Anthony Fantano responds to criticism about how he rates black artists’ music

. 11 months ago

YouTube’s biggest music critic Anthony Fantano responded to criticism stemming from his recent review of Isaiah Rashad’s newest album The House is Burning, opening up a conversation about how he reviews black artists’ music.

Anthony Fantano has made a name for himself as the internet’s biggest music nerd. His YouTube channel, The Needledrio, has amassed over 2.4 million subscribers, as he publishes multiple video essays a week reviewing various albums and EPs.

He’s also dabbled a bit in the gaming world as he is a huge fan of Super Smash Bros, having played the game with some of the game’s biggest content creators.

However, his newest review has landed him in a little bit of drama.

Fantano Rashad feud

On August 4, Fantano put out a review for Isaiah Rashad’s newest album, The House is Burning. Fantano gave it a 5/10, and said: “The House is Burning, for the most part, is about as engaging as a lackadaisical buzz.”

Rashad took issue with Fantano’s score on Twitter, leading to drama over the review.

Rashad tweeted at the YouTuber with a response to receiving such a low score, saying: “It’s not experimental enough to excite him, basic enough to make him laugh, and too black for him to identify. My public persona isn’t something to deconstruct so he doesn’t have much to review. I’m guessing it’s just for views if anything.”

Rashad wasn’t happy with the review score and critiqued Fantano’s tastes in the process, and accused him of giving it a low score for views. The YouTuber didn’t hang around though, and quickly responded to Rashad’s comments with a tweet thread of his own.

“You guys can lash out, psychoanalyze, or whatever out of disagreement with me – comes with the territory. But know I’m not genuinely out to make anyone feel bad about something they’ve made or enjoyed. And I really don’t think I’m worth all the controversy, but have it your way,” he said. “I’m not upset about anything. Just responding to a thing somebody said and clarifying.”

After the tweets were exchanged, Top Dawg Entertainment’s president Terrence ‘Punch’ Louis Henderson Jr. tweeted at Fantano, asking him: “How do you prepare to listen to, and critique black music? What’s your routine? Just curious because the black experience through music is pretty nuanced. Just wondering how you go about it.”

Fantano responded with an invitation to chat about the topic over a Zoom call, but Punch declined and suggested in the future they could sit down for an in-person chat about the subject.

Who knows if we will ever get that conversation, but surely fans would love to see it go down.

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