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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    While there are many YouTubers who benefit from the ability to jump-cut their lives together, Tyler Oakley is luckily not one of them.

    At 25, Oakley knows how to seamlessly command an audience, be it a single reporter over coffee, an event hall full of screaming fans, or through the lens, as he did hosting CBS’s 2015 Grammy Awards coverage this weekend. No fancy editing needed; he’s the real deal.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean Oakley shies away from good editing in his chosen medium, and stylistically, he fits into the canon of modern YouTube stardom. To watch an Oakley video, you have to adapt to the frenetic pace of his delivery, quirky pop culture observations, and personal asides where the host seamlessly drops the brand mentions that power the Oakley machine. Pressing play is like calling a best friend you’ve known for years but haven’t talked to daily and getting a quick update on their life and their opinions—but with annotations that let you click to buy products or to view those specific moments in time. Thanks to a legion of dedicated fans GIFing his videos, crafting art, and supporting his #TeamInternet philosophy, his presence extends well beyond the YouTube platform, too. Thousands use his name and likeness in their social profiles (an Oakley misspelling on Twitter has over 18,000 followers, even). Almost weekly the real Oakley is off somewhere, speaking at a college or filming videos with fellow YouTubers or participating in secret projects he cryptically tweets about but holds close to his chest.

    Oakley’s life wasn’t always this grand of an adventure. In 2007 he started filming from his dorm room for an audience of no one. But in seven short years, that all changed. Oakley’s subscriber count skyrocketed in 2014, leaping from a respectable 1 million and change last January to 6 million by year’s end, cementing him as one of the most influential voices on the platform.

    “Back then, nobody was doing it professionally, so my motivation wasn’t to become something; it was just to have the platform,” Oakley told the Daily Dot over coffee in Los Angeles. “So a rise in subscribers was never the goal, although that’s a cool side effect. We were just making videos to make videos. There was no money to be made; there were no awards to be won. Sure, there was a few YouTubers with more than 100,000 subscribers, but they were legends, icons.”

    YouTube moved from hobby to profession, one with an increasingly mainstream presence as YouTubers dominate highly sought-after teen and tween attention. Digital celebrities outrank movie stars for youth recognition and respect, and YouTubers have been crossing over to more traditional outlets like TV and film. While many other YouTubers of Oakley’s ilk are making permanent, or at least hopefully permanent, jumps off digital, Oakley says that’s not his game plan.

    “I definitely have aspirations outside of YouTube, but I think there’s a lot of people on YouTube who want to leave YouTube,” Oakley said. “I don’t want to leave; I love it. Even if I have huge accomplishments offline or on TV or whatever, I still want to acknowledge the fact that this is where I started. … All the journeys I’ve had in the past year, with all the trips, those are awesome. But what’s equally awesome is coming back to my living room and talking about it.”

    That living room, where Oakley perches to record his weekly video, can be deceptively intimate. Oakley walks a thin line between being an open book to his fans and holding back some of his personal life to keep it, well, personal.

    “I’ve always had a distinct line of what things I will talk about and what things I won’t,” Oakley explained. “I’m so used to the boundary. There’s plenty that I don’t share. It’s interesting though, because it seems as if I share a lot, because I do share a lot. But I think a lot of people think that it’s 100 percent, and it’s very, very far from that.”

    One area Oakley is extremely cautious about is his relationships. Early on, he admits he wasn’t so careful and would talk about them in his daily vlogs. After a bad breakup, the guy in question disappeared from Oakley’s social presence, a red flag for fans who wanted updates on what was happening.

    “Luckily it happened when I had like 50,000 subscribers, but I can’t imagine that with 6 million,” Oakley laughed. “I’m so happy I learned that lesson early on: that some relationships and some experiences are for me. You don’t go to your 9 to 5 and share every story with your coworkers, and in the same way, not every YouTuber shares every story with their audience.”

    Oakley’s audience tends to respect his wishes, thanks in part to the view that he’s not above them, but one of them: the Internet’s No. 1 fangirl. This respect is not always the case for celebrities, digital or otherwise, whose personal lives often turn into a scavenger hunt for ambitious fans or media outlets. Oakley says his audience has always picked up on his boundaries and remained respectful; they’ll even self-police within the community when someone gets out of line. When the rogue fan goes a little too far, Oakley says he tries to see the situation from their perspective.

    “I understand the excitement of whatever the experience may have been that changed what they thought was appropriate,” he said. “I try to see it from their perspective, and when I do I understand. A lot of YouTubers don’t have that. … I try to respond and encourage and focus on the people that do the behavior I appreciate. I hope by doing that I’m able to shift what is encouraged.”

    “All the journeys I’ve had in the past year, with all the trips, those are awesome. But what’s equally awesome is coming back to my living room and talking about it.”

    Oakley jokes that his interactions with fans like that are simply him putting his college degree to good use. Oakley studied marketing and communications at Michigan State University, where he got his start vlogging as a way to keep his friends and family updated on his college life. As his audience grew, so did his opportunity to make a career out of the medium, complete with ad revenue and brand deals. In the last year in particular, Oakley says he’s seen a shift in companies that are more willing to work with digital influencers on a big scale.

    “I think a lot more companies or organizations or whatever are taking the quote-unquote ‘risk’ to work with a digital talent, even though there’s so little risk because the reward is so high,” he said. “They still consider it a risk because they don’t get it. Almost everything is incoming, and they’re very curious about the space. I find that really incredible, but there are still a lot of people who need to understand it more. I’m fortunate enough that there’s so many people who want to get involved, we can pass on the people who don’t get it because they’ll be back next year and they’ll get it.”

    But just because the brands and the money are out there doesn’t mean Oakley is snapping up every opportunity to profit. He admits he says no a lot, avoiding “anything I’m not interested in, anything that doesn’t give value to my audience, anything that isn’t fun.” He knows the key to keeping his loyal audience loyal is not bringing them products he doesn’t have a genuine passion or interest in. He’s famously a fan of Taco Bell, something that started as personal passion and transformed into a partnership. Recently, he took steps to make his videos more inclusive, closed-captioning his entire backlog of 371 videos so hard-of-hearing viewers can engage in his community as well, and he encouraged other content creators to do the same. 

    He’s also lent his voice to charity, using his birthday last year to raise over $525,000 for the Trevor Project, a nonprofit that works in suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. This year he'll attempt to best that donation with another fundraiser, with extra encouragement for his fans to contribute, as one lucky donor will win a trip for two to L.A. for VidCon 2015 that includes backstage access with Oakley. The things that mean a lot to Oakley are prominent in his videos and social feeds. If Oakley doesn’t like a product, he says you’ll never hear him talk about it.

    “I don’t want my voice to be used or heard as one that talks shit,” he explained. “That’s not my game. Before, I sometimes may have done that and thought that it was snark or sass. I don’t think that’s the route I want to go. As of two or three years ago, I steered away from that. … Because even I’m talking shit, I’m still giving them promo. And that’s a waste of my time.”

    In 2015, Oakley doesn’t have time to waste time. He says he’s already sat down and mapped out the year, career-wise—something he’s never done before.

    “We mapped out every single month, and I’m like, ‘Holy crap,’” exclaimed Oakley. “I’ve never done that before, until this year. … I’m really spontaneous. I’ll get emails of opportunities that are happening tomorrow and I’m like, ‘Let’s do it.’ … So I am leaving a lot of gaps for spontaneous things. Like when I found out I was meeting the president, I found out that week. I had to really rearrange my schedule to make it happen, but the spontaneous things are usually the most fun.”

    Oakley’s made videos with both Barack and Michelle Obama, along with a slew of other collaborators from inside the YouTube sphere and outside in the greater entertainment world, like Glee’s Darren Criss and CBS’s Julie Chen.

    “In the past, it’s all been incoming [with celebrity guests],” Oakley explained. “I think a lot of what I wanted to do in 2014 was build a repertoire or a portfolio for what I can do with traditional celebrities or with brands or whatever, to be able to show brands or celebrities that I aspire to work with, ‘This is what I can offer.’ Maybe 2015 is the year I start reaching out to people I always dreamed to do stuff with.”

    WIth such a large audience already, you’d think Oakley would throw caution to the wind and ask any and every celebrity to make videos with him, like a late-night show books guests. But Oakley is much more cautious about his legacy. (“What’s a less dramatic word for ‘legacy?’” he pondered.)

    An Oakley misspelling on Twitter has over 18,000 followers.

    “There’s definitely people that I’m waiting on,” he said. “I want to make sure that I’m ready, and it makes sense at the right time. You’re not going to email Oprah when you have one subscriber. I want it to be a no-brainer from the first time I email. [Michelle Obama] wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t paid my dues or worked up my portfolio in a way.”

    The bread and butter of Oakley’s digital reach is his interactions with other YouTube celebrities. The stars of the platform rose to the top not from outside intervention, but by collaborating with one another and building the audiences in the process. Just as often as Oakley shares screen time or tweets with his fellow stars in the million-plus club, he’s also interacting with everyone from viewers to smaller-scale vloggers that share his sensibilities. He’s also not shy about pointing out flaws of his fellow digital celebs—or the culture surrounding them. Most notably, it was his attention to Vine star Nash Grier’s homophobic language that rallied the rest of the community to call it out and for Grier to subsequently apologize. Oakley’s social media life is not always so controversial, but it is quite diversified. He’s got 3.66 million followers on Twitter, and his Tumblr is one of the clearest hubs of his fandom, one in which Oakley himself spends every day immersed.

    “I spend all day replying to tweets and reblogging posts and sharing fan art,” he explained. “I think it’s the most important thing I can possibly do, to stay involved in the community as a part of the community, not ahead of the community. I’m very much the same level of them in it.”

    Of course, Oakley has the platform to reach that community en masse. In doing so, he’s expanded his empire to new ventures that he only plans to amplify in 2015. He’ll continue traveling the country, and possibly beyond, this year on his popular Slumber Party Tour, which he started last year to get face-to-face with his audience. Last year he also started Psychobabble, a podcast with friend and frequent collaborator Korey Kuhl. The duo turn off the cameras but leave on the mics, spending 30 minutes gossiping about whatever topics come to mind. Oakley admits he wasn’t a podcast junkie before he started making his own, and he was even dubious despite his older brother insisting three years ago that he get into the arena. Now, Psychobabble sits atop the iTunes charts weekly.

    “Now I’m like, ‘I’m sorry, you were right; I should have listened to you’,” Oakley laughs. “Now it’s the most fun I have all week. All our friends and family at home say it’s the most us they’ve heard or seen in any of our work. We get to go unedited, we get to expand on things. There’s a difference between trying to compact something into a five-minute video where you can’t really explain yourself, and a podcast that can be 30 minutes and you can dive deep and really explain yourself for 10 minutes on how you really feel about Justin Bieber’s underwear campaign. We had offers to make it a video podcast, but I didn’t want it to be GIFed. It’s so longform, it can’t fit into a GIF. The conversations we’d be having couldn’t be summed up into little moments. It should be only audio.”

    Oakley has other auditory ambitions in the future—no, not an album, like many of his YouTube brethren are inclined. After a stint for the BBC1 radio show, he says he’s “totally open to it.” When pressed on his future goals, Oakley is smartly evasive, although the glint in his eyes and the laughter in his voice betrays that he really would like to spill the beans. Literature is another avenue that YouTubers have pursued lately, and when asked if that’s in the cards for him as well, Oakley is cautious.

    “I think it’s the most important thing I can possibly do, to stay involved in the community as a part of the community, not ahead of the community.”

    “I have had so much feedback that [a book] is something people want,” he allowed. “Writing is something I want to explore. If I were to do it, I would want it to be not a book made by a YouTuber; I would really want to respect that craft of literature and just be an author. Detach myself as a YouTuber, because I don’t want to ever look at an opportunity, whether it’s book or TV or movie or whatever, as—not to say that anybody has or is doing it—as a moneymaking opportunity. If I were to want to do a book, it would be because I have a passion for it, and I respect the literary world. I don’t want to look at it as an extension of me as a YouTuber; it would be a whole different facet of me as a human.”

    Not that Oakley has to do anything but make great videos to keep his seat as the king of teen YouTube. While diversification, when done right, doesn’t hurt the digital star, there still a massive number of digital consumers yet to be reached. For Oakley, his career, and the careers of his superstar friends, is hard work, not a flash in the pan.

    “I think the most frustrating question you can ever be asked as any YouTuber, is when people ask, ‘What was the one video that changed it all?,” he explained. “Because, yes, there are people that have that, but that’s 1 percent of 1 percent. For the majority of YouTubers who are doing it full-time now have been doing it for years and years. I watched the slowest growth for all my friends, to boil it down to one video that accidentally went viral minimizes all the hard work I saw them put in.”

    Oakley’s 6 million fans are about to witness all that hard work yielding his biggest and best year yet. Will you be watching?

    Photo via Tyler Oakley

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    As evidenced by Pharrell’s rampant side eye during Sunday's Grammys, not everyone is a fan of millionaire cat lady Taylor Swift. But who has time for the haters when you’ve got the leader of the free world singing your 1989 hit single? 

    Though Swift's "Shake It Off" didn't walk away with the Grammy for Song of the Year, she has something far greater thanks to the YouTube channel BarackDubs. Leave it to Fadi Saleh, the genius behind the beloved channel, to get President Obama to perform Swift's infectious hit with more effervescent charisma than the singer herself. 

    While Saleh's Barackdubs has brought us presidential renditions of Iggy Azeala's "Fancy" and One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful," we think he has truly outdone himself with this masterful mashup.

    H/T Mashable | Photo via marcn/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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    After 15-plus years behind the desk, Jon Stewart is stepping down from The Daily Show.

    Early reports Tuesday cited audience members who had been in attendance to hear Stewart’s announcement during The Daily Show’s Tuesday taping.

    It didn’t take long for Comedy Central to confirm the news, effectively ending hours of speculation leading up to Tuesday night's broadcast. Comedy Central President Michele Ganeless praised Stewart in her statement, saying that “his comedic brilliance is second to none.”

    Stewart will step down later this year, although he has yet to announce his final show. People are already choosing to commemorate the longtime host, along with ample suggestions for his replacement.

    His announcement comes in the midst of a late-night shift. Stephen Colbert just ended his reign at The Colbert Report back in December. Larry Wilmore took over Colbert's time slot with The Nightly Show. Craig Ferguson left The Late Late Show in December. David Letterman is set to retire in May.

    Update 6:42pm CT, Feb. 10: Comedy Central will reportedly continue the show with a new host.

    Screengrab via Comedy Central/YouTube

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    What is All Over It supposed to be? If you can be bothered to watch the first three episodes of this webseries you'll be struck by a couple of puzzling things: A pacing strangely at odds with its troubling lack of humor—moments build to comic opportunities where you are continually left short-handed—and a discombobulated narrative arc that flies in the face of most accepted dramatic wisdom. In other words, it tells no story and it isn't funny.

    The answer won't be found within this tedious disaster, but instead in the knowledge that the series was originally filmed as an (unsurprisingly rejected) 22-minute pilot. All Over It isn't actually the webseries it purports to be, rather a cynical repackaging of something that wasn't very good to begin with. But whereas at least it may have made sense before, now it has been hacked apart in a crude way akin to the cleaver-heavy foreign school of butchery that is entirely disinterested in the physical contours of the animal. Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop. Done. Fine for roast duck, derisory here.

    What's the problem though, you may say, it's just some free fluff floating around the Internet, right? If you don't want to watch unfunny, truncated segments of a show about creatives trying to reconcile their art with fiscal realities then it's no problem to switch off, surely? And you'd be right, this isn't difficult to turn off.

    But this is the sort of thing that will grate anyone who has attempted to make a webseries, who has actually put thought into what would work within the format and crafted their ideas within the parameters of the medium. The re-purposing of All Over It is an insulting move, one that could only ever happen in a young, developing scene, perhaps not yet protective enough of itself to separate the opportunistic from the artistic.

    None of this is any fault of the cast members, mind you, who work hard with what they're given, creating characters meant for a different sort of program than we are presented. But there a certain sadness in hearing H. Ron Benjamin's voice, which should be familiar from Archer's eponymous super-spy, hacking over banal lines alien to his familiar Adam Reed-penned zingers

    Instead blame rests with the creators of All Over It, the sort of people who call themselves "MTV alums" probably in the hope that some lazy journalist would copy-and-paste it, giving a nonsensical term some sort of validation. It is one thing to make a sub-standard program but quite another to fail to understand that there is more to a webseries than just length.

    Screengrab via All Over It/YouTube

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    Jon Stewart announced his retirement Tuesday—he'll step down at some point this year from the The Daily Show. Comedy Central has reportedly confirmed that it will continue the show without Stewart.

    After more than 15 years of Stewart, and three years of Craig Kilborn before him, it's high time the show breaks down the late-night boys club and hires a lead anchor that is not another straight, white, and male comic. There's plenty to pick from in the wake of Stewart's departure, from seasoned correspondents to all sorts of interesting comedians. Here are seven badass options.

    Jessica Williams

    Pros: She's the name on every Tumblr user's lips in terms of a replacement. She's had several breakout correspondent moments since joining the show, and can further connect the series to a younger demographic.

    Cons: She's still very young, and not the most senior woman on the show right now. She hasn't been tested in the anchor position yet, so it's a gamble.

    Samantha Bee

    Pros: She's got years of experience on the show, and even some behind the desk during a recent Stewart sick day. Bee has been on the show since 2003, and is the longest-serving correspondent in its history—there's more than enough talent and chops in place to cruise here.

    Cons: Canadian.

    Amy Pohler and Tina Fey

    Pros: We know they're hilarious, we know they can host, and we know they are competent anchors. They're a TV dream team of funny women.

    Cons: They're extremely famous, and both surely busy with different career aspects like film and scripted television projects of their own, so this is just a reach for the stars moment. But either is a surefire instant hire.

    Aisha Tyler

    Pros: She's devastatingly funny and smart, and has held hosting gigs on E! and as part of The Talk on CBS. She's also got geek cred that rivals Stephen Colbert.

    Cons: She's hardly a household name, and errs more toward the side of geeky pop culture than political—a big problem given the show's biting history of government satire.

    Amy Schumer

    Pros: She already commands her own funny Comedy Central show and has the balls to say anything in an interview. It'd be fast-moving, big laughs.

    Cons: She suffers from the "not a household name" issue that many of the other women face, she also may be too R-rated for the host chair.

    Laverne Cox

    Pros: Trans visibility in the past year has finally increased across media, and a trans host for The Daily Show would be a huge step forward. Plus, Cox is hilarious and smart.

    Cons: An untested host in high profile settings, like most other contenders we mentioned. But that's kind of the point—it's time to attack new perspectives and frontiers. 

    Who did we miss? There's tons of other well-qualified women for the job, and hopefully Comedy Central gives them a reasonable shot at the desk.

    Photo via Comedy Central/YouTube

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    In an era where Kim Kardashian’s rear-end is worshiped and Beyoncé is lauded for her curves, pressures still abound for women to slim down and get a body that’s “just right.” According to the National Eating Disorders Association, “20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life” in the United States alone. But media and entertainment attention on the prevalence of eating disorders is slim to nil these days.

    Jessie Kahnweiler, creator and star of new webseries The Skinny, wants to change that. Kahnweiler, best known for the hilarious and heartbreaking short, “Meet My Rapist,” hopes to share her story in a way that’s both entertaining and empowering. The series, which features big names such as Allan Rich and Ileana Douglas, has been shot in its entirety, but Kahnweiler recently launched a Kickstarter to help fund the final post-production costs necessary so this little gem can meet its audience.

    Kahnweiler spoke to the Daily Dot about her personal struggle with bulimia, her inspiration for the series, and what a real “plus-size” woman looks like.

    You’ve shared that you’ve struggled with bulimia for a very long time. What made you want to create the series at this specific time? Why now?

    I didn’t necessarily want to make it, but I got to the point where I couldn’t not make it. This topic is so much bigger than me. Having gone through this, I realize it’s a crazy taboo. Being a woman and a filmmaker, I had gone through this whole experience and felt like it was nowhere to be found in entertainment or media. We live in a time where we’re so open about drugs and sex, but there’s nothing out there about this.

    For a while I felt like I couldn’t talk about the fact that I’m bulimic because I’m not Princess Diana. I thought, I’m not skinny. I’m not skinny enough. I don’t have an eating disorder in the right way. I’m not Princess Diana; I’m not Natalie Portman in Black Swan. I think the shame kept me from sharing for so long.

    How did you prepare for the series? Did you do a lot of research, or were you working from more of a personal narrative?

    Shit, I probably should have done that, huh? (Laughs)

    Honestly just living in L.A., I did a lot of hands-on research just in the field… talking with people about it, reading a lot about it. But this came from a very personal place. My favorite kind of research is just talking to people.

    The more I would talk to people about it, the more things would come up. A friend would say, “Oh actually, my grandma was bulimic!” or even guy friends would confess, “I throw up when I feel too fat.” I wanted to open up that boundary, and it led to some really interesting conversations.

    I was also scared. I wondered, “Am I well enough to do this? Who am I to make this and am I well enough to do this?” There were times when I was freaking out during filming, thinking, “Oh god do I need to lose weight?” And then I’d think, “This is crazy; I’m trying to lose weight to make a series about eating disorders!”

    But that’s what the series is really about—those moments that are hysterical and heartbreaking.

    It sounds like L.A., and the culture in L.A., features prominently in the series. Was living in L.A. a factor that triggered your eating disorder?

    Oh this eating disorder has been to Georgia; it’s been to New York, to Israel. I was at Masada bingeing and purging my way through hummus!

    I do think in L.A. it’s kind of undeniable: The standards [for thinness] here are higher, just like the standards are higher in New York and in a lot of places. I mean especially with the Internet, it’s everywhere.

    I won’t name names, but I’ve had a stylist say to me, “You would be surprised what a difference five pounds makes.” To me that five pounds is the symbol of “you’re just never going to be good enough.”

    But the other side of that is that there is also a lot of support here.

    What’s your take on the recent media attention surrounding the first “plus-size” model being featured in Sports Illustrated? A lot of people, including Robyn Lawley herself, are saying it’s ridiculous to call her plus-sized.

    I think it’s weird and it’s sad. The thing about bodies is it’s just really personal. It’s uncomfortable for me to be like, “This is what a plus size is.” I feel like it’s so subjective. I go through the day as a woman, and one person will say, “You’re so skinny!” And then I’ll be considered “bigger” in a certain context.

    I think the big question is: What do I feel like I should look like? It’s so personal. When people say that’s plus-size or that’s not a plus size… it’s about taking the autonomy back, as a woman, over your own body. It’s teaching women how to think and feel about their own bodies.

    To support The Skinny, visit Kahnweiler’s Kickstarter page.

    Screengrab via Jessie Kahnweiler/Kickstarter

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    It was all emotions for Jon Stewart as he officially announced his retirement from The Daily Show on Tuesday’s show.

    News of Stewart leaving spread across the Internet once those attending the taping were able to communicate, and Comedy Central soon confirmed the news with a statement praising the host. At its peak, there were more than 130,000 tweets coming in about his departure.

    To confirm that he did make that announcement, he urged viewers (of which there were likely more than usual) to keep the TV turned on later than usual.

    Although he hinted that the viewers knew something the audience didn’t during the show’s opening minute, it was business as usual as he took his usual punches at the government and cable news organizations.

    He confirmed he is leaving, but it won't be right away; his contract is up in September, but he and Comedy Central are still working out those details of when exactly his last show will be. With no immediate plans yet (but plenty of ideas), he says he’s looking forward to eating dinner with his family every day. But most of all, he’s grateful to Comedy Central, the staff, and the viewers for the past 17 years.

    “It’s been an absolute privilege,” he said. “The home of my professional life. And I thank you for watching it, or hate-watching it—whatever reason you were tuning in for. You get into this business with the idea that you might have a point of view or have something to express. And to receive feedback for that is the greatest thing you can ask for. And I thank you for that.”

    Screengrab via The Daily Show/Comedy Central

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    Breakups are hard, but when Taylor Swift is consoling you, they're a little bit easier. 

    On Tuesday, Tumblr user nevergooutofstyle sent a shot in the dark: They asked Swift about a recent breakup and how to cope. 

    "He just texted me and told me he was done with me," nevergooutofstyle wrote. "Gave me no reason and kept trying to get me to do irrational things just to get him back. Now he's calling me names and I just feel crumbled. I don't know what to do."

    And Taylor Swift responded

    Not only did she offer this sage advice to move on and never, ever get back together, she made the heartbroken fan a mixtape. 

    If you want to signal boost in solidarity, here's a Spotify mix for today. It will at least tide you over until Friday.  

    H/T Tumblr | Photo via Jana Zills/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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    Jon Stewart is going to be a tough act to follow.

    The longtime host of The Daily Showannounced his departure on Tuesday’s show, and he’s already being commemorated online for 17 years of satirizing the news. Over the years he’s managed to make an audience that might not watch regular news care about it. We’re still waiting to hear word of when Stewart’s last show will air, and many are already trying to predict or cast his replacement.

    He’s done a lot in his tenure, and considering the Daily Show's online archives are a treasure trove of snapshots and moments from his career, you could easily lose an afternoon or two diving down the rabbit hole of old clips. It’ll be months before we watch Stewart’s swan song—his contract is up in September, but negotiations of when he’ll officially step down are ongoing—but people are already mentally preparing for the end.

    Here, we’ve gathered some of Stewart’s best work to get you started on your Daily Show binge-watching.

    1) His very first show

    To put things in perspective, when Stewart first took over The Daily Show from previous host Craig Kilborn, much of his audience today was still in grade school. A much younger Stewart tried to dispel the fear that the Daily Show people had already come to love was going to change for the worst once he sat down behind that desk. He didn’t want to be the audience’s father; he just wanted to sleep with their mother, a.k.a. The Daily Show.

    “And I know change can be painful, but from change comes growth,” he said, which seems rather fitting for his retirement. “The moment for us is gone.”

    2) His first monologue after Sept. 11, 2001

    Like many hosts on the late-night circuit, Stewart was in the tough position of addressing the events of Sept. 11 on his first show after the attacks on Sept. 20. He largely skipped the comedy and went with a simple question for his audience and the viewers: “Are you OK?”

    Seeing him process his feelings on the air in a subdued manner would be something he’d do a few more times in his run on the show, and the somber tone showed another side of him. Yes, he's a comedian who makes fun of the news, but he is also human just like everyone else.

    3) His Crossfire appearance that eventually led to the show’s cancellation

    Stewart originally went on Crossfire, a debate show on CNN, on Oct. 15, 2004, to promote his book America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction. He quickly turned the tables on hosts Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson and grilled them instead. He accused the hosts of “hurting America” by “encouraging divisiveness” and said that he made an effort to come on the show and tell them that.

    Carlson was stunned and could only ask him, “Aren’t you supposed to be funny?”

    CNN President Jonathan Klein cited Stewart’s appearance and criticism when Crossfire got canceled a year later and said that he “agree[s] wholeheartedly with Jon Stewart’s overall premise.” CNN tried to bring back the show years later, but the revival was canceled in October—fittingly on the 10th anniversary of Stewart’s original Crossfire appearance.

    4) Anything with Stephen Colbert

    From Daily Show correspondent to fellow host and rival, the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert friendship has spanned years (Stewart even produced The Colbert Report) and yielded plenty of great moments; their on-screen rapport is second-to-none.

    Out of their greatest hits (among them fighting over who was the biggest Star Wars fan), we somehow narrowed it down to two: a classic bit in which Colbert breaks character while covering a Prince Charles scandal, plus a more recent wild goose chase when Stewart stole Colbert’s Super PAC.

    5) His friendship with Bassem Youssef

    After years on the air, Stewart became a big enough name that he was frequently used to describe other satirists who did work similar to his. Among the most notable is Bassem Youssef, who was called the “Egyptian Jon Stewart.”

    Originally a heart surgeon, Youssef made YouTube videos around the time of the Egyptian Revolution and soon started to host Al Bernameg (“The Program”) on Egyptian television. He’s been criticized and arrested for his comments on the air, which has mocked Egyptian officials. Although Youssef is unable to continue his show due to threats from the government, Stewart has always shown him his support.

    Stewart has appeared on Al Bernameg, and Youssef has gone on The Daily Show multiple times. His most recent appearance was Monday night as the show’s new Middle East Contributor.

    6) Anything with Tracy Morgan

    He’s had many notable guests on over the years, from both the entertainment and political fields, but Tracy Morgan was consistently funny and always had something to say, leading Stewart to invite him back over and over again.

    7) Breaking the Internet with a #ThrowbackThursday

    Just last week, Stewart and The Daily Show sought to “break the Internet” by reposting a “Moment of Zen” from 2001 on the show’s Instagram account featuring him, Colbert, and former correspondent Steve Carell. Not all of us could appreciate it then, but we can now—and boy did we.

    Photo via Cliff/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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    The battle lines are drawn in the emerging webfest world, as the venerable LA Webfest has drawn an exclusivity line in the sand for its 2015 entrants.

    The LA Webfest is planned for April 2-5, and it’s considered by creators to be the premier Web festival in North America. But there’s a clause in its rules that those submitting for its 2015 event will face disqualification if they enter “other webseries festivals or awards ceremonies taking place in Los Angeles County 30 days before or after the event, and within 100 miles of the event.”

    In particular, the exclusivity clause is aimed at the Indie Series Awards and HollyWeb, which have been gaining momentum in recent years. The 2015 ISA is scheduled the same day as the LA Webfest’s pre-event dinner, and HollyWeb is scheduled for March 27-29, a few days before LA Webfest. As reported in Snobby Robot, LA Webfest founder Michael Ajakwe has accused his competitors as attempting to “cannibalize” his five-year-old webfest’s audience.

    “We [LA WebFest] are the victims of severe encroachment by these other opportunistic web series industry players that won’t let us hold our event in peace because we believe they both covet the international audience we have spent the last six years growing,” Ajakwe said in a statement on Facebook.

    Reactions among webseries creators have been fairly uniform in their anger over the LA Webfest’s exclusivity clause:

    In this ego-driven battle, there are no winners, and it begs for the need for some form of cross-festival governance. On one hand, the LA Webfest has done a lot for webseries creators, providing them a high-profile launching pad which, for many, has led to lucrative distribution deals. However, given the still-nascent stage of the made-for-the-Web content business, having more Web festivals favors the industry by providing more opportunities for directors, actors, and writers trying to gain exposure to different audiences over the course of the year. Whether the timing of competing events was deliberate or not, it is a bad idea. Bunching together three major Web festivals in a narrow timeframe does little to benefit the growing number of new video series that are a year-round business.

    The answer is not to merge all three into one super-fest; there always is safety in numbers. This kerfuffle can easily be resolved if reps from the three festivals sit down and devise a schedule that benefits the vast realm of video auteurs more than it does their own selfish needs. The right mindset would result in a win-win for all.

    H/T Snobby Robot | Illustration by Jason Reed


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    Every tweet has a story, and VH1 is putting a tested and true formula to work on decoding the moments that go into a celebrity's 140 characters.

    Behind The Tweet, VH1's new YouTube series, takes on the elements of the iconic '90s TV program, Behind The Music. However, instead of exploring the depths of a musician's entire career, it delves into a single tweet.

    The first batch features a story about Obama from Comedy Central funnymen Key and Peele, Jack Antonoff of fun. explaining a nacho-related prank, and Brooklyn Decker discussing her pee.

    Each video features the artist in question, a dramatic voice-over, and even VH1's famous comedian talking heads commenting on the cultural impact of the tweet.

    A second batch of the series is still to come.

    Illustration by Jason Reed

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    Dr. Philis a sentimental TV show to say the least. From tackling morbid obesity to talking it out with Teen Moms, the talk show host is known for probing the most tender and vulnerable crevices of his guest's soul to see what’s inside.

    But what happens when you take away all the emotional exchanges? What you’re left with is the entertainment baby of an SNL sketch and a Werner Herzog documentary. This montage of meaningful comes to us care of YouTuber Bill Smith, who cut out all the blubbering conversation between two concerned parents and their wayward daughter. 

    Sad Full House supercuts and Keeping Up With the Kardashians starring only Bruce Jenner can take a back seat, because this two-minute long mashup is pure dramatic gold. 

    H/T Digg Photo via Dr. Phil HD 2015/YouTube

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    The first trailer for Judd Apatow's Trainwreck is here, and it has everything: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Colin Quinn, and LeBron James

    Yes, LeBron James

    The film, written by Schumer, it's essentially a heightened version of Inside Amy Schumer, her wildly popular Comedy Central show. She has a revolving door of men she only sees once, and is frequently hungover. She's single and laaaahhhving it. But she finds herself falling for Bill Hader because he's a nerdy sports doctor and LeBron James is his best friend and they watch Downton Abbey together. 

    If you sent your best friend this video and were like, "LOL, it's us," then you are likely the target audience. July 17 can't get here fast enough. 

    In the meantime, Schumer is answering questions about Trainwreck on Twitter at 5pm ET, and possibly about Amber Rose

    H/T Variety | Screengrab via CBR Trailers/YouTube

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    It’s Terry Crews’s world, and we are lucky to be part of it.

    At 6' 3'', 245 pounds, the former 11th-round NFL draft pick of the Los Angeles Rams in 1991 could easily step back on the gridiron and wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks. Instead, to the good fortune of TV and movie fans, Crews has lent his impressive range of comedic talents to a wide range of projects—leading to some memorable, highly sharable moments.

    Crews is much more than a football stud and on-screen funnyman. A talented artist, during his leaner-earning years, Crews worked as a courtroom sketch artist, and did portraits of his teammates to earn a few extra dollars.

    After bit parts in a number of film and TV projects, Crews emerged as a star in the 2005 series, Everybody Hates Chris. A vastly underrated show on UPN, based on Chris Rock’s adolescence, Crews played Chris’s father, a man who worked a number of jobs to support his family, and was as tight with a dollar as he was a caring dad. The role suited the former pro athlete to a T, contrasting his impressive stature with a persona as a strong father figure.

    Crews’s association with Rock, and later Adam Sandler, led the actor to becoming a featured player in a number of Sandler’s better comedies. In The Longest Yard, the 2005 Sandler-Rock remake of the 1974 Burt Reynolds film, Crews played Cheeseburger Eddie, an inmate who seemed to be able to get his hands on any form of McDonalds food. Behind bars, a McFlurry is a powerful commodity.

    The 2014 film Sandler film, Blended (a third attempt to reunite Sandler and Drew Barrymore) may have bombed at the box office and with critics, but Crews’s role as a Nickens, the leader of a hilarious African singing troupe, Thatoo, is worth the price of admission (or a view this month on HBO).

    As Dwayne Elizondo Camacho (the five-time Ultimate Smackdown Champion, porn superstar, and president of the United States), Crews stole the show in cult comedy Idiocracy. The premise was that in the future, the world is stupid enough to a elect a machine gun-toting professional wrestler.

    Heading back to the TV world, Crews lends his deft comedic touch to the Fox comedy Brooklyn 911 where he plays Terry Jeffords, a softhearted sergeant in a rather unorthodox precinct in the NYPD.

    Listing all of the 46-year-old actor’s film and TV success would result in an eclectic tale of cartoon voiceovers, guest appearances, and even the central character of the reality show, The Family Crews. What makes Crews popular goes far beyond his acting chops—his warmth and charm provide him the skill to take on the role of affable game show host as well as appearances that highlight his sculpted physique in commercials and alongside Jimmy Fallon.

    As the iconic Old Spice hunk:

    Nip-syncing with Fallon on The Tonight Show in an homage to Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder’s 1982 song, Ebony and Ivory.

    In 2014, the producers of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire decided to go 180 degrees from original U.S. host, Regis Philbin, by naming Crews the show’s quizmaster.

    With all his comedy performances, it would be great to see Crews embark on a big-budget, big-screen drama that would allow him to showcase his more serious acting talents. Until he becomes an Oscar-performing serious man, we can appreciate the oddball antics.

    Illustration by Max Fleishman

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    This is not a drill: the Spice Girls haven’t fulfilled our (and Emma Stone’s) wish for a ’90s nostalgia fest with another reunion yet, but we’ve got the next best thing.

    Four never-before-released songs by the girl group have been uploaded onto SoundCloud in the past 24 hours on an account that’s been posting remixes and other unreleased tracks from some of the Spice Girls’ solo careers for the past six months.

    It’s believed that the four demos are from the Spice Girls’ third album, Forever. One of the songs, “Right Back At Ya,” actually appears on that album, but the leaked track is an entirely new version of the song. The other three are completely new to fans’ ears.

    Noticeably missing from these songs are the vocals of Geri Halliwell—Ginger Spice herself—who had already left the Spice Girls by the time the rest of the group had started to record this. The songs don’t necessarily age well compared to modern-day pop songs, but who are we to complain? They still have that Spice Girls feel, and we could easily pair them off with the classics in our Spice Girls-exclusive playlists.

    Listen to all of the new songs below before they potentially disappear.

    You thought you spiced up your life enough back during their 2007 reunion tour? Think again.

    H/T Vulture | Photo via emutree/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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    This post contains spoilers for season 3 of House of Cards.

    We all have Feb. 27 seared into our brains as the season 3 premiere of House of Cards, but on Wednesday afternoon, a monkey wrench was thrown in there. 

    That sound you heard on Twitter was everyone Fred Flintstone-ing their way to Netflix to see if it was true. 

    The show doesn't appear on my main page when I go to Netflix, but a search pulls up season 3, and the 10 episodes are labeled as chapters, as in previous seasons. In the first episode, we see a presidential motorcade make its way to a cemetery, as President Frank Underwood visits the grave of his father. "You have to be a little human when you're the president," he says to the camera, before doing something very awful. Classic Frank! 

    Is this really a "leak," or does Netflix know exactly what it's doing going into Valentine's Day weekend? That's when season 2 debuted, after all. 

    We've reached out to Netflix for comment and will update if and when we hear back. CNBC's Julia Boorstin says Netflix told her there was a "bug in the system." Many people said their stream stopped working, but mine was still going 10 minutes into episode 1. 

    [Mr. Burns voice] Riiiigght. 

    Update 4:43pm CT, Feb. 11: Via email, a Netflix rep responded, "Due to a technical glitch some Frank Underwood fans got a sneak peak. He'll be back on Netflix on Feb 27. #nospoilers"

    Screengrab via Netflix 

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    While many YouTubers launch funding campaigns for their own projects, YouTuber Yousef Erakat decided to lend his fame to help a sick fan in need.

    Erakat, known to his 4.8 million subscribers as fouseyTube, met the sister of Mahmoud Badran at an event. Badran was recently diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma cancer, a rare bone cancer, and his sister told Erakat how his condition made it unable for him to attend the event himself. 

    Erakat paid a home visit to Badran and the two bonded over FIFA and the fact that Badran had his own ambitions to become a YouTuber. Since Badran didn't have the right equipment or extra money to buy what he needed, Erakat surprised him with a fundraiser aimed at making his dreams come true, both for YouTube and college.

    Erakat secretly launched an Indiegogo campaign and announced it on his channel to raise $10,000 for Badran. Of that, $3,000 would go toward the equipment Badran needs, and the remaining $7,000 for his college fund. If fans meet that amount, Erakat will make a personal donation to The American Cancer Society. Anything above the goal will be split between Badran and the ACS. All the YouTube proceeds from the announcement video will also be donated to charity.

    Additionally, Erekat created a skeleton YouTube page for Badran and encouraged his followers to subscribe there to kickstart his dream of sharing his life on the platform. In two days, Badran has more than 66,000 subscribers and 120,000 views on his first video on the channel. 

    The campaign has raised over $7,000 in just two days and will remain open until March 10.

    Screengrab via FouseyTube / YouTube

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    On Wednesday, Netflix“accidentally” released 10 of the 13 episodes set to make up season 3 of House of Cards. For a brief period of time, users could watch the leaked episodes (your correspondent watched episode one). Before the whole lot goes live Feb. 27, here are the descriptions for the first 10 episodes complete with predictions for what will occur.

    Episode 1 (Chapter 27)

    A rocky start for the Underwood Presidency. Frank wants to introduce an ambitious jobs program, while Claire sets her sights on the United Nations.

    This will set the tone for the first part of the season, Underwood is coming into an unstable presidency with an ambitious wife who wants to make a name for herself away from being in Francis’s passenger seat. Meanwhile Frank wants to make a mark with his version of the New Deal.

    Episode 2 (Chapter 28)

    Claire’s U.N. bid runs into trouble. Frank fights off mutiny with a bold address to the country.

    Underwood’s new policies will likely be controversial and receive ire from both sides of the Congress he hopes will pass his plan. Stamper meanwhile is likely still to be lurking behind the scenes, making power plays from his hospital bed.

    Episode 3 (Chapter 29)

    The Russian president’s state visit becomes a cold war of wills, and some punks heat things up.

    In an interesting parallel to the situation in Ukraine right now, it looks like Russia will be taking the leading role of the "bad guy" in this series. With Claire getting set up at the U.N., the husband and wife duo will probably show off some intricate web-weaving while Frank stands up to the Russian menace.

    Episode 4 (Chapter 30)

    Claire bypasses Russia at the U.N. Frank tries to outmaneuver a potential challenger and ends up face to face with a higher power.

    Due to Frank’s unique way of gaining power, he will be facing election soon and despite focusing on the presidency, there are obviously forces at work in his party hoping to take advantage of the fragile situation and take the office he has only so recently gained.

    Episode 5 (Chapter 31)

    Frank declares war on Congress to jump-start his jobs program. Claire spars with the Russian ambassador.

    While the Russian issue continues to play out, Frank will likely adopt some classic Underwood tactics to get his controversial plan through the Hill. This could mean more dead journalists, or scandals, probably with the assistance of Stamper on one of the two sides. It is unclear if he will come back around to Frank’s side.

    Episode 6 (Chapter 32)

    Frank and Claire travel to Moscow to negotiate the return of an imprisoned U.S. citizen. Claire takes a stand to jeopardize their plans.

    This description is pretty self-explanatory but it’s also clear that the tension of season 2 between Claire and Frank is nowhere near to being fully resolved.

    Episode 7 (Chapter 33)

    The damage is done and the Underwoods must repair it. But deep wounds don’t heal fast, and sometimes not at all.

    Things clearly didn’t go to plan in Russia, and the divide between the power couple is clearly an issue. This bears a strong resemblance to the power dynamic that developed between the original British series’ Francis Urquhart and his wife.

    Episode 8 (Chapter 34)

    A hurricane endangers more than just the entire East Coast and Frank must make a difficult choice.

    Putting aside the family problems and the large foreign concerns, the focus for the president is one closer to home. Frank in the series so far has never had to deal with a disaster on the size of a hurricane and will likely open him for attack, or finally give him the chance to shine so close to an election.

    Episode 9 (Chapter 35)

    The Jordan Valley erupts in chaos just as Frank’s campaign is picking up steam. Claire gets disturbing intel and counsels him.

    The typical danger zone, the Middle East has flared up again, a long-running trope in political dramas. The final part of the description indicates that perhaps the new foe in the Russian president is involved, and will require Frank to make difficult (deadly? evil?) decisions.

    Episode 10 (Chapter 36)

    Frank needs to deal with Petrov one on one while Claire tries to preserve the peace-keeping mission. Sacrifices must be made.

    The showdown between who we can assume is the Russian president and Frank is set to take place. Claire must obviously have to decide whether to put the interests of her new focus, the U.N., before those of her husband’s and America's. The delicious soap opera table is set.

    Screengrab via Netflix

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    Even in his darkest hour, Brian Williams is not without his champions. 

    On Tuesday, the NBC anchor was suspended for six months without pay following the revelation that he falsified claims of coming under attack during his coverage of the Iraq War in 2003. Though the anchor and managing editor of Nightly News issued an apology on air for his mistake, many have derided the reporter on social media for his actions. 

    Wednesday evening, Charlie Sheen took to TwitLonger to pen a rather unique free verse poem for the man he calls "a true Patriot" and "a hero in my/'Entire Library/'" The poem, which is comprised of seven stanzas, sings Williams' praises quite beautifully before taking a turn for the paranoid and alleging that his suspension is part of a "transparent and vile/witch hunt!"

    Dear Mr. Williams,
    Sorry to bother you during this most surreal, unjust
    and mercurial moment in
    your awesome life.

    First off,
    for 24 years of inimitable
    professionalism and top
    shelf brilliance,
    as a stone cold 
    passion driven and 
    (PERFECTLY) fact based journalist.

    Thank you "squared"
    for delivering not only the news on a nightly basis,
    to myself and my family.
    But for every other person alive,
    (with a TV)
    who relied 
    and still do,
    on your poetic, insightful 
    and NOBLE sacrifices,
    that made our longest nights
    and our shortest nights
    You good sir, 
    are a hero in my
    "Entire Library"

    you are clearly the victim of 
    a transparent and vile
    witch hunt!
    "staged" by hooligans,
    non coms, cowards and
    who's only 
    desperate and
    hideous goal is to discredit
    the genius that they relied 
    on for almost 3 decades!

    Now and forever you
    are a true Patriot and a Hero
    of mine 
    until the day i leave this 
    star crossed imperfect
    Rock we call Earth...

    Mr W:
    hi 5's
    and refuge!
    (if you need it!)
    I remain humbly
    and on
    dangerous standby
    at your service....

    I am;
    the MaSheen....

    Perhaps Sheen was moved to pen a few verses for his fallen comrade given his history. You'll remember the actor enjoyed a public falling out with the creator of CBS's Two and Half Men and was fired from the show, prompting a subsequent meltdown that dominated pop culture for the remainder of 2011.

    Though it's no free "Winning" T-shirt, the poem is thoughtful none the less. Long live "the MaSheen!"

    Photo via imatty35/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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    Thanks to his post-Grammys rant, we’ve all become acutely aware of the fact that Kanye West thinks of himself as a champion for creativity and true artistry. But when it comes down to it, does Yeezy actually have compassion for artists struggling to make a name for themselves in the industry?

    If his interaction with amateur rapper Cameron Grey serves as any indication, he actually does. Over the weekend, pre-Grammys stage storming, West was leaving a Big Sean show in Los Angeles accompanied by Justin Bieber when he was approached by the young artist. Though Ye's security was dismissive, Grey's pleas seemed to strike a nerve with the rapper and he was asked to spit a few versus on the spot. 

    After Grey unleashed his freestyle, West asked the aspiring rapper to perform one of his written rhymes as Bieber chimed in from the background adding "spit some more bars." 

    After the artist nervously delivered a few more verses Yeezy posed an unexpected question, asking "Would you be open to start off as, like, an assistant?" Grey offered a resounding yes in response telling the rapper "I just wanna learn, man." Later that evening Grey took to Twitter to share his excitement over the brush with fame.

    Though it remains unclear if West has actually reached out to make good on his job offer, Grey has certainly felt his star shine brighter since the interaction. Hoodie Allen reached out to offer his kudos and on Wednesday, both T.I. and Lil Wayne posted about the aspiring artist's run in with Yeezy on their respective Facebook pages. 

    But don't take Kanye's word for it, judge the rapper and his work for yourself. 

    H/T | Photo via jasonpersse/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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