I took a last-minute trip to Philadelphia on Saturday with a good friend to attend an annual barbecue hosted by YouTube stars Kevin and Makael who are celebrating six years of their Skorpion Show.
I had never heard of them before, but they have a large following, and the excitement that bubbled from the faces of the attendees upon seeing them in-person for the first time was amazing.
YouTubers are increasingly becoming the most influential people online with all of their tutorials, reviews, entertainment segments and more.
The pair, that has more than 135,000 YouTube subscribers, attracted a crowd of at least 100 people from all across the nation– places such as the Carolinas, Maryland, Chicago, Detroit, Texas and L.A– to indulge in food, dance and networking.
Although the day was dedicated to showing their fans appreciation, the duo made sure to set aside some time to address some current issues: Robin Williams’ suicide and the fatal shooting of unarmed Ferguson teen Mike Brown.
The two topics especially hit close-to-home for Kevin who said he fell into a year of depression after his nephew was killed (by a black person).
“Depression is some real s–t! When my nephew passed away, I was depressed,” he said. “I moved back home, and I still ain’t move back out since he passed. And people might judge you, but they don’t know your story. I need my family more than anything.”
“If you see one of your friends slipping, talk to ‘em,” he continued. Don’t let nobody kill themselves. I say everybody’s life is a story.”
When addressing the Ferguson case, he noted that “a lot of us pre-judged.”
Mike Brown, who was black, was accused of stealing cigarettes from a convenience store before being shot dead by a white police officer, and his death sparked racial tensions and protests all over the nation– there has been a awful history of young, unarmed black men who have been killed by white police officers.
“But nobody should die over cigarettes,” Kevin said to the Black crowd.
“As a race, I want us to do better,” he continued. “I want us to be outraged when somebody black get killed by a black man. Don’t just protest ’cause a white person killed a black person. Protest because it’s violence and we shouldn’t be killin’ nobody. We all deserve to live.”
The festivities resumed with a performance by this year’s Top 30 American Idol Contestant Emmanuel Zidor who was invited to sing at the gathering. He sang Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You” and an original track with a Caribbean undertone.
There was also a performance by the North Philly Stompers.
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