Guilty Pleasures: Divas of YouTube

I’ve actually lived half a life that if I wanted to learn about the latest music, I go to YouTube, Vevo, or Vimeo.  ‘The other half before, I would go to MTV, VH-1, or BET.  This isn’t one of those “yesteryears articles,” so don’t worry.  You’ll be spared of any stories.  I thought I’d talk about some of the ladies of YouTube that I’ve been occupying my time with, lately.. .If you haven’t heard of them, you might be glad you just did.  Each one of them are very unique, even amongst themselves, so I think you’ll be entertained by my choices  These are my Guilty PleasuresDivas of YouTube.

Yeah…I know. You try to find a better word for “woman who musically vocalises or stylises well.”

 

Lion Babe

“We wanted there to be a certain duality, like there is with Blondie, with me as the frontwoman, you might think I’m Lion Babe, but it’s like, no, we’re Lion Babe. We liked that. It’s about embracing your uniqueness and rocking it.” – Jillian Hervey  to Billbard magaine

Well, it worked!  Lion Babe is actually the duo of Jillian Hervey and Lucas Goodman, and I thought it was a diva that liked to show off her handsome boyfriend in her videos. Jillian Hervey is the singer/dancer combo we have all come to know and love in entertainment, and Lucas Goodman is a producer. I think that he plays guitar and some other instruments, as well as handling sound quality, but there is not very much written about him.

As a style, I would describe them 2 parts Erykah Bahu, 1 part Beyoncé at her funkiest, and a big pat of Doja Cat for thickening and smoothness.

Atmosphere-wise, Goodman does not stick out like “The Other Guy from Wham!” and have you wondering “WTF is he doing here!?” He’s more like “The Other Guy from PM Dawn.” You think, “Okay, I don’t mind. Just be good and don’t get in the way of the real talent.  (I’m kidding.  Hervey is very vocal that Goodman is the full other half of Lion Babe.)

Lion Babe has some visually appealing videos that compliment the music, well. Lion Babe has worked with Moe Moks, Disclosure, and Childish Gambino.

For trivia sake, you may want to know that Jillian Hervey is the daughter of Ramn Hervey II and former Miss America, Vanessa Williams. She is also the niece of actor Chris Williams and great-great-great-granddaughter of William A. Fields, a former USAmerican slave that was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives during Reconstruction.

 

Brooke Candy

“I have been kicked out of my home for being gay.  I felt that.”  –Brooke Candy

Brooke Candy is a straight up succubus that found YouTube and said, “Bet! I’ll never go hungry for souls and sex again!” Background-wise, Brooke Candy is a rapper/singer, songwriter, fashion stylist, and director from LA.

Her father is Tom Candy, a former CFO for Huslter. In fact, Larry Flynt was even in one of her videos. (Then WTF did she get thrown out the house for being gay!!? I guess you can be as sleazy as you want in the Candy Household.  Just don’t be gay…)

I think that musically speaking, she is probably still trying to fine tune her exact sound. She screams, “Brooke Candy is in The House looking to fuck!” That’s about it, for the most part.

She is one of those entertainers whom’s music is sometimes hard to separate from her videos because she puts so much into the imagery and story of the video, itself.

Some of her music is like that of many of the nasty girls of rap’s, but with a good helping of Lady Gaga and Lords of Acid. However, she is not above pop tunes like “Volcano” or “Paper or Plastic.” Brooke Candy even performs jazzy and happy songs like “Nasty,” and flat out sings ballads in songs like “Living Out Loud” and “Freak Like Me.”

If I could sit down with Brooke Candy, I’d love to get her drunk and have her tell me the real stories behind each and every one of her tattoos.

 

Zheani

“You said you fucking picked me, cos I looked like your daughter, sixteen.  You’re ‘disgusting paedophile cunt!  ‘Hope you’re glad that I’m finally gushing!” – Zheani, The Question

Zheani, also known as Zheani Sparkes, is an Australian rapper that received a lot of press and social media attention and from her controversy with Die Antwoord.

According to Zheani, she was a fan that was contacted, groomed, and then lured to South Africa to meet Ninja (Watkin Tudor Jones), where he gave her drugs, alcohol, and performed strange sexual and mental acts both with and against her will at times. This was a part of his conditioning to make her a convenient human sex object.

According to Die Antwoord, Zheani has been called everything from a former girlfriend, a fan, an employee, and even a satanic prostitute looking to come up. Ninja said he had her flown to see him, but felt “catfished” when she arrived. Even though he was displeased with her, he had sex with her, became friends, and even hired her.

I’m not going to get into the controversy anymore. I felt that I had to touch on it for her background. As for the rest of it, much of the money she got for her career she got as investments from crowdfunding and what she might call “creative marketing.”

I think this is a shirt is actually merch from her site.

What can I say about Zheani’s style? Zheani sort of reminds me of an anime pixie with an angel’s voice, and a sailor’s vocabulary. She likes to sing and rap about having a good time and screams about the bad ones…but it ALL sounds great! Of course when she vocalises about lighter and happier things, the melodies of the music fit; it’s almost two different great styles.  However, I think she really shines when she’s angry or excitable, like in “Powder Tuff” and “The Question.”

Zheani was good enough to put her whole EP, “The Line,” on YouTube with filtered background images of her.  In fact she has many playlists on her YouTube channel.

 

Snow Tha Product

“Yo soy primero, no nunca creo en el last.  I don’t need a record label, I already got my fans.” –Snow Tha Product on Snow Tha Product Quotes Facebook, December 23, 2018

I get the feeling that her name is more telling than people realise, in the fact that the personality is somewhat of a product. When I look at the total package of Snow Tha Product, I get the feeling that she and several individuals sat down to think of the best YouTube personality that she could become…and that is the brilliance of who she really is.

While I do not believe that Claudia Alexandra Feliciano, the person, and Snow Tha Product, the entertainment personality are 100% the same, I do believe that Claudia Feliciano is a scrappy spirit with some street in her, and one of the laws of the street is that if you are a hustler, then have your hustle game on point; be the best you can be and to see all the angles.

I think that Snow Tha Product is the epitome of certain facets in Claudia Feliciano, so where there may be some exaggeration, there are still no true lies. Snow Tha Product is a product based on a true story: A Mexican-American bilingual, bisexual rapper that still loves to party and mix it up.

Snow Tha Product is just as entertaining and addicting to listen to when she spits English or Spanish. She’s sexy. She’s bold. She’s even cute when she wants to be. (not nearly as often as I wish she was, BUT…that could be a part of her charm that just isn’t meant for me)

Trivia: I believe that she is a mother of one son (about 11 years old), and said she wanted to be a social worker when she was growing up.

 

Ashnikko

“pooping is honestly the best part of my day I swear to god” – Ashnikko on Twitter, September 29, 2019

I think Ashnikko, Ashton Nicole Casey, is how a lot of non-Millenials see Millenials.

We are all products of our times, in some aspects. They try to mold us by their rules. ‘What’s acceptable for race, sexual, sex, professional, as well as so many other relations. As we grow up, we push, ignore, and create our own norms. The distance we travel and the morals that we establish, much to the dismay to the ones that came before us, become the new times that contribute to, and judge the new future.

I’m sorry, I tend to wax didactic. ‘Back to Ashnikko. None of the artists that I’ve mentioned in this article can really fit in a box. No style of anything should really be absolutely uniform or predictable. Ashnikko practices this concept very well. She raps. She sings, but what is her style? That’s hard to explain, because not only would Ashnikko not be able to exist 20 years ago, (Such fusions of styles and images would be far too unfamiliar and incompatible.) but her style is understood without words, as her image is almost cliché…for the times.  (Am I the only one that could see her dating Oliver Tree for a second, only to have him stalking her for the rest of her life?)

Ashnikko is a sign of the times. She is an avatar. She is Hip Hop with a Punk aesthetic, an weeaboo frame, a digital coating, and creamy inside that has a slightly more refined and aged taste than you would expect. Oh, and she smells female. She smells extremely female, which of course attracts other females. This seems to give her some amount of pride as well, despite not really trying for any male attention, except as a target for her rage for being mentally inferior. (“Stupid”)

Ashnikko: She’s NOW! Try some! You just might like her!

 

Jessi

“I don’t have to fake it. Real recognise real. They already know.” –Jessi, “Who Dat B

Ho, ho, ho! I had to write about this lady! She is the antithesis of many of the other ladies on this list! She is from the East, heavily dipped in music and culture from the West, and her love is serious! ‘Don’t understand? Just how Zheani surrounds herself in otaku kawaii in “LULU,” Ashnikko is portrayed in “Tantrum,” and Snow Tha Product gets down in her kigurumis in “NoWhere To Go,” Jessi immerses herself in the Hip Hop culture…However, Jessi can argue that Hip Hop IS her culture, and her claim to it is legitimate in almost every way. Let me explain…

Jessi was bourne Jessica Hyun-ju Ho, and as you might have guessed, is a Korean-American rapper/singer and songwriter. In fact, Jessi was bourne in New York, raised in New Jersey, and moved to South Korea when she was 15…Yeah, she was pretty much USAmerican when she moved.

I don’t know how attitudes are in South Korea, but I heard that North Koreans have a serious problem with Korean-Americans, and that would-be idols have suffered for it in the past.

Just like her Western counterparts that adopted music and culture from their opposite hemispheres, Jessi is attracted to the more flashy and attractive attributes of that music and culture.

Jessi is Gucci. Jessi is Cristal. Jessi is Ciroc. Jessi is Hennessy. I’m surprised there isn’t a project with Jessi and Lil’ Wayne somewhere. (Somebody get Weezy on the phone!)

 

Whitney Tai

“It’s been difficult releasing music, but I remind myself that everything made in love must permeate and keep us bonded together in strength.”  –Whitney Tai, April 13, 2020

I have been enjoying this woman’s music for some time, now.  I have listened to her music break through the mold of time and trend, and become something truly timeless.  Even songs like “To Be Loved” seem to have matured and evolved, when listen to, in recent performancesWhitney Tai sings with heart, soul, feeling,  and true talent, separating her from a sea of synth and autotune in her own atoll of sonic beauty.

If this was 4,000 years ago, Whitney Tai would be sunning herself in shallow waters luring mariners into the foamy depths with her beauty and song.

Whitney Tai is a true balladier.  Her style poetically and organically swims in pop, jazz, rock, tech/synth, and even country when the desire arises.  Whitney Tai’s music has no boundaries of stone; only of sensibility.

The 1905

While Whitney Tai definitely deserves the lion’s share of credit for her growth, she has worked with many people along the way, including an inner circle of similarly talented musicians and professionals in the biz.  Men like Tim Janssens, aka Sunfreakz, and Andrew Kingsley have worked with her for years on many occasions, forming a perfect synergy both on stage and in the recording studio.

In fact, Whitney Tai and Andrew Kingsley also have their own group, that like Lion Babe, is a full partnership in music, completely different from Whitney Tai in feel and style:  The 1905

Whitney Tai dropped her latest LP, “Apogee,” a couple of weeks ago.  Her single, “Surrender” is enjoying rotation on some impressive playlists at the moment, and is receiving great reviews from critics and fans of music everywhere. Her single, “Righteous,” comes out May 12, 2020.

 

Conclusion

These are some of my ladies of YouTube. There were quite a few others that I enjoyed to some degree, yet didn’t quite find them entertaining enough to feature in this article. I even contemplated making this a two or three part article, but in the end, I just wan’t feeling them enough. If you want to check them out, feel free:  Alice Chater, Nitty Scott, Bebe Rexha, AleXa, SoRi, Ängie, Qveen Herby, and Kerli.

Some of them like Alice Chater and Bebe Rexha sound somewhat dated and ordinary, while acts like AleXa, Ängie, and Qveen Herby should probably work well on paper, but also seem ordinary. I guess at one time, they would have been a little edgy, but you can’t just say “pussy” and expect be shocking anymore. You also can’t depend on trendy directing in a cool music videos to carry a song, either.

The one honourable mention that I wanted to be on this list was SoRi, but there just wasn’t enough recent stuff from her released. From what I understand, she had some small amount of success about 5 years ago, and she is in the middle of her comeback, but two songs are not enough to get a good idea of her.

I should say that I was impressed by what was out there, and both songs and videos were very different from each other. This speaks to me of hopes that her style is very versatile and that there will be different sides to her as an entertainer.

So what do you think? After you get a chance to check out some hyperlinks and listen to some songs for yourself, please come back and and share your opinions. Share and start some discussions. We would love to hear what you think.

The Nintendo Switch Features We Want to See Most.

Nintendo recently released version 10.0.0 for the Nintendo Switch. The new update features a controller button mapping system, news bookmarks, and the ability to transfer software data between the console and the MicroSD card. If you were expecting more from the update, then I’m afraid that’s all there really is. As the Nintendo Switch has been out since March 2017, people have been clamoring for numerous features to be added to Nintendo’s latest console.

Unfortunately, even after three years worth of updates, Nintendo Switch shows itself as a gaming console with bare-bones features otherwise. While Nintendo’s previous handheld, the 3DS, was capable of multiple features, Nintendo seems much more conservative with updating the Switch for reasons unknown. With that said, we’ll go over some of the most demanded features players want Nintendo to implement.

Themes

Topping the list of most wanted features, people have wanted Themes on Switch for years. While themes have been a part of consoles since the Sony PlayStation 3‘s release in 2006, even Nintendo’s handheld, the 3DS, implemented them within 2 years of the system’s release. Featuring a pretty background with music accompanying it, themes add all kinds of life to your menu. Unfortunately, the Switch only has two themes: Light and Dark. Despite fans clamoring for it for years, Nintendo has remained silent on the subject.

Apps

Netflix, Crunchyroll, WWE Network, and other streaming apps all appear on modern consoles like PS4 and Xbox One. Even the Wii U, Nintendo’s last generation console, had Netflix on it. With the Nintendo Switch, it’s entirely possible to take the system with you and it should be able to play most of the same apps as other systems. Yet for some reason, Nintendo has once again decided to take a step back on their console’s possibilities. The only multimedia apps available for the Switch right now are Hulu and YouTube.

Avatars

While Nintendo featured avatars from Mario, Zelda, and Kirby, fans believed that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate would open the floodgates for dozens of profile pictures to be featured. Yet again, Nintendo failed to deliver on an opportunity. Even with the release of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Nintendo never bothered to update their avatars with the game’s characters. But at least Nintendo updated it with Animal Crossing: New Horizons characters, right?

Folders

If Nintendo added folders, this would make it much easier and more compact to find the games you want to play. Yet another feature missing from the 3DS, folders allowed for easy organization for games. Instead, you have to scroll all the way to the right of the menu just to pull up the library and find the game you want to play.

Music for eShop

The eShop in Wii U and 3DS played catchy music. In fact, this even dates back to the Wii’s Shop. The music was so catchy it was even added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a remix. Why the eShop remains silent to this day no one knows. Much like with Themes, this would bring out more life in the Switch’s potential.

Pro Controller Disconnect

Specifically for Smash and potential fighting game players, Pro Controller Disconnect would become a massive help for the tournament scene at large. Right now, the only way to desync your Pro Controller is manually. Otherwise, you’ll have a synced Pro Controller prevent a character select screen from progressing into the tournament match just because the controller is still active. Without a way to immediately desync controllers by simply removing the USB cable from the Switch, this will continue being a nightmare for tournament organizers and pool captains wishing to go home from an event.

A Georgia Smash tournament even used it as a name for their event.

Final Thoughts

The list itself isn’t big by any means. It’s a few simple requests which Nintendo has chosen to stay silent about. Even after a 10.0.0 update, “stability enhancements” are about the most constructive thing Nintendo has done with the console save for one or two little features, such as zoom. While people will continue supporting the console due to its extensive software library, many fans remain skeptical that Nintendo will ever bother updating the system with the aforementioned features. But if the day comes, better late than never, right?

Which features would you like implemented most? Let us know in the comments below.

Guilty Pleasures: Van Life

Image from The Indie Projects YouTube Channel
It’s been a while since I did a Guilty Pleasures article because a lot of the cool stuff I’ve found lately hasn’t given me that mix of pleasure and shame from watching it. Lately, however, I’ve found a group of individuals that appeals to my respect of survivalists, practical engineers, and independent spirit, yet also shames me because most time it is found in some of the hippiest folks you will find in this great country of ours. (Yeah, the fake hippie dudes of the 70’s that just wanted to grift and get laid ruined the image of the hippie for me.) What is this Guilty Pleasure, you ask? it is the the lifestyle known as Van Life. Van Life is a phenomenon that is sweeping the country due to the high cost of living and a reaction to the other complications of capitalism gone rampant in this country. People seeking a more minimalist and less alienated lifestyle are modifying vans, buses, trucks, and RVs to make them true mobile homes. Many of these vehicles are equipped with fully functional kitchens, bathrooms, and living spaces with Wi-Fi, computers, and televisions.
Image from FLORB YouTube Channel
If I had to guess, I would say that Van Life is the hybrid love child of tiny house enthusiasm and nomadic/hobo lifestyle, which are also two crazes that hit YouTube and television a few years ago. Marrying the need to live off grid, and free of bills, with the ingenuity and desire to maximise living and quality of life with meager living space, Van Life is attractive in the promise of both freedom and the challenge of survival. One thing that I did find surprising about Van Life was that it is a booming lifestyle amongst women of all ages. While some publications will tell you that it is a phenomenon with Millenials, I see no evidence that it is limited to generation.
Image of Steve Wallis from his YouTube Channel
There are many YouTube channels out there, but my gateway channel was that of Steve Wallis. I don’t know too much about the man. I know from his videos that he was married at one point, and actually traveled with his wife in many of his videos. I think that he chose Van Life for a time to cut costs from his life. Oh, he loves his beer and whiskey. In fact, he uses beer as the unit of currency that you can support him, and he uses whiskey as a personal reward when he completes tasks on his videos. I find Steve Wallis very typical in his love of Van Life, but not so in his set ups.

The Set Up

As mentioned before, a big part of Van Life is the modification of regular vehicles into functional RVs and modification of RVs into true mobile homes with all of the amenities of the modern home. However, this also includes the upgrading of tents, sheds, and shacks that Van Lifers camp out in, sometimes. This includes portable wood-burning stoves, propane stoves, cots, and computers and video game systems with power supplies. (When I referred to Steve Wallis and his set ups, what I meant was that he tends to have very simple vehicle setups with little or no hard modifications done to his vehicles. He does go all out in pimping his tent and shack setups.)  
Image from Eamon & Bec YouTube Channel

The Activities

It should come as no surprise that many Van Lifers enjoy nature, and living within a stone’s throw from it. However, it is what some of them consider more “adventurous” that might surprise you. Boondocking is camping out in modified vehicles, not in the wild, but in private properties like department store or hotel parking lots. Many Van Lifers consider boondocking a big thrill to see how long they can camp out in a private parking lot before they get “the knock” telling them to leave. Stealth Parking is basically boondocking, but not limited to private parking lots. Stealth Parking can be done in neighbourhoods, side streets, and abandoned properties. I guess the added danger in stealth parking over boondocking is that it is more likely that police will give “the knock” rather than an employee of the private property. (Steve Wallis loves boondocking and stealth parking. In fact, Steve loves all of the nomadic aspects of the lifestyle, sometimes even camping in abandoned towns, subdivisions, hobo sites.)
Image from Susi Cruz YouTube Channel
Yeah, I know. This doesn’t sound like a cool enough thrill for me to try, either, but at least nobody gets hurt, and it doesn’t cost anything, except maybe a parking ticket? I think that we all have that part of us that wants to go out and see the country while leaving our ties to civilisation to the wind, and this lifestyle is the embodiment of that. Perhaps this is the way that many people will be able to taste this lifestyle. How bad can it be if you have Wi-Fi, a stove, and a flat screen?