Tay Zonday – the baby-faced baritone who steps away from the mic to breathe and whose ”cheesy,” racially undertoned Chocolate Rain has been seen over 25 million times – was on Ustream.tv last week. He broadcasted live from his kitchen for a couple hours, performing parlor tricks and answering an interminable barrage of questions from 500 or so chatty fans while trying to sell them T-shirts. And ringtones.

Microfame is a tough row to sow. One’s initial success can’t bear fruit forever. And if micro celebrities can’t make it rain hits, lucrative Dr. Pepper spots and television, radio, and high-profile party appearances can quickly dry up and turn into kitschy sightings at geeky conferences, or worse, irrelevance

It’s the life cycle of real fame sped up in internet time on a smaller scale. Think Gary Coleman. Or MC Hammer.

Tay knows this. He gets that he’s gotta get his money$$$$$$$$$$ while he can. That’s why he solicits his services at awards ceremonies, slings official apparel online, and does whatever he can to milk his micro stardom.

So help him out. Buy a T-shirt. I’m no critic, but the designs look decent and they might be covered in enough nerdy hipster irony to pull off.

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