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Theneedledrop has more than One Million Subscribers
Theneedledrop is a Musician
Theneedledrop is a Commentator
Theneedledrop is a Reviewer
Theneedledrop is from the United States
Theneedledrop is male
Theneedledrop created their account in 2009
Theneedledrop is a Content Creator on YouTube

Hi everyone, __thony ___tano here, the internet's busiest music nerd.

―theneedledrop's intro

Anthony Fantano (born October 28, 1985 (1985-10-28) [age 36]), better known online as theneedledrop, is an American YouTuber and music critic and self-described as "the internet's busiest music nerd". Fantano examines "rock, pop, electronic, metal, hip hop and experimental music" via video and audio reviews. The blog started in the fall of 2007, with video reviews beginning in February 2009. The blog reviews albums and does a weekly roundup of singles released that week.

His reviews occasionally contain brief skits, usually involving his alter ego Cal Chuchesta, a musically oblivious man portrayed as Fantano's roommate. He also runs a second channel simply named fantano where he does track reviews, discusses industry news, and more varied but still music related content, and used to also run the now-terminated thatistheplan, a light-hearted channel where he reviewed and discussed the latest memes and parodied internet culture.

The channel was voted as September 2011's On The Rise contest winner, a program by YouTube. In October 2011, Fantano won the Beyond the Blog award at the MTV O Music Awards.

Anthony Fantano

Early life

Fantano grew up in Connecticut and spent his teenage years in Wolcott. As a child he had a desire to become a cartoonist, stating he was a fan of The Simpsons and that he still enjoys cartoons from today such as Adventure Time and Regular Show.

Fantano was introduced to independent music in the early 2000s which eventually influenced him to start The Needle Drop. He has said, "I had a friend of mine on Livejournal–lol, I know–back in the early 00s who used to do these long writeups about certain artists and she turned me on to a few that were pretty great. It made me want to do the same, share the musical experience on the internet. It didn’t really turn into "reviews" until I tried doing YouTube in 2009, which I only did as an experiment because my blog and podcast were making much traction at the time."

Fantano attended Southern Connecticut State University where he studied political science and journalism.

Fantano at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut in 2010


Fantano started his career in the mid-2000s as a music director for the Southern Connecticut State University college radio station. He stated, "I've always loved music, but working there got me turned into a lot of different styles, and got me pushing my tastes into different areas".

In 2007, Fantano started working at Connecticut Public Radio in which he hosted The Needle Drop. That same year, Fantano also launched The Needle Drop in text reviews, eventually starting as video reviews in 2009. Fantano, at the time, was working on The Needle Drop, at the college radio station, and at a pizza restaurant. In late 2011, Fantano decided to pursue The Needle Drop full-time.

In 2011, Fantano was interviewed at SXSW about the rise of music vlogging, along with Matt Galloway of the Rock It Out! Blog, and Michael Roffman, president and editor-in-chief of Consequence of Sound. In March 2011, he was featured in an article from The Guardian also about the rise of music vlogging.

The Needle Drop

The blog The Needle Drop is a spin-off of a WNPR show of the same name.

A recurring character on The Needle Drop is Anthony Fantano's fictional musically oblivious and socially awkward roommate, Cal Chuchesta. Fantano, as Chuchesta, released a comedic mixtape, The New CALassic, on August 18, 2015, as a free digital download. Fantano later reviewed the mixtape on August 19, 2015, and rated it a light 3. At the end of the review Chuchesta took over the show in a fit of anger and claimed that Fantano had agreed to give the mixtape a 10 off camera. However, Fantano's rating still stands.

On his second channel, Fantano will occasionally upload interviews of musicians or notable people in the music industry that would be held live on his Twitch. He has interviewed musicians such as Brockhampton, Rebecca Black, and Oliver Tree.


Created in 2016, thatistheplan was dedicated to all things memes and internet culture. He would interview many online meme figures such as Soph and Sam Hyde. Fantano started this channel as a parody to Behind The Meme. It is in this channel where Meme Review was born.

The channel had a decent run getting the attention of /pol/ until it was deleted in 2017 by Fantano himself after constant demonitization and a hit piece by The Fader describing him as alt-right. He then denounced Soph in 2019 as well as his former editor after his Christchurch comments. Sam Hyde would frequently troll him online afterwards.

Personal life

Fantano lives in Plainville, Connecticut. He is three-quarters French Canadian and a quarter Sicilian. Fantano is a vegan, having grown into the diet since becoming vegetarian around 18–19. He is married.

Notable reviews and ratings

Rating system

The blog rates albums and tracks on a scale from 0 to 10, with an accompanying adjective – either "light", "decent", or "strong" – for further qualification of its score. Occasionally he will do parody reviews of albums such as I'm Gay (I'm Happy) by Lil B, Born This Way by Lady Gaga, Unknown Death 2002 by Yung Lean, Mastermind by Rick Ross, Dark Sky Paradise by Big Sean, August 26 by Post Malone, Ether by B.o.B, Gold Cobra and Still Sucks by Limp Bizkit and Sketches of Brunswick East by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. For an April Fools joke, he released two separate reviews of All Love's Legal by Planningtorock, one giving it a 0/10 and one giving it a 10/10. His actual rating for the album is unknown.

Discounting parody/joke reviews, Fantano has only given seven perfect 10/10 ratings and four 0/10 ratings in his career so far (seen in the tables below). The rapper Kid Cudi is the only artist to have received both of these ratings from Fantano, having earned a 0/10 on his 2015 album Speedin' Bullet 2 Heaven, followed later by a 10/10 on the 2018 album Kids See Ghosts from the eponymous musical duo comprised of Cudi himself and Kanye West.

In July 2016, a new rating dubbed "Not Good" was introduced, which is not based on a numeric score and is assigned to albums which Fantano does not feel like giving a proper negative review on. The first album to receive the rating was Desiigner's New English. He also did a near-unedited 50-minute "Not Good" review of Angelic 2 the Core by Corey Feldman, in which he dubbed the album the worst of 2016.

In February 2021, another new rating dubbed "Not Bad" was introduced. Like the "Not Good" segment, it is not based on a numeric score and is assigned to albums which Fantano feels are underrated but does not want to give a formal review on. Initially suggested by a tweet on Fantano's "Let's Argue" segment on his side channel fantano, the first album to receive the rating was Steven Wilson's The Future Bites.

Additionally, Fantano also reviews albums that are considered "classic" music releases. These are reviewed without a rating on during a yearly segment known as Classics Week.

Modern albums with a perfect rating (10/10)

Year Artist Album Nation
2012 Death Grips The Money Store United States
2014 Swans To Be Kind United States
2015 Kendrick Lamar To Pimp a Butterfly United States
2018 Kids See Ghosts Kids See Ghosts United States
2018 Daughters You Won't Get What You Want United States
2021 Spellling The Turning Wheel United States
2021 Lingua Ignota SINNER GET READY United States

Albums with a score of 0 (not including "NOT GOOD")

Year Artist Album Nation
2015 Kid Cudi Speedin' Bullet 2 Heaven United States
2019 Chance the Rapper The Big Day United States
2020 Green Day Father of All... United States
2021 Tones and I Welcome to the Madhouse Australia


Album of the Year (2009–)

Year Artist Album Nation
2009 Fever Ray Fever Ray Sweden
2010 LCD Soundsystem This Is Happening United States
2011 Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues United States
2012 Death Grips The Money Store United States
2013 Tim Hecker Virgins Canada
2014 Swans To Be Kind United States
2015 Kendrick Lamar To Pimp a Butterfly United States
2016 Danny Brown Atrocity Exhibition United States
2017 Father John Misty Pure Comedy United States
2018 Daughters You Won't Get What You Want United States
2019 Charli XCX Charli United Kingdom
2020 Jessie Ware What's Your Pleasure? United Kingdom
2021 Spellling The Turning Wheel United States

EP of the Year (2010–)

Year Artist EP Nation
2010 The Tallest Man on Earth Sometimes the Blues Is Just a Passing Bird Sweden
2011 Nicolas Jaar Don't Break My Love United States
2012 TNGHT TNGHT Canada
United Kingdom
2013 Milo Things That Happen At Day United States
2014 Girl Talk and Freeway Broken Ankles United States
2015 FKA Twigs M3LL155X United Kingdom
2016 Charli XCX Vroom Vroom United Kingdom
2017 Rina Sawayama RINA United Kingdom
2018 Aphex Twin Collapse United Kingdom
2019 Kero Kero Bonito Civilization I United Kingdom
2020 Tkay Maidza

Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 2

2021 Rachel Chinouriri Fourº in Winter United Kingdom

Single of the Year (2010–)

Year Artist Single Nation
2010 LCD Soundsystem "I Can Change" United States
2011 Fleet Foxes "Helplessness Blues" United States
2012 Death Grips "The Fever (Aye Aye)" United States
2013 The Knife "A Tooth for an Eye" Sweden
2014 Liars "Mess on a Mission" United States
2015 Kendrick Lamar "The Blacker the Berry" United States
2016 David Bowie "Blackstar" United Kingdom
2017 Father John Misty "Pure Comedy" United States
2018 Childish Gambino "This Is America" United States
2019 Alex Cameron "Far From Born Again" Australia
2020 Mac Miller "Good News" United States
2021 Little Simz "Introvert" United Kingdom

Worst Album of the Year (2015–)

Year Artist Album Nation
2015 Kid Cudi Speedin' Bullet 2 Heaven United States
2016 Corey Feldman Angelic 2 the Core United States
2017 XXXTentacion 17 United States
2018 Lil Xan Total Xanarchy United States

Doug Walker

Nostalgia Critic's The Wall United States
2020 Tory Lanez Daystar Canada
2021 Tones and I Welcome to the Madhouse Australia

Worst Song of the Year (2016–)

Year Artist Song
2016 Le Tigre "I'm With Her"
2017 Hopsin "Happy Ending"
2018 Tom MacDonald "Whiteboy"
2019 Lil Dicky "Earth"
2020 Justin Bieber "Yummy (Country Remix)" (ft. Florida Georgia Line)
2021 Corey Feldman "Rockin' Revolution"

Music Video of the Year (2010–2014)

Year Artist Music Video
2010 HEALTH "We Are Water"
2011 Macklemore & Ryan Lewis "Wing$"
2012 Dinosaur Jr. "Watch the Corners"
2013 Arcade Fire "Reflektor"
2014 Flying Lotus "Ready err Not"

Album of the Decade (2010-2019)

Year Artist Album Nation
2015 Kendrick Lamar To Pimp a Butterfly United States

Song of the Decade (2010-2019)

Year Artist Song Nation
2012 Death Grips "Hacker" United States

Worst Album of the Decade (2010-2019)

Year Artist Album Nation
2016 Corey Feldman Angelic 2 the Core United States

Worst Song of the Decade (2010–2019)

Year Artist Song
2017 Hopsin "Happy Ending"


  • There are multiple running gags among Fantano's fanbase, which include, but are not limited to;
    • Controversial album reviews (most notably him giving a 6/10 to Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy). He has put "Y'all know this is just my opinion, right?" in his video descriptions partially due to this.
      • The infamous review also started the trend of comments about Fantano being racist to all other people.
    • Veganism
    • Being portrayed as a Ridge wallet salesman
    • Artists dying/being targeted after being given negative scores by Fantano
    • The Best Teeth in the Game
    • His love of Death Grips
    • Being affectionately referred to as "Melon" by his fans due to his bald head, though it originated from an insult from a musical artist that Fantano gave him a score the artist didn't agree with.
    • His comments often over exaggerating his opinions on albums, usually following the format of "Melon, I understand you didn't like the album but did you really have to say ..." followed by an outrageous claim, such as that Japan should be nuked a third time due to Pink Guy's Pink Season.
    • "Upworthy link", a misheard phrase in his outro which is meant to say "up or the link".