Op-Ed | Notifications On

Notifications On for Keyon Elkins

Creators are ahead of the curve when it comes to viral trends and impactful cultural moments — they foster meaningful connections that resonate with audiences across the globe. Notifications On showcases the best and brightest Creators on Twitter. For this edition, we’re talking to Keyon Elkins, better known on Twitter as Hood Vogue, about authenticity, vulnerability, and the power of strong branding.

Photo of Keyon Elkins.

At first, I didn't know how to use Twitter. I came back to it in ninth grade when I saw people live-Tweeting the VMAs. I chimed in, got a lot of Likes, and gained, like, 70 followers. That made me want to stay on because I felt like people actually cared about what I had to say. I used to make a lot of skits and parody videos about pop culture moments. Now my content is more on the social commentary side, and I raise awareness about things going on around the world.

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In the beginning, I wasn't relaxed on Twitter – I guess that came with maturity. I thought all of my opinions on music, TV shows, and even just Tweeting about the VMAs were right. I'm a little bit more reserved now, and I actually listen to people and what they’ve got to say. 


During my sophomore year of high school, I [made] Hood Vogue my screen name, and though I’ve considered changing it, but it's my brand now, so it’s hard. I Tweeted about changing it [recently] and people was like, “No Keyon, don't do it!” and now I'm too scared to change it.


Recently, I created my TikTok, and I talk about what I Tweet about. People will be in my comments, like, “Oh my god you stole that from Twitter”, but I'm the one that Tweeted it! That's when I really knew my Twitter platform is actually kind of something.

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What’s cool is that Zendaya follows me on Twitter, and she’s the sweetest person ever. She was in “Malcolm and Marie,” and I was really excited for that, so she DM’d me and [offered me] a link to see an early viewing of the movie. Seth Rogen follows me on Twitter, too, and he's hilarious. One day, I Tweeted about my English professor looking and sounding like Seth Rogen, and he interacted with that Tweet. People like Chloe and Halle I appreciate, and Bree Runway and Normani, I love those people, and they all follow me, too.


These Creators are some of my favorite follows: Tasneem is the artist that drew my Twitter avi. Shaniah is a makeup artist, but she's also just really, really funny. As Told By Kenya and Amanda do social commentary, so I recommend people to follow them. I follow a lot of writers — Written by HannaClarkisha Kent. Writers are some of the best people on Twitter.

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Currently, I’m studying accounting [at college], and I’m also working on music and songwriting. I’ve been writing songs since I was in eighth grade. Those songs I wrote back then are terrible, but now my songwriting skills are so much better. I don't know if I will, but I hope to release one song later this year. Don't be scared to create what you want to create, because [Twitter is] a place for everybody. That was one of the main reasons why I was scared to create at first, because I felt like people probably weren't going to like what I say or what I do, but the second I started having that “who cares?” mindset, it got better. 


I feel like I can be more vulnerable and transparent [on Twitter], and because of that, my connection with the people that follow me is stronger. I feel like I can't be that type of way on different apps. People on Twitter know life isn't always easy, and because I can get on Twitter and be myself, I can show my personality to the fullest extent. I feel like that's very, very unique. The good thing about Twitter is that you can have, like, 1,000 followers and still prosper and get viral Tweets, and you can use those hit Tweets for your business or to promote what you want to promote. Anybody can put their work out there and actually shine.

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Notifications On

Hear more from the best and brightest creators on Twitter in the Notifications On collection.