They don’t spit fire, they spit water

February 6, 2017 — by Austin Wang and Alex Yang

Young singers make fools of themselves online

For the past few months, there has been an unprecedented rise in the popularity of pubescent YouTube rappers and singers. With social media’s growing influence on people of all ages, it has become much easier for these young sensations to gain popularity.

Matthew David Morris, known by his moniker “MattyBRaps” on YouTube, is one of the earliest examples of this phenomenon. Morris started YouTubing in 2010 at age 7 with his cover of “Eenie Meenie” by Justin Bieber.

Since then, Morris has seen an increase in subscribers on his YouTube channel, which as of now is sitting at a disturbingly large 7.7 million subscribers.

Morris’ popularity, however, is somewhat deceptive; he has never released a full-length album, and a majority of his views have come from his cringeworthy covers and parodies.

In order to garner views, MattyB generally follows the same formula: He takes romantic and often sexual songs such as “My Humps” by The Black Eyed Peas, changes a few lyrics (e.g. “My humps” becomes “my pumps”) and features himself surrounded by prepubescent girls in oddly sexualized music videos that disturbingly mirror modern pop videos.

MattyB has recently been creating “original” songs that may just be more generic than the parodies. His music video for “California Dreams” features a brief summary of the 2003 movie “Holes” to a melody made up of solely three notes, and the owl-like repetition of the word “oh” is glossed over the highly unique chorus “we just be chasing dreams, chasing dreams, California dreams.”

With his most popular music video sitting at nearly 170 million views and featuring teenage women stalking and trying to date him, a 7-year-old boy, it has become extremely puzzling how so many people can sit through a 4-minute cringe-fest.

Junior Ayush Aggarwal has been following this odd recent trend.

When it comes down to it, I think MattyBRaps is pushing music forward … or backward, really,” Aggarwal said. “It’s just a new direction and we have to accept that.”

Still, there are worse examples of young “prodigies”.

Social media idol Jacob Sartorius has amassed an almost cult-like following from adult women since the release of his debut song “Sweatshirt.” Although he is only 14, you wouldn’t know it from the kind of activity that Jacob has on his Facebook page.

Last month, Jacob posted on his Instagram a picture that made him look like an “Oompa Loompa with the amount of blush that he uses,” as Aggarwal puts it. Captioning his extremely filtered selfie with his classic, “Don’t ever forget that you’re gorgeous” plus heart-eyes face emoji appended to the end, Jacob really is an example of how far some people will go for fame.

Still, it is even more alarming that over 450,000 people actually “liked” this photo.

Even though it seems that every single Facebook comment he gets on his posts roasts him, many of these die-hard fans are not deterred.

While many new music artists usually are popularized for their voices, singers such as Morris and Sartorius’ claims to fame are their young ages.

Why exactly we put the spotlight on preteens with below-average music and terrible social media presences is a mystery deserving of further scientific study. Still, it’s pretty funny every now and then to see one of Sartorious’ unironically captioned selfies show up on our Facebook feeds.


3 views this week