Anthony Fantano: Music Nerd turned Meme Lord

Image credits: Anthony Fantano

“Hi everybody, Anthony Fantano here. Internet’s busiest music nerd.”

Sound familiar? If it does, then you’ve stumbled upon at least one of YouTuber Anthony Fantano’s music reviews on one of his two channels. Through this formula—short, sweet, and easy to remember—Fantano became one of the most recognizable and influential internet personalities of the 2010s, and not only when it comes to music opinions.

His primary YouTube channel, theneedledrop started in 2009 and entirely dedicated to music-related topics, currently has 2.38M subscribers and 731,136,309 views, while his second channel, fantano, has 1.33M subscribers and 320,417,106 views.

The Needle Drop V. Fantano

Apart from his undeniably broad knowledge of contemporary music and his ability to give a coherent explanation of why he did or did not like a certain song or album, one essential component of Fantano’s charisma on the web is his ability to embrace his status as an internet meme. In fact, while theneedledrop is almost exclusively dedicated to album reviews, weekly track roundups, and top ten’s, his second channel fantano focuses more on him as an individual and a social media personality

Jokingly called “melon” by his followers, Anthony’s sense of humor shows at the very beginning of his videos when he mashes his full name with the title of the albums he reviews. Some examples? Inthony Vesttano in Ashnikko’s Demidevil mixtape review; Snowthony Daytano in The Weeknd’s After Hours review; Cakethony Caketano in Logic’s No Pressure review. These little variations on his name have become so typical that his fans are now making new ones in his comment sections.

A (Not Too) Serious Music Expert

In perhaps his most iconic review (iconic to me at least), the one dedicated to Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly posted in 2015, Anthony gives the Compton rapper’s full-length album a perfect 10/10, which by now could be compared to finding a rare Pikachu as he has only given this score to three more albums before then—I’m talking about The Money Store by Death’s Grips, All Love’s Legal by Planningtorock and To Be Kind by Swans—and, to this day, only three more albums afterward—KIDS SEE GHOSTS by the homonymous supergroup made by rappers Kanye West and Kid Cudi, You Won’t Get What You Want by Daughters, and The Turning Wheel by Spelling.

Although he might be taking music very seriously in nearly all of his reviews, there have been rare occasions when fantano took over theneedledrop. An example of this playfulness is his video on Pink Guys (aka Filthy Frank aka Joji aka George Miller)’s Pink Season album in 2017. The project was obviously meant to be a trolling effort from Filthy Frank and Fantano didn’t even bother to give it a concrete score (go to this link if you want to find out how he rated it instead).

After over 10 years on the platform, Anthony’s reviews still attract a lot of viewers who share his same sense of humor or, at least, play along with his jokes and musical references.

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