair celebrating a year of great cinema, and all that pomp would have felt out of place in 2021.
But they probably didn’t want to do another one of those heinous early-quar Zoom shoots, either, and that’s where Mr Teller comes in. The legendary fashion photographer was a perfect choice not only for his long standing relationship with W, but also his aversion to excess glamour. Teller came of age during the Kate Moss grunge era and has been making “ugly” pictures ever since. His recent work with smartphone cameras, which he has hailed for their accessibility, includes this head-scratching Kim and Kanye (RIP) shoot for System in 2015.
people upset with Juergen Teller are really upset with themselves for not realizing sooner they never had to work so hard — Max Lakin (@Max Lakin)1614271671.0
The photographer’s whole thing is obviously at odds with our opulently airbrushed visual culture, which is why it so easily sparks conversation. Instagram may give us the impression of having more unfiltered access to the lives of famous people than ever before, but in reality A-listers have never exerted tighter control over how the general public perceives them. Literally nothing you see on Kendall Jenner’s feed is real, worthwhile interview access is granted only by the most inexperienced publicists and pop stars command vitriolic stan armies who will defend them from even the most valid critique. We’ve come to expect that our beloved celebrities will be treated with reverence by the lucky production teams who are allowed to shoot them. When they don’t, we instinctively bristle.
Still. You do kind of wonder. Is Teller a thoughtful high cultural commentator whose artistic concepts just happen to require less work than most other people’s? Or simply the archetypal lazy white man masquerading as a genius?
Either way, let’s enjoy some goddamn memes.
photographed by Juergen Teller for W magazine https://t.co/HoSZBFQvN1 — 🐡 (@🐡)1614277865.0 MA photographed by Juergen Teller for W Magazine https://t.co/awJJ2Mqz0Y — Seth (@Seth)1614203108.0 if you don’t understand juergen teller’s work that’s a you problem https://t.co/ANNFTabqyJ — duʿā bint lipa (@duʿā bint lipa)1614225873.0 HAIM photographed by Juergen Teller for W Magazine https://t.co/0c5nKbHilc — cassidy xcx (@cassidy xcx)1614272829.0 Hillary Clinton photographed by Juergen Teller https://t.co/zidglCEq83 — d (@d)1614193580.0 shaquille o’neal photographed by juergen teller for w magazine https://t.co/hdCOOjCIBq — rhonda (@rhonda)1614183980.0 Saoirse Ronan photographed by Juergen Teller. Fastest shoot of her life. 10 seconds, one click. https://t.co/zeqYGdHYYh — lex (@lex)1614202919.0 Juergen Teller got these celebs out there like https://t.co/YgrTkHQSQd — #BuhariIsAFuckNigga (@#BuhariIsAFuckNigga)1614202160.0 Ben Affleck for W Magazine, by Juergen Teller (2020) https://t.co/YRRxsVo1Wk — no, I didnt (@no, I didnt)1614206400.0 zendaya photographed by juergen teller https://t.co/rXw4mpyuZT — bella (@bella)1614187678.0 community cast photographed by juergen teller for w magazine https://t.co/l2dAjm37r8 — y-hope (@y-hope)1614295587.0 Harry Styles photographed by Juergen Teller for W Magazine https://t.co/VZmbnLXCOg — agatha all along (@agatha all along)1614264406.0 Photographed by Juergen Teller for W Magazine https://t.co/2igLlonXnn — georgia ʕ·ᴥ·ʔ (@georgia ʕ·ᴥ·ʔ)1614264211.0 Beyoncé photographed by Juergen Teller for W Magazine https://t.co/45xgY2hmZF — M🐉 (@M🐉)1614263103.0 juergen teller for w magazine https://t.co/6RyhL06OA9 — h (@h)1614221972.0 nathan fielder photographed by juergen teller https://t.co/zqe6wi3kuw — brooke bird-gosling (@brooke bird-gosling)1614220461.0 leslie knope photographed by juergen teller for w magazine https://t.co/JZQmLq2ky7 — liz (@liz)1614219351.0 @blxckswns robert pattinson photographed by juergen teller https://t.co/qps8wuSuzJ — effy nephrine (@effy nephrine)1614218914.0 Mickey Mouse photographed by Juergen Teller for W Magazine https://t.co/HfRlUidhLJ — i praydalor my sodakeep (@i praydalor my sodakeep)1614205306.0 Ben Affleck shot by juergen teller for w magazine https://t.co/o0g8N0qWzd — first-mate prance (@first-mate prance)1614205277.0 me photographed by juergen teller https://t.co/aThT1Ymm2Z — elise (@elise)1614200633.0
Just in case you had forgotten how deeply haunting Post Malone’s digitally rendered Pokémon Trainer visage is, let’s take this moment ahead of the Pokémon Day 25th anniversary virtual concert this Saturday, February 27 to revisit it in its full uncanny corporate tie-in splendor.
Related | Please Enjoy Post Malone as a Pokémon
Ahead of his performance for the video game franchise’s musical celebration, Post Malone has shared a cover of Hootie and the Blowfish’s 1995 hit “Only Wanna Be With You.” Posty’s Pokémon 25 Version remains pretty faithful to the original albeit with a little more production polish around the edges and a little chiptune-ish synth thrown in for good measure. True to the Post Malone brand, the rendition feels perfect for slipping on a pair of Crocs and cracking open a nice cold Bud Light with the boys.
The virtual concert will be streaming live on Twitch, YouTube and Pokémon’s official website at 7:00 PM EST/ 4:00 PM PST as a part of the video game franchise’s 25th anniversary festivities. Pokémon will also be streaming a marathon of the TV series and distributing a code for Pokémon Sword and Shield players to get a special in-game Pikachu that aptly knows the move Sing.
The company has also announced a Pokémon Presents video presentation scheduled for Friday which has already fueled speculation and rumors that a remake of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl might be announced. The video presentation will likely also feature updates on previously announced games like the new Pokémon Snap and Pokémon Sleep as well as other collabs and partnerships the brand has planned for the year-long 25th anniversary celebrations.
TikTok is cracking down on the spread of misinformation about eating disorders on its platform after a report recently revealed a concerning amount of pro-anorexia and dangerous dieting content was ending up on people’s For You Pages.
In conjunction with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and coinciding with National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, TikTok has rolled out a new set of resources providing support and information for those struggling with an eating disorder. Starting this week, potentially triggering tags, like #edrecovery and #proana, will automatically direct users to NEDA’s helpline where they will be able to find help and information on treatment options as well as experts tips on identifying negative self-talk, self care and ways to support others that might be struggling.
Related | Managing an Eating Disorder Under Quarantine Is Weird and Hard
In addition to providing resources, TikTok will also be rolling out permanent PSAs in some of the highest offending tags like #whatieatinaday and #emotionaleating in an effort to disrupt the cycle of harmful content and spread awareness to a wider audience. The platform will also be hosting conversations surrounding issues related to food, exercise, body image and the systemic biases that perpetuate eating disorders and reinforce negative self-thought on their discover page throughout the week.
In a statement announcing the new initiative, TikTok said “People come to TikTok to express themselves authentically and find community. We’re constantly inspired by stories of our community members lifting up one another and supporting those who are affected by body image and eating disorders. To aid these conversations, we’re introducing new resources to provide access to help from expert organizations directly from our app.”
National Eating Awareness Week runs February 22-26, with TikTok users encouraged to use the #NEDAwareness to join the conversation.
If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237.
Gwyneth Paltrow is facing backlash for suggesting she helped popularize face masks in a new interview.
During a recent chat with The New York Times, the Goop founder was lauded for sharing a selfie of herself in a mask “way before face coverings became the norm.”
Related | Gwyneth Paltrow Hired a War Photographer to Shoot Her Wedding
The photo-in-question dates back to last February and shows Paltrow wearing a ventilated mask — which doesn’t prevent the spread of the virus — alongside the caption, “En route to Paris. Paranoid? Prudent? Panicked? Placid? Pandemic? Propaganda? Paltrow’s just going to go ahead and sleep with this thing on the plane.”
“I’ve already been in this movie,” she said, referencing her role in 2011’s Contagion. “Stay safe. Don’t shake hands. Wash hands frequently.”
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Gwyneth Paltrow (@gwynethpaltrow)
However, in response to the praise, Paltrow used the opportunity to suggest she was a trend-setter in a number of different ways.
“This is a familiar pattern in my life. I do something early, everyone is like: ‘What is she doing? She’s insane.’ And then it’s adopted by the culture,” she said, before adding that she was also “one of the first” people to test positive for COVID-19.
Needless to say though, the internet wasn’t pleased with her “utter lack of self-awareness.”
“Imagine being this level of self absorbed,” as one person said, while a second added, “Imagine thinking that people are wearing masks to be like Gwyneth rather than to prevent the spread of a deadly disease. The fucking hubris.”
Truly she is the gift that keeps on giving and her utter lack of self awareness. https://t.co/x8Wx0dIdYk
— Sheriff Lonestar (@SheriffLonestar) February 21, 2021
Imagine being this level of self absorbed 🙄 https://t.co/67l57Hzmas
— attractive nuisance (@BoozyBillsBabe) February 21, 2021
Imagine thinking that people are wearing masks to be like Gwyneth rather than to prevent the spread of a deadly disease. The fucking hubris.
— Big Ball of Yarn and Depression (@Heidi36257043) February 21, 2021
Meanwhile, others just rolled their eyes at the statement and wrote things like “so grateful Gwyneth Paltrow invented masks” and “Gwyneth Paltrow singlehandedly caused COVID so she could start a mask trend.”
So grateful Gwyneth Paltrow invented masks 👑
— Sauleha (@Sauliloquy1) February 22, 2021
gwyneth paltrow single-handedly caused covid so she could start a mask trend https://t.co/rn6nszfSkg
— char (@gavesomanysigns) February 21, 2021
And elsewhere, a few more people pointed out that many people in Asian countries have been wearing masks for much longer than her, with one critic asking, “Have you ever been literally anywhere in East Asia, Gwyneth.”
“One thing miss mamas knows how to do is appropriate Asian culture and pretend she invented it,” another wrote, while a third brought up a similar statement she made in the past about popularizing yoga in the United States.
Have you ever been literally anywhere in East Asia, Gwyneth https://t.co/qPzgXH0FDG
— A. E. D🍩🍩land✒ 📚🏳️🌈 (@Asynca) February 21, 2021
One thing miss mamas knows how to do is appropriate Asian culture and pretend she invented it.
— katrina says clean your phone (@pinkpushpop) February 21, 2021
I believe she said something similar about yoga once too 🤔
— Annie Maynard (@eamayn) February 20, 2021
Paltrow, however, has yet to respond to the backlash.
Kadie Karen Diekmeyer, a.k.a. “That Vegan Teacher,” appears to have been banned from TikTok.
According to screenshots captured on Monday evening, Diekmeyer’s page — which previously had over 1.7 million followers — no longer appears on the platform. Instead, viewers are now met with a message stating that her account was banned for violating “multiple community guidelines.”
Related | TikTok Denies Shadow Banning LGBTQ+ Hashtags
While it’s unclear what exactly caused the ban, Diekmeyer’s long been a polarizing figure on the platform for her controversial posts. Recently though, a Change.org petition calling for her removal from TikTok garnered over 20,000 signatures by arguing that she forcefully shamed people into adopting veganism, despite the diet not always being “the best option medically or financially” for some.
“She has made blatantly racist, bigoted, discriminatory statements against anyone who doesn’t view veganism her way and her way alone,” the petition read. “She has promoted multiple films that are dangerous to children given TikToks 13 yr old age requirement and many children under that age access it on a daily basis. These videos show violent depictions of animal slaughter in graphic detail.”
BREAKING NEWS THAT WILL MOST DEFINITELY CHANGE YOUR LIFE: That Vegan Teacher banned from TikTok. According to disclaimer on TikTok, she was banned due to multiple Community Guidelines violations. pic.twitter.com/1Y0hDX1ZKG
— Def Noodles (@defnoodles) February 23, 2021
The petition then went on to list several examples of her pressuring people to adopt a vegan lifestyle, including statements directed toward minors, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, Black people, religious practitioners, and people with disabilities.
In response to the ban, Diekmeyer took to her YouTube to post a video titled “Censorship: Why Good People Must Rise Up And Speak Out.”
“Many of you woke up this morning and found out that my account was banned on TikTok, and I know many of you are jumping for joy and thinking that this is a great victory,” she said. Diekmeyer also claimed she never “forced” anyone to be vegan and alleged that she’s been harassed by people at her home.
She added, “Somehow, it makes you smile to know that an animal rights activist is being silenced.”
Chase Hudson — or, as he’s more widely known on the internet and now in the music world, LILHUDDY — is at home in Encino, introducing me to his new lizard over Zoom.
“His name is Bunny,” he tells me, “because he jumps.” He’s into reptiles, I learn. He also owns five snakes.
Eighteen-year-old Hudson is sitting in his bedroom, complete with tall marble columns and a bunch of Pokémon plushies. The sun is shining outside his window, as it tends to do in Los Angeles. In true 2021 fashion, he lives in a mansion with friends, many of whom are fellow social media stars and content creators. Lately, he and his housemates are transforming their living room into an arcade. You know the vibes: pinball, foosball, air hockey, plus cotton candy, hot dog and popcorn machines.
Hudson, who has nearly 30 million followers on TikTok and 11 million on Instagram, is excited. We’ve been chatting about his career, and the particular nexus it’s at right now: he’s in the midst of pivoting his social media stardom (predicated on charismatic lip-syncing videos and his signature e-boy style) into the realm of pop-punk music-making, and he’s finally getting to release everything he’s been working on for the past year. His first single, titled “21st Century Vampire,” dropped in late January, and his second single, “The Eulogy of You and Me,” was next, accompanied by a pair of shiny music videos directed by veteran videographer Joseph Kahn. His first album is due out this summer.
LILHUDDY is riding a moment, and he’s in good company; “Eulogy” was produced by Travis Barker, the blink-182 drummer turned industry mentor who’s leading a post-Calabasas pop-punk revival, in part by shepherding a new cohort of protégées from the TikTok set. There’s a lot of momentum under Barker’s wing: “I think it lives in Travis the most,” Hudson says, “because I think Travis is the person that wants it more than anyone: to bring pop-punk back to where it was 10, 15 years ago.” Barker and his frequent collaborator Machine Gun Kelly, Hudson says, are “paving the way for all these other musicians to kind of build with them, [to create] the new era of pop-punk,” including fellow TikTokker Jaden Hossler, who performs as jxdn. Hudson even starred in MGK’s 49-minute music video film called Downfalls High, which premiered on YouTube in January.
“Kells has a really big fan base that’s younger — so do I, so does jxdn, so does Yungblud,” he says. “Teenagers, they really dig this shit.” (Notably, Barker has two children, ages 17 and 15, who’ve been up on social media for years; his son Landon also appeared in Downfalls High.) If the last pop-punk wave reached its mainstream peak in the mid-aughts MySpace era, then this next one ebbs in the wake of Soundcloud and TikTok, with major nods to the late emo-rap luminaries Lil Peep and Juice WRLD. A new generation by way of Gen Z, who have definitely already lived through too much awful shit.
As someone who was once active on LiveJournal, Xanga and Neopets, during my chat with Hudson I started thinking about when and why I gravitated towards pop-punk. Hating where you grew up feels like a major impetus. In the last decade or so, the same could be said for wanting to make it big on social media; many YouTubers and other internet personas have said they sought out online communities (and acceptance) because they felt ostracized in their hometowns. Both of these things are relatively true for Hudson, who was born in 2002 in Stockton, California — a city south of Sacramento and east of San Francisco that made history for being the second-largest American city after Detroit to file for bankruptcy following the 2008 financial crisis. He lived in a poor area and was bullied as a kid. He was into fashion and grew up in a close-knit musical family, getting his first taste of pop-punk from listening to his older sister’s iPod Nano.
“I wanted [all] the attention in a room more than anyone [since] I was born. I loved doing stupid and dorky shit.”
In his early teens, he says, “It was the joke of the town to make fun of me but also try to be my friend. I feel like everyone kind of has [this] rulebook of what you can and cannot do. And I wasn’t like that at all.” After getting into social media in eighth grade, he’d get called out for being “a musical.ly boy,” eventually transferring from his public high school to online school (another common move for aspiring social media personalities) during his sophomore year. “People were just assholes where I grew up, and I guess that’s kind of made me who I am today.”
But he’s also always loved attention. “All of grade school, I was just a shithead,” he says, laughing. “I wanted [all] the attention in a room more than anyone [since] I was born. I loved doing stupid and dorky shit.” When he made his way to LA at 16, he co-founded Hype House, the proverbial TikTok content mansion, a year later. Since then, he’s posted thousands of TikToks, dated the app’s biggest star, Charli D’Amelio, and landed in his fair share of requisite social media beef (culminating in a frankly bonkers Notes app screenshot). Suffice to say, LILHUDDY’s got plenty to make a big ol’ pop-punk album about.
The upcoming album, Hudson says, will chronicle a love story, spanning romance to heartbreak. There’ll be angst (“I guess the last kiss was the kiss of death/ Now you’re dead to me, and it’s R.I.P”), and boredom (“I guess I’m just meant to be sleeping all day/ I don’t got no fucking life/ I’m just a 21st century vampire”). And there’ll definitely also be some TV-14-slash-TV-M troublemaking, very à la early blink-182 (think: the thrill of getting high and ditching school, or seeing your girlfriend naked).
The move to release “Vampire” as the lead single — a snarling bop, and an obvious nod to his persona as the so-called Half-Blood Prince of TikTok — was a studied one. “I wanted to put in place me as a brand before I released anything else that kind of shows my story,” he says. “I wanted to be like, ‘Alright, this is who the fuck I am, and now I’m going to tell you what I do.'” He knows he’s going to be recognized as the mononymous @lilhuddy, TikTok’s e-boy heartthrob — before he’s known for his music. And he’s hoping that’ll change once people hear what he’s been working on, though there’ll surely be enough for lyrical speculation; the second single, “Eulogy” is an upbeat heartbreak anthem that gave LILHUDDY an opportunity to channel his “very far past relationships that I never get to play or speak on.”
“You know how the song ‘Driver’s License’ made everyone feel like they were going through that breakup?” he asks me, referencing 17-year-old Olivia Rodrigo’s current smash hit. “That’s how Eulogy’s going to be. Like, ‘I’m done crying. Fuck you!'”
“People were just assholes where I grew up, and I guess that’s kind of made me who I am today.”
On that note, he remembers the first pop-punk song he ever heard—The All-American Rejects’ 2008 hit “Gives You Hell” — “because it was one of the first songs that didn’t censor the word ‘hell’ on the radio.” He’d scream along to the chorus in the car just to piss off his family: “Hope it gives you hell,” he mock-sings. “Hell. H-E-double hockey sticks. Make sure you heard that. And my mom would turn it off.” On the other hand, another music-world revelation arrived when he tagged along with his One Direction-obsessed older sisters to see the band’s 2013 concert movie, This Is Us.
“I thought that was the most inspiring movie I had ever seen,” he tells me, though his second-most influential flick may be a little more surprising: The Wolf of Wall Street.
What could the story of Jordan Belfort possibly have to do with the story of Chase Hudson? Well, apparently, it makes LILHUDDY want to write a to-do list.
“I love the hustle,” Hudson says, laughing. “Besides all the hookers and the drugs and everything that he had, [Belfort] had a hustle that made me — it just gives me this hustle mindset. Every time I watch it I’m like, ‘Oh my god, I have to go out and be a millionaire now.’ And I start scheduling in my notebook. I actually become productive and I’m like, ‘Did Wolf of Wall Street make me do this?'”
At one point during our Zoom call, when Hudson mentions that a few days earlier he’d worn a Green Day American Idiot shirt he’d thrifted on Melrose, he scrolls for a minute or two through his fan accounts’ Twitter posts to show me proof. Is it weird to have this chronicle of his public life that he can just access at any time? “Yeah dude, I can just find everything that I’ve done in the last few days,” he says, before giving up on finding a photo of the shirt; it was already too many posts back.
For the Vampire of Melrose Avenue, the journey to the top could not have happened at a stranger time. As is undoubtedly the case for other big-name TikTokkers — the app’s popularity skyrocketed during the first few months of quarantine, turning many of its young stars into certified celebrities in a matter of months — a global pandemic has been a weird moment to not only garner a bunch of new fame, money and followers, but also to translate it all into a relatively more blue-chip career path.
“I have absolutely no clue what kind of name I’m making for myself, because I cannot really experience what celebrities felt, [like] where everyday they would get off a plane and 500 people would know exactly where their airline was getting off.”
“It’s the worst best time for it to happen,” Hudson says. “It sucks in the way that I have absolutely no clue what kind of name I’m making for myself, because I cannot really experience what celebrities felt, [like] where everyday they would get off a plane and 500 people would know exactly where their airline was getting off. I haven’t gotten to that level at all yet.” He’s never even performed music live in front of an audience — though, for the record, he can’t fucking wait until that sort of thing can happen again.
“I feel like I’m just getting started now, to be honest,” he says. He knows he’s on the cusp of something, and you can tell he’s hyped about it: “I always wanted to do music, but I started on social media and made a fanbase before I did what I really wanted to do. I wanted to take my time, make sure I knew what I was doing and that I was doing everything correctly.”
“I feel like this is the new era of me, and kind of where I’ll start to be known,” he says, eyeing his post-2020 trajectory — at last. “From this music, and from this year.”
‘The Eulogy of You and Me’ ’21st Century Vampire’
Photography: Christian Högstedt Fashion Direction: Nicola Formichetti Grooming: Johnny Stuntz Styling and wardrobe direction: Marta Del Rio Tailoring: Samuel Ososki Photography assistants: Tyler Ofstedahl, Joey Abreu Wardrobe assistant: Hunter Clem Grooming assistant: Jessica Torres
Producer, singer and songwriter, Christopher Sauceda — better known online as Boy Sim — is back with his self-produced, performed and written single, “Fire.” The track sees Boy Sim take a momentous step into a more commercial world, re-contextualizing ’70s and ’80s aesthetics for a pop flex.
Related | This Doc Shows How Queers Kept Raving Under COVID
Like a futuristic cowboy, Boy Sim effortlessly rides the sleek basslines and emotive guitars with smooth melodies, as he seeks revenge for his broken heart. “Fire” is not about a particular relationship, but a culmination of relationships that are defined by misguided love, betrayal and heartbreak. “Fire” is ultimately Boy Sim expelling his emotional turmoil as he expresses his desire to “set your house on fire” — his final act before he can allow himself to move on.
“‘Fire’ is my first step into a new sound I haven’t done before,” Boy Sim says. “It’s a story of betrayal, and it’s meant to be a really dramatic and angry breakup song. It’s really super blunt — basically me being like, ‘Yeah, you fucked me over, so I’m just gonna burn your place to the fucking ground.'”
Related | All the Spirals That Inspired Chester Lockhart’s ‘Wet Metal’ EP
“Fire” is Boy Sim’s first single this year and is a much welcomed follow-up to his genre-defining debut album Pink Noise, which featured notable collabs with artists like Slayyyter. With “Fire” marking a sonic shift for Boy Sim, we have our fingers crossed that a sophomore album is in the works for later this year.
Stream “Fire,” below, and follow Boy Sim on Instagram.
BRS Kash’s “Throat Baby (Go Baby)” lit the internet on fire after it went viral in 2020. The NSFW anthem for oral sex took over TikTok thanks to more than 50 million video clips made with it playing in the background. Its success has led to “Throat Baby (Go Baby)” becoming a culture-defining moment from a year that was one of the hardest in recent history.
And there’s no signs of the song’s impact slowing down in the future — especially since it just released a high-powered remix and video that are contributing to it becoming even bigger than last thought possible. In January, BRS Kash dropped an update featuring verses from some of the hottest rappers in the game, right now: DaBaby and City Girls.
Related | At Least We Can Still Orgasm
The visual came at the same time and proved to be even wilder than the song itself. Through a barrage of increasingly crazier scenes, BRS Kash, DaBaby and City Girls frolic in alien gardens, ride rockets through mountains with human faces, and host game shows as sharply dressed dolls and action figures — or, at least, that’s what appears to happen.
To make sense what this video means, PAPER spoke to BRS Kash about the “Throat Baby (Remix)” and how each of the scenes came together. It’ll be a mystery to the world no longer.
The funniest part of the spaceship scene was when DaBaby dropped his blunt and almost burnt a hole in his pants in the middle of us shooting.
Jumping in the Mouth:
I didn’t really know how they were going to make this scene come out. I was just jumping in mid-air.
The scene with Ms. [Teanna] Trump made my testosterone levels extremely high.
Shooting the scene with the City Girls, I dropped my wine glass and it almost broke on JT’s foot. I’m so glad it didn’t, I was lit [laughs].
Being in a firefighter outfit made me respect firefighters even more because that suit is hot. Much respect!
The garden scene made me kind of nervous when DaBaby was swinging those hedge cutters, but it came out perfect.
Stream BRS Kash’s “Throat Baby Remix” with DaBaby and City Girls, below.
DaBaby‘s latest track, “Beatbox Freestyle,” is his version of Spotem Gottem’s viral single, “Beatbox,” and the rapper’s getting roasted by the internet for it. In the song, he mentions openly gay teen star JoJo Siwa, and a lot of people are reading it as a diss.
Related | DaBaby Sued For Allegedly Slapping a Female Fan
The 29-year-old rapper calls the 17-year-old a “bitch,” though the two don’t really have a relationship history or beef. This left a lot of people very confused as to why he would come for Siwa.
why did he say this https://t.co/3dHHFkrRYf — #juug (@#juug)1613790057.0
Some are saying that he just mentions her name because “Siwa” rhymes with “see why” at the end of the previous line, and it’s all just wordplay and rap.
Related | JoJo Siwa Introduces Fans to Her Girlfriend
There isn’t necessarily any drama going on, but tweeter @trulyasapphic points out, “dababy is a grown ass man calling jojo siwa a bitch and for what, to rhyme? i- men are so fucking weird and annoying asf.”
Naturally, people took this as an opportunity to make some hilarious memes on Twitter.
listening to dababy and him suddenly calling jojo siwa a bitch https://t.co/K3k1l9Bddu — jordantheestallion (@jordantheestallion)1613878131.0 jojo siwa on the way to record the dababy diss track https://t.co/mXXTDqgUDE — ☦︎︎ (@☦︎︎)1613870343.0 Da Baby’s daughter when she hears her dad dissing Jojo siwa https://t.co/RmIwpEHuQx — princess girl (@princess girl)1613875856.0 dababy got no reason calling out jojo siwa like that😭😭 https://t.co/ZYHgvE8Ls3 — jv (@jv)1613868870.0 jojo siwa when she catches dababy in the streets https://t.co/8L1lOE8z4g — K (@K)1613868171.0 what dababy gonna do when jojo siwa tell him stay in his bum ass place https://t.co/ysTTbC0CcI — fan account. (@fan account.)1613867125.0 how jojo siwa gonna pull up to dababy’s house after hearing his freestyle https://t.co/TZkNgOuVKX — Anna (@Anna)1613906830.0
Neither DaBaby, nor JoJo have reacted to the matter.
Lana Del Rey stans have started a new TikTok “cult” celebrating the singer.
That’s right, fans on the platform have now started a self-proclaimed “Lana cult,” which requires members to change their profile pic to a photo of the star smiling in front of a car on fire.
Related | Welcome to TikTok, Lana Del Rey
And while some have also taken it upon themselves to post comments like “Lana Del Rey is coming! Repent to the lord and savior Lana Del Rey before it’s too late,” it’s unclear how exactly the trend started or what the group’s end goal is.
That said, the cult’s formation comes on the heels of Lana’s recent TikTok debut, not to mention a number of controversies surrounding the star, including widely scrutinized statements about how she incurs more criticism than WOC and the assertion that her “best friends” and “boyfriends have been rappers.”
lana cult is rising up 😍💅🏻 pic.twitter.com/L3mDFBcLPm
— luka 🌸🏹 WatchSquareOne (@tiredmemelord) February 19, 2021
Lana herself has yet to address the new TikTok trend.
Cadbury is being creamed on social media after producing a commercial with a same sex kiss.
The commercial, created in honor of Cadbury Creme Egg’s 50th anniversary, is being accused of “selling sex to children” after depicting two men sharing an egg between their lips before it bursts open.
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Throughout the commercial, the narrator lists all the ways people can eat Cadbury eggs: calling on “lickers,” “discreaters” and “sharers,” which is where the kiss happens.
“Sharers, yea, we are down with that,” the narrator says.
However, at least 26,000 viewers were not entirely “down with that,” having signed a recent petition demanding the commercial be removed from the air — even calling the kiss a “highly-charged sexually provocative act.”
“By choosing to feature a same-sex couple, Cadbury’s are clearly hoping to cause controversy and escape criticism, by claiming that any objections must be rooted in ‘homophobia’, but members of the LGBT community have also expressed their dislike of this campaign,” the petition reads.
The petition author claims that Cadbury is using a sexually provocative ad and hiding under LGBTQ rights so any criticism will look like homophobia. They say that exposing children to sexualized content constitutes a form of grooming, citing that children often copy what they see on television.
Cabury released a statement defending the campaign, saying “Cadbury has always been a progressive brand that spreads a message of inclusion, whether it is through its products or brand campaigns. We are proud of our Golden Goobilee advert which celebrates the many ways that everyone can enjoy a Cadbury Creme Egg. To illustrate this and showcase the joy our products bring, a clip of a real life couple sharing a Cadbury Creme Egg was included in the advert.”
Other viewers are posting in support of the commercial.
“I spent my childhood watching a woman in a bathtub fellating a Flake,” one viewer wrote on Twitter, referencing the 1992 commercial with the brand’s chocolate bar.
I spent my childhood watching a woman in a bathtub fellating a Flake. Jus’ saying. #CREMEEGG — Sue Perkins 💙 (@Sue Perkins 💙)1610307108.0
Another viewer jokingly wrote “I’m DISGUSTED by this. I would NEVER share a Creme Egg with my husband.”
I’m DISGUSTED by this. I would NEVER share a Creme Egg with my husband. https://t.co/uJtXNEm1mv — Ian Eagleton IS AWAY FOR A WHILE! (@Ian Eagleton IS AWAY FOR A WHILE!)1610303514.0
Cadbury’s parent company, Mondelez International, Inc., has no plans to shut down the campaign. They released an official statement regarding COVID-19 safety on the production set, saying “The actors featured in the film were from the same household, so they were egg-static to share a delicious Cadbury Creme Egg together! We also ensured that social distancing and stringent hygiene measures were taken when shooting the new advert.”
Stan Cadbury for not taking the BS, and watch the full ad, below.
Less than a week has passed since famed scam-tress, Anna Delvey (AKA Anna Sorokin), was released from prison and she’s already busier than any of us have been in months. Having served almost four years for her various grifts and cons, the former faux heiress has hit the ground running by going on a social media blitz, launching her own website and announcing her vlogging channel, Anna Delvey TV.
Delvey had already gotten a head start while she was behind bars, updating her website with personal essays and sharing some label-conscious drawings on her Instagram. Now that she’s out on parole, though, the aspiring socialite is ready to get things going in earnest albeit, this time, without any scams.
Delvey wasted no time getting back on brand, snapping glamorous i-woke-up-like-this selfies from bed, going on a Sephora run, and sharing caviar and champagne with a friend over the long weekend. Judging by the Celine glasses case stuffed with $100 bills and her tweet indicating as much, money is no longer an issue for Delvey (outside of having to ask her parole officer for permission to open up a bank account).
Delvey also reconnected with her “Only Friend in New York” Neff Davis, posting behind-the-scenes shots of her and filmmaker Douglas Higginbotham from presumably one of Delvey’s forthcoming vlogs. Speaking with Insider, she explained that “it’s a way to control what I want to tell. So many people, I see, are trying to tell my narrative. I just decided to do something on my own.”
Delvey’s Twitter has also been a veritable goldmine of potential slogans (“Going to trial is the new sex tape”) and a slightly unhinged FAQ section. Delvey stated that she wouldn’t consider going back to Europe until they had paid Black people reparations and that the only job she would accept right now is creative director for Goldman Sachs. She even put out an open call for a boyfriend, which she quickly rescinded — but that doesn’t mean she spent Valentine’s day alone either.
Only agreeing to go back to Europe when they give Black people reparations #oneday — Anna Delvey (@Anna Delvey)1613351292.0 One of my goals for this year is to take @GoldmanSachs Group Inc. private, $306.77/share is too much — Anna Delvey (@Anna Delvey)1613450994.0 Looking for a boyfriend — Anna Delvey (@Anna Delvey)1613263572.0 Lost interest in acquiring a boyfriend, looking for a job now — Anna Delvey (@Anna Delvey)1613448526.0
Delvey apparently already has plans to expand her diaries into a book about the criminal justice system and her experiences behind bars. When asked if she had any lingering regrets, Delvey said, “I have to deal with the consequences of my actions, yeah. But to just sit around and just think about everything I’ve done — it’s not going to have changed it. I don’t know. It would be a huge waste of my time.”
No word yet on whether or not IMG Models plans to sign Delvey, though.
In the summer of 2020, Vanity Fair went bold, declaring the end of the Notes App apology era. “The Notes apology, arranged to make onlookers feel as though the offender had hastily thrown together a message, has now been replaced with the vague feeling someone said, go fetch the graphic designer,” wrote Arimeta Diop, citing a string of public apologies that were aestheticized to camouflage among a celebrity or brand’s feed. But though the era might have hit pause, it was nothing close to over.
This past Friday, 6221 days after the 2004 Super Bowl in which Justin Timberlake effectively derailed Janet Jackson’s career in an incident that became known as “nipplegate,” Timberlake issued a public apology posted to his Instagram. Better late than never? He also chose, in this same note, to apologize to his ex-girlfriend Britney Spears, whom he’d broken up with 19 years earlier but continued to speak ill about, like in 2013 when he called her “just some bitch” on stage, or in 2018 when he unambiguously belittled her career decisions.
The letter came exactly one week after a new televised documentary, The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears, reignited conversations about the way the media and men like Timberlake played a role in perpetuating misogyny and stigmatizing mental health, mothering and female sexuality.
Timberlake opted for the tried and true Notes App apology, first popularized amongst the uber-celebrity set by Taylor Swift in 2016 when she chose the pre-installed iPhone app to issue a now-deleted statement damning Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West and accusing them of “character assassination.” He used the same app in 2019 to issue another apology over what he described as a “lapse in judgement” after photos began surfacing of him, drunk and holding hands with his Palmer co-star Alisha Wainwright. (Timberlake has been married to actress Jessica Biel since 2012.)
Other celebs who have favored the Notes App apology include but are not limited to Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper, Ariana Grande, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Fifth Harmony, Drake, Migos, Amy Schumer, Pete Davidson, Lena Dunham, Azealia Banks, Arm*e H*mmer, James Charles, Kendall Jenner and even Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Most recently, celebrity Soul Cycle instructor (take a moment to let that land) Stacey Griffith posted a Notes App apology for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine (take another moment, I get it).
One might think with dollars on the line, entire teams dedicated to crisis management and, in most cases, clearly defined social media presences, celebs might find more personal ways to convey their contrition. After all, the whole turning point of celebrity gossip coverage came with social media allowing celebrities the chance to both tell and frame their own public narratives. But not so for the most part. “Who cares?” one might be asking. “It’s the words that matter, not the format.” And sure! But the ubiquity of the format, and the way it’s associated more with cobbling together thoughts hastily, indicates an inherent thoughtlessness.
“I don’t think it’s so much the aesthetics of them, but more the lack of effort,” says Mark Glasgow, a designer and illustrator. “Not only have you written it on your phone, but you haven’t bothered to record anything — although I’m not sure that would be more or less authentic.” It’s true, on the one hand, a recorded video might allow for visible or verbal nuances that a letter can’t convey. It might also give us, the viewer, a better sense of who the apology is really coming from: the celebrity or their team. “I would rather listen to someone stumble or struggle through a video or actually talking it out and showing that ‘Hey, I’m here’ rather than just this cheap, typed out Notes App,” T. Kyle MacMahon said on a recent episode of his podcast Legends Only when discussing the insincerity of Timberlake’s apology.
I’m reminded of Snoop Dogg’s video apology to Gayle King back in February, 2020 after he released an expletive-laden video condemning King for asking questions about Kobe Bryant’s 2003 sexual assault case during an interview with WNBA star Lisa Leslie. “I publicly tore you down by coming at you in a derogatory manner… I should have handled it way different than that,” he said in a video that was simple, direct and effective.
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But that form of public admission isn’t for everyone. One must take into account factors like potential nerves induced by making such a public statement of penance or the idea that one might be at their most comfortable in written form. So really, it’s less the note part and more the app part. Think: It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.
In the case of Charisma Carpenter, it was both. The actress used her social media channels on Wednesday to make not an apology, but to speak her long unspoken truth: accusing her former Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel boss, writer/director Joss Whedon, of toxic and verbally abusive behavior. In her two-part statement, she alleged that Whedon made ongoing threats to fire her, mocked her for her religious beliefs, and called her fat during her pregnancy.
Her words: powerful. Her execution: poignant and affecting. “As well as beautifully written, it was very thought out in terms of format and style which made it seem more prepared… in a good way, like she really thought about it,” says Glasgow. “Whereas Notes App is like, ‘I’m in the car on the way somewhere.’ [Charisma’s noted] gave it gravitas rather than ‘shit I better fix this thing quickly; better do the bare minimum.’ And just to be clear I think that was a good thing. It’s a serious subject and deserves, yeah, strategy.”
The two-part slide, written with white text over a black background is able to say a lot with limited real estate — and to do it effectively. In thirteen paragraphs split between the slides, with no typos or grammatical errors, Carpenter shares a deeply personal and painful experience with the world on a space all her own, on her terms and on her own timing. It reads as heartbreaking, yet mighty in how clear-headed, intentional and well-prepared it was.
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Can a public figure issue a sincere apology using the Notes App? Of course. But I’m reminded (too often at this point) of J. Lo’s green Versace dress — and how with every rewear the heart grows less fond. Even if it’s the celeb’s first time issuing a public apology of any nature, the pervasiveness of the App alone can signify insincerity at first glance.
Apologies will persist — they’re celebrities after all; it’s part of the machinations — but the manner in which they make them, and the thought and care put into, can signal just as much as the apology itself. Just ask Carrie Bradshaw.
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.
The inspiration for Dana Dentata’s latest music video comes from a viral YouTube clip of Eliza Ibarra, called “Do You Like Me Now?” Part feminist video essay, part performance art piece, the clip sees Ibarra mockingly attempting to embody all the things she thinks “guys like in a girl.” Throughout the course of the video, the soft-spoken tween grows increasingly bug-eyed and manic as she delivers some objectively pretty funny one-liners like “Whats 2+2? GONORRHEA!” before devolving into a lisping muttering mess.
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“I saw the ‘Do You Like Me Now?’ video by 12-year-old Eliza one day at the studio and I thought it was bad ass,” Dentata recounts. “It instantly inspired me to talk about all the other bullshit things that are expected of us and projected at us. I related to it because I was actually in a relationship where I had to drastically change my hair, clothes, nails, my personality, everything for someone. I was really screaming a form of ‘Do You Like Me Now, Bitch?’ inside.”
Fast forward to 2021, and Dentata and Ibarra — now an adult film star — are friends and both feature in the new video for the goth metal rapper’s single, “Do U Like Me Now?” In addition to borrowing the title and sampling some of the original clip, Dentata’s latest thrasher see her living out a full housewife revenge fantasy, clad in Insane Clown Posse-esque makeup from a shed. She smashes a glass vase over her husband’s head before turning him over to some menacing punks and freeing her inner child. It’s basically that remix Korn did of “Bitch Better Have My Money” come to life.
Dentata explains that “being able to recreate this experience, but take his ass out and free my inner child was my redemption. I feel like the song and video have the same energy as Eliza’s original video, and whether you are a 12-year-old girl or a porn star we can all relate to feeling pressured by society to change ourselves. To have Eliza in it made the video so meaningful and literal.”
Watch the PAPER premiere of Dana Dentata’s official music video for “Do U Like Me Now?” and stream it, below.
Halsey is taking an important stand against Instagram filters.
On the heels of the debut of her About-Face makeup line, the star spoke to Byrdie about her own journey toward making “peace with her face,” explaining that when she “started getting publicity of some kind, I would go out and [paparazzi would] take pictures of me.”
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“I can’t control the angle. I can’t control the lighting. I can’t control if it’s my good side or my bad side. The pictures would come out and I would just have to look at them and go, ‘Okay. That’s what I look like.’ I don’t get to change it,” she said, before adding that About-Face was all about “loving and appreciating what you look like.”
However, this disorienting experience was also something Halsey compared to Instagram filters, which she explained forces people to feel “disappointed” with their actual faces.
“I’m exhausted with this industry of Instagram filters,” she said. “It’s gotta be damaging to your brain to constantly be looking at yourself through an altered lens and being disappointed with what your face actually looks like.”
But to that end, Halsey said that she ultimately wants her new makeup line to encourage fans to feel “brave enough” to wear whatever beauty looks they want — regardless of what society deems attractive. After all, as she went on to add, “I have a pretty good idea of what my ‘prettiest’ look is, by social standards, but it doesn’t mean it’s what I want to look like.”
“I definitely don’t think that my most ‘Hollywood’ look is when I have a bald head,” Halsey continued. “But it’s when I feel the most confident.”
Read Halsey’s entire interview for yourself, here.
TikTok star Dazharia Shaffer has died. She was 18.
According to People, Shaffer’s father, Rodney Andry, first confirmed her death by suicide in a TikTok that thanked everyone for “their love and support of [his] daughter.”
Andry also wrote on a GoFundMe page that the Louisiana teen — who was known as “Dee” to her 1.6 million followers — had passed away on Monday and continued to allude to her struggles with mental health.
“I only wish she would have spoken to me about her stress and the thoughts of suicide. We could work thru this,” he said. “I only want to hold you again my little jelly bean. Now I come home and your no longer gonna be there waiting for me. I have to let you fly with the angels.”
In a Facebook post, her mother Jennifer Shaffer also said that she was “heartbroken,” and said that she couldn’t believe she was gone.
“I wish I was waiting on you to say it was a prank but it’s not. I wishing could have died instead of u,” she continued. “RIP my angel. Everyone talks about our bad times but never talk about the good times #babygirldee.”
TikToker Tessica Brown went viral over the weekend with a (literally) head-scratching stunt: styling her hair with one of the world’s most powerful adhesives. She announced to followers that, after running out of her usual setting spray, her hair had been stuck in place for more than a month after a spur-of-the-moment Gorilla Glue application. Virality followed.
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At first, the situation didn’t look too hopeful. Even the makers of Gorilla Glue were stumped as to how to remove the substance from Brown’s scalp, and things became a little antagonistic when she reportedly sought legal advice over how to sue the company for her troubles. (The case seemed thin: while hair isn’t mentioned on the Gorilla Glue label, it does warn users not to swallow the glue, or put it in contact with eyes, skin or clothing.)
But as of this morning, we can all breathe a sigh of relief and look forward to the internet getting a new main character. Over the course of four no doubt grueling hours, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon has successfully removed the glue for free, in what would normally would have been a $12, 500 procedure.
The impressive glue removal work was carried out by one Dr. Obeng, who shared withTMZ that he’d tested out his adhesive removal process on a dummy beforehand. It’s a mix of medical grade adhesive remover, aloe vera, olive oil and acetone.
He actually saved quite a lot of hair in the end, considering what Brown’s scalp had been through. We’re happy for her!
It has been exactly 10 years to the day since the world was first introduced to Rebecca Black and given a thorough run down of the days of the week. While it may not have been appreciated in its own time, in the decade since “Friday” came out the world has luckily come to recognize the important role the song and Black played in shaping the internet zeitgeist. Like many of us that grew up on “Friday,” in the time since its release Black has had a glow up, come out as queer and emerged triumphant after having spent years as a meme to reclaim her space.
Related | Rebecca Black Celebrates Her Queerness With ‘Girlfriend’
To mark the 10th anniversary of “Friday,” Black has returned with a new remix of the viral hit with an all star line-up that includes Dorian Electra, Big Freedia, 3OH!3 and 100 gecs’ Dylan Brady. Featuring a donk bassline and chipmunk vocals, the hyperpop reimagining of “Friday” feels like the most 2021 take on 2011 possible in an ouroboros of internet culture venerating itself.
The accompanying Weston Allen-directed music video is an acid trip-like homage to the original’s now iconic visual. From using the same iMovie sketchbook filter to the convertible driving in front of very obvious greenscreen, Black hits all the right notes except now she’s rocking a latex bodysuit, spiky jewelry, a mile-long ponytail and all the friends she’s kicking it in the backseat with are rage comics. Elsewhere, Black and Electra get into a drag race, Big Freedia pops up in the sideview mirror and 3OH!3 just is the moon. It’s all incredibly freaky and over the top, but would you have it any other way?
After having to deal with years of bullying and harassment as a result of her unexpected viral fame, it’s really nice to see Black have the last laugh. Going from an unfortunate casualty of the cruel internet and a half-assed vanity label to fully owning her past and being able to turn it into something that falls more in line with who she is as an artist is inspiring. A decade later, “Friday” is now certified gold and Black is getting the recognition she serves.
The funniest thing about the way TikTok works is that artists can spend all day making songs specifically for the platform, but the songs that usually blow up there almost always do so accidentally. I’m thinking specifically about Drake’s “Toosie Slide” as something that got caught in the platform’s screen door and slipped off. Listeners can be hesitant to devote their time and energy to following the motions and doing exactly what the artist wants when it’s outlined right there. They prefer music that has the elements of a great dance record, but is wrapped in an authentic package. Music like Florida rapper SpotEmGottEm‘s “Beat Box.” Thanks to the efforts of a dancer whose challenge for the song is sweeping the world, SpotEmGottEm’s on his way to the kind of viral fame that record labels seek to replicate but have yet to perfect the formula for.
Related | Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ Remix Lineup Is Iconic
SpotEmGottEm is a 19-year-old rapper out of Florida who you’ve potentially seen smirking on your timeline. He’s in the lineage of Kodak Black with his unique hairstyle and mouth full of gold teeth. When he raps, the thick Floridian drawl makes his words borderline incomprehensible, but the athletic energy that defines his approach to trap has brought him fans all over. It’s not a stretch to say that he’s a pivotal figure of Florida’s rising rap scene. And he’s native to the internet, first going viral for his music three years ago with breakout single “Street Gossip.” He’s released a couple of projects since then and has established himself as a Wild Card for Florida’s next generation of rising artists who could blow at any time.
“Beat Box” was officially released as a loosie last April. With bass drums that taser your skin, SpotEmGottEm weaved in and out of violent narratives for a little over a minute. Its video consisted of him breaking out of a straight jacket and brandishing just about any weapon that he could get his hands on. The song’s absurdity led to it becoming popular on YouTube, but not the kind of life-altering hit that establishes an entire career.
Then came Junebug, a 24-year-old dancer out of California. SpotEmGottEm released the video for “Beat Box 2” on December 18, featuring a guest appearance from one of the hottest rising rappers in the game, Pooh Shiesty, most famous for his song “Back In Blood” with Lil Durk. Five days after its release, Junebug posted a TikTok video of him dancing to the song and creating his own routine.
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The dance is a bit hard to explain. First, you stand in place and pop your torso and groin back and forth. While doing that, you take your arms and move them robotically on the sides. It’s best seen to be believed. It looks pretty crazy, but it was inspired by rapper Bobby Shmurda’s infamous “Shmoney Dance” and its unique moves. Junebug’s dance, christened the “Junebug Challenge,” quickly went viral, and people across the internet joined in on the fun. Both Kevin Hart and Saweetie have recorded their own versions of it. LeBron James has even done the moves publicly. As the dance grows even bigger as more people attempt it, the accompanying song also is on its way to becoming a cultural phenomenon.
— 220 (@Saweetie) January 16, 2021
On the Billboard Hot 100 chart dated for January 25, SpotEmGottem’s “Beat Box” made its debut at No. 84 on the chart, largely off the back of its TikTok success. The rapper initially didn’t seem to credit Junebug for his role in making the song popular, but in January, he linked up with him and fully embraced the impact.
“Beat Box” appears on SpotEmGottEm’s Final Destination project that came out in December. With the success of the song rapidly propelling his career, it doesn’t seem like it’ll be long until he puts something else out. He regularly previews new music and seems to be in a hurry to release a follow up — he’s seen how quickly these kinds of viral careers can play out.
There’s also the fact that he was recently accused of snitching on another rapper named Y&R Mookey in an effort to squash the former’s success like a bug. Rapper Pop Hunna has had to deal with this issue since paperwork revealed he cooperated with police as a teenager. But SpotEmGottEm was able to get out of the conversation with ease.
Until the next leg of his career comes, it seems like the world will continue vibing to “Beat Box” — and doing the Junebug Challenge — for the time being. It wouldn’t be surprising if SpotEmGottEm tries his hand at even more TikTok-focused singles. But once you try, you run the risk of losing the magic.
Welcome to “Memes to Streams,” a column by music writer Trey Alston about the light switch moment that turns a random song on the internet into a chart-topping phenomenon. Only in this age of virality are we able to see pop culture change literally overnight, often in ways no one could have predicted.
Smashing a guitar will forever, and always, mean you’re a badass — and with that comes badass tendencies. Grammy-nominated Phoebe Bridgers is unleashing those tendencies on legendary rocker David Crosby, who seems to have taken offense to her breaking the genre’s iconic instrument. She’s given him a new name, “little bitch.”
Pathetic https://t.co/ijaaOYFQbO — David Crosby (@David Crosby)1612734827.0
Bridgers was recently the musical guest of honor on Saturday Night Live and, during a performance of both “Kyoto” and “I Know the End,” she smashed her guitar in a moment of sheer chaos. For whatever reason, not everyone was impressed.
Crosby, known for blowing more hot air than a ballon, was responding to fans’ Twitter questions on Sunday when someone asked him about Bridgers’ stunt. He responded with a single word that set the tone for her response, “Pathetic.”
@thedavidcrosby little bitch. — traitor joe (@traitor joe)1612835047.0
Bridgers came back at him with energy equal, saying “little bitch.” Crosby not only didn’t apologize for offending her, but he continued to double down on his words in the hours after her response. “Guitars are for playing ..making music ….not stupidly bashing them on a fake monitor for childish stage drama,” he wrote. “I really do NOT give a flying F if others have done it before,” he continued. “It’s still STUPID.”
The next morning, he posted again about Bridgers’ performance. “I am told that wasn’t a very good night for her and she’s really quite good …I could not see it or hear it then …the skeleton costumes were kind of distracting as well ….the guitar thing was old , wrong , copy cat, looks angry , destructive , wasteful , pointless,” he wrote.
I am told that wasn’t a very good night for her and she’s really quite good …I could not see it or hear it then .… https://t.co/5IL90WgqhS — David Crosby (@David Crosby)1612856770.0
Bridgers had enough of Crosby’s tweets and responded again, this time with a new dimension on her previous insult writing two more words, “whiny bitch.”
@thedavidcrosby whiny bitch. — traitor joe (@traitor joe)1612897184.0
In case there’s any doubt about the winner of this back-and-forth, it’s Bridgers. Not just because her responses were better, but also because she has nearly half as many Grammy nominations at 26 years old as Crosby does at 79. Keep smashing guitars, Bridgers.
Check out her epic responses, up above, and stream the Grammy-nominated album, Punisher, below.
It’s February 10, 2011 and life’s good. You have a chunky, block-shaped iPhone 4 in the passenger seat, swag rag dangling off your left shoulder and a snapback on while driving down the street. Suddenly, the radio announces a new song by someone you’ve never heard of. “Friday?” Rebecca Black? You shrug and let it play. By the end of the addicting pop song, you’re belting its chorus out the window from the top of your lungs. Fridays will never be the same.
Related | Rebecca Black Celebrates Her Queerness With ‘Girlfriend’
Ten years later, Black is marking the 10th anniversary of the song’s release with a remix that looks to capture the spirit of the original while boldly stepping into the world of today. The singer has announced the “Friday (Remix),” which will feature Dorian Electra, Big Freedia and 3OH!3. It’s set to be produced by Dylan Brady of 100 gecs, meaning that this will be an iconic reimagining unlike what we heard a decade ago.
tonight marks 10 years 🚀 FRIDAY (REMIX) FEAT. @DORIANELECTRA, @bigfreedia & @3OH3 + produced by @dylanbrady OUT EVE… https://t.co/n4hvpDCZR7 — Rebecca Black (@Rebecca Black)1612890208.0
“I’d had the idea to do this remix of ‘Friday’ for years leading up to now, but honestly it was also mildly insane for me to think anyone else would want to be a part of it,” Black said of the release. “As I started talking about it with other artists and producers, I couldn’t believe how stoked people were about it. I am thrilled to have some of my favorite artists (and people) as a part of the moment.”
Big Freedia also declared her excitement, “When they asked me to be on the remix, I was like ‘Yass,'” she said. “‘Friday’ defined an era and changed the music industry! It was a fun project.”
Related | Rebecca Black Was Ahead of Her Time
Earlier this year, Black made her comeback, after years of dealing with cyberbullies and trolls, with the release of “Girlfriend.” On the song, she embraced her queerness with an optimistic outlook. Speaking to PAPER, Black said, “‘Girlfriend’ represents a new chapter for me, both in its sound and in the fact that since coming out, there is now a whole new layer of myself I’m sharing openly with my audience. It feels so good to celebrate queerness and I hope this song can be a form of that for everyone else when they listen along.”
Check out Black’s tease about her “Friday”remix, up above, and revisit the original, below.