Born In: Chicago, Illinois, United States
KING VADER is the online alias of American comedian and social media influencer Dominique Barrett, who is also known as “Hood Naruto” thanks to the popularity of his series based on the anime character. He is one of few Black content creators who gained popularity on social media for their viral anime-based comedy videos. Starting on Vine, he expanded his fan base to platforms like Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. He moved beyond social media with his collaboration with Netflix as an actor and director on the short film series Netflix Dreams. Furthermore, he did an advertisement for Google Pixel and modeled for a Naruto-inspired clothing range from Team Liquid. Apart from 2.7 million subscribers on YouTube, he has 1.5 million followers on Instagram and 4 million fans on TikTok.
Also Known As: Dominique Barrett
Born Country: United States
KING VADER became interested in acting and filming following his older cousin, who is now his manager, when he was only ten years old. Also as a child, he fell in love with anime after watching the Dragon Ball Z: Broly movie with his older brother. He began creating short funny videos for the now-defunct looping video platform Vine in July 2013. While he steadily gained popularity on the platform thanks to his sense of humor and comic timing, it is once he began combining his passion for acting with his love for anime during the mid-2010s that his fan base exploded. For instance, in 2016, he uploaded a Naruto-inspired video in which a kid warns a bully that his father is the “Hokage of the hidden leaf village” and another in which a group of friends are threatened to dance at gunpoint. Both the videos hit millions of loops and he had amassed over half a million fans on the platform by the time Twitter announced in October 2016 that Vine will be shut down.
Shortly after Vine was shut down, KING VADER transitioned to other platforms like Instagram and YouTube. In February 2017, he posted the first of his multi-part anime video series “Hood Naruto”, which immediately earned him recognition on the platform. He followed it up with a second part in May that year and a third in March 2018, which was uploaded on his YouTube channel and became his biggest hit to date. It showed an epic dance battle between two teams led by VADER as Naruto and fellow social media star Dan Nguyen as Sasuke, featuring a number of viral dances set to a trap remix of “Strong and Strike” from the Naruto: Original Soundtrack. The third part has garnered over 29 million views to date, while the fourth part to the series, released in July 2018, has gained more than 21 million views. In a way, VADER had predicted his rise in 2018 in the last video he had uploaded to his channel the previous year to recap his success in 2017, writing “2018 isn't ready for what i'm about to do.” He lived up to his promise and grew his channel exponentially in the following years. The best thing about his success, compared to several other more successful YouTubers, is that he does not rely on drama or rivalries to get clicks on his videos. Instead, he focuses on the quality of his content and maintains friendly relationship with fellow influencers who often appear in his videos as collaborators. His group of influencers and comedians has a separate YouTube channel called “WOLF GRAPHIC”.
KING VADER, who once successfully transitioned from Vine to Instagram and YouTube, is now going through another huge transition as he collaborates with big companies like Netflix and Google. In 2019, he premiered Hood Naruto: The Movie at Crunchyroll Expo and his Avengers: Endgame parody at the LA Comic-Con. Shortly after, he caught the attention of Google and made a sponsored advertisement for Google Pixel titled “THEY LAUGHED AT MY SUPERPOWERS”. Then in 2020, he bagged a deal from Netflix to create a miniseries for their YouTube Channel called Netflix Dreams, which turned out to be a huge opportunity for the young creator. He directed and acted in a series of videos poking fun at hit Netflix original series such as The Umbrella Academy, Cobra Kai, Army of the Dead and The Witcher.
KING VADER was born as Dominique Barrett on April 18, 1997, in Chicago, Illinois, United States. While not much is known about his family, he has two brothers. His online alias was inspired by the character of Darth Vader from the Star Wars franchise and his favorite Vine creator King Bach. Even though most of his videos reinterpret anime fighting sequences as choreographed dance battles, he does not consider himself a dancer.
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