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This week, an AI-powered rapper/influencer teamed up with a virtual streetwear brand for an NFT release. This is the world we live in.

The rapper is named FN Meka, who looks and sounds like an out-of-touch industry executive's interpretation of a SoundCloud rapper from half a decade ago. The songs are like a sterile blend of Lil Pump, 6ix9ine, and Stitches. The music doesn't perform particularly well, but Meka has over 9 million followers on TikTok. Most posts look like heavily branded content showcasing customized, imaginary luxury products geared toward hypebeasts, except peppered with brand placements like KFC, Starbucks, Purell, and McDonald's.

The streetwear brand is RTFKT, who describe themselves as "creators of virtual sneakers and collectibles, merging realities in fashion and gaming." They included the phrase "NFT DRIP" in their Twitter bio.

The NFT is The SUPER TOILET, a 21-second video of a spinning portable toilet listed as "the ultimate flex, whether you’re a robot or human."

I'm just stating the facts, and not even going to judge (yes I am). Maybe this is where things are going, and maybe that's alright. How convenient will it be for major labels to not have to deal with actual "human" artists who tend to desperately cling on to petty qualities like integrity and authenticity? How nice will it be when brands and social media influencers can just milk these unflinchingly compliant AI robots instead? A perfect, mutually beneficial relationship of commerce, art, and digital influence!

Oh well, that SUPER TOILET does look pretty sick.


Jacob Moore, Founder and GM at Pigeons & Planes

Pigeons & Planes
The Rise of Virtual Influencers, Kenny Mason’s Alt-Rock Favorites, and Matt Ox
Kenny Mason

Kenny Mason's Top 5 Alternative Tracks

The first time we met Kenny Mason, the only song of his that we had heard was "HIT." We had no idea what the Atlanta artist had coming, and now we've seen just how versatile he is as an artist—calling him a rapper doesn't even do him justice (although he can do that very, very well). His music stretches way beyond the styles of his ATL hip-hop contemporaries, and some of that variety can be traced to his love for rock music. For our latest Listomania, we had Mason share some of his favorite alternative tracks. Here are his picks, in his words.


My Bloody Valentine - "Loomer"


“when u sleep” n “sometimes” proly da most popular songs from dis album n one of dem was originally my picks but i gotta b honest bout da feelin i get when i hear da melody on "Loomer." dis hands down my most listened to song on Loveless. i gotta say bruh, it’s hard to pick one song from such a perfect album. but if i thought too hard all 5 songs would have been from here.

Pixies - "Hey"


Dis song was performed w so much swag. da bittersweet feeling of da smooth bass n riffs matched w such a painful screamin lead guitar encapsulates da anxiety of feeling stuck w sum one no matter how much u fw dem. We chained together. “iF u Go i wILL surLey dIE!!”

Santigold - "L.E.S Artistes"


i remember playin dis song all da time when i was a lil, undefeated melody n cadence. Santigold’s charisma on dis whole album n her genre-less expression is sum i gotta pay homage to. i think bodies of work like dis self titled masterpiece opened doors fa ppl to understand albums like Angelic Hoodrat. i admire n am grateful fa dat.

Nirvana - "MV (Marijuana)"


lol dis shit so hard bruh. dis one of da most evil sounding nirvana songs to me n dey usually my favorites. it’s a deep cut. i don’t think it’s on streaming platforms at all. da end is real weird. ain no rules to expression. Kurt reminds me dat often, especially w dis song.

Foo Fighters - "Exhausted"


ngl i was finna put “Everlong” but if i’m being honest it’s not @ da top of my FF list, not far, but not da top, i think most ppl kno how perfect dat song is. but “Exhausted” i love cause it’s not.

The Rise of Virtual Influencers, Kenny Mason’s Alt-Rock Favorites, and Matt Ox
The Rise of Virtual Influencers, Kenny Mason’s Alt-Rock Favorites, and Matt Ox

Photo by Nicole Blue

Unusual Demont

In the case of Unusual Demont, “unusual” is an appropriate word to lead with. The 21-year-old Wisconsin artist is a self-described weirdo who’s interested in a spectrum of sounds ranging from K-pop to slowed and reverbed Frank Ocean songs. Thanks to the internet, he grew up exploring it all, but he also had the foundation of influence from his grandfather who played drums with Curtis Mayfield.


Demont’s debut track “Amber” has him off to a fast start—it’s the kind of song of song that shares qualities with so much of what’s happening in music right now: a little alternative R&B, a little indie pop, and a touch of old soul. It could easily be a left-field addition to almost any open-minded playlist, and it’s racked up millions of plays over the last months. This week he followed it up with his second release, “Pine.”


“With ‘Pine’ I wanted to show a dichotomy between the lyrics and energy of the song again,” he says. “Although the song itself is really bouncy and upbeat, it’s actually about the moral dilemma of a homewrecker coming into a dying relationship. As I wrote it I imagined a roller rink in the late ‘90s or early 2000s lit up with green lights on a Friday night. I chose the name ‘Pine’ because green is the color of envy and that’s the exact hue I visualized at the roller rink.”


“As soon as I heard the beat for ‘Pine,’ the lyrics just started flowing out,” he continues. ‘Even though that’s how I write most of my songs, ‘Pine’ still stood out to me as a single. It just had that groove I was looking for—shout out [co-writer] Little Terry! I wanted each of the singles that followed “Amber” to represent a different aspect of the music that defines me as an artist. “Pine” shows my more pop-oriented side, and I want the next single to show everyone the more experimental-leaning side of me.”


Despite feeling like an outcast and having an eclectic mix of influences and reference points, Unusual Demont has managed to package it all up in a way that’s accessible to so many different taste palettes. Besides, these days who can’t relate to feeling like a weirdo in one way or another?

The Rise of Virtual Influencers, Kenny Mason’s Alt-Rock Favorites, and Matt Ox

2 Up, 2 Down looks at a couple things we like and a couple things falling out of favor. This week we're talking Cinnamon Toast Crunch and the death of the 9-5.

The Rise of Virtual Influencers, Kenny Mason’s Alt-Rock Favorites, and Matt Ox
The Rise of Virtual Influencers, Kenny Mason’s Alt-Rock Favorites, and Matt Ox
The Rise of Virtual Influencers, Kenny Mason’s Alt-Rock Favorites, and Matt Ox

In 2017, Matt Ox was introduced to the world via “Overwhelming”—an immediate viral hit, headed by a fidget-spinning 12-year-old belting out lyrics like “posted in the trenches, yeah that’s where I’m flexing” with the utmost confidence.


Four years later, Matt Ox is 16 and carving his own lane while dropping some of his most forward-thinking music to date. We had the chance to get an update from Philly’s own about virality, being 12 years old in the spotlight, meeting artists like XXXTentacion and Earl Sweatshirt, and more. It's full of gems.


I don’t read books really. I listen to philosophers. Carl Jung is a psychologist type, he be going crazy on it. You gotta tap in. Him, Alan Watts. These people, they quotes just be life changing. - Matt Ox

The Rise of Virtual Influencers, Kenny Mason’s Alt-Rock Favorites, and Matt Ox

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