My love of YouTube is strong and well-documented. I lose myself most weekends gouging on travel vlogs, creative lifestyle brands, and documentaries just to name a few. I have, however, become frustrated at the lack of representation of content from black male creatives that aren’t centered around misogyny, sex tourism, and passport bros vibes. I wanted to see brothers traveling and living their best lives but where were they on the YouTube?
It must be said that there are plenty of YouTubers who are offering an inside view of their lives via concert attendance, intentionally titillating gym workouts, relationships, and dating content ad nauseam. When we’re done over-saturating a platform with the things we are most obsessed with talking about, I’m left with the burning question, what else is there?
Quincy represents a well-rounded anomaly in the often superficial gay matrix so desperately needed.
I’d love to share with you three of my favorite creators in the YouTube game who are providing the unexpected in video content. They are mavericks ushering in unique styles setting them apart from the bounty of creators rehashing the same narratives we’ve seen before.
I discovered Will Edmond by way of Downielive, a Canadian YouTube adventure junkie. After viewing a Vegas collaboration, I binged content on Will’s channel and immediately became a super fan. Will’s jovial personality comes across to his viewers as organic. You willingly tag along on his travels from Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and epic train rides across America.
The “IT” factor for Will is the diversity of his content. You will not be subjected to nightclubs, shot glasses slamming down on oak-finish bars, nor foam parties at Caribbean all inclusive resorts but something far more interesting. A vegan, and quite handy with a tractor, Will has recently documented creating a homestead in Texas complete with Domes, and a garden.
This jack of all trades, along with his partner, built the homestead by clearing a space on land passed down from his ancestors. The plumbing, the installation of the domes, right down to setting up the electricity, all was completed by Will and resourceful friends. To say, I’m impressed at his ingenuity is an understatement. Whether you’re in the mood for breathtaking content from his travel destinations, or trying out one of his vegan recipes, he will amaze you with his ability to command your attention with his infectious and aspirational content. Will isn’t just a content creator, he’s an experience.
It’s time to pour yourself a glass of cab or make yourself a smoked old-fashioned to fully enjoy my latest YouTube fave. However, there is nothing old about Mr. Quincy Jay. A vibrant young content creator who is a whole damn vibe, is based in New York City. This transplant provides a visual aesthetic like no one else.
If you’re subscribed to his channel, you will get an eyeful of youthful exuberance. An appearance at the Renaissance tour, and gym workouts are a part of Quincy’s repertoire, but like Will Edmond, it’s his active outdoor presence scored by jazz music and phenomenal cinematography that creates the wow factor for subscribers.
Quincy combines the often mundane activities of daily living in a way that provides a voyeuristic guilty pleasure. His incredible drone footage of some of the Northeast’s most beautiful scenery while hiking in the fall is one example of what makes him so fascinating to watch. He is living proof that the outdoors can also be an outlet for people of color to enjoy. Whether he’s camping, visiting his family, or cooking with his boyfriend, Quincy represents a well-rounded anomaly in the often superficial gay matrix so desperately needed.
I hate social media couple accounts. They always appeared to me as inauthentic and performative. Since 2015’s landmark decision granting marriage equality for all, I’ve observed a plethora of same-gender-loving couple accounts emerging across various platforms, particularly YouTube. I did my best to avoid them like the hand railing on a New York City subway train. The Kentz however changed my position on the matter in a way I never saw coming.
When these two men, surprisingly both named Kent met, I wonder if they knew they were the spontaneous combustion of relationship chemistry perfect for content creation. How could they not become the power couple to envy? Hailing from Pittsburg, PA, this dynamic duo is not only documenting their lives with a comedic charm but putting the once-steel capitol of the world on the map as a hidden culinary gem. From local bars to Pittsburgh’s unique eateries, Kent 1 and Kent 2 are the are the accidental foodie influencers I can get into.
Tha Kentz graciously grant their subscribers a fly on the wall view into how people actually live. Whether we see family gatherings, holiday fun, or cooking videos, the Kentz tell the story of the same-gender-loving experience not often seen outside of coastal cities. It’s their day-to-day adulting while in love that makes them so unique and addictive. They set a standard of what docustyle relationship vlogging should be, rather than a superficial facade sold to naive onlookers who revel in surface level content.
The subscribers of YouTube lifestyle brands are thirsty for real life stories featuring real people living extraordinary lives. Extraordinary not meaning social media’s forced, glossy, and unobtainable ideas of what people and relationships should be, but something far more palatable. A tale of content creators who recognize that glamorous aesthetics are fleeting when they’re not rooted in an honest portrayal of how people actually go about navigating their lives.
The best moments are often not posted for the world to see but if they are, these YouTube storytellers are declaring that relatability is best left to those who have nothing to prove and everything to gain by simply being – themselves.