Bleats

Steve Aoki Weighs In On Flume’s Booty Munch Fiasco And Kicking It With The Backstreet Boys

Over two decades into his storied career and Steve Aoki is still as driven as ever.

Steve Aoki has been going hard at it as a DJ for many years now so it’s not a stretch to think he’s seen and done everything. But 20-something years into his storied music career, which has had more highlights than the hair of boy bands like BTS and Backstreet Boys, Aoki still loves it more than ever as he preps for an anticipated appearance at Australia’s new music festival, Festival X, in November.

Aoki’s relentless drive is arguably second to none and it’s resulted in an incredibly prolific discography, the latest of which is a collaboration with the Backstreet Boys, the EDM banger titled ‘Let It Be Me.’

Ahead of his appearance at Festival X, I chatted to Aoki about the origins of ‘Let It Be Me,’ Aoki says the song was born out of a “human connection” rather than the usual “I’m a fan of you and vice versa so let’s do something together!”

“Me and Nick Carter, we hit it off pretty good. We were talking for a while and then he came to one of my shows and jumped up onstage with me to do ‘Backstreet’s Back’,” says Aoki, “and we had this really strong energy onstage and we followed that energy into the studio.”

“We really gravitated to the bare bones of what ‘Let It Be Me’ was, and they loved the lyrics.”

Credit: Steve Aoki

But perhaps the most powerful thing about ‘Let It Be Me’ was the music video, which features several diverse couples and individuals talking about their personal struggles.

“The lyrics were so emotional that [the video] should be about these couples and these individual stories of how they had to deal with very personal hardships,” says Aoki, “and in the end, you see how love overcame these hardships and these difficult times.”

Working with a group as “great” and “humble” as the Backstreet Boys was an experience for Aoki but the thing that surprised him the most wasn’t their professionalism and work ethic. Rather, it was their childlike enthusiasm for the foam pit he has in his house.

“I have a foam pit and trampoline installed in my house and all of them were doing flips and stuff like little kids,” laughs Aoki, “that honestly was where the energy [for the song] sparked and we used that to go into the studio.”

Some people have paintings or meditation for inspiration, Aoki has a frigging awesome foam pit.

As Aoki showered the Backstreet Boys with praise for their work ethic, I asked about his own relentless drive to keep working year in year out and he tells me that it’s all about momentum and gratitude.

“The gratitude in my heart has to be the number one purpose and meaning in what I’m doing,” says Aoki, “it helps me find discipline in doing the things I love and the things I don’t need in my life.”

Since we both come from Asian backgrounds – he’s Japanese, I’m Chinese – I pondered whether our respective upbringings in which hard work is drilled into us at a young age had something to do with that need to keep working hard and pushing forward.

“100 percent. I don’t know if it’s evolution or culture, but growing up under a very, very tough love father who drove work ethic into me at the earliest age I can remember,” says Aoki, “it’s like, ‘work is not’ fun, that’s how he said it.”

“What I do is incredibly fun [laughs] but in reality, half have to work a s**t job so they can survive to do things that are fun, that’s how he laid it out for me and he says ‘that’s how it is and you have to learn to deal with that’. It’s very much an Asian thing.”

Credit: Steve Aoki

At this point, I simply had to get Aoki’s thoughts on the whole “Flume eats a woman’s arse onstage at Burning Man” incident given how he’s seen a bunch of stuff go down during his career as a DJ, and after explaining what went down to him, he had nothing but respect for Flume’s little brown-nosing incident.

“Wow, that’s bold, I think that’s badass,” exclaims Aoki, “I think it’s cool when people do something that’s outside their comfort zone.”

When I asked what the craziest thing he’s done onstage and Aoki laughs and tells me “Flume wins” by a mile.

“Oh god, Flume wins! Flume wins! Give him the trophy, mic drop, I can’t get anywhere near that,” says Aoki, “that is something that’ll go down in the history books for all DJs, I don’t think anyone can top that!”

At the end of our chat, it’s clear that Steve Aoki remains just as driven today as he was on day one and he plans chugging along, whether it’s doing more collaborations, writing memoirs, performing at festivals like Festival X and continuing to release new music (he says his sixth album Neon Future IV will be released in 2020).

Just don’t expect him to do what Flume did at Burning Man any time soon though.

Today I Learned: YouTube Happened Because Some Guy Wanted To See Janet Jackson's Nipple

All it took was a nipple and a performance of "Rock Your Body" to change the internet.

Before YouTube became a cesspool of keyboard warriors, influencers doing dumb stuff for clicks and a focal point in discussions over censorship and free speech, it was just a simple little video sharing website. So how exactly did this internet behemoth start? Well, it all began with the infamous 2004 Super Bowl half-time show performance – dubbed “Nipplegate” – involving Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson.

For those who are unaware, “Nipplegate” was an infamous incident during the 2004 Super Bowl half-time show where Justin Timberlake ripped off a part of Janet Jackson’s costume during their performance of ‘Rock Your Body’ and exposed her right breast to the entire world.

The reaction was immediate and overwhelming, and “Nipplegate” became one of the defining pop-culture moments of the 2000s. It was the very first viral video before viral videos even became a thing.

Now if something like that happened today, there would be thousands of videos of it uploaded onto YouTube and social media within seconds. But since this was 2004, there was nothing of the sort so finding footage of anything was nearly impossible.

In the months that followed ‘Nipplegate,” soon-to-be YouTube founders, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim all wanted to see video of Janet Jackson’s nipple being exposed by Justin Timberlake but were stymied by the inability to find anything on the internet.

“Where’s this nipple thing everyone keeps talking about?”

It wasn’t just nipples the YouTube co-founders hit a wall with as footage of the 2004 tsunamis were also ridiculously difficult to come by. These two incidents was what convinced the trio that a video sharing website could work.

Armed with Janet Jackson’s nipple and a dash of the 2004 tsunamis as inspiration, the trio got to work and ultimately built what we now know YouTube.

So there you have it. If it weren’t for Justin Timberlake getting a bit too handsy with Janet Jackson during the 2004 Super Bowl half-time show, we wouldn’t have gotten one of the most important things to ever happen to the internet and we would’ve gotten some lame video website instead.

Millie Bobby Brown Apologising For Washing Her Face Feels Very Unnecessary

Welcome to the world where MBB has to say sorry for the littlest things.

Another week, another incident where Millie Bobby Brown has done something and the internet has lost its mind over it. And the crazy thing she’s done this week? Her skincare routine!

To recap, the Stranger Things actress shared a video of her “nighttime skincare routine” that shows her removing make-up from her face using products from her new Florence by Mills skincare line.

However, it is pretty obvious MBB isn’t using her own products and is doing nothing more than rubbing dry hands over her foundation-covered face. She does put on lip gloss so it’s not all a farce.

Given how the internet loves MBB for Stranger Things while also hating her for literally everything else, folks unsurprisingly started dogpiling on her for the video and were unrelenting in calling her out for her skincare “routine.”

The whole thing is ridiculous and the saga has since take a turn for the stupid as MBB felt compelled to issue out an apology to everyone for doing something incredibly offensive as rubbing her dry hands over her face and filming it on her phone.

But here’s the thing: why is MBB even issuing out an apology for something as low-stakes and inoffensive as a video about her skincare routine?

MBB’s not automatically the devil simply because she doesn’t use their own skincare products. She’s far from the only celebrity who doesn’t use their own stuff. It’s also very likely that she was given some hectic skincare routine by a dermatologist and she doesn’t want to mess it up for the sake of video views.

And here’s the thing people seem to forget: she’s only 15 years old. Who hasn’t done stupid crap or been an asshole when they were that age? If everyone started issuing out apologies for every dumb thing they did as teenagers, we’d spend the rest of our lives saying sorry.

Millie Bobby Brown’s apology was completely unnecessary and she can do what she wants, whether it’s washing or not washing her face. What’s it to you?

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