Anthony Fantano

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Anthony Fantano
The Needle Drop (2010) (cropped).jpg
Personal information
Born (1985-10-28) October 28, 1985 (age 32)
Wolcott, Connecticut,
United States
Nationality American
Occupation Music journalist
YouTube information
Also known as Cal Chuchesta[1]
Years active 2007–present
Subscribers 1.41 million+
Total views 338 million+
  • "The Internet's Busiest Music Nerd"
  • "The best teeth in the game"
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2012
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2017
The Needle Drop
Type of site
Music reviewing
Available in English
Created by Anthony Fantano
Alexa rank Increase 51,991 (May 2018)[4]
Commercial Yes
Launched 2007; 11 years ago (2007)
Current status Active
Subscriber and view counts updated as of May 8, 2018.

Anthony Fantano (/fænˈtæn/; born October 28, 1985) is an American music critic, video producer, and journalist best known for creating The Needle Drop, a music-related video blog. He is self-described as "the internet's busiest music nerd".[5]

Fantano's website and YouTube channel review a variety of music genres, including hip hop, rock, metal, indie, electronic music and experimental. In 2011, his channel won the Beyond the Blog award at the MTV O Music Awards.[6]

Early life[edit]

Fantano grew up in Connecticut and spent his teenage years in Wolcott.[7] 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.[8]

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 weren't making much traction at the time."[citation needed]


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".[9] In 2007, Fantano started working at Connecticut Public Radio in which he hosted The Needle Drop.[10] That same year, he launched The Needle Drop in text reviews, eventually starting as video reviews in 2009. At the time, he was working on The Needle Drop at the college radio station, as well as at a pizza restaurant. In late 2011, he decided to pursue The Needle Drop full-time.[9][11]

He was interviewed at SXSW in 2011 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.[12] In March 2011, he was featured in an article from The Guardian also about the rise of music vlogging.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Fantano lives in Middletown, Connecticut. He is a vegan, having grown into the diet since becoming vegetarian around 18–19.[9] He is married.[7]

Reviews and ratings[edit]

Fantano 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,[‡ 1] Born This Way by Lady Gaga,[‡ 2] Unknown Death 2002 by Yung Lean,[‡ 3] Mastermind by Rick Ross,[‡ 4] Dark Sky Paradise by Big Sean,[‡ 5] August 26 by Post Malone,[‡ 6] Ether by B.o.B,[‡ 7] Gold Cobra by Limp Bizkit,[‡ 8] and Sketches of Brunswick East by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.[‡ 9] Fantano has only given three perfect 10/10 ratings in his reviews so far (The Money Store by Death Grips, To Be Kind by Swans, and To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar). Additionally, Fantano will also review albums that are considered "classic" music releases. These are reviewed without a rating during a yearly segment known as Classics Week.

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.[‡ 10] The first album to receive the rating was Desiigner's New English.[‡ 11] 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.[‡ 12]


Needle Drop won the 2011 O Music Awards in the "Beyond the Blog" category.[14][third-party source needed]



  • Anthony FanFiction Vol.1 (2015)
  • The New CALassic (2015, as Cal Chuchesta)


  • Cal 2 B (2013, as Cal Chuchesta)
  • Mykey Come Back (2015, as Cal Chuchesta)
  • Cal Chuchesta Feat. Pink Guy & NFKRZ - Panda (Remix) (2016, as Cal Chuchesta)
  • Coin Star (2018, as Cal Chuchesta)
  • Don't Talk To Me Feat. Fellatia Geisha (2018, as Cal Chuchesta)
  • Slap Chop (2018, as Cal Chuchesta)
  • On Deck Freestyle (2018, as Cal Chuchesta)


  • $CALxTAPExONE$ (2013, as Cal Chuchesta)
  • ∆CALxTAPExTWO∆ (2013, as Cal Chuchesta)
  • #CALxTAPExTHREE# (2013, as Cal Chuchesta)


  1. ^ "Interview: Anthony Fantano (The Needle Drop)". The Mancunion. Retrieved 4 May 2018. 
  2. ^ thatistheplan (2017-10-03), terminated, retrieved 2017-10-22 
  3. ^ "A Primer On The Almighty Shitstorm Surrounding The Needle Drop's Anthony Fantano". Junkee Media. Retrieved 2 May 2018. 
  4. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved April 23, 2018. 
  5. ^ Veronin, Nick. "The Hardest Working Critic in Show Business Never Stops Hunting for New Music"., February 18, 2014
  6. ^ "New Music Videos, Reality TV Shows, Celebrity News, Pop Culture – MTV". 
  7. ^ a b Gordon, Jeremy (November 30, 2016). "How Anthony Fantano, aka The Needle Drop, Became Today's Most Successful Music Critic | SPIN". Spin. Retrieved December 22, 2016. 
  8. ^ (I)NTERVIEW: Anthony Fantano. YouTube. January 15, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c Elabbady, Ali (October 30, 2013). "Interview: Anthony Fantano of The Needle Drop". Green Room. United States. Archived from the original on May 26, 2014. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Anthony Chuchesta Wants to Turn You On". Consequence of Sound. October 9, 2014. Retrieved September 4, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Interview at SXSW". 
  13. ^ Jonze, Tim (March 18, 2011). "SXSW 2011: The rise of the music vlogger". London. Retrieved September 4, 2017. 
  14. ^ "O Music Awards Take Over Halloween's Largest Street Party". MTV News (Press release). 1 November 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2018. 

Primary sources[edit]

In the text these references are preceded by a double dagger (‡):

  1. ^ "Lil B- I'm Gay (I'm Happy) ALBUM REVIEW". The Needle Drop. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Lady Gaga- Born This Way ALBUM REVIEW". The Needle Drop. May 24, 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  3. ^ "Yung Lean – Unknown Death 2002 MIXTAPE REVIEW". The Needle Drop. July 17, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  4. ^ Rick Ross – Mastermind ALBUM REVIEW. YouTube. March 9, 2014. 
  5. ^ Big Sean – Dark Sky Paradise ALBUM REVIEW. YouTube. February 24, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Post Malone – August 26th MIXTAPE REVIEW". The Needle Drop. Retrieved May 16, 2016. 
  7. ^ "B.o.B – Ether ALBUM REVIEW". The Needle Drop. Retrieved May 20, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Limp Bizkit – Gold Cobra ALBUM REVIEW". The Needle Drop. Retrieved July 18, 2016. 
  9. ^ "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard w/ Mild High Club – Sketches of Brunswick East ALBUM REVIEW". The Needle Drop. Retrieved August 25, 2017. 
  10. ^ "NOT GOOD". The Needle Drop. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Desiigner's New English: NOT GOOD". The Needle Drop. Retrieved August 7, 2016. 
  12. ^ "THE WORST ALBUM OF 2016 (Corey Feldman's Angelic 2 the Core) [NOT GOOD]". The Needle Drop. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 

External links[edit]