My Internet: Alphonse Pierre
The music writer chronicles rap culture's endless permutations online.
Every Friday, we quiz a very cool “very online” person to get their essential guide to what’s good on the internet.
Today we welcome Alphonse Pierre, a Pitchfork staff writer whose column on rap chronicles the genre and its culture’s endless permutations online. Alphonse wishes there was a non-interview rap podcast that wasn’t about Kanye or Drake, loves putting things on hold using the New York Public Library website, and wants voice-note senders to know that he’s listening to like half that shit. —Nick
What's a recent meme or other post that cracked you up?
It was probably the clip Rxk Nephew posted on his Twitter of him dissing a producer who paid him to rap on his beat.
Would you say that you have an Instagram aesthetic? How would you describe it?
I wish I had one. But it's kind of just a random photo of myself that I post once every six months when I'm not feeling insecure.
What type of stuff do you watch on YouTube?
My YouTube is almost exclusively for rap videos. I watch an unhealthy amount everyday. Sometime when I want a breather I'll watch people reacting to those rap videos.
Do you use TikTok? If so, how would you describe what shows up on your For You Page?
I will test this out by seeing what the first five vids that come up in my feed are. 1) Lightskin dude doing the “killer is escaping” meme 2) Another lightskin dude doing the “killer is escaping” meme except pretending to be Lil Baby 3) A guy listening to an old Yung Bans plugg song 4) A guy complaining about his gf 5) hot girl dancing
Do you ever tweet? Why?
Not as much as I used to, but usually either to tweet about a thought I have while listening to a song or to post my writing. And to live tweet reality tv.
Have you ever had a post go viral? What was that experience like?
Not really. I think what I post about is usually too niche to go viral.
Who's the coolest person who follows you?
idk but my least favorite is adam22
Who's someone more people should follow?
That's hard, probably another writer. I think Mano Sundaresan my fav music writer rn and EricTheYoungGawd the best at the rap youtube shit
Which big celebrity has your favorite internet presence, and why?
Rod Wave, that man so sad he posted a pic of himself standing the rain the other day.
Do you ever comment on or reply to posts?
I would only do that on Twitter because it's a conversation based app, it's unnecessary on all the others. Sometimes on IG if I'm tryna gas one of my friends up.
Where do you tend to get your news?
I'll go to The New Yorker or NYT sometimes. But usually it's just whatever shows up on my social media feeds. I don't seek anything out.
What's your favorite non-social media app?
Probably Letterboxd. I find a new movie on there every day, and it's kind of cool to look back on everything you've watched.
What are you willing to pay for online?
I pay for too much. Like every streaming service (music and television). If I figure I would use it or even if just want it, I'll pay for it.
Are you a fan of any NFT art or artists? Do you have strong feelings about blockchain tech or cryptocurrencies?
I really don't know that much about NFTs but people who I trust and are smarter than me say they suck so I would go with them. I couldn't care any less about crypto which means I guess I'll probably never be rich, but also I won't be one of those dudes who won't shut the hell up about it. Pros and cons.
Do you subscribe to any Substacks or other independent newsletters? What are your favorites?
Are you into any podcasts right now? How and when do you usually listen?
I listen to a lot of The Ringer podcasts. They piss me off sometimes because I wish they would go into more niche territories, but I get it, it's not the way they run their site. They got some good hosts, though. I listen to them at the gym or when I'm on the train or ferry.
Do you have an opinion on Clubhouse or its clones, like Twitter Spaces?
Have you ever been heavily into Snapchat?
I definitely was in like high school, maybe around 16 or 17.
When was the last time you browsed Pinterest?
I've never browsed pinterest before.
Are you nostalgic for Vine or Tumblr? Why?
I never used Tumblr and didn't really care when Vine went away. TikTok is more interesting, anyway.
Do you consider yourself part of any specific online communities?
I guess my online community would be people who care about the newest rio da yung og feature. Whoever those people are, we're now in a community.
Are you regularly in any groups on Reddit, Slack, Discord, or Facebook?
I'm in a work slack because I have to be. I don't use any of those other ones.
Are you playing any games right now?
My PlayStation got an error message and I was too lazy to fix it so I just watch movies now instead of playing games.
How excited—or apprehensive—are you about the metaverse?
I'm not excited about anything some tech company is probably working on. Or maybe I just have no idea what the metaverse is, but sounds like something tech company is probably working on.
Do you text people voice notes? If not, how do you feel about getting them?
I don't use them, but I don't mind getting them. Just know I'm listening to like half of that shit.
Do any of your group chats have a name that you're willing to share? What's something that recently inspired debate in the chat?
One is called Shaolin soccer, which is just a staten island chat where we talk about soccer. The last one was about how arsenal sucks and it's pissing us off.
What's your go-to emoji, and what does it mean to you?
The fingers crossed emoji. It means everything and anything.
What's a playlist, song, album, or style of music you’ve streamed a lot lately?
Bloody!’s SoundCloud page
If you could only keep Netflix, Disney, HBO Max, or one other streaming service, which would it be, and why?
HBO Max has the most good movies I think, so probably that one. But I also love the Criterion Channel and there's mad shit on there I need to watch.
What's the most basic thing that you love online?
The Bachelor Universe
Is there any content you want that you can't seem to find anywhere online?
Non-interview-based rap podcast that's not about kanye or drake.
Do you regularly use eBay, Depop, or other shopping platforms? What's a recent thing you've bought or sold?
I use Grailed sometimes. I paid too much for a t-shirt the other day that's from a handball tournament at a YMCA in the midwest in the early 90s. It barely fits. I ripped the arm, actually, and took it to a tailor to fix. I still love it though, it's sick.
What's one thing you recommend for maintaining a healthy relationship with the internet?
Just come to terms with the fact that you'll never have a healthy relationship with the internet and you'll be cool.
What's the worst thing about the internet in 2021? How about the best thing?
The worst thing is probably people getting mad about dumb shit, which I also do. The best thing is probably how easy it is to put things on hold at the New York Public Library these days.
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