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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    YouTube is getting hammered.

    Four days a week, Sledge founder Shane O’Connor uploads a 30-second video of a sledge hammer destroying something. Anything, really: pineapples, Twinkies, lotion, light bulbs, keyboards. He hammers things so you don’t have to. And despite being a relatively new creator, he has already received nearly 60,000 views in just four months.

    “There is some carnal desire in us all to see destruction unfold,” O’Connor tells the Daily Dot. “We want to see something break or fail in a spectacular fashion. It’s fun and exciting to watch events that you are not normally witness [to] unfolding before you. No one wants to smack their iPhone with a hammer, but we all have wondered how it would hold up and what that would feel like to swing that hammer down. When you see that in a video, there is a connection and relatability. There is that catharsis being released from being able to relate to the destruction.”

    A colorist for digital media, O’Connor first dreamed up the idea of Sledge years ago, but at the time, he hesitated to invest thousands of dollars in a slow-motion camera. He came close to making this idea a reality several times but was foiled by last-minute scheduling changes that rendered his company’s equipment unusable. Frustrated, O’Connor finally secured a camera deal, and Sledge was born.

    “What inspires me to spend hours and days making this incredibly niche content is the thought of sharing my videos with others and bringing them some sort of joy for 30 seconds of their day,” O’Connor states. “At every turn we have the opportunity to ingest new and original content online, and from my perspective it can be overwhelming. People are becoming less and less willing to sit through a longer video online, unless they know the creator and are fans, so for me when I looked to creating Sledge, it was all about the content. Strip away all the frivolous bits that we have come to expect in online creator videos and just get down to business.”

    On the cusp of his 100th video, O’Connor is enjoying shooting for Sledge and already has enough filmed content to continue uploading four times a week for a year. That being said, O’Connor does worry about the channel’s future, on account of growing production costs and his current lack of access to the YouTube Space.

    “What keeps me going is our small group of fans, honestly. I look forward to the random things that they have to say and I respond to every last one of them,” states O’Connor. “Due to the pretty large upfront costs of the equipment involved, we won’t be able to do a season 2 unless we surpass that 10k subscriber mark, so that we can get access to using the YouTube Space and their gear, here in L.A. It seems daunting to us at this time, but we have high hopes for the future.”

    A little channel with a big heart, O’Connor’s Sledge follows in the footsteps of countless destruction- and slow-motion–obsessed creators before him including the Slow Mo Guys, and Gizmo Slip. And while still growing into its full potential, Sledge has the production quality and niche theme to make it worthwhile addition to your subscription list. 


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    YouTube superstar and guitarist extraordinaire ToxicxEternity has been shredding his way through video game hits since 2008. He's reworked Banjo Kazooie, the Pokemon franchise, and even the Tetris theme to sound way more hardcore than they actually are by way of bitchin' guitar. 

    As an April Fools' joke, ToxicxEternity tried a different kind of tribute song. Wake the hell up, Apple nerds. This heavy metal medley is here to turn your iPhone ringtones from classic bangers into headbangers.

    It's been quite some time since Apple reinvented their ringtones. ToxicxEternity is certainly giving them a good reason to switch things up. Even if the medley was made as a joke, the arrangement is simply too good not to put on your phone.

    Interested in more outlandish metal? Back ToxicxEternity on Patreon with a $10 donation and you'll be entered into a raffle to pick his next video game cover. Apparently cellphone sounds are fair game. Something tells me that old Nokia ringtone may get new life quite soon.

    H/T Digg


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    Game of Thrones superstar Peter Dinklage hosted Saturday Night Live over the weekend. As soon as he hit the stage for his opening monologue, Dinklage was waxing poetic about his role as the sardonic Tyrion Lannister. GoT would factor into nearly every sketch, including a faux behind-the-scenes bit. It's revealed that a hapless Bobby Moynihan in a motion suit plays the show's menacing dragon. Far less tech is used for SNL's biggest showstopper of a sketch, however.

    SNL turned the Discovery Channel hit Naked and Afraid on its head by crafting a celebrity edition featuring Dinklage pretty much as himself along with a very randy Leslie Jones. Whereas Dinklage is exiting a car wondering when he's going to de-robe, Jones is already in the buff for the ride over. The duo couldn't be more different in their approach to baring all in the wild: Dinklage brings a fire-starting kit as his essential item, Jones brings hot sauce, which is a total swag move and Beyoncé would approve.

    From the uncomfortable blurring to lampooning the show's actual Primitive Survival Rate system, SNL nails every minute of Naked and Afraid. Producers probably weren't expecting the latter part of the title to denote contestants groping and yelling at their partners, though. Jones gets hot and heavy with Dinklage and low-key tries to eat him. You really couldn't ask for much more. 

    It's high time that Discovery jump on the celebrity train and make this show even more uncomfortable than it already is.


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    Forgettable rapper and reality star Ray J launched a new venture on April Fools' Day with the opening of his Raytroniks store in Los Angeles. As raydiculous as the name may be, it's a real-deal store on Melrose. 

    Ray J's flagship product just happens to be an electric bike with one of the most laughable names on the planet. Here, let Diddy drop it for you:

    The Scoot-E-Bike is the latest pointless mode of transportation made famous by celebrities. Whereas hoverboards are the flammable, motorized counterpart of skateboards, Scoot-E-Bikes are like really shitty portable mopeds at a markup. They're supposedly lightweight, though a bit of poking around on the Scoot-E-Bike product page reveals the foldable bike weighs in at 56 pounds. The bike's foot rests look insanely uncomfortable for anyone taller than a middle schooler and its floating seat can only withstand around 246 pounds. Weak.

    Like the hoverboard, Scoot-E-Bikes can't handle their shit around water. They're basically leisure vehicles for when you feel like cruising with your crew down the cul-de-sac to a lemonade stand. Such a silly toy should come with a silly toy price. And yet the Scoot-E-Bike costs $1,599. You can get a functional moped for half the price that goes three times as far on a single tank of gas. 

    This hasn't deterred some enterprising celebs desperate friends of Ray J, who've already endorsed the hell out of it anyway.

    Ray J even took to TMZ to show off the bikes at his brick-and-mortar store. Clad in a branded polo and baseball cap, Ray J turns the camera on the paparazzi and half-heartedly chases after people going on joyrides on the sidewalk. 
    Scoot-E-Bikes are available for purchase online and at Raytroniks. Though no horror stories have come from rides on the electric bike, Mashable points out that the Scoot-E-Bike offers pretty much no safety certifications and could very well burst into flames just like a hoverboard, except around your crotch. You can charge your phone on the bike so you'll have full battery life when it does start to incinerate. 

    H/T Mashable


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    Caitlyn Jenner will appear in the upcoming season of Amazon's hit show Transparent

    Jenner is set to start filming scenes for season 3 next week, and series creator Jill Soloway is hoping the potential crossover between Jenner's reality show I Am Cait and Transparent will be beneficial. During an interview at Saturday's GLAAD Media Awards, Soloway said, "We are all part of the same community. A lot of the transwomen who work on our show are also in her show, I Am Cait. Lots of crossover. Lots of friends."

    Soloway didn't offer details about Jenner's role. Transparent picked up a Golden Globe last year for Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy, and star Jeffrey Tambor, who plays trans woman Maura, won Best Actor. It was also the first original Amazon series to win. 

    Transparent and I Am Cait both took home awards at Saturday's GLAAD event. Jenner's show tied with I Am Jazz—the TLC show about trans teen and YouTube star Jazz Jennings—for Outstanding Reality Program. 

    H/T Entertainment Weekly 


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    Taylor Swift took a trip to Disneyland with Victoria Secret model Lily Aldridge and her daughter. By all accounts, the trio had an absolute blast. They hit up Toy Story Mania and Radiator Springs Racers, a section of track in Disney's California Adventure that offers patrons the rare chance to drive in Southern California without simply idling on the freeway in traffic.

    T-Swift and crew were so hype about the experience that they even snatched up photos from the ride. Both Swift and Aldridge posted the same shot on their Instagram feeds for all to enjoy. One person not in on the fun despite going along for the ride is the pop superstar's bodyguard. Dude doesn't give a shit about the dopey car he's riding and was probably listening to The Life Of Pablo to make things more bearable.

    This unnamed bodyguard inadvertently became the star of the photo—all because he could not be more affectless at the Happiest Place on Earth. From his hands in his pockets to the stoic expression bolstered by his sunglasses, every little detail proves just how boring Radiator Springs actually is.

    Seriously. Drive two hours to the east and you'll get an even better experience with an actual desert backdrop and very few cars around.

    H/T Mashable 


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    Not every comedian can boast that they’ve performed 70 different characters. Lauren Lapkus can.

    One of Lapkus’s standby characters, Whitney Peeps, opens her 30-minute Netflix special The Characters. At the beginning of her episode, Peeps strolls out of her dressing room, long blonde hair draped over her horribly bronzed skin, framing glistening, Barbie-doll-sparkly eyes. “Real women don’t rush,” she croons to herself and the man who escorts her out of the dressing room. “I just had to put my face on. And my ass.”

    Peeps hosts a Bachelor-esque spoof about a woman who is “a single celeb who’s famous and a celebrity, looking for love in a pool of non-famous, non-celebrities.” The show forms the underlying storyline for the special, which follows Peeps and the more complicated romances of people in the real world. Lapkus also plays an immature teenage boy named Todd, a jealous wife named Pamela from Big Bear, a disassociated pole dancer named Bamanda who dances to extremely sad tunes and randomly humps audience members, an intensely sad Greyhound bus traveler, and the star of a fake TV show called The Lonely Woman.

    “For me, what really excites me about my characters and what pushes their core is the kind of dark, sad side of life,” Lapkus told the Daily Dot. “They’re all really heightened versions of people. They’re so extreme—you wouldn’t really know a person like that, really.”    

    Lapkus tested out many of the characters on her podcast, With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus, where the guest is the host and Lapkus improvises a character. 

    “I’ve done 70 different characters on my podcast,” she said. “But in terms of characters that I revisit a lot, I think there are 10 that I know more in-depth. It’s cool because having done my podcast, I can go back to an episode, flesh out a character, and then use it more.”

    One of the kookier personas in Lapkus’s Characters episode is Pamela from Big Bear. She appears in the parking garage of Dick & Boners—a parody of Dave & Buster's—and aggressively confronts the woman who is sleeping with her husband. Pamela first appeared on James Adomian’s episode of her podcast, “The Tom Leykis Radio Program."

    “James plays this radio host, Tom Leykis, who is a misogynist guy,” Lapkus explained. “Pamela calls in and she’s just like, ‘I hate you,’ and totally belligerent. It was improvised but I don’t think we got really deep with what we were talking about with her. It was cool to see what she would really look like and say to a regular person in society.”

    Additional characters made their way to the stage in other ways. Lapkus performed Whitney Peeps on Comedy Bang! Bang! and improv for UCB’s Bangarang! and ASSSSCAT. The process for picking characters to flesh out The Characters came about in a natural way.

    “Bamanda the stripper is from a live bit at UCB for years,” said Lapkus. “She would dance to Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car,’ but I would like hump an audience member and all that stuff. I wanted to put that in the special because I don’t perform it live anymore, like I feel done with it, but I wanted it to live forever.”

    If you haven’t watched her darkly humorous episode of The Characters, chances are you recognize Lapkus from her role as shy prison guard Susan Fischer on Orange Is the New Black. Even while confined to a prison set, her comedic sensibilities came through.

    “The moments when she had to be tough were hard for me, a meek person acting tough,” said Lapkus. “I think those moments become funny because in the moment I don’t even know that I was being funny but people saw it as being funny because it was this meek person being like, ‘Stop talking!’ and no one takes it seriously.”

    Lapkus’s performance background is entirely improv and sketch comedy. As a teenager, she kept trying to do theater at Evanston Township High School in Illinois. (The author also went to school there.)

    “I auditioned for every single play every year, and the only thing I would get into was YAMO, the student-written, directed, and performed musical comedy review,” Lapkus said. “It was really devastating. You remember the writers’ showcase? My friends were running it and they wouldn’t even cast me.”

    This led drama teacher Aaron Carney to suggest that she try the comedy route.

    “Mr. Carney suggested I take classes at iO Chicago,” Lapkus explained. “So I started going to iO Chicago when I was a senior in high school, based on his recommendation. For me, that was me taking it into my own hands, rather than waiting for a play to accept me.” Her desire to keep performing, oddly enough, set her up nicely for a career in comedy. Once you’ve been rejected so many times and it feels like there’s nothing to lose, you’re more willing to try anything. For Lapkus, that willingness to try anything happened in comedy.

    The eight-episode Netflix series marks a bigger shift in the possibilities for comedians who focus on sketch and improv. For standup comedians, it’s a career benchmark to get a one-hour special. The comedian works on jokes that they know well and have performed hundreds of times. The Characters offers something similar to a one-hour standup special, but for sketch/improv actors who’ve probably gained visibility through UCB, iO West, or Second City. The series suggests another route, a way to bend the rules and open up a new road for sketch/improv comics—but only if they’ve got a broad set of characters up their sleeves.

    Lapkus has a recurring role in Judd Apatow and Pete Holmes’ new HBO’s show Crashing, which got picked up last January. In May, she’ll tour with Comedy Bang! Bang!, visiting 18 cities in 21 days. Will more characters appear? We can’t see any reason why not. 


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    On Sunday, singer Kesha offered fans some insight about her longstanding battle to get out of her contract with Sony. What would finally #FreeKesha? 

    Taking back her allegations and publicly apologizing, she claims. 

    This is yet another depressing development in the singer's attempts to get out of her contract with Sony and allegations of sexual assault against her producer Dr. Luke, real name Lukasz Gottwald. In 2014, Kesha and her mother filed a lawsuit against Gottwald, claiming he was "sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally" abusive during their decade working together. She asked that she be let out of her contract with Sony. Gottwald countersued. 

    In February, Kesha was denied an injunction against Gottwald. Last month, reports surfaced that Sony would be cutting ties with the producer, though it's not clear that actually happened. 

    According to Rolling Stone, a source close to the case claims the option mentioned in Kesha's Instagram post was put forth by Gottwald's legal team, but it's not clear where that discussion took place. A spokesperson for Gottwald followed up her post with a victim-blaming statement to Rolling Stone

    The Court repeatedly stated Kesha is already free to record without Dr. Luke, and that she had not presented any facts supporting her claims. That's because all the evidence - including Kesha's own videotaped sworn testimony - show her allegations are false. The only thing Kesha is not free to do is to continue to lie about Dr. Luke through publicity stunts and outrageous smears, ignoring the fact that by her own free will she went to work and entered into new contracts with Dr. Luke years after this 'incident' supposedly happened. Her goal all along has been solely personal enrichment by seeking to break contracts that brought her success and millions so she can enter into more lucrative ones. We look forward to our day in court holding Kesha accountable for her lies.
    "I will not take back the TRUTH," she concluded in her post. "I would rather let the truth ruin my career than lie for a monster ever again." 

    H/T Rolling Stone 


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    If you love Hamilton and Amy Schumer, consider yourself blessed.

    On Monday, Comedy Central released a sneak peek at season 4 of Inside Amy Schumer, which includes a sketch starring Schumer, her sister and fellow Hamilton fanatic Kim Caramele, and Lin-Manuel Miranda himself.

    Schumer told Entertainment Weekly that the sketch was inspired by her sister's real-life obsession with the hit musical. 

    “It’s actually a problem," she said. “She’ll put the soundtrack on at any, sometimes inappropriate time.”

    One morning, when the sisters were walking to work, Caramele began to sing "I'm not throwing away my mop" to the tune of Hamilton's "My Shot." And thus the idea for Betsy Ross, a Hamilton-inspired musical, was born.

    As you may have guessed from the lyrics, the sketch is a whole lot goofier and off-key than its source material. But it is a pleasure to watch. 

    Like any Hamilton devotee, Caramele was thrilled that Miranda agreed to be a part of the show: "He said yes and I thought he was kidding," she said. “He couldn’t have been nicer and more game. He has so few hours free! I was so grateful he was there.”

    So are we! 

    H/T Entertainment Weekly 


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    There are still aspects of the YouTube fame machine that no one talks about. But in true YouTube fashion, if you're going to call something out, it better be set to a catchy tune.

    Jon Cozart does just that in his latest video.

    "My friends are dictated by similar subscriber counts," he sings in "YouTube Culture: A Song." In the short single he calls out problematic aspects of YouTube stardom, from the popularity of drinking games on channels where subscriber ages are well under 21, or YouTubers using ghostwriters to write books—charging hundreds of dollars for live appearances. It's everything no one else is willing to say on camera about the weirdness of YouTube fame.

    Cozart actually waited a long time to release this song and accompanying video because he was nervous about the response he'd get from both fans and the YouTuber community.

    "I wrote the song last year for my one-man show in Edinburgh and I've been holding onto it because I was afraid of backlash," Cozart told the Daily Dot. "But I wrote it to sort out my feelings about how YouTube is changing and I either need to change with it or figure out a new career. It's a real internal conflict, and I feel like selling out used to be such a contentious issue on YouTube and now I can count the non-sellouts on one hand, and I'm not one of them."

    Cozart, for his part, has the song available for purchase on iTunes, and that's why the joke works. Cozart knows he's part of the game and can acknowledge it, like lyrics that call out "exploit[ing] fandoms for a bottom line"—click over to Cozart's most popular videos and find Disney parody songs that helped him land 3.3 million subscribers.

    It also works because he's got backup from seven other big-name YouTubers in the clip. Anna Akana, Flula Borg, Kingsley, Steve Zaragoza, Timothy DeLaGhetto, Joe Penna, and Jack Douglass all lend their talents to the clip, but they weren't the only people Cozart invited to join him.

    "I emailed my favorite people in L.A. and got mixed responses," he said. "About a third of the creators I reached out to ended up in the video, another third was absolutely against the song, and the last third either had scheduling conflicts or didn't bother to respond."

    It's easy to see why some YouTubers would balk at participating, with lines like, "I'm monetizing kissing guys and/I won't come out the closet till I've got something to sell about it" and "I'm privileged, white, and rich, and male and/You are not, so worship at my YouTube sale." 

    Cozart calls the crew he ended up with "no-drama YouTubers" and said he's happy how the shoot and finished product turned out. As for the fans' reactions to the song, commenter ThatGuyNamedBen sums it up best:

    "I'd love to see the Fine Bros. do a 'YouTuber's React' to this video. Watch them all sit there with awkward smiles on their faces and laugh nervously," he wrote.


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    The most amazing ending to a NCAA tournament you've ever seen? Yes, the most amazing ending to a NCAA tournament we've ever seen.

    This video comes courtesy of Kris Jenkins and led Villanova—who once upon a three decades ago, sprung one of the biggest upsets in NCAA tournament finals history—to a 77-74 victory vs. North Carolina on Monday night.

    That's pandemonium (for Villanova fans), nausea (for UNC fans), and pure joy (for everybody else who had the pleasure of watching the contest) in one neat, little vined package.

    And it came only seconds after this amazingly clutch shot by UNC's Marcus Paige to tie the game with 4.7 seconds left.

    Thus, in the span of five seconds of game time, UNC fans went from hopeful to jubilant to despondent.

    But if Tar Heels fans can take any solace in their loss, it's that perhaps nothing can be worse than this. We're not talking about the defeat at the hands of the underdog Wildcats. We're not talking about the stabbing pain of a buzzer-beater loss. No, we're talking about yet another explosion of the Crying Jordan meme that hopefully soon will die a torturous death.

    With Michael Jordan, who became a star while leading the 1982 Tar Heels to the NCAA title, in attendance for Mondays' game in Houston, the Crying Jordan meme—which he has said in the past that he doesn't find hurtful —was out of control.

    For the record, Jordan wasn't crying at the end of the game.

    And thus let us now say this: Your job is done, Crying Jordan meme. You may now burn in hell along with Kermit the Frog sipping his tea and the crying Villanova piccolo player meme from last year's NCAA tournament.

    Besides, this article shouldn't be celebrating the sadness of a celebrity. It should be to honor the Wildcats, who won their first NCAA title since beating Georgetown in 1985, and received one of the most satisfying title victories ever. Thanks largely to a player in Jenkins who barely played in the first half because of foul trouble and picked up his fourth infraction with 6:50 to play.

    Yet, after Paige hit his double-pump 3-pointer to tie the game, it was up to Jenkins to end it before overtime.

    "Kris Jenkins lives for that moment," Villanova coach Jay Wright told CBS's Jim Nantz after the game.

    Said Jenkins: "I think every shot is going in. That one was no different."

    But North Carolina figured to have the advantage near the basket before Monday's game began. With a team that had pounded Syracuse for 50 points in the paint in the semifinals, that was one reason it was easy to understand why UNC was the favorite heading into the title contest. Why they were seen as the Hillary Clinton of the Final Four.

    The Tar Heels surprised Villanova with outstanding 3-point shooting in the first half—and perhaps the facade that UNC, which made 7 of 9 long-range shots in the first half after ranking as the 294th-best 3-point shooting team in the country this season, could survive without great play from its forwards.

    Mostly because UNC got great play from its guards.

    "Our big guys are not moving very well..." Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said during his halftime interview. "Luckily we're making [3-pointers]."

    Yet in the second half, the Wildcats exploited the Tar Heels' ineffectiveness in the paint, and it led them to their first national title since another underdog Villanova team, the lowest-ever seed to win the championship, upset one of the college basketball's elite programs more than 30 years ago.

    Perhaps Monday night's game was even more impressive. Or at the very least more exciting.

    For that, we feel confident in saying this.

    Crying Villanova piccolo player, you are now excused from the Internet.

    And while it's time to let Crying Jordan be relegated to irrelevance, we probably won't because we probably can't.  

    Photo via CBS


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    Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has been all over the place this week, to almost cartoonish effect, so Stephen Colbert decided to talk to him in his true form.

    Trump said that women should face punishment for abortions before switching the blame to the doctors who perform them. His story about his campaign manager’s alleged assault of a reporter changed multiple times in a day. His comments about women have turned into a cycle. He’s essentially a flip-flopping machine. And while Colbert has had Trump on The Late Show in-person and on the phone before, on Monday night, he brought back a cartoon version that just might be Trump's best form of all.

    He talks obsessively about polls, doesn’t understand how numbers work, and threatens to “spill the beans” on Colbert. You know, we can barely tell the difference between this version of Trump and the real thing.


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    It’s not often that Jimmy Fallon gets crushed playing his own game, but Melissa McCarthy dropped the mic and turned it up another level.

    The Tonight Show's latest lip-sync battle featured promise from Fallon, who channeled Melanie’s “Brand New Key” and Zayn Malik’s “Pillowtalk,” but it was McCarthy who easily stole the show. She didn’t need a prop microphone for “X Gon’ Give It To Ya,” but her performance of “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas brought down the house, complete with fake leaves, water, animal props, and enough confetti to warrant a pair of protective goggles..

    Never underestimate your opponent, Fallon.


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    When artistic minds come together, some of the most creative concoctions come to fruition in delightfully unexpected ways.

    Take K-pop—Korea's mainstream idol genre that's secretly been tapping some of the West's biggest names for duets. We're talking Kanye, Skrillex. Whether featuring, performing, or producing, these artists had a hand in these Korean tracks or invited K-pop artists to do the same in theirs. 

    The results? Often, magic. Check out the best collaborations:

    1. Baauer — "Temple"

    Last month record producer Baauer (who is best known for the "Harlem Shake") released the Asian-inspired trap song, "Temple." A portion of the song leaked at an Alexander Wang runway show last month, but now Baauer is here with the full version—featuring rappers M.I.A. and Big Bang leader G-Dragon. M.I.A.'s and G-Dragon's powerful verses betray the calm beat. This isn't G-Dragon's first collaboration with American artists either—more from him later—and the idol raps in both Korean and English for the song.

    2. Lee Hi — "Fxxk Wit Us"

    The 19-year-old solo artist released her second album, Seoulite, this month which was produced under Highgrnd—a sub-company of YG Entertainment led by labelmate Tablo of Epik High. On her album comes the track "Fxxk Wit Us," a product of the four-day "Song Camp" between Highgrnd and Kanye West's record label G.O.O.D. Music.

    During the intensive workshop, the G.O.O.D. Music team met with artists from Highgrnd such as Epik High, Oh Hyuk, and Lee Hi to produce 14 songs in four days—the jazzy, hip-hop "Fxxk Wit Us" being one of them.

    3. Taemin — "Press Your Number"

    Popular boy group Shinee's youngest member is back with his second solo endeavor, returning with a song written by none other than Bruno Mars. The dramatic track, pepped up with some energetic strings, showcases Mars's signature sound, but Taemin pulls it off well—especially with his smooth voice and sharp dance moves. He even penned some original Korean lyrics for the song.

    4. 4Minute — "Hate"

    Girl group 4Minute's most recent track, "Hate," was composed and arranged by EDM DJ Skrillex. The girls take on a dynamic track from the DJ, sporting urgent, electronic verses to go along with their gentler vocals and then switching gears with a heavy, brassy chorus and powerful singing.

    5. Ed Sheeran — "Sing"

    While you might not be able to tell from the video alone, Ed Sheeran drew inspiration for it from an unlikely friend, Psy. According to MTV, the singer met up with Psy in Seoul for a night out of drinking, dancing, and karaoke, which was the primary creative influence for the "Sing" music video. On the flip side, Psy returned the favor by releasing a mix of his own for "Sing" on his December album, Chiljip Psy-da.

    For his seventh studio album, Psy actually collaborated with other artists for many of the tracks, including another Western artist, will.i.am, for a song called "ROCKnROLLbaby."

    6. Pet Shop Boys — "What Have I Done to Deserve This?"/"Vocal" 

    At the 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards (or MAMAs for short), English synth-pop pioneers the Pet Shop Boys received the Worldwide Inspiration Award. At the show, the duo performed their 1987 song "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" and their 2013 release "Vocal" alongside electro-pop group f(x). As f(x) boasts a Euro-dance style, unique to the K-pop world, their sounds seamlessly fit together.

    The MAMAs host a handful of international artist awards every year and in spirit of their slogan "Music Makes One," there is usually an East-meets-West collaboration onstage. In 2014, John Legend performed "Green Light" with Chen of Exo and Tiffany of Girls Generation (arguably Korea's most popular boy and girl groups, respectively). Past awards shows invited artists such as Icona Pop, Stevie Wonder, and B.o.B.

    7. Dean — "I'm Not Sorry"

    Alternative R&B singer Dean has been songwriting and composing music since 2013 for popular K-pop groups such as Exo and Vixx. Since making his U.S. debut with "I'm Not Sorry" featuring Eric Bellinger in July, he has seen an explosion in popularity. Bellinger is a successful songwriter and producer who has worked with A-listers like Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, and Usher. Here he sings passionately about being "too busy turnin' up" to think about a past love.

    Dean has continued to collaborate with Korean and American artists alike, including Anderson Paak for "Put My Hands On You" and most recently, Jeff Bernat for "what2do." Through his growing popularity, Dean was invited to the Spotify House in last month's South by Southwest festival as its first Asian performer.

    8. Diplo — "Doctor Pepper"

    In August, producer Diplo recruited CL of 2NE1 and American rappers Riff Raff and OG Maco for "Doctor Pepper." CL delivers the hook of the trap track, with each rapper spitting a verse in their signature styles. The video features CGI Doctor Peppers raining on-screen and back-up dancers slamming cans of soda on the ground while laying face down. Everything about this release wastes no opportunity to showcase the legendary soda pop, even down to the lyrics.

    This isn't CL's first time collaborating with Diplo either. In 2014, both she and G-Dragon featured together with Diplo in Skrillex's song "Dirty Vibe."

    9. Rap Monster — "P.D.D. (Please Don't Die)"

    Last March, leader of boy group BTS Rap Monster released his first solo mixtape, collaborating with Warren G for his official single. The American rapper produced the song and provided the beat for Rap Monster's lyrics and recording. 

    Rap Monster has been a target among haters because of his idol status in K-pop. Coming from the underground rap scene, rappers like B-Free call him a sellout, but Rap Monster addresses his haters through the lyrics of "P.D.D."

    10. G-Dragon — "Niliria"

    On his 2013 album, Coup d'Etat, G-Dragon included the song "Niliria," which was inspired by a traditional Korean folk song with a similar name. Although he originally didn't intend to bring on another voice for the track, he began to like the idea, as reported by Kpopstarz. The Big Bang leader explained how he chose Missy Elliott to work with him because he was looking for a female artist who wasn't popular today, but "more of the past" to fit the antique feel of a folk song. (And of course, it also had to do with the fact that he is a fan of hers.) They mostly collaborated via phone and email, but performed together at the annual Korean culture and music convention, KCON, in 2013 in Los Angeles.

    Diplo also deserves an honorable mention here. The producer had a hand in G-Dragon's title trackf that shares the album name, "Coup d'Etat." 

    11. JYJ — "Ayy Girl"

    One of the most legendary collaborations among K-pop fans is "Ayy Girl" by three-member boy group JYJ. Although a bit of an oldie (it was released in 2010), it's always a goodie. The introduction features Malik Yusef and Kanye West rapping while the video showcases solo shots of each member. Yusef and West don't actually appear in the video, but their voices give them a strong and unique presence. The song is also entirely in English, a rare occurrence in the K-pop world.

    12. Funny or Die — "Anna Kendrick goes K-Pop with F(x)"

    This one isn't a song, but rather a skit. The comedy short features Anna Kendrick flying to Seoul to try to join girl group f(x) in her attempts to become "Asia's sweetheart." Pushed into it by her manager, Kendrick struggles to get along and fit in with f(x), facing many challenges with Korean pronunciation and K-pop dance moves. As the description explains, "it goes about as well as you'd expect." 

    Funny Or Die published a second collaboration video a year later, featuring singer Rita Ora and idol HyunA, from 4Minute. The sketch is called "Girl, You Better Walk" and is just as hilarious, pitting the two stars against each other in a walk-off.

    With the way K-pop is rapidly globalizing, we can probably expect to see more cross-country collaborations in the future. Are there any duos you'd like to see?


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    Believe it or not, this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Oscars of the Internet—the Webby Awards, and the nominees were announced Tuesday.

    According to a press release, 2016's show has been hit with new categories for innovations in virtual reality. Plus judges like "Jimmy Kimmel, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Instagram’s Eva Chen, Questlove, Internet inventor Vint Cerf and Crisis Text Line Founder Nancy Lublin" will select the winners, to be announced on April 26.

    The Webbys committee received close to 13,000 entries from more than 70 countries this year, and less than 8 percent of those entrants were chosen as nominees. 

    The winners will be presented at a ceremony in New York City Monday, May 16, and the show will be available to watch at webbyawards.com the next day. 

    Here are some 2016 nominee highlights: 

    Animals (Social)

    • Catstacam

    • Doug the Pug

    • Goats of Anarchy

    • Jimmy the Bull

    • National Geographic Social Media

    Best Overall Social Presence (Social)

    • CNN’s Social Media

    • Game of Thrones

    • Mashable

    • NASA Social Media

    • The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

    Best Podcast (Mobile Sites & Apps)

    • Reply All

    • Stuff You Should Know

    • 99% Invisible

    • The New Yorker’s podcasts

    • Re/code Decode with Kara Swisher

    Best Use of Mobile Camera (Mobile Sites & Apps)

    • Giphy Cam

    • musical.ly

    • Splice

    • Heads Up!

    • Layout

    Best Web Personality/Host (Online Film & Video)

    • Tyler Oakley

    • Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

    • The Slow Mo Guys

    • Kid President

    • Carmelo Anthony

    Celebrity/Fan (Websites)

    • U2.com

    • One Direction: Made in the A.M.

    • Team Coco

    • ellentv.com

    • Kendal Jenner

    Comedy: Individual Short or Episode (Online Film & Video)

    • "Anaconda – The Education Version" (with Nicki Minaj)

    • "Go to College" music video (with First Lady Michelle Obama)

    • Dennis Quaid’s On-Set Freak Out: The Full Video

    • "Fight Club for Kids" (with Chuck Palahniuk)

    • "Trumptastic Voyage" (The Simpsons)

    Comedy: Longform or Series (Online Film & Video)

    • If Google Was a Guy

    • Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

    • Billy on the Street with First Lady Michelle Obama

    • "Celebrities Read Mean Tweets No. 9" (Jimmy Kimmel Live)

    • Epic Rap Battles of History

    Culture & Lifestyle (Social)

    • Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Instagram

    • MoMA Instagram

    • Refinery29 Facebook

    • Tastemade Snapchat Discover

    • The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Instagram

    Entertainment (Mobile Sites & Apps)

    • Star Wars app

    • Marvel Unlimited

    • Saturday Night Live app

    • The A-Z of YouTube: Celebrating 10 Years

    • Phallania

    Events (Social)

    • Coders vs. Cancer

    • #RugbyBattle

    • Instaconcert

    • The 69th Annual Tony Awards: An Integrated Digital Experience

    • The 16th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards – Social Media Celebration

    Fashion & Beauty (Social)

    • #MINDFCUK

    • Madewell Social Media

    • Kiehl’s Act Any Age

    • Lilly Pulitzer for Target

    • W magazine

    Games (Mobile Sites & Apps)

    • You Must Build a Boat

    • Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes

    • Vainglory

    • Her Story

    • Two Dots

    Humor (Websites)

    • Cracked.com

    • Funny or Die

    • John Oliver – Leap Second

    • ClickHole

    • The Onion

    Media Streaming (Websites)

    • 92Y On Demand

    • TED

    • HBO Now

    • PBS.org

    • Pluto TV

    Music (Websites)

    • Triple J Hottest 100

    • Inside Abbey Road

    • Pitchfork

    • Spotify– Year in Music 2015

    • Beyoncé– Official Site

    News (Websites)

    • CNN.com

    • The Guardian

    • Quartz

    • The Intercept

    • NYTimes.com

    Public Service & Activism (Social)

    • Hurts Me Too

    • I Am A Witness

    • Kids Read Mean Tweets

    • #nofilter campaign

    • MTV’s Look Different campaign

    Sports (Social)

    • Wall of Jordan

    • NHL #MyPlayoffsMoment

    • #SendBadLuck

    • Wimbledon 2015: Sharing the Moments that Matter

    • Gamedayplus

    Virtual Reality: Gaming, Interactive or Real-Time (Online Film & Video)

    • Cardboard Crash VR for Google Cardboard

    • Insidious Chapter 3: Into the Further

    • House on Hallow Hill

    • William Hill: Get in the Race

    • The Neymar Jr. Effect

    Weird (Websites)

    • Adventure Cats

    • Emoji Party

    • Run Wars

    • 2 Kinds of People

    • National Corndog Day


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    BY ANDREA REIHER

    In the ongoing soap opera that is the Kardashian family, the latest chapter in the saga is that Rob Kardashian is engaged to Blac Chyna, if the model and video vixen’s latest Instagram is to be believed.

    Sources tell TMZ that Kardashian popped the question Monday, and then he, Chyna, and her mom went to a strip club to celebrate.

    Why is this news important and also a little weird? Because Chyna used to date Tyga. In fact, they have 3-year-old son together, King Cairo, and were engaged from late 2012 until 2014.

    But now Tyga is reportedly dating Rob Kardashian’s youngest sister, Kylie Jenner, and his baby mama's ex is set to become an official Kardashian. To add insult to injury, there were rumors that Tyga actually left Chyna to begin dating Kylie.

    Amber Rose, a friend of Chyna’s and ex-girlfriend to Kanye West (who is married to Kim Kardashian, don’t forget), said at the time, “Tyga should be ashamed of himself. He has a beautiful woman and a baby and left that for a 16-year-old who just turned 17.”

    But Rose is all smiles at the news that Chyna and Rob K. are engaged. She tweets, “Congratulations to my Family @blacchyna and @robkardashian!!!”


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    BY JOCELYN JOHNSON

    Another publisher is ramping up its original video strategy. Upworthy, the website that first gained popularity for its politically charged polling topics, is releasing its first video series today, titled Another Person’s Shoes. The docu-style series tackles diversity by giving viewers a unique look into the life of an “underserved person of a different gender, culture, society, sexual orientation, socio economic status,” according to a brief from Upworthy’s team. The first episode highlights Wings of Hope, a nonprofit founded by Joe Demarco that makes 500 flights a year to provide patients with transportation to health facilities across the nation. In many cases, Demarco and Wings of Hope help save lives.

    The series appeals to the human interest, very much in the way the early polling topics characteristic of Upworthy did. But that doesn’t mean all of the series Upworthy is looking to produce will be as deeply heartwrenching, though there will be a focus on content that inspires the viewer to make a difference in the world. For Upworthy, video is additive and what the audience is asking for. It’s also a way the company can further expand its footprint on the Internet among the always-coveted millennial audience. 

    “Upworthy brings an authentic sense of making a difference,” said Croi McNamara, Upworthy’s head of video. “We’ve been doing it for a while, our voice is strong. So we’ll definitley look to have the human angle to drive empathy.” McNamara attributed Upworthy’s remarkable analysis of data as the main informant for what types of video series the company will produce, as she leads a team of 10 content creators and data analyst hybrid execs to produce meaningful video for Upworthy.

    “[Upworthy analyzes data] at a level that I think most corporate shops would be envious of. Its something I’m really excited to be a part of and to be able to use as we create content for our audiences,” she added in a phone interview with VideoInk. To start, Upworthy created partnerships and licensing deals as a testing ground for what content would work for Upworthy’s socially conscious and aspirational audience, “riffing on the Netflix model” she said. According to their research and observation, videos that fall within 2-5 minutes are the sweet spot. But that won’t prevent McNamara and her team from testing various storytelling genres, lengths, and formats as Upworthy follows the data to best serve its audience.

    “Based on [the data] we knew 2016 was going to be the year for the franchise formats for us,” said McNamara, noting that, like most other companies in the space, this is really a time of learning for them.

    As far as distribution goes, Upworthy, which has scaled its audience from five million monthly video views in January 2015 to more than 247 million in March of this year, is not going to distribute content natively to its own platform. The strategy is to go a bit “old school” with its distribution strategy, first releasing the series on its YouTube channel, where McNamara noted the company has a small, but very engaged audience. Upworthy could have a better shot on Facebook where its audience is almost at nine million. But for monetization, YouTube is still where the game is played, McNamara said of their approach.


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    Get ready world, Chris Pratt is on Snapchat.

    Pratt, every nerd's imaginary boyfriend of the moment (regardless of gender or sexuality), is on location filming Guardians of the Galaxy 2, so fans will be able to catch behind-the-scenes moments on his new account. So far we haven't seen much of the set, but he did show us his underwear as he stood around with his costume person, Mel, pants unbuttoned and all.

    He also rode an electric scooter, told us he has bronchitis, and car-danced to "Girls Just Want To Have Fun," editing the lyrics to acknowledge that boys want to have fun too. That's all in less than a day on the social media network. We can't wait until he discovers the selfie lenses.

    You can follow along with Pratt's snap adventure as ChrisPrattSnap.


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    Janet Jackson is putting her much-anticipated world tour on hold in order in order to plan her family with husband Wissam Al Mana, she revealed in a new video to fans.

    Jackson’s latest tour started last year but she had to delay a number of 2016 dates in December due to an unspecified surgery. She later denied rumors that she had cancer. In Jackson’s latest video, which she posted across social media, she explained why the tour would be delayed again

    “My husband and I are planning our family, so I’m gonna have to delay the tour,” she explained to her fans. “Please, if you can understand that it’s important that I do this now. I have to rest up, doctor’s orders, but I have not forgotten about you. I will continue the tour as soon as I possibly can.”

    She thanked everyone who has been involved with the tour for their understanding as well as the fans who have supported her from the beginning.

    “Thank you to all the fans for your love, your undying love, your loyalty, that means so much to me," Jackson said. "You are truly appreciated and it's been a long journey, and you guys have been there each and every step of the way.”


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