Meet Jay Versace, the Voice to the Younger Generation
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because with great impressions come great responsibility.
By Joshua Eferighe
The modern-day civil rights leader plies his or her trade as much on social media as in the streets. In the online regions where wit, fearlessness and brevity garner the greatest rewards, it takes a talent like 22-year-old Jay Versace to break through.
He’s the one out there leveraging his 1.5 million Twitter followers to pump out truth and resources during wild times. It can be as simple as “corona so ugly I’ll smack that bitch,” or as intricate as him speaking on why ancestral veneration is important. Either way, he’s seamlessly transitioned his content from funny to informative.
But this pivot should not be completely surprising. The meme and Vine phenomenon has gone from internet comedian fame to producing hip-hop beats for the industry’s top talent. Ever since his 2014 breakout on Vine, he’s managed not only to keep up the content, but also make it palatable on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. The Guardian has referred to him as a “teen sensation.” In 2016, the Fader called him the “funniest teenager on the Internet.” He even landed his own show on Fullscreen in 2017, the short-lived Jay Versace Is Stuck in the 90s.
His penchant for ’90s aesthetic, soul beats and a disposition as a carefree Black boy, although common, is hardly seen in the mainstream, powering his large and ardent following today.
As for the question of whether celebrities should be stepping up to say something or not, Versace has drawn a clear line in the sand. He is using his voice and platform to inform the younger generation — amping up the pressure on young creatives to do the same.
- Joshua Eferighe