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No More Fresh Faces? Celebs are the New Media

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No More Fresh Faces? Celebs are the New Media

With the shelter-in-place order, we’ve seen countless creatives take to social media and the internet as a whole to keep us entertained during this period of social distancing. 

Instagram has most likely seen its most live streams ever during the pandemic since the feature was added in 2016. According to this article, IG live streams went up 526% from March 8 to March 15th. 

From Demon Time to Boosie Badazz, Instagram has released a wave of nonstop alternatives to face to face interaction. Most notably Tory Lanez and his Quarantine Radio. From celebrity guests to women shaking what their momma gave them, Tory Lanez has forced thousands to tune in, and was even the first to break the IG live record with over 300k views with Drake as his guest. 

Recently it was learned that MTV offered Tory Lanez a show because of the success of Quarantine Radio. “MTV offered me something like a little 30-minute segment, but I don’t know what I want to do,” said Tory during an interview with Billboard.

It’s not unusual for rappers to get into gigs such as hosts of a tv show or on a reality show after their careers start to fade, but with social media we see this now more than ever.

It’s almost like a tradition for rappers, in particular, to transform their careers into TV personalities, actors, or hosts. Ludacris has gone from one of the biggest rap stars, to Fear Factor host, to the face of the Fast and Furious franchise. LL Cool J became the host of Lip Sync Battle 2015 and has starred in a plethora of films over the years. 

In an interview with Refinery29 two years ago, Romeo Miller promoted a new show he was hosting on MTV. The article states “…when you think about the place rappers hold in our culture at large, it makes perfect sense. They don’t have to force jokes to prove that they’re cool, and they often likely break up a monotony of white faces at major events.” This is important to note because it’s the truth, rappers are the epitome of coolness and the core of what drives the culture. 

I can’t help but think back to 106 and Park days when we had awesome hosts such as AJ and Free, and then Terrence J and Rocsi. After Terrence and Rocsi left the show in 2012, we saw the start of a new era with Mr.106 and Park himself, Bow Wow, becoming a new host on the show. 

Three other hosts accompanied the then 25 year old star. Shorty Da Prince, Ms. Mykie, and Paigion had beat out thousands of others to become the new hosts of the popular countdown show; but not too long after BET got rid of the three lesser known hosts.


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We’ve seen a surge in artists becoming media personalities over the years, such as Joe Budden, Nikki Minaj, and even Drake when he started OVO Radio in 2015. On April 24th Lil Wayne hosted the first episode of Young Money Radio, which can be streamed on Apple Music.

Joe Budden has become more popular as a media personality than he ever was as an artist. From being a co-host on Complex’s Everyday Struggle, to his podcast, and having various content on youtube and Revolt TV. He rebranded himself in a way that was genius and he is a household name because of it. 

It’s great to see so many of these artists transform their careers and expand to media personalities, but does this have a negative impact on those fresh faces emerging into the field?

There are so many creatives using Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to promote their platforms but will never get as many eyes on their content like Lanez and Budden. It makes sense why MTV or Revolt would want to bring in someone who already has the numbers, but what about the individuals who do the grassroots work and start with nothing?

It’s not to say that these people can’t make it, but it’s just more obstacles in the way for them to gain viewership. Ask yourself would you rather watch the content of someone whose music you already enjoy or someone you’ve never seen before? As time goes on, more artists will find a place in the world of media, using their name as their tool.

Will there come a time when new faces no longer take on these roles? I have to applaud creatives like Dometi Pongo,Van Lathan, DJ Akademiks, and Nadeska Alexis who have worked their way up to be the face of these media empires and create their own platforms. These are examples of the people we want to see in these positions, those whose passion it is to give people information, not the ones who use their popularity and stardom to gain viewership.

What this social media age has done is make things more accessible, yet less attainable at the same time. You can start a podcast, a Youtube Channel, become a model at the tap of button. 

What it really does is put things in perspective and forces you to grind. Celebrities are going to continue to use their platform and discover new ways to get in their bag, so what are you going to do to distinguish yourself and your brand? 

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