Guilty Pleasures: Weird Rappers

This started out as a hybrid article in the “What’s Cool Now” and “Guilty Pleasures” varieties, but I realised that if this really was so cool, I wouldn’t feel so guilty enjoying it. There is a cheesiness to it. I obviously don’t mind proclaiming my love for things I consider a little tacky or weird; those of you familiar with the older version of the site will remember my old “Guilty Pleasure” series. I just don’t want to be one of those folks that lies to himself thinking that just because I like it, it’s cool.

With that being said, join me as I take a small voyage of the senses, and introduce to you several artists that I think fall into the category of “Weird Rappers.”

 

Necro

I remember seeing this guy’s stuff maybe 10 years or more ago. I came across one of his videos, White Slavery, by accident. From what I can remember, it began with Necro in gimp mask giving shout-outs to some folks before he began rapping and eating a hot Italian meal in an aluminum takeout pan, on the ass of what looked like a sex-slave in distress. It was definitely unsuitable for YouTube.

At that time I thought he was just some creepy, weird internet gangster with delusions of grandeur. Who would be afraid of this guy? Who the fuck is this guy killing? How is he enslaving women and bitches? Who the fuck is he?

Well, for better or worse, that was my first impression. The atmosphere of the video is meant to illicit a strong response, but then Necro also opens his mouth…Holy shit…some of the most disgusting shit I’ve ever heard in my life poured out. This guy has imagination and problems…but it doesn’t stop there! The boy can rhyme!

Richard Pryor’s supposed words of wisdom come to mind: “You can’t just have no curse show!” In other words, Necro wouldn’t have amassed his cult following on just being some disgusting weirdo with the manners and vocabulary of some MARTA dweller. The boy can spit! Necro is so witty and inventive with is rhymes, with the sick and evil shit he says, you actually start to feel ashamed of yourself. You have to acknowledge the skills. Your body is moving a little without your permission.

Necro is definitely a gimmicky and dark themed rapper. I’m not saying that he really is a gangster that kills people, sleeps on mattresses full of money, and has a dungeon full of hoes like he raps about, but the darkness and inventiveness is there and real, nonetheless.

 

Tyler the Creator

Tyler the Creator is probably the most famous featured name on this list. He’s one of the founding minds of Loiter Squad, a group of dare stunt lovers in the same vein of Jackass (associates and producers). (Loiter Squad also created skit and prank comedy.) Who he is as a rapper is more complicated because of what he was.

Tyler the Creator was a young, brash, and irreverent well-spring of energy, testing the limits of taboo, his own creativity and powers of expression, and senses of daring and adventure. A lot of his style that I brushed off as just childish gibberish was kind of a clever camouflage for other issues. However, like anyone that puts such cryptic allusions in their art, Tyler the Creator wants you to follow the bread crumbs to his secrets. He’s just not going to make it too easy or apparent for the average person that can’t handle them. He wants you to crack the code. He wants to be caught…Also, I do honestly think that some of weirdness was just for weirdness sake. (Yeah, that’s snarky youth for ya.)

Tyler the Creator needs to push you away three spaces for every one that he lets you in. I also think that in his creativity there is a mad scientist curiosity and amusement in seeing how people will react to aspects of his being, both what he presents and what they assume.

Okay, I just went a lot more into the person than his rap style, but that’s only because my ideas of him changed in listening to him and learning about the person. I think that you will always find the strange in his work. He is a stranger person. However, the average person often mistakes the strange, eclectic, or misaligned with goofy, immature, or mentally skewered.

Oh, BTW, if you haven’t seen any Loiter Squad, see you some. As a big fan of weird comedy, I whole-heartedly endorse them. If you like Eric Andre, I think you’ll like this; it’s comparable, but not exactly the same.

 

Oliver Tree

As a character, Oliver Tree is a weird vaping, bowl-cutted scooter boy with huge skateboy bell-bottoms,  Physically, he a mash-up of the same version of the same weird boy circa 1991, 1998, 2003, and 2018, but that’s not all that’s so familiar about him. Oliver Tree also has so many aspects that are almost frankensteined from some of pop culture’s best weirdos. His bowl cut would make Moe Howard proud, not to mention Doc Ock, who would probably sign off on his specs as well.

Oliver Tree is sort of famous and I didn’t even know it. He has a song, Hurt, that has been getting good regular airplay for about a year now. Calling Oliver Tree a weird rapper may be a stretch. He is definitely weird, but he is one of those singy rappers. He’s got a unique voice that lends itself well to singing, rapping, and that weird place in between that his songs tend to live in half the time.

Oliver Tree’s musical style is almost two styles. Some songs he straight up raps. Most of his songs are actually songs complete with chorus, but in which he sort of rap-sings the verses. It all fits together, though.

As far as what Oliver Tree raps about, each song is like a conversation with someone that he is apologetic to for some sort of weird misunderstanding. Sometimes his songs feel like the confessions of an alien weirdo pleading his case to a jury in the Court of Normalcy. Other times they are upwellings of emotions from not being good enough.

Oliver Tree is a lot like Tyler the Creator in the sense that his music is a major aspect of his talents, but not limited to it.

 

Shakewell

I actually discovered Shakewell in a video that he did with Fat Nick (also featured in this article), for a song called Pemex. While I thoroughly enjoyed the combined efforts of the two, when it came time to examine Shakewell on his own, I was disappointed.

He’s all over the place. Sometimes he’s a redneck nobody. Sometimes he’s playing gangsta. Even his rapping style is inconsistent. Sometimes he’s a mumble rapper. Sometimes he goes T-Pain and sounds like he has a synthesiser shoved down his throat. It’s like he primarily uses hip hop to fuel his fantasies.

How does that make him different from a lot of hip hop artists or rappers? It doesn’t. I suppose that I expect a little bit more from indie artists; I think we all do. We expect a little more substance and integrity because these indie artists haven’t “made it” yet, but sometimes we underestimate the allure of fame and even near-fame. I think Shakewell likes playing the part of a rapper.

Maybe I’m being hard on Shakewell. Maybe I just don’t like his work. Maybe he’s just not so good. *shrugs shoulders*

 

Fat Nick

Fat Nick is pretty much an extension of Shakewell. Both of them are a part of the group “The Buffet Boys.” They do a lot of collaborations and appearances in each others’ videos, and their styles are similarly all over the place. However, if Shakewell is a trailer park gangsta wannabe, Fat Nick is the the Mexican kid that watched too much Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon and enjoys the image of Thug Life.

Of the two, I would say that Fat Nick is the more lyrically talented of the two. Visually, he also more entertaining, plus he exudes a weird sort of rainbow-enema aura of positivity.

 

SonReal

SonReal is a pop rapper. If I had to describe him, I’d say that if Weird Al Yankovic could do the fusion dance with Justin Timberlake, you’d get SonReal. I wouldn’t say that he seems very deep or has something to say. He just makes semi-witty rhymes that are catchy and easy to bob to.

I wish I had more to say about him, but he really didn’t strike me as much else as what I’ve said.  He’s very polished.  His strangeness is mathematical.   His oddness is well rehearsed.

 

Awkwafina

Before she was the wisecracking funny actress pigeon-holed into Asian comedies, Awkwafina was an internet personality that went viral in her response to Mickey Avalon’s own viral opus, My Dick. (My Vag)

‘Awkwafina’s rap style? In comparison to some of the folks mentioned here, her flow is much more natural. It’s also effortlessly clever. This could be because she’s just a cleverer rapper, but I think there’s a bit more to it. She raps like someone that not only listened to rap her whole life, but as someone that grew up in the culture that cradled and gave birth to it.

I know that Shakewell is this guy that messes with the guns and has boys around. I know that Fat Nick is a person of colour, and one of Shakewell’s Buffet Boys, but Awkwafina strikes me as more genuine. This little woman with the nasal voice of Asian mother complaining about why you don’t call home enough, and a Yiddish mother that does the same, actually has more authenticity in her being. It also helps that her rapping voice tends to me a silky smooth and laid back version of her speaking voice.  The differences between Awkwafina and Nora Lum, besides voices, are probably very few.

With all of this said, I almost forgot to mention my favourite thing about Awkwafina: She’s really funny. I always get a laugh. She doesn’t have to be weird or goofy. She doesn’t have to try too hard. Awkwafina is a straight up clever, funny, New Yorker with some street in her bones.

 

Die Antwoord

If anyone else on this list could possibly rival the following that Tyler the Creator has, it would be Die Antwoord. Die Antwoord is the crazy South African rap duo of Ninja and Yolandi. Die Antwoord has a musical style to go with their lifestyle. Die Antwoord can be described as ranging from experimental electronic to heavy incorporation of both traditional Native African and contemporary African styles; a rapid-fire techie tinny, drum bassy, African sound blast that is Die Antwoord’s music, with words to match.

Somewhere in their songs I also feel a strong impression from some of the British club groups of the 90’s like the Stereo MC’s and The Shaman.

I wish I could be cool and say that heard about them because of their music, but I was introduced to Die Antwoord in Chappie. Supposedly their characters ended up taking shape very closely to the musical identities Ninja and Yolandi portray.

There were some bits of controversy about some racism, gay bashing, and human trafficking, (Ninja and Yolandi supposedly lured another artist to live with them as their sex slave), but eh: who knows.

On a personal note, I don’t know what to say about Ninja and Yolandi’s life together.  I remember Ninja being very insistent that He and Yolandi were merely best friends to the point of family.  Then I find out that not only do they have a daughter together, but they are married, and adopted three more children together.

There’s something in how you choose to describe yourselves, and perhaps the important part is that they consider themselves best friends that became family before any other definitions.

 

Conclusion

I’m sure that there are more weird rappers that I could list, but these are the ones that really stuck out to me at the moment I decided to write this.  With the way that rap is evolving, and becoming more and more accessible to everybody, I think that many of the mainstream rappers would have been eligible for this list 10 years ago.  Some of them I’ve only heard of, like Post Malone.  Some of them, are actually very talented like Lil Nas X.  This explosion of variety is to be expected with so much new blood coming from so many new places; the genre and its norms becomes that more fluid.

Here’s to weird rappers:  for better and for worse.  From serious to ridiculous, may they continue to be a guilty pleasure and not an embarrassment.

Rango’s Smash Column – Everyone Plays Wi-Fi Tournaments Now.

Wi-Fi Replaces Real Life Tournaments

Notice: We will be moving to a biweekly format after this edition of Rango’s Smash Column. Stay tuned for more tips and Smash news on AllCoolThings and be sure to follow our social media channels!

Hello and welcome to our weekly Smash column. This week, we’ll discuss the growing surge of online tournaments in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate community. While the last offline tournament, CEO Dreamland, brought in over 600 competitors, it left many players wanting more. Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus, many quarantines line the nation. As a result, these regions have all canceled their offline tournaments to avoid spreading the disease. This also includes major events, such as Momocon, which notably brought over 1,000 players to register at last year’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament.

Thus, the seeming “bane” of Smash – online play – now receives a second lease on life. Despite its notorious lag and netcode issues, competitive players still want to play Smash Bros. While online ladders and tournaments have always maintained a presence in the Smash community, only now have top competitive players garnered interest in the scene.

Nairo, noted player and streamer, has hosted the “Naifu Wars” WiFi series since Ultimate’s release. With the prevalence of online play, his latest tournament has already capped its maximum entrants. Notable commentators, such as EE and Hazmatt, will participate in the event as well.

The tournament begins on March 28th. You can check out the details here.

Local Scenes

Additionally, local tournament scenes have also begun hosting online tournaments. Some of them require players, of the tournament’s respective state, to enter. 4o4 Esports will continue hosting online tournaments in Georgia. Until the Coronavirus begins to clear up around the world, expect more online tournaments to appear over the next few weeks. In the meantime, we will keep you posted with news regarding the Coronavirus and its impact on gaming events. Stay up to date on AllCoolThings for more news every week in Rango’s Smash Column!

What does the future hold?

As it stands, there are no plans to host offline tournaments in the U.S. With the nation under quarantine, players will continue using online as a means to enter tournaments and win money. Most recently, YouTube star Alpharad hosted the Quarantine Series. This appears to be the first of a series of Smash tournaments. Note that Kola, who won Soaked Series and placed 2nd at CEO Dreamland, won this inaugural event.

Perhaps this serves as a successor to the Smash World Tour, which was put on hold due to the Coronavirus. However, please note the names in the chart. All of these players are currently on the fall PGR. With offline tournaments on hiatus, the top stars of Smash’s tournaments now use online to continue building their resume. Until the quarantine lifts for Coronavirus, expect to see more top talent rise up to online play while we see more online tournaments hosting big names and big prizes. As always, remember to check smash.gg to see the list of upcoming online tournaments which you can enter!

Do you plan on entering online tournaments? If you’re entering or watching, let us know if you see any worth checking out!

Up and Coming Cosplayers with Cree Nicole: Pictorial

(Originally Published March 8, 2019) It’s Friday, so it MUST be time for the Up and Coming Cosplayers Pictorial with our charming artist of the moment:  Cree Nicole! Try to pace yourself.  This is our largest Up and Coming Pictorial EVER!  

Got any breath left?  I know mine almost got taken away a few times posting these pics!

Don’t forget that cosplayers like Cree Nicole share their art with you, and usually have jobs and classes they go to support themselves which also takes time away from their art.  You can help tremendously by becoming patrons or even just following and subscribing to them on their social media.  Just following and subscribing lets them know you support them.

Well, we’ve been going on for about two months, now.  Are we doinig as well as you expected?  ‘Got any concerns?  Is there something we’re missing? 

 

Comment!  Share!  Let us know!  Command us!  Tell us what to do!  We want to help!  We need to help!  We LIVE to help!

Until next time…

-HERETICPRIME

Up and Coming Cosplayers with Cree Nicole: Interview

(Originally Published March 6, 2019)

This cosplayer was an absolute pleasure to chat with.  Not only is she very talented, but charming as well.  In this day and age of wannabe overnight celebrity cosplayers that seemed pressed out of the same cookie cutter of wigs, fake boobs, and insincere Patreon/Ko-fi pages, it is a breath of fresh air to find a cosplayer with not only personality, but feeling and heart as well.

Always willing to pump up her fellow cosplayers when they need an ego boost, I am thrilled to introduce to you all:  Cree Nicole!

I think that everyone gets into cosplay for their own reasons, but there some of us that start cosplaying because we need it more than others; it is like therapy.  Would you mind telling us what cosplaying means to you?

 

It might sound a little melodramatic, but we all wear masks everyday.  You have to really get to know someone to ever get past the practiced surface that they decide to show the world.  Cosplay is a shortcut through all that.  By choosing a favorite character to portray and wearing it to a convention you may be saying, “This is an aspect of who I *really* am.” Social anxiety is a pretty big deal for me, and sometimes it boils down to the fact that I’m not really being myself in the wider world.  I can’t.  I can’t be weird and neither can you.  The more layers of social filters I pile on, the more anxious I get..  Somehow cosplay is an added layer that makes all the other layers acceptable to my anxious brain.  Also… it’s really fun.

Before we get into your cosplay, I just wanted to tell you that you have one of the prettiest smiles I have ever seen.  It does all of the things that a smile should do.   It even portents more than happiness.  It reveals experience and fortitude; a sort of toughness out of necessity, but not at the cost of heart.   I know that that is not a question, but I really wanted to tell you that because I thought you still might have something to say about that.

Wow!  Thank you! That makes me really happy.  I’ve never had a knack for hiding my emotions.  I did have a few rough years in my twenties, I lost both my parents, and I’m the only person left from my immediate family.  Maybe what you described kinda comes from that experience?  Things have been much better recently, I’m really on the mend and I’m very thankful for what I have now.

You have a Bachelors in Fine Arts and a Masters in Art Education.  What is the goal with those achievements?  Does cosplay have a place in it?

 

I’ve always made costumes, and I did take a costuming class while getting my Bachelors, but I didn’t know what “cosplay” was then.  While working on my Masters, I was getting heavy into cosplay, but at that point I was sure I was going to go straight into teaching.  I didn’t, and dang!  I graduated a few years ago, now.  Things have never seemed to go the direction I think they will, but that’s life, eh?

You consider yourself a punk goth.   I consider myself old school goth (FYI).   What are some punk goth groups that you have in your playlist?

 

Oh my playlist is all over the place!!  My favorite bands/artists include the DeftonesAFIAesop RockThe ProdigyFever RayMegadethRancidStevie Nicks, and Run the Jewels.  Bands like Anti-FlagSubhumans, and Against Me! really set the tone for my style and politics, but I need slightly chiller jams while I’m working on creative projects.  Massive AttackGrimes, and Lorn all fit that bill nicely, or Stoned Jesus and All Them Witches if I’m feeling stoner metal that day.  Getting ready for a photo shoot I might put on Nicki MinajBilly Eillish, or Missy Elliott for the right vibe.

Okay, I’m going to go out on a limb here: …You like Harley Quinn..?  Why do you like Harley Quinn so much?   While you’re at it, could you please try to shed some light on why so many women love that character?

 

It’s hard to describe what place Harley takes up in my brain.  Mostly, she really sparks my creative streak.  I would not even go so far as to describe her as my favorite fictional character, but here I am with 10 or so various costumes of her; the most I’ve done of any character.  Who knows, man, she’s a phenomenon!  She’s relatable for women because she turns her vulnerability into a strength because she suffers and survives.  I think a lot of people who at some point have tried to “fix” someone also relate to Harley.  To believe in someone and their potential just to have them break your heart? Most people can relate to that and it’s one of her biggest themes.  Also there aren’t a preponderance of anti-heroines, and that’s a shame because so many people are crazy for them.  Maleficent is an example and another character I see at every con!

I gotta admit: I hate Harley Quinn!   ‘Not because of her character, but because every woman/girl/person with pigtails does Harley Quinn!   However, I’m beginning to think that every man has a Harley Quinn that they could fall in love with, and I found one in your variants…’Your Klingon Harley.  How the hell did you come up with her?

I think you can tell a lot about a person based on their favorite portrayal of Harley Quinn and whether or not they like her at all.  You could really be into this character and be a terrible person, or vice versa.  Love Harley or hate Harley for the right reasons, and you’re good in my book.  But Klingon Harley, yeah!!  I learned (and forgot) a lot of Klingon a few years ago.  I just really wanted a shirt that said, “Daddy’s Little Monster,” but in Klingon.  I translated it (poorly) and made the shirt.  It all went from there.  I already had the forehead prosthetic.  It was a lot of fun.

Is Quinom an actual cosplay or is it CGI?

It’s a costume!  I did add a bit of Photoshop, mostly focused on the hammer.  I tried to leave some without as much Photoshop, but here we are.  If you had to ask I must have overdone it!  :)

In one of your Harley Quinn cosplays, you pose with a hyena…Was that a REAL hyena?  If not, how did you swing that shoot?   ‘Got any “puddins'” in real life that you are a parent to?

Just one!  My doggo, Dingo, is real wild looking, 12 year old mutt with a heart of gold.  She posed with me and made it really pretty easy for me to photoshop this.  I changed the shape of her muzzle and tail, added spots and darker colors.  Voila!

You really look like you have fun in your cosplay portfolio.   Do you get into your characters at conventions as much as you seem to in your cosplay shoots?

I depends a whole lot on the character.  When dressed as a Klingon, I go all out.  It’s too much fun not to.  Video game characters have a lot of lines and inside jokes that are fun.  With characters children recognize, you have to get into them or you might disappoint them, and that’s no fun.

Actually, there seems to be a theme of fun and humour with your cosplay shoots.  Would you say that also goes with your characters that you pick for cosplay?  Harley Quinn alone is a character based on humour, crime, and insanity (cute insanity, but still insane!).   Have you every done a more serious cosplay?

I have a Scarlet Witch that feels more serious when I wear it.  She’s a fairly sad character across all her incarnations.  Oh, and Rogue, she is one of my absolute favorite characters, and she’s no touchy, all punchy, all sass, and quiet smiles.  Daenerys is super serious.  She almost never smiles, and it can really break character to smile while cosplaying as her.  Besides that, I think you’ve hit on something there, though I just don’t cosplay a lot of serious characters!

 

 

How much time out of serious living do you get to indulge in cosplay?  Do you get to travel a lot for cons?

 

I was traveling out of state a lot for cons for a few years, I can’t afford to right now.  But I get to set aside a couple hours a day to work on cosplay stuff, I’m a lucky ducky!!

There’s a theory that sometimes it is bad for two people with the same passion to be together, kind of like two intense and competitive gamers living together and fighting over games and bragging rights.  Could you ever see yourself dating another cosplayer? Have you, or would you need a more serious person to compliment your passion? How much does “cosplay dating” happen, in your opinion?

 

Oh I see it work a lot!  ‘Depends on the personalities involved, I’m sure.  I can’t imagine living in a small apartment or house (like I do) with someone else who takes cosplay as seriously as I do.  There just wouldn’t be enough storage.  lol!

I don’t happen to be in one of those relationships, but two of my favorite cosplay couples are Keeper and Thief Crafts and Thousand Faces Cosplay.

Are there any cons that the people can count on seeing you at in 2019?

 

Heck yeah,  I’m planning on Albuquerque Comic ConSabaku ConAtomic City CosplayNew Mexico Comic Expo, and El Paso Comic Con.  More might happen, I hope!

Any last words for the readers and admirers?

 

Just a bunch of crazy love and well wishes!  Be safe and kind out there!

Up and Coming Cosplayers with Cree Nicole: Cosplayer Score Card

(Originally Published March 3, 2019)

Cosplay Name:  Cree Nicole

Base of Operations:  Albuquerque, NM

Years Cosplaying:  About 6

First Cosplay:  Lenalee, D. Gray Man

First Con:  Albuquerque Comic Con

Cons per Year:  About 5?

Number of Times to Dragon Con:  0, sadly!

Make Your Own Costume:  Yes, minus a piece here or there that I’ll find cheap somewhere else.  Also, I don’t want to sew a corset, that’s brutal, so I buy those and retrofit them.

Make Your Own Props:  Always!

Do Your Own Hair:  Yeah!

Do Your Own Makeup:  Oh yeah!

Do Your Own Wig Styling:  Totes!

Makes Your Own Wigs:  Not from scratch but I have taken wigs apart and put them together in new ways.

Bodypaints:  Mehron? But I’m no pro at body paint.

Favourite Cosplay:  Of mine?  Maybe Winged Victory Mercy.  Someone else’s?  Anything Leah Stevo does.

Patreon, Ko-fi, Etsy, and/or Support Link:  Patreon

Lewds:  Yes,’ here.

Nudes:  Nada

More than Nudes:  Nada

Social Media:  FB: , Insta

Domain of Your Own:  creenicole.com

Secret Super Power:  I’m really good at filling two glasses with the exact same amount of liquid.  It’s mostly only impressive if you’re pouring wine or something alcoholic, cause that’s the only time people pay attention?

Otherwise a completely useless natural talent.

Up and Coming Cosplayers with Miniilay: Pictorial

(Originally Published July 5, 2019) It’s in July, so the pictorial for the Up and Coming Cosplayer kicking it off should be, too! If you like what you see, please considering following Miniilay, and even support her on Ko-fi.

How about a few modeling pics?

‘Seeya in two weeks for the next Up and Coming Cosplayer!

-HERETICPRIME

Up and Coming Cosplayers with Miniilay: Interview

(Originally Published July 4, 2019)

I get to meet a lot of interesting and talented people doing what I do.  ‘Many talented men and women that devote a good portion of their time and effort to an art that does not profit them, for a person to truly profit in the cosplay world, it takes more than dedication, talent, looks, or charisma.  It takes a sense of business savvy and the ability to deliver what people want.  All of these things I think are present in this Up and Coming Cosplayer.

All Cool Things™ is extremely proud to introduce to you, Miniilay.

In this business I’m in, I come across some unique cosplayers with unique cosplay names.   How did you come up with yours?

It’s nothing special.  I was just making a YouTube account when I was young, and couldn’t think of anything related to me but “small” and my last name… Someone took “Minilay,” and I just added an extra “i,” so I’ve had “Miniilay” stuck with me since then.

I can tell that you are building a brand.  If I had to compare your brand to anyone else’s that has become a big success, I’d compare you to Jessica Nigri.   You are both very sensually beautiful women whom’s looks probably cause people to discount your costuming and crafting abilities.  Do you find any conflict in the tempering of your brand?  Do you ever want to concentrate on one thing, but feel compelled to pander to “fan service?”

I don’t find any conflict in tempering my work.  I don’t care what others have to say or think.  I just do whatever I want to do.  I usually try to have an open mind for myself and check off my bucket list of things to create.  I don’t think of “fan service” or what’s trending everyday.  I just do anything that comes to mind on days I feel more inspired.

How do you feel about the more “fan service” aspect of your brand? Is it as much a part of you as your artistically creative side? Is there a melding of both that appears in each aspect of your brand?

I think the “fan service” side of my brand is fun; it’s still me.  It can be anything, and I’ll bandwagon along too if I actually enjoy what I see is trending.  These “fan services” can range from casual cosplay, boudoir shoots, fashion, character(s) that are hyped, etc.  Of course there is a mix of both of my brand!  Even if I do or don’t intentionally do these “fan services,” I do what I do because I want to do it for my enjoyment.  If I don’t feel like I want to do a certain “fan service” trend that is going on, then I will not.

Cosplay is a great way to introduce a person into modeling, and vice versa.  I can tell that you love the camera and the camera loves you.  Was modeling ever a plan for you?  Is it a plan, now?  Is that yet another aspect of your brand?

Modelling was always on my mind ever since I was young.  My mom, was and still is in the fashion business, and I was always her little model!  Even today, I help with her business everyday and she still needs me to model her designs.  I’ve never thought of modelling as a serious job.  It’s just something for fun on my free time.  It’s not just “strike a pose” with clothes on.  You can be anything when it comes to modelling, and that’s where my range of creativity comes into play; such as cosplay, fashion, makeup, boudoir etc… The list goes on, and will grow on!

When it comes to costuming, you started with sewing and tailoring.  How did you get into armour crafting?

I knew how to sew my whole life, but im not perfect, and continuing to learning new tips and tricks.  I loved playing video games ever since I was young, and admire how badass characters are created.  At the time I first started cosplaying, I would only choose characters that have clothing, but I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could also bring more to life.  I was obsessed with League of Legends, and loved crafting in art class in school, so I gave crafting armour a try because I wanted to be my favourite character from that game at the time.

I have to say that I am very impressed with your armour work.   How long have you been working and crafting armour?

I’ve been crafting armour for about 4 years.  My first ever full armour cosplay was female version of Raiden from Metal Gear Rising:  Revengeance in 2015.

What materials do you like to work with?  Do you find them difficult?   Are they the same that you started out working with?  Do you see any promising materials for the future?

Almost all of my materials come from Dollarama; mainly EVA foam and contact cement glue.  Those two work so beautifully!  At first it was hard to work with EVA foam; I didn’t understand how to work with it, but once I did my research, it was so easy to cut, mold, stretch etc.  EVA foam surprisingly can do a lot!  When I first started, I thought hot glue was good enough because I used it my whole life in school.  Its super easy to use and fast to dry. 

The only down side was it’s just hot.  Theres annoying glue web strings left behind, and if you don’t hold your pieces together long enough it leaves lots of gunk, and you have to redo it again. Most of the time there will always be hot glue sticking out on the outside surface.  Even if you wipe it clean while it’s still hot, you will still see it in the end of your project. 

When I swtiched to contact cement glue, my work had never been so clean!  The only down side would be the smell. 

After I did my research, things are just a lot easier to understand why things are, or aren’t working out.  I think EVA foam will always be worked with.  I can’t think of any other material that could replace EVA foam.  You will always need it.  From a base structure to a full finished build, it’s always used.

There is a cosplay of you with these huge gun arms attached to you.  How did you swing that?   What were they made of?  How much did they weigh?

That was Gun Goddess Miss Fortune from League of Legends.  It was pretty heavy for me, even though it was made out of EVA foam and pink insulation foam.  When everything added up in the end, it weighed me down.  I’m not exactly sure why, but I also rushed it in the end.  I just wanted to get it done with, and never think of it again!  It had handlebars, but it was still heavy to keep it up and swing around.

Have you ever considered doing any big mech stuff like Old Trenchy or Sunday Cosplay?

Yes! I want to make D.Va’s mech from Overwatch and Strelizia mech from Darling in the FRANXX.

What is the Canadian convention scene like?  Have you been to The States to compare?

I’ve only been to Youmacon in DetroitMichigan. I’ve been going there for 5 years now, but compared to Candian conventions they’re basically the same.  The only difference would be money:  CAD to USD is so expensive, so that is really my only problem with US conventions.  People from both sides are very friendly, energetic, and helpful!  I’ve never dealt with any negativity at any cons so far.

What are the top five things you love about cons?

I absolutely love the cosplay part, looking at people’s cosplay, whether bought or handmade.  It brings everyone together because we all freak out on our favourite characters!  It gives them, and yourself, a great feeling.

That leads into meeting new people.  I’ve met new con friends through cosplay by asking for pics, or just simply complimenting them.  Even if we don’t become friends, its still a positive energy between the two of us, and the enjoyment keeps going on!

With many people brought together, we also try to help each other.  If someone sees that I’m having a difficult time with my cosplay they will help me.  It’s honestly such a blessing when someone offers a helping hand, and of course I do that to others too.  Surprisingly walking in ANY cosplay can get frustrating!

It is worth all the struggling because people love your character and ask for a photo!  Even a simple selfie together illuminates me.  It’s memories to keep, and remembering those moments gives me a smile on my face to look back.  Meeting new photographers, to casual con goers; looking back at silly photos to beautiful shots just takes you back to the moment, and you have this thought, “Wow, that’s what I really looked like?” and you can see and remember how happy you truly look.

Even though it’s a long and frustrating process, planning and building cosplays is absolutely my favourite part.  I’m not sure why, because I do get tired the more I build, and once I wear it at a con I’m so exhausted; However, when the con is over I reflect back, and overall, I have this relief of accomplishment and think, “I cant believe I pulled it off,” and do it all over again!

Who are the top three people you have met at cons that you were excited to see?  Are there any more people you hope to see?

The first and only person that I’ve met is, Jessica Nigiri.  I havent been able to meet a lot of people at cons, but I was able to make many friends, and it feels like home when I see them again every year, at the same con.  I honestly hope to keep seeing Jessica Nigiri!  She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met!  She was very patient with me and accepted all of these requests that I wanted her to do for me when I met her.  It was very silly but she loved every bit of it and her boyfriend, off to the side, was laughed and kept everybody else company. 

I also hope to see, Kinpatsu Cosplay and Kamui Cosplay in the future.

Are there any cons that our readers or your followers can count on seeing you at in 2019?

I will hopefully go to Anime NorthFan Expo CanadaWindsor ComiCon, and Youmacon.

Are there any parting thoughts for our readers and your followers?

Cosplaying is a hobby; no matter how you start, it will always be fun.  To full armour builds to lewd looks, it’s your character to cosplay; do whatever YOU want to do because YOU LOVE it, and YOU WANT to do it. 

People will have their own opinion about everything.  Whether it’s negative or positive, the only thing that matters is what you think about yourself.  Don’t compare or put yourself down.  You will always be you, and in the end results, someone/people are going to love it.

Are you excited to do that look?  THEN GO START! ��

So what do you think?  Does she have what it takes?  Were you impressed by her work and work ethic?  Well, in case you aren’t quite there, yet, in a couple of days you get to see the pictorial.

As you’re reading these articles, we at All Cool Things™ hopes you’re sharing them.  We also hope that you’re following or featured cosplayers on their social media and supporting them on their support sites.

Hell, do the same for us!  ‘Wanna donate to us?  There’s a link on the front page…Oh, all right.  Just click >>>HERE<<<.

As always, thanks for reading about our Up and Coming Cosplayers.  ‘See you next time.

Up and Coming Cosplayers with Miniilay: Cosplayer Score Card

(Originally Published July 1, 2019)

Cosplay Name: Miniilay

Base of Operations: Windsor, ON Canada

Years Cosplaying: 6 years

First Cosplay: Mikasa from Attack on Titan

First Con: Youmacon 2014

Cons per Year: 1-3

Number of Times to Dragon Con: 0

Make Your Own Costume: yes

Make Your Own Props: yes

Do Your Own Hair: yes

Do Your Own Makeup: yes

Do Your Own Wig Styling: yes

Makes Your Own Wigs: no

Bodypaints: no

Favourite Cosplay: Fran from FFXIV

Patreon, Ko-fi, Etsy, and/or Support Link: Ko-fi

Lewds: sometimes

Nudes: no

More than Nudes: no

Social Media: Facebook,  Instagram

Domain of Your Own: no

Secret Super Power: mind control

Up and Coming Cosplayers with MirCosplay: Pictorial

(Originally Published June 7, 2019)

First off, we’d like to thank MirCosplay for all of her help doing her feature.  She was a sweetheart when it came to sending us lots of hi-res images when we needed them, for her interview and her pictorial, and guess what:  You get to reap the benefits!

After reading her interview, I know you’ve been waiting for this.  Please enjoy our Friday pictorial of MirCosplay!

…Is it me, or does she love Star Wars..?

How about some body paints?

How are we doing?  We hope you liked meeting MirCosplay.

Remember MirCosplay, just like all of our talented cosplayers featured work hard at their craft, and want nothing more than to share it with you!  Even if you can’t afford to help out with their Patreon, Ko-fi, Etsy, or any other page they may have, you can help by Liking and Sharing their work and our articles that feature them.  Drop a comment or two.  You can also Follow, Subscribe, or Like their pages.  These gestures can mean so much for them, and it’s FREE.  Don’t they deserve that for all they share with us?

Well, thanks again for stopping by.  Until next time…

-HERETICPRIME

Up and Coming Cosplayers with MirCosplay: Interview

(Originally Published June 5, 2019)

I know we’ve all heard that saying:  “You shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover,” but how well do we listen?  I can tell you with all honesty that ever since we started this Up and Coming Cosplayer series, I have had my mind changed about Patreon some, and the cosplayers that rely on it for helping their craft.

I used to think that most of the cosplayers were bascially budding and reluctant softcore porn stars that exploited cosplay and its fans to further their own goals.  I’d be lying if I said that I still think that a lot of them do this, but not nearly as many or as much as I thought.

This week’s feature cosplayer is from Spain, but you’d be surprised at how much of our geek and pop culture she knows.  Her learning of English is a testament to her geek peen and her intellect that is also massive.

I am proud to introduce to you:  MirCosplay.

MirCosplay, How did you get your name?  Does it mean anything?

 

It’s a pretty simple rationale.  My name is Miriam, but a few of my close friends call me “Mir.” MirCosplay was an obvious place to go, but it was only supposed to be temporary until I could think of something better, but you know what they say:  “There is nothing so permanent as that which is temporary.”

How is the cosplay community in Spain?  Are there a lot of people cosplaying in Spain, or Europe as a whole?

I don’t know that I can speak for Europe as a whole, but Spain has a pretty healthy community.  I think we have a reputation for being a bit, shall we say, a bit over passionate about our work, :3 and honestly I’ve found most people to be incredibly supportive and friendly.

Is it true that role play taught you English?

 

‘Pretty much.’  If you had any idea how many hours I spent down that rabbit hole, you would think I was “mad as a hatter.” But it did learnt me to talk English gud??

Have you ever been to the USA and experienced our cosplay community?

Not yet, it’s on my short list of goals though for sure.  And of course, I interact with cosplayers from America all the time.

I see that you like to do a lot of sexy cosplay.   Do you prefer cosplay with that kind of edge?   Do you consider yourself a sensual person?

I think people would be surprised if they knew me that way.  People tend to reflect their desires onto girls who are comfortable with themselves that way, and would probably find me to be a lot less sensual than the version of me they conjure up.  That being said, I do enjoy sexy cosplay, but my approach is to immerse myself in the character and try to bring out something I find sexy about them.  It started as simple question of what would a character wear under their clothes to complete the costume, and of course you have to show that off.  But my character driven approach to boudoir seems to connect with my fans, so it’s become an increasingly large part of what I do.  Now when I think of a character, I also try to think of something special for the boudoir.

In the USA, we cosplay as a bunch of things, but probably as anime, video game, and comic book characters the most.  What does the Spanish cosplay community like to cosplay as the most?

 

A lot of my first experiences were with the Star Wars community here, which is quite strongly represented.  Game of Thrones has a Spanish connection, and shows up often in cosplay, as well. But I think in the end we have representatives for all the same major categories as in the USA.

What are some of the big conventions in Spain that some of my readers might not know about?

I’m mostly in the Madrid area, where we have quite a few.  I enjoyed both Comicon Madrid and Japan Weekend this year.  Metropoli in the north is like a 2 week convention and music festival.  I’ve always wanted to go to, but there are several regions here with big events and their own communities that I have yet to explore.

Are there any cons here in The States that you would like to go to?

 

I’ve always wanted to go to SDCCDragon Con, or any of the legendarily huge cons, and just get lost in a sea of fandom.

Are there any types of costuming or crafting that you would like to learn more about, or plan to tackle in the future?

Ummm, all of them I guess.  Cosplay is funny that way; no matter how much you know, you can still feel lost at times.  I try to let inspiration strike me for a character, and then scour the internet for the skills to make it happen.  My cosplay would not be possible without all the creative people out there sharing their secrets.  That being said, I’m excited to play around with armor building more.

How do you like to spend your time when you are not cosplaying?

 

I still roleplay every chance I get.  It’s more of an addiction at this point.  ‘And of course gaming on my PlayStation

Do you have anything that you would like to say to our reader or your followers?

Cosplay is this amazing mix of pop culture and art, and when I think of the community at large, I’ve found it to be overwhelmingly supportive, creative, and helpful, but mixed in with all that good there is this occasionally toxic underbelly that I’ve seen discourage a lot of people with great talent from reaching their potential.  Just remember that harsh words hurt, and if you see someone bullying a cosplayer, or objectifying a girl for trying to portray a character, don’t let that be ok.  Be the voice of your community.  Don’t be the one that makes people want to leave.  Stand up for cosplayers of every level, even if they are different; even if you don’t connect with it, a lot of work goes into it, and perfection is unreachable.  One negative comment can drown out a thousand positive ones, so in the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln “Be excellent to each other, and party on dudes!