Twenty-two year-old, Little Rock-based rapper, Kari Faux, first got the Internet's attention a year ago with her debut mixtape, Laugh Now, Die Later, and since then the young artist's caught the eyes of Childish Gambino, who collaborated with her on a remix of mixtape track "No Small Talk" and appeared in her video, "Gahdamn." Now managed by Childish and his manager, Kari's gearing up to release a new EP, Lost En Los Angeles, and we're amped to be premiering the video for the record's lead single, "Supplier." With sultry rhymes and minimalist, disco-esque beats the song gets accompanied by Kari's homage to Rod Stewart's classic "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" video -- feathered hair, grainy TV footage, lingering glances and all. Give it a watch, above.
How did it come about playing your dad? Did you have to audition?
Oh yeah I definitely had to audition. He brought the idea to me before there was a script and he let me know how big it was and what it means and how I was the perfect man for the job. I've never had any acting experience, so he got me Aaron Speiser, who is Will Smith's acting coach, and I worked with Susan Batson out in New York for a week. Altogether it was about two years of training with coaches and three auditions with screen tests before I got the part. My dad made sure that I went through the audition process and went through all those hoops so I had confidence in myself that I was the perfect man for the job.
Did your dad give you any tips on how to portray him?
Oh yeah, of course he gave me tips. He would call me everyday because during some of the film he was shooting Ride Along 2. He would call me and we would talk about what scene I was filming that day and where his head was in real time [back then] so that I could use that to help make the story more authentic. But as far as him being around or what it was like having to portray him, that wasn't weird at all. That was the fun part. It was fun to see him bug out. Because he and Dre never got to see N.W.A. perform and the rest of the cast and I murdered it in their eyes.
The real thing he wanted me to get out of it was to not have him frowning all the damn time. You know that's his look but it almost dehumanizes him because people feel like they can't talk to him, that they can't approach him, you know? So I wanted to show what made it appear, what made it so deep, what made it what it is.
In the movie Alexandra Shipp plays your mom. What was that like, shooting scenes where you're supposed to be falling in love with someone playing your mother?
That was the running joke on set for that whole shooting week. I just kept telling myself that's not my mom in the movie -- that's my wife in the movie. Or an actress that plays a little kid's mom [and the kid] just happens to be me. That was another weird thing in and of itself -- that I get to see me as a baby in the movie.
I read that you studied script writing in college. Did that help you with your acting?
I went to school at USC for screenwriting -- I'm a Trojan at heart. I still have to finish up there. But screenwriting is my first love. I can't shake it, you know? I see stories in everything. I'm constantly trying to think of stuff. And being able to act, I feel like being a screenwriter has helped me as an actor because I feel like I know what goes into a good movie, and what people need when and where.
What type of acting roles are you hoping to land in the future?
Oh man. Don't give me the "Cube's too old for this so lets get his son" roles. I definitely would want to show my versatility as an actor. I'm happy to start off with a drama like this. I would like to further into drama and later maybe explore comedy. I never want to hold myself into being a one trick pony. I want to show my versatility and my range.
A theme of the film is the tension between police and the black community, a topic that we're dealing with a lot several decades later.
There is nothing new under the sun -- this has been happening before N.W.A., this is happening after N.W.A. What it really is about is that there are certain people in power that abuse the power. They don't use it for righteous reasons. And you know, that is a character flaw. That is entirely in the character of who is holding the power and what they do with it. And through non-violent protests N.W.A. was able to kind of take the wool off some people's eyes and let them be aware of this. And when it comes to current events, Straight Outta Compton couldn't have more perfect timing.
Do you think music today can have the same effect as N.W.A. had in changing the national dialogue?
N.W.A., they were the mass to start the fire. They were the straw to stir the drink. The original. No one was saying the things that they were saying at the time. It was almost a death wish, entertainment-wise. They are going to shut you down, they are going to wait outside your shows and all that. But the fact that it was non-violent protests, the authorities couldn't do much. So there is definitely the possibility -- I wouldn't say that anything is impossible. But a lot of the music today is repeating itself. I feel like some people don't necessarily want to bring it up because they feel some type of way. They honestly don't know. All they can tell you is "yes, police are beating up black people." They really don't have anything to say about it. But there are plenty of artists today that can help move the people.
We were lucky to have had your father and N.W.A speaking out about injustice in the '80s and '90s and since then, I think there's been a tendency to assume some of those issues are in the past. But then you see young people getting shot for no apparent reason and it's like, Okay this is actually going on again. This isn't just something that happened before I was born. Maybe this is my reality and not my history.
Yeah, I won't say things aren't better [than before] but they are not good. They are not alright and not everything is tranquil. I mean, if you don't think racism is going on in the real world, I got something for you. I got videos you can see. There are plenty of cases you can read. It's there right in front of peoples' faces but some people choose not to acknowledge its existence.
People see what they want to see.
N.W.A. brought these issues to the forefront and people called their music violent. But really it was just like, "No, this is our reality. We're speaking about what is literally happening."
It's stuff that they would see every day outside of their window or walking home from school in my father's case. They felt like people had no right to tell them not to talk about their lives or what they saw every day. The struggle is real. A lot of people didn't want to hear that from N.W.A. but their attitude prevailed. The flame hasn't burned out. That's why N.W.A. was a super group. You get these lions together who think bigger than music and they all had great minds.
[Photo by Sam Deitch/BFA.com]
Celebs are generally delightful beings, but they can also be a tad oddball, especially when they come in contact with someone as nutty as they are -- namely, me. Here are 12 of my zaniest interactions with the rich and famous, whittled down from a whole lot more.
In the '90s, a friend and I were on line for the Nile river ride, a theme-park-like adventure in the Luxor Hotel in splashy, trashy Las Vegas. (Don't laugh. I love that kind of silly attraction.) But suddenly the line wasn't moving because they had to make way for a VIP who was crashing to the front, plus entourage. It was Jacko himself, accompanied by a throng of little kiddies, all hypnotized by his Willie Wonka charisma. Something about it screamed "the queen of de-Nile."
I met the two-time Oscar winner at an event where she was attacking her food like a war tank. I introduced myself and said what publication I wrote for. Shelley started shrieking, "That paper ran a horrible review of my memoir!" I had to bullshit her with choruses of "Oh, so sorry. They have some truly nasty writers," while neglecting to tell her it was yours truly who had penned that review. Awkward!
At the premiere party for Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Bette spotted me across the room and grinningly shouted, "Michael Musto, put me in Details!" I was thrilled that the super-duperstar knew my name and that she also was aware that I wrote for Details. In fact, I was so stunned that I never managed to wake up from that moment and actually put her in Details.
At the height of their '80s fame, the pop/rock duo Hall & Oates wanted to do a book, so a publicist set me up for a meeting with Hall, telling the blue-eyed soul singer that I'd be the perfect writer for this project. But when Hall asked, "What kind of book would you do on us?" I replied that it would be straightforward, informative, and readable, like all the best celebrity memoirs. Alas, he wasn't interested in that, wanting instead to put out some wacky fantasia -- sort of a non-linear scrapbook of weirdness of the type I knew never makes it in this field. I graciously declined, his kiss not on my list.
I met Zappa at a nightclub in the early '90s and sat down for a quick, arranged interview, but he never cracked a smile or even looked me in the eye as he answered my questions. I kept trying to make eye contact, but Zappa looked straight ahead, all stony faced, as if I weren't there, the very definition of weirdo.
I had been on shows with Nancy and liked her oomph. After she made a big splash as a crime commentator, I approached her at one of her book parties and asked if she thinks of herself as a pit bull. She looked appalled and stared at me without answering for a long time -- which, you'll see, is a recurring theme in my journalistic career. I guess I had seriously misstepped -- a real crime.
A few years ago, at a luncheon for a movie he was promoting, I was seated across from playwright/actor Shepard for a quick Q&A. I asked him a pretty routine question about how he prepared for his role and found the motivation for it. He looked me over as if surveying a dead rat and said, "You call that a question?"
In the late '80s, Allyson and Ann Miller were promoting a video compilation of their movie musicals. I bluntly asked Allyson if her Depends commercials had introduced her to a whole new generation of people, assuming she'd have no problem talking about this since the ads ran day and night for years. She did a Nancy Grace, giving me a frozen look, before ignoring the question and talking more about the movie musicals. I nearly wet myself.
At a 1988 promo event for a Broadway drama he was in, I started off my chat with Plummer by asking about the beloved Sound of Music, not realizing he absolutely despises that film. (No, it's not one of his "favorite things.") Plummer outdid all the aforementioned celebs in staring me down with utter contempt, obstinately refusing to say a word. He practically launched into a chorus of "So Long, Farewell."
I know SuSu doesn't always trust the press, but I was hurt when, at a press event in the aughts, she spotted me and promptly put her head down, covering her face with her hands, to avoid giving an interview. To her, I was just another dead man walking.
At a luncheon at the turn of the century, I was seated to Moreau's left as she talked to the person on her right about a Marguerite Duras movie she was in. (I was chatting with someone else the whole time, and only half-heard snippets of their conversation.) Well, at one point, the screen goddess leaned into me and coquettishly said, "Why don't you join in our conversation?" I didn't necessarily want to, but I graciously obliged and said, "Oh, OK. So what was it like to play Duras?""NO!!!!" she shrieked, smoke practically billowing from her French nostrils. "We're not talking about that film! We're talking about the one based on the writings of Duras!!!!" She was fuming mad, and it seemed absolutely insane that she was yelling at me, since I was only joining in to be polite and couldn't possibly have known which of her two freaking Duras films she had been talking about. Later, Moreau seemed to realize she'd overstepped, so she batted her lashes and cooed, "Perhaps we should start again?" No dice, babe. (Runner up: Anita Ekberg, but let me not repeat the details of that one again. Way too painful.)
At a movie premiere in the aughts, a publicist asked me if I wanted to interview Hilary Duff. To be nice, I said "Sure. Why not?", utterly faking interest so as not to appear ungrateful. "Wait here," she said, running off to set it up. But two minutes later, the flack crawled back to say, "She won't do it." And I was spared!!!!
October, 1999 -- 50 Cent Releases "Your Life's on the Line"
The first diss track firmly associated with the beef, this was, according to Ja Rule, simply the result of general dislike on the part of 50 Cent -- who has never shied away from a conflict. In Ja Rule's telling (to Louis Farrakhan!), this led to a confrontation/attempted mediation at a show in Atlanta that turned physical: "We got face to face and talked, but it all came to play during the talk. We got mad and went off at the handle quick."
However, 50 Cent claims that, contrary to Ja Rule's account, the beef was originated by the fallout from one of his friends robbing Ja. Afterward, Ja Rule reportedly informed Irv Gotti (founder of his label, Murder Inc.) of the robbery, involving Queens drug kingpin Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff (the unofficial bank behind Murder Inc.) in order to get his jewelry back. (For what it's worth, Ja Rule acknowledges that this incident happened, but claims 50 mostly used it as an excuse.)
March, 2000 -- 50 Cent is Stabbed
50 is attacked at New York studio The Hit Factory by several people involved with Murder Inc., including rapper Black Child, who stabs him. 50 goes to the hospital with a punctured lung.
April, 2000 -- 50 Cent is Shot
Not long after the stabbing incident, 50 Cent is infamously shot nine times. Court documents name McGriff as a suspect. McGriff's criminal activities are also outlined in 50's track "Ghetto Qu'ran," which gives Murder Inc. ammunition to accuse 50 of being a snitch.
50 Cent recovers, and he and Murder Inc. proceed to diss each other over and over and over again. Most of these tracks are forgettable, but the mutual hatred grows. Ja Rule continues to be far more successful than most people remember now, releasing the massively successful, triple-platinumPain is Love. He is livin' it up.
February, 2003 -- 50 Cent Releases Get Rich or Die Tryin'
50 Cent finally releases his proper debut album after getting cosigns from Eminem and Dr. Dre. The massive success of this record, as well as Ja Rule's waning popularity (the release of The Last Temptation represents the beginning of the end, perhaps because of how long he's been in the spotlight trying to claim the top spot), cements 50 Cent's musical victory in the beef, especially through classic diss track "Back Down." (Interesting sidenote: While Ja Rule and 50 Cent are the same age, they weren't seen as musical contemporaries. Ja Rule's extremely successful first record was released back in 1999 and for a solid four years, 50 was the clear underdog in the beef.)
Poor Ja Rule. This album, originally intended as a mixtape, was rushed out by Murder Inc. to decent, but ultimately lacking sales. At the very least, its only single, "Clap Back" was a chart-topping 50 Cent diss.
2003-2011 -- The Conflict Continues, But No One Cares
What are the chances me and 50 same flight same row no problems!!! #Grownmanshit-- Ja Rule (@Ruleyork) November 18, 2013
June, 2014 -- Ja Rule Accuses 50 of Snitching (Again)
Back to the beef! In his book Unruly, Ja Rule claims that 50 Cent "secretly led [the feds] through his recordings for the answers they were looking for." Snitching was a common allegation in the feud (dating back to "Ghetto Qu'ran"), but this puts the accusation on paper instead of wax (or radio waves). 50 Cent's response is primarily to laugh and remember how badly he messed up Murder Inc.
July, 2015 -- 50 Cent and Ja Rule Respond to the Drake-Meek Beef
In the midst of an insane, far less violent rap beef, Meek Mill compares himself and Drake to 50 Cent and Ja Rule. The pair separately weigh in, sparking an ongoing minor social media fight. Here's Ja Rule:
Meanwhile, 50 Cent goes on Hot 104.1 to discuss ghostwriting (he doesn't really care about it). More importantly, the rapper uses his life coaching skills to identify what he perceives as the root of the feud. "I think it's really a Nicki and Drake thing," he says. Preach.
And here we are -- with the two veterans taking potshots at each other on social media while failing to release successful music (and, in Ja Rule's case, doing a TV show on MTV). Is this worth paying attention to in the long term? The first few years of the beef are legitimately fascinating and complicated and evidence of real disdain rather than the typical conflict, which often resembles marketing-as-theater. But bringing it up over and over again, when hard feelings have probably mostly subsided? Well, that's just Ja Rule's Last Temptation.
What first sparked your interest in photography?
It was being a skateboarder from New York. Having skated all throughout the city on a daily basis gave me knowledge of scenic locations and how to find them.
How did you develop your aesthetic shooting from such interesting vantage points? What was the first building you scaled or difficult terrain you covered in pursuit of an image?
There was a time where I reached a breaking point in my hobby, which was taking photos on my iPhone 4. I wasn't doing anything that I was proud of, so I went on the internet in search of inspiration. I came across a video of 2 men climbing a tower in another country. I thought wow, look at the amazing perspective they are getting on that city. I've never seen New York like that... Realizing that sparked a brilliant idea in my head. A couple days after this idea I had climbed to the top of the Williamsburg bridge in broad daylight in pursuit of the perfect aerial photo. The thrill of being so high up had adrenaline pumping through my blood so fast that all of the images I took ended up being blurry. What a great adventure that was.
As a young artist, what has been the biggest challenges you've faced in pursuing your career?
Being a young artist, people often didn't take me seriously -- they still don't sometimes. One of the first big challenges I had to face was dealing with other artists who didn't appreciate my work or saw me as a threat. I received death threats and people hated me for something I had nothing to do with -- some incident on the Brooklyn bridge involving the American flags being swamped out. That had New York against me for a little while. Some other issues were trying to get businesses to pay me a fair rate for my work. They assumed they didn't have to because of my age.
Where are your favorite places to shoot in NYC?
Some of my favorite places to shoot in New York are Roosevelt Island and Williamsburg. They offer incredible views of the city and its people.
What has been the best advice you've received?
The best piece of advice I ever received? It would have to be "your friends show you who you are, if you're around negative people. You will become negative yourself."
What advice would you give another young person wanting to get started in photography?
You have to work with what you got because maybe it's all you get.
Upload a photo or video showing off your creative fixation to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the tags with #AlwaysOnTheRun and @SupraFootwear for the chance to receive a pair of the new Noiz runner. For more info on the contest, visit SupraFootwear.com.
Tinder did not take too kindly to that suggestion, or to the amount of play the story is getting (because alarmist writing about "hookup culture," no matter how many times it gets shut down, is always a good way to get people to pay attention to you). Last night, the company's corporate account went on a bit of a... um... bender, starting with some rather public protestation that Sales didn't call.
Some of these tweets are sad "suggestions" for the story that are essentially claiming that Tinder's public profile isn't representative of who it really is on the inside, you know?
Next time reach out to us first @nancyjosales... that's what journalists typically do.-- Tinder (@Tinder) August 11, 2015
Some of them are kind of childish and indicative of a super-inflated sense of importance for a company that has found a more effective way for people to get laid.
You could have talked about how everyone on Tinder is authenticated through Facebook. And how we show users the friends they have in common.-- Tinder (@Tinder) August 11, 2015
The saddest thing about Tinder's meltdown is that they actually have a point, in some respects -- Sales' story is a clear example of confirmation bias, cherrypicking individual stories to try to uphold the narrative she already wanted to convey.
We love ALL of these #SwipedRight stories. Tinder is simply how people meet.-- Tinder (@Tinder) August 11, 2015
In addition to functioning as a prime example of how to use emoji in snarky comments, this tweet is, in essence, correct. The actual data surrounding Tinder and dating does not supporting anything nearly as distressing as the picture Sales tries to paint -- even if it doesn't actually have, say, North Korean users, Tinder is still not the end of the world as we know it. So why did this whole fight start? I guess it's just hard to make your profile stand out these days.
It's disappointing that @VanityFair thought that the tiny number of people you found for your article represent our entire global userbase 😏-- Tinder (@Tinder) August 11, 2015
Chvrches are back with another single off their upcoming September album Every Open Eye, and it's every much the soaring, synthy jam to start your homestretch to the weekend, with Lauren Mayberry sounding as awesome as ever. Watch the lyric video above.
You don't want to get on the Parmigiano-Reggiano Consortium's bad side. Unfortunately for Pornhub, an ad for its $9.99/month premium subscription service has garnered the wrath of the group dedicated to defending the Italian "king of cheeses." Or, should I say, "the Pornhub Premium of cheeses," as the porn site's video describes it, capturing what we're all thinking when we browse the dairy aisle.
The consortium didn't appreciate the comparison, which it called "not only distasteful and unacceptable, but offensive for our producers and their work" in a statement. Lawyers are currently investigating whether the group can pursue any legal action.
That's what you get for "making a profit from the exploitation of the fame gained by Parmigiano-Reggiano."
Watch the offending ad above.
Over the course of his four-year career, Vine star Dylan Collins has lead a semi-successful online campaign for president of Brazil, traded barbs on Twitter with Tyler Oakley, and been invited to hang out with Riff Raff. But, most notably, he is the star of The Gringo Vine, which took off in April of this year and inspired hundreds of knockoffs and even more hate in the comments under his Vines.
A native of Jackson, Tennessee, Collins is a rising junior in pre-medicine at Union University in his hometown. We spoke with him over the phone about his Brazilian fans, Vine beef, and turning 20. [This interviewed has been lightly condensed and edited for clarity.]
You started making YouTube videos when you were younger, to promote yourself as an actor. Is that when you started putting yourself on the internet and making a social media presence?
Yeah, my social media presence started whenever I was doing the YouTube videos. But I actually had, a couple years before that, tried out for a talent agency called The It Factor for a Disney Channel show called A.N.T. Farm. I don't know if you've ever heard of that show. I believe Jake Short is the actor in it. But I actually won the competition.
Unfortunately, my mother was kind of like, "Yeah, let's go to this audition, let's see how you do," but she wasn't expecting me to actually win the thing, I guess. I won the audition and I made it to the second round, and I went and auditioned for the second round, and got it, too. For the third round, they told us that they were gonna fly us out to California and, unfortunately my mother wasn't a big fan of actually going through with the flying out part, because she didn't want to move away.
I'm sorry to hear that stopped your chances for the show.
Yeah, it was a disappointment, but my mom was more aimed towards school, and said that I need to work harder in school and keep up responsibilities. But it never stopped me. After that I kept going.
What was your reaction to your mom not letting you be on the show? Did you just start putting yourself online?
Yeah. As soon as I figured out that it was not for my mother -- I wasn't rebelling against her, but I wanted to put myself out there. I said, "You know, if I got it to make it to this TV show, I can do it." And I started posting the YouTube videos. I made a Twitter, and a Facebook, and all these different apps. And I started exposing, and just kind of doing different things, and that's where the story starts.
When did your accounts start to grow?
I would say, around 2013 or 2014 is whenever I really shot off on Twitter. It was actually only a couple months ago, whenever my Vine blew up. It went viral.
Because of the gringo vine?
Yeah, it was the gringo vine. There's actually a story behind that, it wasn't just me randomly sitting up there saying I was a gringo. I became famous in Brazil. I'm not sure exactly how that happened, I just randomly became huge in Brazil. I campaigned what was called "Dylan Collins for President," because their government was failing. The president was Dilma [Rousseff], I believe? I thought it was a brilliant idea, "Dylan Collins for President."
It was a joke between me and all the Brazilians, and it started gaining a lot of popularity. Just, a lot. One of their biggest TV programs, Programa Pânico, started airing "Dylan Collins for President" on their actual TV shows. I started getting all these different tour offers, like The Gringo Tour, because "gringo" is like, the white boy or from a different area, from America.
tchau Dilma 😂 kkkkkkk #DylanCollinsForPresident-- Dylan Collins (@DylanCollins95) March 15, 2015
[Ed note: The "government failure" he refers to was actually a series of mass protests and riots against President Dilma Rousseff, sparked by a corruption scandal at the state oil company, led mostly by white, middle-class youth. His fake presidential campaign really was, briefly, successful: it trended third nationally in Brazil, under two anti-Dilma hashtags. We weren't able to find the clip from Programa Pânico; we'll update when we do.]
I made the gringo vine, and Americans saw it, I guess. And Americans, of course, were like, "What is this for?" They didn't understand that I was actually presenting for another country at the time. It kind of blew up in America, and everyone was like, "Who's that gringo? What's a gringo?"
Did the gringo line come from Brazilian fans calling you that?
Yeah, everyone started calling me gringo, Dylan the gringo, then they said they want a gringo tour. So I was like, "My name's Dylan Collins, and I'm a gringo." I just did it to be funny for the Brazilians, and then it ended up being funny for six million people.
Do you remember what on Twitter started getting you a lot of followers, before the Vine thing happened?
Before the Vine thing happened, I was friends with Austin Mahone, who's a singer. It was before he had gotten big, and I started attending the Teen Hoot, which is an event in Nashville, with him and a couple other artists. I started having little meet and greets and stuff like that. I started having different clothing, like the Barnabas clothing, a few other clothing offers. From there, promotions with different artists, just by hanging out with them. I helped Yo Gotti, a rapper, film his [currently unreleased] music video. Him and Starlito, out of Memphis.
How much time a day do you have to put into your social media presence?
I would definitely say, probably two to three hours, if I'm not coming up with a new idea, such as a new vine, or a YouTube video. On those days, it takes the entire day to basically dedicate and come up with different ideas. You gotta find engaging stuff. You gotta be original, that's my thing. You always need to be original and that's kind of what some of my vines are about. Not being able to do the TV show pushed me to keep trying and keep trying. But it also showed me that, if I could do it, then so could everyone else. So it encouraged me to push towards encouraging other people. So many people say, "How do you make the vines?" I can't tell them anything besides, "Be yourself."
Does it bother you online when you see big popular accounts recycling material or stealing jokes?
No, the only thing that really bothers me is a lot of the big MagCon, the bigger people. I used to be helping them and they actually tweeted out my videos, and exposed me across social media. A lot of their followers were kind of just dissing me out. I have a sandwich vine, it's like, "Sorry, I fell asleep while I was waiting on you to go make me a sandwich." They were tweeting [negatively] about it, and that was the only thing that got to me. But it was publicity, that's the way I look at that.
I noticed you got some negative feedback on that vine from Tyler Oakley and Andrea Russett, in specific. Did that have an impact on you aside from publicity? How did you feel about their criticism?
I wasn't actually even sure who they were, at the time. I kind of looked them up a little bit more, and I started remembering about Tyler Oakley -- he came out, not too long ago. I just remembered what he had been through.
One thing I never did is I never went on anyone's social media site, ever, through all of my posts, and criticized anyone else. So to me, it was a little bit saddening to see how another artist or someone else in the entertainment industry to do that. But it didn't stop me. It encouraged me to keep going.
I kinda joked back with them on social media, like, "You're right, I'm cancelling all my tours."But overall, it kind of encouraged me. It showed me that, hey, all of these people are working together and they're trying to do one thing, and they're all in it together. It's like they're all this one big bunch. But hey -- I'm going viral without any of them. They're all working together to be viral.
I've been reading about all these vine stars that live in L.A., coincidentally on Vine Street, and making all these videos together and living together. Would that be something interesting to you, living with other internet stars and working together with them?
I see myself as more independent. I wouldn't mind doing different collabs, but I definitely wouldn't want to be referenced to always being connected, like the MagCon group. I'm not hating on the MagCon group, it's very successful. But for me, I would be more independent. Just to show individuality, show how everyone can be different, and keep it more of that level.
Do you have a goal that you want to accomplish with your presence?
Well, in school, I'm studying pre-medicine. It's my third year of pre-medicine. [Working as an entertainer] isn't necessarily something I'm working towards. I'm not working every day to try and become something. But I started noticing, if I said, "Hey everyone, go buy this coffee," everyone would tweet back pictures of them buying that specific type of coffee. And it showed me how much influence I really have on social media. Sometimes it can be a little scary; I could be like, "I'm at this place, getting this," and the next time someone else is there, they're taking pictures: "Look where I am." I'm just like, I didn't know it was that big of a deal. I was just Snapchatting a picture.
I don't really have an overall goal. I guess it's just to influence everyone, hopefully correctly. I like helping people, like different upcoming people, on YouNow or different sites like that, I try to help them and promote them. The first thing someone says to me if they're upcoming: "Can I have a shoutout? Can I have a shoutout?" And to me, it doesn't bother me. I love helping out other people like that.
How do your parents feel about your social media presence now?
They definitely think it's interesting, and they find it quite funny. They're kind of in the same situation of asking, "What do I want out of it?" They're asking if I'm wanting, basically, if I'm gonna move away and try and go do something with it, or if I'm gonna stick to the plan with what I'm doing. They support me, though, 100 percent.
I don't know if you've noticed, but on Vine I get a lot of hate, randomly. I don't know exactly it all started that way. I guess with the gringo vine. My parents ask me how I deal with it. They tell me, "I would not be able to read those Vine comments, how do you keep doing it?" And I just tell them, "It doesn't matter." I'm just continuing to do what I'm doing and wherever it leads, it leads.
Is the Vine hate mostly targeted at the gringo line?
It started on the gringo line, and it moved. It's a lot of negative comments all across. It's kind of like, my Twitter is all about more of me, and being able to influence people better, and the Vine is more of like, everyone's seen the gringo vine and they're like, "Who is this kid? Is he another MagCon guy?" Trying to figure me out. Even my "Be yourself" vine, one of my most popular, even that gets hate.
Not all hate, there's a lot of people who support it, obviously. People that follow me. But I believe the hate's from the people that tweeted it out, Tyler and all of them and their following. Followers, they listen to artists, they listen to people who have influence. If I say, "Hey, this is what this is," then most of the time, people are gonna catch on and they're gonna start to believe it. They're gonna approve of it.
But these artists tweeting them out, their followers are going to be impacted, and their views becoming not necessarily what their view would be if they just followed me. Their minds are getting altered. People look up to these people. People look up to Tyler Oakley and Andrea Russett -- and to me, with people you look up to, there shouldn't be downing someone else. That's my opinion about it.
How do you describe your brand online?
👏👏 nobody can gringo me down 👏👏-- Dylan Collins (@DylanCollins95) August 1, 2015
More uplifting, and originality. I like the originality of it. Everyone started making gringo vine remakes. Everyone else was trying to be like, "My name's such and such and I'm a gringo!" I'd say it's more comedy and uplifting. I don't think anyone can say their name and say that they're a gringo without laughing in the video.
What's the coolest thing that's happened to you because of your social media presence?
I got to work with the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and Disney On Ice. I got to take pictures with different kids, and go work and do photography and social media exposure promoting the event, and things like that.
With all of the tension - and since you don't necessarily think you'll go into entertainment as a career - do you think that you'll ever step back from social media?
That's a tough question. Ever since my mom stopped me from doing the TV show, it's kind of pushed me towards social media.
Even if you do end up pursuing medicine as a career?
I guess I could say that things change, and I'm a changing person, and maybe I won't pursue it as often. I'm a junior in school right now, so I've got a couple years left until I finish up with my pre-medicine track.
It's a hard position to be in. I also turned 20 this year. It's hard figuring out what you're going to do with the rest of everything.
It is, it is. And the fame thing, it kind of just came on. It wasn't something, like, all these other people, they're made videos every single week of their lives for the last three years. I've put up, you know, five to seven videos over the last two years. All these other people are vining with some of the biggest viners of all time. I'm kinda just doin' me. It just kinda came on. It just kinda stuck to me. I'm in a spot where it's like, "Uhhhh, what do I do? What am I doing with my life?"
How did you come to hang out with Riff Raff recently?
On Vine, everyone was talking about how my smile is kinda like Riff Raff's, and they're like, "Are you Riff Raff's brother?" And so his PR contacted me, and they told me how he was gonna be in Nashville, and asked if I wanted to go up there and go on the tour bus and listen to some of his new songs coming out, just take pictures and do social media exposure with him. I went up there and did it and had a great time. It was a lot of fun.
How do you decide how to follow on social media?
On Twitter, I like to follow people who are active. People who are not just there for the show. People that I influence. People who appreciate me. So, whenever I see people and they're tweeting out my links, or they're helping me with whatever I'm doing. You can tell. To me, whenever I have people tweeting me, I can see the difference. It's not that everyone doesn't want a follow, 'cause I'll get a million people, "Follow me, follow me, follow me!" But there's a difference in someone who actually looks up to you. And in the way that they're presenting themselves.
How did you verification on Twitter come about?
I got verified in 2014. I contacted the co-founder of Twitter, actually. It's really random. I just tried his email. I told him about who I was, and asked if there was any specific process, and he linked me up with someone and within 24 hours I was verified.
Wow. That's pretty cool. I don't know if you're familiar, but there's this movie called Follow Friday: The Film about someone who, among other things, travels to the Twitter headquarters and meets with people there to try and get verified. And she still isn't verified.
I know that a lot of my friends have asked me - different viners with way more following than me, like millions of followers - and they'll ask how I got verified, and I'll help some of them out and give them the email that I used, and they don't get verified. I'm not sure exactly if I was the lucky little choice that got picked out, or how that exactly worked. But there's a lot of hardworking viners that don't get verified.
What do you use to communicate with people that you know IRL?
Facebook and Twitter, mostly, for people from high school. When I was in high school, my Facebook really blew up. I've seen people actually telling me to sign their shoes in the hallway.
What are the most important things to you outside of social media?
School, and keeping my friends feeling important. A lot of times, between school and social media, it's hard to juggle the social life outside of the family, too. I have 450 text messages, and my friends are like, "Hey, why haven't you responded?" I've been busy doing this, and this. I like to dedicate a lot of my time to school, and just my friends.
After 20 years Wigstock founders Lady Bunny (who also emcee'd the event) and artist Scott Lifshutz, decided to take a break from being the Billy Rose and Fanny Brice of the gender illusionist set and ended the festival in 2005.
This Sunday, just in time to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Wigstock's birth (and 10 years since the last installment) Bunny and Lifshutz are throwing Wigstock: The Cruise. Yes, Wigstock is hitting the high seas of the East River and will be featuring some Wigstock classics like Linda Simpson, Sweetie, Duelling Bankheads, HRH Princess Diandra and more. Even better? A buffet supper will be served. For more info and tickets go here. Below, enjoy some of Lifshutz and Bunny's favorite Wigstock photos from over the years.
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)
In my church of cinema, there aren't many directors I pray to like Russ Meyers. With his big-busted babes, mock violence and nasty dialogue, his movies make your head explode. This is one of his greatest. Starring the fabulous Tura Satana as Varla, the vicious lesbian leader of a hot rod-driving girl posse with a preference for skin-tight black (and plenty of cleavage), the film features she and her two stripper friends (Lori Williams & Haji) holed up in the desert trying to find an old hermit's cache of gold. Full of frugging, karate fighting, and dazzling double entendres, it never ceases to amaze.
The Violent Years (1956)
Paula Parkins (Jean Morehead) is the innocent-looking teen daughter of a prominent newspaperman, but secretly the leader of a group of pistol-whipping gals who rob filling stations, abduct and rape men, and smash up schoolrooms for a Communist organization. "These aren't kids, these are morons!" says the sheriff. This riotous black and white wonder written by bad movie master Edward D. Wood Jr. (Plan 9 From Outer Space) ends with the dying Jean giving illegitimate birth in a prison hospital ward croaking out her final words, and, philosophy of life: "So what!"
Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter (1970)
The third of an enjoyable Japanese delinquent bad girl trilogy stars Meiko Kaji as Mako, the black hatted, surly, leader of a group of ruthless schoolgirls "The Alleycats," who get their kicks fighting, mugging men and dancing to rock and roll. They get in a beef with a racist rival gang "The Eagles" (run by an impotent, mustached, sunglass-wearing, creep called The Baron) when one of the girls starts dating a "half breed." It all ends in a violent confrontation with Molotov cocktails in Coca Cola bottles and a shotgun finale. With psychedelic colors, great fashion, and entertaining interludes of an all-girl pop band called Golden Half, this film by Yasuharu Hasebe really rocks.
Switchblade Sisters (1975)
Director Jack Hill was the king of female action flicks -- especially his work with the legendary Pam Grier in Coffy, Foxy Brown and The Big Bird Cage. But this is a trash masterpiece. Joanne Nail plays Maggie, the new member of "The Dagger Debs" led by the badass Lace (played by Robbie Lee, who snarls through her teeth throughout the whole film). But jealous Patch (Monica Gayle) is out to frame Maggie, which leads to an all out war with a rival gang. Customized tanks, the Black Panthers, and machine guns all play a part of the insane finale of this grindhouse great.
The Female Bunch (1971)
Schlock filmmaker Al Adamson has forever fascinated me -- and not just because the director was killed by his contractor and buried in cement in his Jacuzzi. His movies were bad in fabulously entertaining ways. From the inadvertently hilarious Dracula vs. Frankenstein to Satan's Sadists, his movies frequently defy description. And he often starred his leading lady in real life, the buxom and glamorous Regina Carrol. In this movie Carrol (sporting big blonde hair) plays a go-go dancer who is part of a secret man-hating society in Utah. They all look like showgirls and are involved in the drug trade. They also ride horseback to trap, brand and execute their male enemies. A few sequences were shot at Spahn Ranch in California while Charles Manson and his merry band were there. "They treat their horses better than their men!" screamed the ads.
Olga's House Of Shame (1964)
The best of the notorious "Olga" films, directed by Joseph P. Mawra in the early 60s. Olga (the wonderful Audrey Campbell) is the sadistic leader of a crime syndicate involved in prostitution, narcotics and jewel smuggling. She recruits girls and brings them to what looks like an abandoned sawmill to punish them mercilessly until they shape up. Lots of whipping, electrocution and a hilarious voice-over describing the action with deadpan weirdness.
The Doll Squad(1973)
Director Ted. V. Mikels is a real character. A burly Ernest Hemingway type, he lived in a castle in L.A. with seven "castle ladies" and directed some memorably loony films like The Corpse Grinders, The Worm Eaters and Astro-Zombies. This film, a definite model for Charlie's Angels, is about an all-girl team of bodacious assassins hired by the CIA to combat rocket saboteurs. Tura Satana (of Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! fame) stars as one of the gun-toting dames.
Teenage Doll (1957)
Teenage Doll is a bizarre, little-known 1957 Roger Corman film starring June Kenney as a pretty blonde teen who accidentally pushes a member of the "Black Widows" off a roof and spends the night trying to escape from the vengeful girl gang. It includes surreal touches like the heroine's weird mom (Dorothy Neumann), a birdlike elderly woman who wears little-girl dresses and pigtails, and a scene where the heroine finds her sister sitting in the dark eating a cardboard box.
Andy Warhol's Bad (1977)
A wildly underrated pitch-black comedy from the Andy Warhol gang, directed by long-time Factory associate Jed Johnson. The divine Carroll Baker ("Baby Doll") stars as Hazel, running a beauty salon out of her Queens house but making extra cash from sending out a group of morally bankrupt women to commit paid "hits" like throwing an unwanted baby out of a window, crushing the legs of a man in his auto shop, setting a fire in a movie theater and even stabbing a dog. Perry King is the dim but hot drifter and new member of the household. Susan Tyrrell is pitifully hilarious as the dowdy daughter-in-law living there. Standouts include the deadpan, sardonically funny, Geraldine and Maria Smith and the unforgettable Brigid Berlin. This warped wonder seriously needs to be re-discovered.
Spring Breakers (2012)
We've come a long way from Where the Boys Are with this demented, fabulous, Harmony Korine film about a bunch of female college students who commit armed robbery to fund their Spring Break vacation. Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Faith (Selena Gomez), Brit (Ashley Benson) and Cotty (Rachel Korine) keep up their string of lawless terror when they get to Florida, hooking up with a colorful drug dealer named Alien (a funny James Franco) who has cornrows and gold-plated teeth. It's Girls Gone Wild with string bikinis and machine guns and Korine's hallucinatory use of color creates a wild head-trip of a film.
This baby tortoise's snack game is chill as hell. [TastefullyOffensive]
No one! [Mlkshk]
Portrait of everyone's weekend as a young pug. [Mlkshk]
Sounds about right. [AfternoonSnoozeButton]
Peak tiny teefs. The omega tiny teefs. [LaughterKey]
The Nomi Malone of kooky flight attendants gives an amazing flight safety instructions routine. [TastefullyOffensive]
The HORRRRRRRROr. [LaughterKey]
It's a very simple question: How big are your apples collections? Jesus.[FYouNoFMe]
5 months! [Mlkshk]
A man tortures his sister with endless lip synching on a 7-hour car ride and it's the best. [TastefullyOffensive]
Our new DJ name. [FYouNoFMe]
One of the most effective anti-piracy ads you will ever see. [FYouNoFMe]
Übermensch af, dawg! [Mlkshk]
Our current cover star Miley Cyrus is one of the few celebrities who continue to speak up about the problematic industry she grew up in -- and her new cover interview with Marie Claire zeroes in the negative effects Hollywood beauty standards have had on her personally, including body dysmorphia and anxiety.