Me: “Tell me your craziest twitter story.”
X.D.: “I once made a comment: I was so confused about how D’Angelo and Angie Stone made a child together. Because A.) She’s 10x older than he is. And B.) She’s 10x uglier… so how does this work, girl? And an Angie Stone stan went OFF – for SIXTEEN TWEETS. Girl! This is about Angie Stone!!!!!”
Me: “16 tweets?!”
As the near deafening sounds of sirens drowned out the cubersome hum of the quaint cafe down in Manhanttan’s East village, we each took a sip from our glasses as we turned to look outside of the window. He broke from his story to let the emergency vehicles continue about their way. He scoffed, annoyed at the disturbance. “Girl you know there is no emergency, settle it down,” the vlogger snarked as he took another sip of his drink. As we waited, I observed the individual in front of me; a young, handsome, 6 foot-something man was full of vibrant personality – and a witting charm that could make anyone swoon. He adjusted his glasses and we continued our conversation filled with laughter and sarcasm while he outlined his life’s journey that brought him to the noisy city.
Here is a man that has accomplished so much in such an interesting time to create; from affirming his stance on the web by creating the ground breaking vlog series “The X.D. Experience”, to working for several successful entertainment endeavors such as “The Skinny” and “Noah’s Arc”, to becoming executive producer of a hit webseries, to recently helping to curate a successful podcast series. I admired in awe that such a humble yet busy person could have seemingly built an empire in what feels like an overnight transition – and I was eager to pick his brain on just exactly how he did it.
We owe our entire occupation’s existence to people like him. And while the savant prefers to be seen as someone who is just as normal as the rest of us, it’s in fact quite the opposite when we find ourselves looking at people such as him. Where else do you find the time for a young writer to meet with an internet personality that has risen to unprecedented heights of popularity? The outspoken introvert took a sip of his wine. I had so many questions for the handsome personality; stemming from where he grew up, to what his real name is (hint: you won’t find out here), to what got him to this point of success at such a young age, to what exactly makes him tick. The unofficial (and unfiltered) spokesman of this generation’s niche of web personalities sat with me and discussed all of those things and then some, with such comedic value that I almost forgot that were conducting a formal interview.
Possessing a comedic humor, unintentionally met with sharp and witty comedic dialect, X.D. from The X.D. Experience is arguably one of the most notable pioneers to lead the way to what the internet marketplace has become in today’s digital age. X.D. started his Internet journey in 2002 on now obsolete outlets such as Easy Journal and Xanga and has since gained a significant following. The west coast transplant, who first made his blunt transition to the east coast by attending University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, transferred to Buffalo State College in Upstate, NY. The personality sees the Internet as an escape from the realities of his often taxing day job as a New York City social worker. “I recieved Applied Sociology and Social work,” said X.D. “People always wonder that, but the two lives are completely different and I like it that way.”
Following a particularly awkward breakup with an former lover in 2008, which ended with the ex ending things through a text message, X.D. attributes his inspiration for making videos to an observation he made on said person. “A few months later, around the end of May ….all of a sudden I would see him come onto my Facebook feed and see him posting videos that were rather funny. And I thought to myself, “oh I could do this shit. I’m funnier than he is!’” It’s interesting to note that while he was obviously hurt by the situation, the original video had nothing to do with vengeance. “We’re actually really good friends now,” chuckled X.D. “He’s the one I asked for help when I started making [the videos]. I just wished him a happy birthday on twitter and thanks for my starting my pathway.” After making a significant gain in popularity on Facebook, X.D. made his way over to the media sharing site, Youtube, which was just on the brink of turning into the staple that it has become today. And after the video of him dancing in a wig went viral, courtesy of fellow blogger Freshalina’s popular site Crunk + Disorderly, he saw his popularity ascend to heights far greater than anything he ever anticipated.
One might wonder – what exactly is the “The X.D. Experience” and why is everyone talking about it? It’s exactly what you think, sprinkled with a little bit of everything in between. “The X.D. Experience is an experience. Familiarity, imagery; it’s about creating the experience for the consumer. Reaching all demographics.” The front man has managed to turn his hobby into a business seemingly effortlessly, crediting it to meeting the right people and building lasting connections. “Align yourself with people that are like minded. Network with the right people and keep those connections.” says X.D. “Be genuine while you do so. People can always tell when you’re not.”
Though the success of “The X.D. Experience” brought about opportunities that he never thought possible, the creative admits that it was a hard reality for him to adjust to. “I suffer from social anxiety disorder, and it took its toll on me,” said X.D. “I had to fake it a lot of the time, but I didn’t like being in the public like that.” Serving as the apprentice to Patrik Ian Polk during the making and promotion of “The Skinny” and “Noah’s Arc” while working as social media campaign manager to New York political frontrunner Leticia James simuntaneously proved to take it’s toll on the young creative, leading to a “mini-breakdown”. “As rewarding as those opportunities were, they were challenging,” he admits. “I was more relieved than anything else when it came to an end.” All in all, it is eminent that X.D. believes in finding your niche and letting your success build, regardless of your personal anxieties.
So, what’s next for the innovator? “I’m doing speaking engagements now. And quite possibly a book,” he whispers through a laugh. “It’s still just ideas but we’ll see where it goes.” And with serving as executive producer for season 2 of the hit web series “Quarter-Century: NY”, as well as his weekly podcast “2 guys and a Girl”, there’s plenty of new frontiers to conquer. Through it all, X.D. still finds ways to uplift those around him with his inviting personality. “I always say if someone is feeling down or feels lonely in this city, hit me up and we’ll go have a drink or something.” says X.D. “There’s a lot of people here [in New York City] but it can be one of the loneliest places in the world. I’d hate for anyone to feel that way. So, let’s have a drink and talk about it I guess.”
He laughs and takes another sip of his wine, sneakily adding: “That don’t mean we’re going to be friends though…”
Be sure to follow X.D. on Twitter and check out the latest episode of his newest podcast, “2 Guys and a Girl”, as well as the very funny “Quarter Century: NY” web series below now!