Medical student becomes TikTok star for her 'awkward black girl anthem' – Upworthy

For Isimeme Udu, aka Hemlocke Springs, creating catchy beats that would take on a life of their own was never part of the Ivy League college plan. But here we are.
From med student to TikTok pop star.
Sometimes, life takes us on unexpected detours. One day you follow an impulse and suddenly you have a brand new purpose.
Such was the case for Isimeme Udu (who also goes by Naomi), who not only managed to become an overnight musical success on TikTok, she did it while pursuing a Master of Science degree from Dartmouth College.

Right now, Udu has more than 235,000 loyal followers on TikTok, something she didn’t exactly anticipate as a full-time medical student. But immediately after releasing the bridge of her then upcoming single “girlfriend,” the video amassed a million views, was used in more than 60,000 subsequent TikToks and even got the attention of Khalid, who can be seen bopping along to the catchy tune. And since the song’s release on Nov 2, it has racked up more than 9 million streams on Spotify.

Listen below, and tell me that’s not an earworm.

@hemlockesprings every time I listen to this song, I wonder was I truly sober..girlfriend comes out this Wednesday, november 2nd! Presave link in bio! Thank you so much evryone! #hemlockesprings#presavemysingle#newindiemusic2022#newindie#newmusic#music#fyp#fyppppppppppppppppppppppp♬ girlfriend – Hemlocke Springs

The song has on more than one occasion been called an “awkward Black girl anthem” by listeners, and Udu herself has become a role model for Black women who want to let their weirdness shine.

It has also been lovingly embraced by people on the autism spectrum, who find ecstatic release in the ultra funky beat.

@rainbowlight77711 @hemlockesprings ♬ original sound – Hemlocke Springs

Udu didn’t expect anyone to even listen to “girlfriend,” much less for it to achieve such overwhelming success. She shared in an interview with People that she would previously post a song onto her SoundCloud, then ”remove it literally one minute later." Making secret music became a habit for seven years.

When she finally decided to keep her songs up, she released a song called “gimme all ur luv,” which also caught celebrity attention from the likes of Bella Hadid and Grimes. No easy task, given the huge amount of content from aspiring artists on the platform.

@babybella777

The sandwich mentioned :

♬ gimme all ur luv – Hemlocke Springs

Though it wasn’t part of the plan, Udu is embracing her seemingly destined career as an artist. She shared with People that she has since finished out a “hellish” final semester at Dartmouth, but fully switched gears for the time being. She has signed with a record label, is working on an album and hopes to perform live one day. "I've been practicing in my room with a hairbrush," she quipped.

Hemlocke Springs, of course, isn’t the only artist to find unexpected fame on TikTok. Though the platform making music more accessible has some potential drawbacks—especially when the need for constant output and hacking the algorithm supersedes quality—it has undeniably helped people express themselves in ways that might defer from the traditional or mainstream. I mean, would this music or “goblin metal” or musical mashups of cat noises have been as widely embraced only a few years ago? I think not. And it’s a good thing that we are celebrating uniqueness. Clearly, it means a lot to a lot of people.

Also, if you’ve been looking for a sign that you should actually pursue your own weird passions—be it music or art or some kind of avant-garde gardening—this is it.

Right now, Udu has more than 235,000 loyal followers on TikTok, something she didn’t exactly anticipate as a full-time medical student. But immediately after releasing the bridge of her then upcoming single “girlfriend,” the video amassed a million views, was used in more than 60,000 subsequent TikToks and even got the attention of Khalid, who can be seen bopping along to the catchy tune. And since the song’s release on Nov 2, it has racked up more than 9 million streams on Spotify.
Listen below, and tell me that’s not an earworm.
The song has on more than one occasion been called an “awkward Black girl anthem” by listeners, and Udu herself has become a role model for Black women who want to let their weirdness shine.
It has also been lovingly embraced by people on the autism spectrum, who find ecstatic release in the ultra funky beat.
Udu didn’t expect anyone to even listen to “girlfriend,” much less for it to achieve such overwhelming success. She shared in an interview with People that she would previously post a song onto her SoundCloud, then ”remove it literally one minute later." Making secret music became a habit for seven years.
When she finally decided to keep her songs up, she released a song called “gimme all ur luv,” which also caught celebrity attention from the likes of Bella Hadid and Grimes. No easy task, given the huge amount of content from aspiring artists on the platform.
The sandwich mentioned :
Though it wasn’t part of the plan, Udu is embracing her seemingly destined career as an artist. She shared with People that she has since finished out a “hellish” final semester at Dartmouth, but fully switched gears for the time being. She has signed with a record label, is working on an album and hopes to perform live one day. "I've been practicing in my room with a hairbrush," she quipped.
Hemlocke Springs, of course, isn’t the only artist to find unexpected fame on TikTok. Though the platform making music more accessible has some potential drawbacks—especially when the need for constant output and hacking the algorithm supersedes quality—it has undeniably helped people express themselves in ways that might defer from the traditional or mainstream. I mean, would this music or “goblin metal” or musical mashups of cat noises have been as widely embraced only a few years ago? I think not. And it’s a good thing that we are celebrating uniqueness. Clearly, it means a lot to a lot of people.
Also, if you’ve been looking for a sign that you should actually pursue your own weird passions—be it music or art or some kind of avant-garde gardening—this is it.
Tyler Adams’s response proves exactly why he’s the captain of the US soccer team.
Tyler Adams expertly handles Iranian reporter's question
Reporters are supposed to ask the right questions to get to the truth but sometimes it seems sports reporters ask questions to throw you off your game. There's no doubt that this Iranian reporter who was questioning Tyler Adams, the US soccer team captain at the press conference during the World Cup had an agenda that didn't involve getting to the truth.
It's not clear if the questions were designed to throw the young player off of his game or if the goal was embarrassment. It really is hard to tell, but Adams handled the unexpectedly harsh encounter with intelligence and poise when some may have found it justified for him to get angry.
The World Cup is being played in Qatar and Iran's soccer team is in attendance. There have been reports that the Iranian players were threatened with their family members facing "violence and torture" after the team refused to sing the Iranian national anthem. But there was tension with the Iranian government and the American players after the US soccer team displayed the Iranian flag without the Iranian Republic emblem.
Maybe the flag mishap spurred the reporters loaded questions. When the Iranian reporter first addresses Adams, he immediately chastises him for not knowing the correct pronunciation of Iran before moving on to an interesting question choice.
The reporter asked Adams, "are you ok to be representing a country that has so much discrimination against Black people in its own boarders and you saw the Black Lives Matter Movement over the past few years. Are you OK the US meanwhile there's so much discrimination happening against Black people in America"
Adams, did not get defensive about the correction but responded by apologizing about mispronouncing the name of the country. The player's response to the rest of the question proves the young captain's emotional maturity and why he's captain of the US soccer team.
Watch his entire response below:
'Life shouldn't be this hard.'
Teen raises $186,000 to help Walmart worker retire.
In America, many people have to work well past the age of retirement to make ends meet. While some of these people choose to work past retirement age because it keeps them active, some older people, like Nola Carpenter, 81, work out of necessity.
Carpenter has been working at Walmart for 20 years, way beyond most people's retirement age just so that she can afford to continue to pay her mortgage. When 19-year-old Devan Bonagura saw the woman looking tired in the break room of the store, he posted a video to his TikTok of Carpenter with a text overlay that said, "Life shouldn't b this hard…" complete with a sad face emoji.
In the video, Carpenter is sitting at a small table looking down and appearing to be exhausted. The caption of the video reads ":/ I feel bad." Turns out, a lot of other people did too, and encouraged the teen to start a GoFundMe, which has since completed.
The retirement age in the United States in order to collect Social Security benefits is 66, or 67 if you were born in or after 1960. But early retirement starts at 62 for reduced benefits. How many years you worked is a deciding factor in how much financial benefit you will receive from Social Security, with the average amount expected to be $1,827 a month in January 2023.
WE LOVE YOU NOLA I HOPE THIS HELPS❤️? #blowthisup #fyp #gofundme #nola #walmart #viralvideo
While that amount of money is nothing to scoff at, it's also not enough to live off of alone, especially for those who fall below the average amount. You also have to factor in Medicare premiums and tax withholdings that must come out of that figure. So it's no wonder that people over the age of 67 have to continue to work if they don't have adequate savings put away to retire on. The cost of living increases impact all age groups, including the elderly.
Thankfully for this elderly Walmart worker, the GoFundMe quickly exploded and raised $110,000 in just 24 hours. But when Bonagura went to give the money to Carpenter, she was grateful for the help but explained she would still need to work until the other $60,000 of her mortgage was paid off. This prompted users to give more to secure Carpenter's retirement.
In the end, the GoFundMe raised $186,000, which was enough to pay off the mortgage on the woman's house. Retirement is now on the horizon for the grandmother, who says she's set to retire on the first of the year. She wants to make sure she helps her co-workers get through the holiday season before hanging up her vest for good.
Update video with Nola ❤️ #nola #dbon #gofundme #viral #blowthisup #love #kindness #givingback
As for Bonagura, he's currently suspended with pay due to him filming at the store and posting it to TikTok. While he wasn't an employee of Walmart, he worked for a cellphone carrier that operated sales inside the store. Nevertheless, Bonagura feels he did the right thing and is focused solely on making sure Carpenter gets to retire.
It's amazing what people can accomplish when they work together. Happy retirement, Nola! Here's to hoping you enjoy every minute of it.
This article originally appeared on 07.22.21

As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.
Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts shared the story on its Facebook page, in what they called "a first" for their animal hospital.

"We often have people ask if they can visit the patients they dropped off, but today we had our first animal visitor!" they wrote. "For the safety of our patients we do not accommodate visitation requests, but in this case we had to make an exception!"
Arnold is a Canada goose that lives on a pond near the facility and is part of a mated pair of wild geese that have been together for several years. The center said the geese usually keep to themselves, but one of their staff noticed that Arnold was walking with a "significant limp" and kept falling over. They were able to capture him and bring him into the hospital for examination.

A goose visits its mate at the Cape Wildlife Center
Image Via Cape Wildlife Center/Facebook
"Upon exam our veterinary team found that he had two open-fractures on his foot," they wrote. "This means that the tissue and skin has been pulled away leaving the bone exposed. Our best guess is that a Snapping turtle or other predator attacked him while swimming."
To save his foot and help him survive, the staff knew they had to amputate one of the digits and suture the other wound closed. They gave him antibiotics and pain meds and prepped him for surgery the following morning.
Then his mate came knocking.
"Today, as we prepared to sedate Arnold and get him ready for surgery, we heard a faint tapping at the clinic door," the center wrote. "We turned to see that his mate had waddled up onto the porch and was attempting to break into our clinic! She had somehow located him and was agitated that she could not get inside. She remained there throughout the entire procedure, watching us work, never moving from the doorway."

Aww.
Surgery went well, and once Arnold woke up the staff decided to let him recover by the doorway so he and his mate could see each other.
"We opened the door and gave Arnold his flow-by oxygen in the doorway. His mate immediately calmed down and began to groom him through the door. They both seemed much more at ease in each other's presence."
AWWWW.
"Arnold will likely need several weeks of treatment in our hospital before he is ready to rejoin his mate in the wild," they added. "He will need to be kept inside for the majority of this time in order to keep his wound sterile and prevent infection. We will do our best to get him back out quickly and will perform bandage changes and treatments in view of the doorway when possible so that his mate can check up on him. ❤️"
While attempting not to anthropomorphize too much, it's so sweet to see animal partners show such genuine care for one another. Canada geese mate for life, and they are known to mourn in seclusion when they lose a mate. Seeing Arnold's mate coming to find him and comfort him during his treatment is just too lovely.
Feel good story of the day, indeed. Wishing you a speedy recovery, Arnold!

'Audiobooks have helped me regain a part of myself I worried was lost. Let people read however they can.'
Let people read however they can.
Not too long ago, it seemed like you could only be loyal to one team—team “physical books” or team “e-readers.” There was no neutral territory.
That debate might have dwindled, but it echoes on as people take a stand on physical books versus audiobooks, which have become increasingly popular—nearly half of all Americans currently pay for an audio content subscription, and the average adult in the U.S. listens to digital audio for a little over an hour and a half each day, 28% of that being spoken word. Audiobooks had a particularly big surge during the COVID-19 pandemic, as listeners found the activity more comforting and satisfying than a regular book while under quarantine.
You’d think that the general mindset would be “reading in any form has great benefits, so do whatever you want!” But alas, humans do find odd hills to die on.
Ashley Woodfolk might know a thing or two about books, being a writer herself, but it's her perspective as a mom that really offers some fresh insight into why audiobooks and traditional books are not mortal enemies.
I listened to 30 audiobooks this year. Post-baby, I NEVER thought I'd be able to get through as many books as I used to before I became a mom.

Accessibility is so important. Audiobooks have helped me regain a part of myself I worried was lost.
Let people read however they can.
“Accessibility is so important,” her post concluded. “Audiobooks have helped me regain a part of myself I worried was lost. Let people read however they can.”
Woodfolk was clearly not the only one to feel this way, as her tweet was met with an overwhelming positive response from people who could relate.
“Audiobooks helped me survive as a mom. Hard nights, never ending bedtimes, depression and feeling completely overwhelmed. These helped me hold something for myself and regain some peace,” wrote one mom.
Another added, “Yes, this! After my first was born I read like 10 books a year for 6 years (after reading 2 a week for the previous, I dunno, 15?). And then with my second, I fell in love with audiobooks and everything changed.”
One person suggested that audiobooks should be more widely embraced for children too, saying, “My kids will listen to audiobooks on road trips or when doing puzzles, and it’s increased their vocabulary and fluency so much!”
Several others shared how audiobooks were a godsend when it came to long commutes. One person commented, “My only alone time is my work commute. If I couldn't do audiobooks, I couldn't read!”
Someone even illustrated how audiobooks actually bring us back to perhaps an even more natural way of enjoying stories, saying, “Stories started around campfires being TOLD,” and adding that “Socrates thought writing things down was a lazy person's way to escape having to use their memory.”
Sure, there’s no feeling quite like a book in your hand. Books have that magical paper smell and turning pages can be heavenly. Even I call Barnes and Noble my happy place. But truly, an even greater feeling is actually being able to consume a great story start-to-finish or gain valuable insights that you might have otherwise been oblivious to. It’s good for the brain and it’s good for the soul. As Woodfolk put it, “Let people read however they can.” What really matters is that we are met where we are, and having access to that which fulfills and nourishes us.

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